2017: Looking Back at This Year of Travel
Each year around this time, I start to get a bit sad. Another year is gone. Maybe it’s because I have a subconscious fear of change. I mourn for the year as its time is almost over, like losing an old friend.
I’m sure you can understand that line of thinking. But, what’s even weirder is that come New Year’s Day, I’m totally fine again and looking forward to what that year will bring. Perhaps it’s not that I mourn for the past year, but more that I’m terrible with goodbyes.
2017, while not my favorite year for many reasons, was still a fantastic travel year for us, so we will look back on where the year took us.
You can expect to see blog posts about these destinations over the next couple months, and links will be added here!
A short trip to Memphis for my birthday led to eating 100-year old grease burgers at Dyer’s, wandering through the incredible Stax and Rock and Soul Museums, trying “Prozac” cupcakes at Muddy’s Bake Shop, and visiting the birthplace of the one and only Aretha Franklin.
- Dyer’s Burgers: Home of the 100 Year-Old Grease Burger
- Pay Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T at the Birthplace of Aretha Franklin in Memphis, Tennessee
- The Story of Soul Music at the Stax Museum in Memphis, Tennessee
- Muddy’s Bake Shop, Home of the Prozac Cupcake
Holly Springs, Mississippi-
We FINALLY visited Mark’s hometown for the annual Pilgrimage to see various antebellum homes, churches, and historic sites of Holly Springs, Mississippi. It’s one of those events that occurs close to home every year, and we just kept saying we’d go “one day.” MADE IT!
Even though we’ve visited Cozumel numerous times, we finally decided to explore the island on our own. Zipping around in a dune buggy, we learned all about the process of making tequila, visited the island museum, and ate lunch at what is now our favorite restaurant in Cozumel (Pancho’s Backyard).
Uxmal is the fifth Mayan Ruins site we’ve visited, and it is one of the most impressive to us. The sheer size of the pyramids and buildings was breathtaking. Somehow, it made the heat bearable and maaannn there’s some good food there too!
- 6 Unforgettable Experiences in Cozumel
- 11 Tips for Visiting the Mayan Ruins of Uxmal
- Museum of the Island of Cozumel: A Succinct History of this Mexican Island
July brought the celebration of Mark’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (Congratulations, Mom and Pop!) and a shopping trip to Unclaimed Baggage in Huntsville, Alabama.
Total Eclipse Road Trip-
Mark’s parents joined us as we road-tripped up to Cleveland, Tennessee to see the total solar eclipse, where we watched this phenomenon (I cried) from the gorgeous Morris Vineyard. We visited Rock City and Ruby Falls in Chattanooga and the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama along the way, with other small stops breaking up the ride.
- Totality: Our Total Solar Eclipse Experience in Cleveland, Tennessee
- Ruby Falls: An Underground Wonder in Tennessee
- Cars’ Doc Hudson Spotted in Cleveland, Tennessee
- What to See at Rock City
- The World’s Largest Jukebox Plays Hit Songs from Alabama
- Alabama’s Roadside Rock Zoo
Hurricanes brought devastation to the Caribbean, preventing us from visiting the Eastern Caribbean islands as planned. Instead, we visited Jamaica (where we floated down a river), Grand Cayman (where we swam with starfish), Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas where we completed a 5k and found underwater statues), and Cozumel, Mexico (where we spent the day with old friends and eating good food). We are making plans to visit the Eastern Caribbean in the near future, and we definitely encourage you to do the same!
A stay in Long Beach, California before our next cruise provided the perfect opportunity to go ghost hunting aboard the Queen Mary.
Our cruise took us to Cabo San Lucas to see the picturesque arch and make friends with sea lions and to Puerto Vallarta where we admired local art and architecture.
Mark traveled to Thailand for his work and had the opportunity to see some of the temples around Bangkok.
Because we believe there’s no such thing as too much Disney, we visited Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The best part? My sister and her fiance, Geoff, joined us for a week of Christmas magic, heaps of food, miles and miles of walking, and lots of pin trading.
Where will we go in 2018?
The short answer is that we just don’t know. We’re actually pretty spontaneous with our trip-planning, so there’s no guessing where exactly we’ll go and when. So far, we’ve just been throwing ideas around, like going back to Hawaii, attempting another Eastern Caribbean cruise, possibly visiting more places in Alaska…We don’t know.
Some of you may know that we have a fifteen-year-old chihuahua who is very much our daughter. She’s been having some health issues at her senior age, so we have made the decision to cut back on travel a bit to take care of her and keep her in a routine.
For the next few months here on the blog, I plan on cranking out lots of content and adding tons of information and tips. Is there a chance that I’ll get caught up on writing about all the past trips we’ve taken? Probably not, but I can try!
Thank you to every single one of you that has read our posts. We appreciate the comments, likes, follows, and especially the messages that we get from yall.
We hope you had some wonderful moments in 2017, and we wish you an incredible 2018! Stay curious, be kind, and enjoy this world we live in!
Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and three fur babies. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
You can follow Jenni on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.