It’s over?!: 2016 in review

Is anyone else finding it really hard to believe 2016 is almost over? I’m sitting here, totally panicking that I’m planning a road trip back to Virginia in just under a week and then immediately heading back to Indy to ring in the new year, Russian style!

I hope I’m not the only one delving deep into both panic and nostalgia this week because here’s the best of 2016 AKA a year where I only left the state three times and managed to have more fun than anyone ought rightfully have without crossing an international border.

Polly in Indy


How I’ve Saved for Travel on Any Budget: this was a time when we’d just moved, I’d been working for just under a month, and my husband had yet to find a job. Somehow, we survived and even managed to save. It’s difficult, but possible.

Indy Street Art: Fountain Square


Downtown Indianapolis Street Art Walk: if my memory serves me right, it was an unseasonably warm February which made it perfect for exploring all of Indianapolis’ wonderful public art. Seriously, there’s so much here!


Let’s Love Local Road Trip Resource Guide: as I began gearing up for late spring/early summer road trips (we finally bought a car!), I compiled a list of all of my favorite tips, tricks, and hacks for making the most out of a long drive.

Downtown St. Louis


Weekend Escape STL: my visit to Saint Louis represented the furthest west I’d ever been (aside from California) and it was cool to see a new part of the world. Saint Louis really impressed me – not that I had any real expectations – with its gorgeous public areas, great beer, and thriving culinary scene.

Monon High Bridge in Delphi, Indiana


Delphi, Indiana: the Abandoned Monon High Bridge: probably one of my favorite adventures of 2016, simply because the bridge was in such a gorgeous location and the existence of an open abandoned, rickety railroad bridge seems like something out of a story. Delphi is definitely worth the drive.

Early morning adventure Indianapolis


How to Use Social Media to Plan Your Next Trip: I’ve taken my trip-planning to the next level in 2016 thanks to a lot of in-depth research about how to better leverage social media. Check out this post and stay tuned for my other tips and tricks in 2017!

Briggs Woods Park


Webster City, Iowa Guide: my first trip to Iowa! Webster City was a great introduction to real Midwestern farm county. In other news, tack that on to the bottom of the ‘Places I Never Thought I’d Go’ list.

Madison Indiana Guide: downtown


Easy $5 Adventures for Broke Travelers: I’ve said it many times – 2016 was not a big year of travel for me. And that’s totally OK! There’s plenty to do nearby (and on the cheap!), you’ve just got to get creative.


Here’s Why Indianapolis is Cool(er Than You Think): imagine any up-and-coming travel/food compilation of 2016 and you’ll probably find Indy or one of its restaurants high on the list. Indy is poised to be a big(ger) tourist destination in 2017 and I’m here to tell you why.


An Easy Weekend Vacation Budget Planner: October heralded the start of a new job which once again confined my travels to long weekends. Still, weekend adventures can be fun and – with a proper budget – super affordable!

Fort Wayne Weekend: Karpeles Museum


How to Spend 36 Hours in Fort Wayne: November’s highlight was a fortuitous invitation from Visit Fort Wayne to head back up north and see the city I almost froze to death in at the start of this year. Check out how exactly to spend 36 hours in this totally underrated city.

Muncie, Indiana: Elm Street Brewing


17 Must Visit Indiana Towns/Cities in 2017: What better way to end the year than by looking forward to what 2017 has in store?

What was your travel highlight of 2016? Share in the comments below!
  • I have no idea where 2016 has gone! I’m sure it was only just June?!
    Looks like you’ve had an awesome year though.

    My travel highlight was definitely New Zealand.

    • Oh man, I’d love to get back to NZ – such a gorgeous place! Happy 2016 (almost 2017)!

  • I can’t believe how much I did in 2016, but 2017 means the end of my Russian adventure and it makes me sad. 🙁 I can’t wait to see what you have planned for 2017!
    Jasilyn recently posted…Helsinki, Pt. 1My Profile

  • Great post! I LOVE the photo with the bridge! That’s awesome! Looks like you had a great year!

    • 2016 was amazing! Hope yours was equally epic!

  • What a wonderful recap! You’re giving me so many ideas of Midwest destinations I need to get on my calendar for 2017. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for heading over, Megan!

  • Alsace was an unexpected gem. I studied abroad in France over a decade ago and covered quite a bit of ground then, but never this region. It is gorgeous and charming beyond belief, with so much to see and do. And Colmar was an ideal home base.

    • Oh man, I think I’d absolutely adore that slice of France! You had a great year of travel, it seems!

  • Ray

    Top travel moment in 2016 for me was hands down coming down to Indianapolis for the 100th Running of the Indy 500. It was my second time in your amazing town and my friends’ first. Between the race, checking out the local breweries, having some fun at Tappers Arcade Bar and the NCAA Hall of Champions, and enjoying all the amazing floats at the 500 Parade, I managed to make Indianapolis a “must come back to” place for my friends. Just a stunning Midwestern city that is totally underrated as a tourist destination in my opinion. We’ll be back again!
    Ray recently posted…Chicago’s Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions – Chicago Sports MuseumMy Profile