2021 Travel Highlights

Sunset in Lisbon

This past year has been another incredible year full of adventure. I got to visit a few new state and national parks, lived out my dreams of “living” abroad as a digital nomad in France and Costa Rica, and visited 6 new countries! Here’s some of the highlights from each destination! 

From a travel perspective, the biggest highlight however was finally appreciating the proximity I now have by living in the SF Bay Area to seeing my family in Southern California and Hawaii. Never expected I’d get to visit Hawaii (3x) and SoCal (3x) in one year! Hoping to continue doing this more in the new year! 


Death Valley National Park
Visiting Death Valley National Park in January
  • Pinnacles National Park 
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Sequoia / Kings Canyon National Park
  • Lassen National Park 
  • Visiting Monterrey 2x
  • Visiting Santa Cruz
  • Snowboarding at Northstar in Lake Tahoe 
  • Going to Napa 2x and Sonoma 2x 
  • McArthur-Burney Falls State Park

New York 

View during my morning run along the Hudson River in early June!
  • Watkins Glen State Park 
  • Visiting wineries and sipping delicious riesling in the finger lakes region
  • Spent a week living in Manhattan! 


Quick hike near Pennybacker Bridge looking towards Downtown Austin in December!
  • Spent another two weeks living in Austin 
  • Eating so much delicious BBQ!

Costa Rica 

View of Arenal Volcano en route to Tamarindo in June
  • Spent 2.5 weeks living in Costa Rica!! 
  • Going zip-lining for the first time near Arenal 
  • Surviving white water rafting on the Rio Balsa 
  • Searching for parrots and other wildlife on jungle tours (2x) 
  • Having beachside massages at Playa Conchal 
  • Living out my coworking dreams in Tamarindo 
  • Wandering around the capital city of San Jose de Costa Rica
  • Experiencing all the W Costa Rica has to offer! 


Sunset from the kitchen window of my AirBnb in Strasbourg in June
  • Spent nearly 5 weeks living in France in 2021!!
  • Attending a wedding on a private island in Brittany
  • Biking the Loire Valley while visiting wineries and chateaus 
  • Trying out Senegalese, Mauritian and Cambodian cuisine in Paris
  • Driving the vin d’Alsace and enjoying some delicious Riesling 
  • Visiting champagne houses in Reims
  • Wandering around Colmar and other small towns in Alsace 
  • Touring the EU Parliament building in Strasbourg 
  • All the high speed train journeys throughout France! 
  • Eating all the escargot and beef bourguignon at bouchons in Lyon
  • Learning about red/white burgundy on a private tour at Chateau Pommard


View of the old town in Luxembourg!
View of the old town in Luxembourg!
  • Doing a day trip to Luxembourg from Paris!
  • Checking out the royal palace
  • Wandering around atop the old city’s walls 


Visiting the Porsche Museum in July!
Visiting the Porsche Museum in July!
  • Doing a day trip to Stuttgart from Strasbourg! 
  • Visiting both the Mercedes Benz and Porsche Museums
  • Wandering around the town square 


Sunset from Castelo de Sao Jorge overlooking the Tagus River in Lisbon in October
Sunset from Castelo de Sao Jorge overlooking the Tagus River in Lisbon in October
  • Spent a long layover in Lisbon en route to Spain 
  • Had pastéis de nata (egg tarts) in Belem 
  • Walking around the Alfama (old town) 


Afternoon view of the Alhambra Palace in Granada in October
  • Spent a few days traveling solo in Spain! 
  • Finally getting to visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada! 
  • Discovering La Mezquita in Cordoba 
  • Learning about Moorish Architecture at the Alcazar in Seville 
  • Seeing miles and miles of olive trees while riding the high speed trains! 
  • Eating all the jamon iberico and cheese sandwiches 
  • Dipping churros in hot chocolate in Madrid 
  • Learning about Spanish art at the Reina Sofia Museum 


Morning at Chichen Itza in December
  • First time doing a road trip in Mexico by driving out to Chichen Itza! 
  • Visited some additional Mayan ruins at Ek Balam and Tulum 
  • Experiencing my first time ever staying at an all inclusive resort (XCaret Arte!) 
  • Facing my fear of heights and doing a ropes course at Parque Savage 
  • Wandering around Playa del Carmen and Cancun


Hiking at Waimea Canyon in Kauai in November
  • Visited Hawaii (3x) in one year!! 
  • Going to Kauai for the very first time!
  • Hiking at Waimea Canyon in Kauai and seeing Niihau
  • Various family activities on the Big Island for my grandma’s funeral and on Maui for my grandpa’s 90th birthday and mini-family reunion.