A Year in Photographs: HWE in 2016 in 16 Photos

June 8, 2016,

In light of Happiest When Exploring’s one year anniversary, here is another blog post to commemorate the occasion… it’s a pretty big deal, after all – and I’m happy to celebrate this milestone and share 16 of my favourite travel photos from 2015 and 2016.

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it.” – Unknown

Rome: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
This first photo was taken in my fav city ever, Rome. It’s really hard to beat Rome. I feel blessed to have visited twice in 2015 – once with my sister (and on my birthday!) and the second time, with my dad.


Matera: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
While we’re on the subject of Italy, here is an old home in the ancient town of Matera. Some might know Matera as the location where “The Passion of the Christ” was filmed – it’s quite a sight in person.


Amsterdam: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
This photo was taken in beautiful Amsterdam during the fall – those colours are on point. And I’ve got to give photo credit to my sister, Laura, for this one. She fell in love with Amsterdam while we were there, and really – could you blame her?!


Castellabate: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
A little change in scenery, here. This is beautiful Castellabate in the south of Italy. I spent a handful of days exploring the Cilento region of Italy. You can learn more about Cilento and Castellabate here


Costa Rica: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
Ah, Costa Rica. Beautiful beaches, lovely people, fresh fruit, veg and coconuts… what more could a gal ask for? I have a ton of posts about Costa Rica for your reference, here 😉


Saxony Switzerland: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
Where the heck in the world is this, you ask? A: Saxony Switzerland (it’s actually in Germany though, go figure). I had a beautiful time exploring Germany for a little over a week with my cousin, Jessica and I managed this lovely shot of the sandstone mountains, with the town of Rathen in the background. You gotta love those sweet, little towns.


Krakow: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
Beautiful Kraków – this is from my current travels, and from my first time in Poland. I have fallen completely in love with Poland, and Kraków in particular. You can read more about what to do and see in Kraków here.


Warsaw: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
Homemade candy in Warsaw, Poland? Why the heck not? (P.S. The “old town” has been reconstructed to look as it would have before WWII – read more about what to do in Warsaw during the summer here)


Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
Here I am “casually” walking up the stairs to the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, Germany. Very, very casual. But for real, Potsdam is my favourite and an ideal day trip from Berlin.


Dresden: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
View of Dresden’s old town from Brühl’s Terrace. Dresden’s old town is sweet and quaint, but I recommend venturing beyond the old town towards Neustadt for cool shops (crystals, handcrafted jewellery), great people watching, biergartens and delicious vegan food (check out Der Dicke Schmidt)!


Porto, Portugal: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com

View of Porto, Portugal. The coolest part about Porto – besides the delish and affordable food, cheap accomodation, beautiful architecture and azulejos, and the friendly and helpful people (i.e. Portugal rocks) – is that J.K. Rowling lived here for a few years and was completely inspired by the city. The city is basically Hogwarts, but warm and (usually) sunny.


Barcelona: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com

Barcelona holds a special place in my heart – it was the first city I ever traveled solo to. And I started off my first two-month Euro trip with Barcelona. And I’ll be back again soon. For more info + insights on this magical city, you can check out the library of Barcelona posts here.


Vermont: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
Travel doesn’t need to take months of planning and saving, or even more than an hour or two of transport. One of my favourite weekend escapes is Vermont. Vermont has it all – good food, nature (like this waterfall), lovely cities and towns to discover, open-minded people… and it’s a short drive from Montreal. What are some of your favourite day or weekend trips from your city?


Vegan Food in Montreal @ Invitation V: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com

In light of shorter trips, how about taking yourself (and your friends) to lunch at a local restaurant and treating the afternoon like you’re discovering a new city? When you can’t get away, be a tourist in your own city. These scrumptious looking starters are from a vegan restaurant in Montreal, Invitation V.


Budapest: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
Have you been to Budapest? I know I say I “fall in love” with cities a lot, but this one was just magical. You can read about Budapest and my experience here.


Prague: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com

After visiting the library hall at the Clementinum (you’ll feel like you’re in “Beauty and the Beast”), climb up to the top of the tower for a sweeping view of Prague’s rooftops.


Harry Potter Theme Park at Universal Studios Orlando, Florida: A Year in Photos on HappiestWhenExploring.com
#17… An extra one for good luck: that one time I took the Hogwarts Express with my two favourite gals, my sister and my mother. Because what’s a year of travel without a week of fizzing whizbees, magic wands, dark mark temporary tattoos and a trip to Hogwarts?! Read about the Wizarding World here.

What are your favourite travel memories?!
Share your favourite travel photos using the hashtag #happiestwhenexploring
on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I share my favourites!A Year in Photographs: HWE in 2016 in 16 Photos // happiestwhenexploring.com


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January 8, 2016

So, You’re a Travel Blogger? What That Means and Other Questions & Answers

February 3, 2016


  • Reply Celia June 12, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    All of these pictures are amazing, you should be proud with what you’ve accomplished and experienced in your twenties.

  • Reply Ilena C. June 13, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    How great are these photo reminders and destination ideas! Your question reminded me of his much I love Quebec City. It’s not too far from Montreal and yet I feel like I’m in Europe! That’s one of my closest to getting faraway destinations…

  • Reply Ilena C. March 5, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Photo no. 17 remeinded me that in a few days it’ll be a year we went to Florida to Universal Studios! Wow! Every day was wow! The rides, sights, the food at the restaurants at City Walk and that constant high of emotions. I would do it again in a heartbeat ♥️♥️♥️

    • Reply Happiest When Exploring March 14, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Wow… already a year! Some days it feels like its been less time, and other days it feels like it was a VERY long time ago! I love you ladies… it was truly a great trip! <3 thank you!

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