If there’s one word to summarize the year 2015 it would simply be “AMAZING”. From the start to finish, all of the year’s events, adventures and accomplishments have left me feeling incredibly blessed and excited to see what 2016 has in store.
JANUARY– The year started off on a high note as I was able to bring it in with some of my closest friends and family in the comfort of my own home. Days later I joined friends once again and celebrated the 30th birthday of one of my longtime best friends who has now basically become family. After a great 90’s party I recall going home for a few hours of sleep followed by my first flight of the year. While this wasn’t necessarily a trip I looked forward to due to it being for school lab work and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during one of the coldest month’s, it was a chance to experience and explore a new city.
The month ended with me taking a trip to Sin City- Las Vegas, Nevada to help one of my best friends Allen bring in his 30th birthday. It worked out perfect as we were able to celebrate all weekend and end with watching the Super Bowl. It was all good until New England ended up winning on a lucky play. As a Baltimore Ravens fan, it’s safe to say that the Patriots winning is never a good thing.
FEBRUARY- came quick and some friends and I took a weekend trip to Cleveland, Ohio. The main reason for the trip was to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers take on my favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s unfortunate that Kobe Bryant ended up being injured after we had already made arrangements. Needless to say, the Cavs spanked the Lakers and I had to deal with trash talk from the Lebron fans in my crew. Overall it was still a great experience to catch the game and explore some of Cleveland.
Later that month I escaped the cold winter weather and headed to Nassau, Bahamas! The purpose was to celebrate my sister’s birthday. Being the great little brother that I am, the trip was her Christmas gift from me in 2014. She works hard year round to care for her kids and others so she definitely deserved it.
MARCH- was just as adventurous as the other months. I booked a flight to Dallas, Texas to visit some good friends and get some of that good Texas food and hospitality. It was great to see and catch up with my good buddy Kim (TheChicNatural). She’s doing big things on Youtube and elsewhere. Check her out 😉
In APRIL- I was back on the plane once again. I choose to book a flight to Norfolk, Virginia instead of driving (I hate driving) to surprise another friend for her 30th birthday celebration. The quick trip was worth it and man did we have a ball!
MAY– Christmas Eve/Christmas Day 2014 was a craaaaaazy day for travelers all throughout the U.S. Imagine the looks on everyones face as we realized that Etihad Airways had a massive sale going on! I mean round trip flights to Abu Dhabi, South Africa, Hong Kong and other places for less than $200 if you booked right away. Moving fast and not thinking, myself and a few others only booked Abu Dhabi in May for about $215 to celebrate my 30th Birthday. Looking back at that day, I should’ve just kept my credit card out and booked allllllll the destinations available. This is an example of when I tell people that international travel isn’t always as expensive as they think. May was here and we were ready to chuck up the deuces and head to the United Arab Emirates. Once there we went straight to Dubai on Etihad’s free shuttle and spent a few days there before ending the trip in Abu Dhabi and heading back home to the good ol U.S.A.
JUNE– Fresh off of the trip from the U.A.E. I sat in my office one day casually chatting it up with some fellow travelers on the Slack app. All of a sudden somebody mentioned another flight deal to Cairo, Egypt for less than $450! A group was quickly formed and others began to plan their trip. The only thing was travel had to take place in June. I sat contemplating how I could pull this off without getting laid out by the family and ending up jobless, haha. Being the spontaneous risk taker that I am, I took that card out and booked it. I would worry about the consequences later because Egypt couldn’t be missed! When the day arrived, I headed up to New York on the Bolt Bus and made my way to the Motherland.
Let me say that Egypt was probably the most amazing trip I have ever taken. Just being able to see the pyramids, tombs, temples etc., was absolutely MIND BLOWING! There is so much history to be seen in Egypt. History that the world tries to change but we know the deal. We took a day trip to Luxor as well and had a great time. Please don’t let anyone deter you from visiting by placing fear in your heart and telling you its unsafe. Not once did we feel threatened and the people were so nice and welcoming. I can’t tell you how many times they thanked us for coming and helping a struggling tourism industry.
JULY– Alright, so we were six months through the year and I had already been going nonstop. I probably should have chilled and given travel a break right? Nah! 4th of July weekend was approaching and who wouldn’t want to take advantage of yet another time to get away? I booked a flight to Montreal, Canada. After confirming an amazing place to stay via Airbnb, I was ready to go. Montreal has a ton of history and French influence all over the city. I happened to be visiting during the weekend of the International Jazz Fest and Carnival. What a great time!
AUGUST– I promise you I said I was going to chill during August because during the beginning of the year me and my usual travel buddies had taken advantage of WOWair’s crazy sales to Europe. The trip to Reykjavik, Iceland; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Prague, Czech Republic and Paris, France was scheduled for September. My mom however was determined to get to Los Angeles, California for her birthday. You’d think I was exhausted with travel but nope. As much as I love it, any time to catch a flight out of here is a good time! We headed to L.A. with my nephew and a family friend to celebrate. We hit the usual spots in L.A. and I even managed to catch up with my friend Kim again as she was in the area handling business. We ended the trip with a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. My mom had a blast and I still cannot believe she rode every ride in the park!
So yea, I got home from L.A. and hit up some friends asking who wanted to go to Miami… A few weeks later, we were there!
SEPTEMBER– When September came I was hyped to finally be heading back to Europe. I couldn’t believe just how cheap WOWair was offering international flights out of BWI and was anxious to see just what the airline was about. Overall, the trip from BWI to KEF was pleasant. The seats were comfortable and the flight attendants were some of the nicest I’ve encountered. The only thing is, like most other budget airlines you have to pay extra for selecting your seat, additional baggage allowance and nothing is included as far as refreshments are concerned. My advice when traveling on WOW is to load up on drinks and snacks in the airport and have a good flight.
Once we made it to Iceland we jetted right out to our rental car and headed towards our hotel in the city. After checking in to our FREE room thanks to my good friend over at sincerelycrys.com. We freshened up and headed out on the Golden Circle Tour. We only had a day in Reykjavik so we made the most of it.
The following morning we headed back to the airport to make our way to Amsterdam. I had heard so much about how cool Amsterdam was and couldn’t wait to get there and see what the hype was about. To make a long story short, it lives up to it’s name!
After a few days in Amsterdam we made our way to Prague. Prague had always been on my list of places I wanted to see due to the medieval architecture and overall low cost of living. Man, Prague was simply beautiful and though we were able to do a lot during our few days there, I am already anticipating going back.
We concluded our trip with a short visit to Paris. I had already been but who wouldn’t want to make a return to such a nice city? It poured down raining the majority of the time but mother nature decided to give us a break just in time for a quick pic in front of the famous Eiffel Tower. Don’t let the recent terror attacks prevent you from getting to Paris if it’s on your list.
We left Paris and flew back to Iceland for a short layover before our flight back to Baltimore. We decided to take advantage of that time and went to check out the Blue Lagoon. The trip was worth it and we got to relax in the heated waters while outside in cold Iceland. Did I mention I took some dope pictures that ended up being featured by Soul Society on Instagram? It even ended up being recognized as one of 2015’s top 15 photos!!
OCTOBER– came around and for once, I chilled. I spent an entire month not traveling and I’m still trying to figure out how this happened LOL. It’s all good though. November was about to involve yet another trip of a lifetime.
NOVEMBER– The week before Thanksgiving came quick and I was headed back to JFK to head to Thailand! I was hesitant at first because this would be the first time I missed Thanksgiving at home with my family. Knowing how much I value the time spent with my loved ones, I went back and forth with the idea of not being here. Nonetheless, before I knew it i was on my way!
The first stop was the busy city of Bangkok. Man, man, man. Bangkok was one busy and interesting place. There was so much to see and do and I took advantage of every minute there. Besides checking out the city and famous landmarks, I booked a day at the Tiger Temple. Whoa! What an awesome experience to cross off the bucket list. The day began with a long ride to the temple and feeding the monks. After that, we got to feed the baby cubs, bathe and play with the older Tigers and eventually got to walk the big cat. After the walk, we posed with the tiger for some of the best photos I’ve ever taken. Being the dare devil that I am, I was never nervous and took advantage of this opportunity. While some bash the temple for questionable practices, I don’t regret a bit of it and encourage others interested to check them out.
After spending time in Bangkok, the next stop was Chang Mai. This was a nice break from the busy pace of Bangkok. While there, the city was celebrating Loi Krathong and Yi Peng. Loi Krathong falls on the evening of the full moon in November. People place floats in the water and make a wish often letting go of past transgressions and negative thoughts. The lanterns are lit and released in the sky as well. This was amazing to witness.
My trip to Thailand concluded with heading to Phuket. The main goal was relaxation while engaging a bit in the party life there. I recommend taking the speedboat to the Ko Phi Phi Islands and seeing some of the most beautiful sights your eyes may ever see.
The trip ended and I was on a high from all of the week’s events. It’s obvious the trip was life changing as this very site came to be during my flight back home. I’m telling you, travel will change your life and your mind.
DECEMBER– As the year ended I was happy to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. The month of December concluded with the best party I’ve ever attended, right in the comforts of my own home surrounded by fellow travel enthusiasts.
I cannot wait for you to see what 2016 is bringing. If 2015 is any indication, Oooh boy!