2015 in Photos

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2015 was a happy year for me in many ways. Not without its challenges, not without its losses, I feel I came out of it a more grounded, more confident, person with a clearer vision for what I want for my future. I shared a lot of the exciting things that happened in my post, The Best Travel Stories, so here, I thought I would limit the words and share my journey through photography.

We bought a house! We are almost a year in now and have already done a lot of work to it to put our personal stamp on our home.

New houw_GIRLGONETRAVEL

I worked off the stress at the beautiful Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires.

canyon Ranch_girlgonetravel

It was snowy at the beginning of the year, and we made the best of it!girlgonetravel _winter

My family and I ventured to Steamboat for the winter, where they skied and I relaxed!steamboat winters_girlgonetravel steamboat winters_girlgonetravel

I then made my way to Germany to experience their carnival and learned so much about the Bavarian culture.

German festivals_girlgonetravel German festivals_girlgonetravel

I learned that Sandusky is a fun place, even in the middle of winter!

ohio vacations_girlgonetravel

I warmed up a bit in Los Angeles where friends took time to show me the many areas of this large city.
Los Angeles_girlgonetravel girlgonetravel_Los Angeles I found my long-lost biological mother on Facebook…and connected with her in person!

mom_girlgonetravel

I made my first trip to an Asian country, Thailand, and learned so much. Participating in the offerings to the monks was an incredible experience.

Monks in Thailand_GirlGoneTravel

Monks in Thailand_GirlGoneTravel

My husband and I went on a romantic getaway to St. Martin.

RIU Palace St. Martin Vacations_girlgonetravel all rights reserved

And I returned to Maui with my Expedia Viewfinder friends.

Girl Gone Travel in Maui_All rights reservedGirl Gone Travel in Maui_All rights reserved

As part of the White House Travel blogger summit the year before, I was invited by Turkish Airline to travel through Turkey, a beautiful country with beautiful people.

Turley_girlgonetravel turkey_girlgonetravelI ate my way through Guatemala and was captivated by its beauty.

Guatemala_girlgonetravel Guatemala_girlgonetravel

My family and I enjoyed the occasional road trip, to places like Newport, RI and Ogunquit, ME.

GirlGoneTravel_NewportOgunquit, ME_GIRLGONETRAVELI returned to France for the 3rd year as Wine Ambassador for Atout France and explored the Rhone Valley.Rhone Valley_girlgonetravel Rhone Valley_girlgonetravel

My oldest graduated from high school!

Girlgonetravel_family

I took my very first family trip that included my mother  and we traveled back to Steamboat, which I never wanted to leave and where we celebrated the 4th of July, and Disney!

Steamboat Summer_girlgonetravel Steamboat Summer_girlgonetravel Disney family_girlgonetravel Disney family_girlgonetravel

I got to return to Guatemala, this time to share the stories and work being done by CoEd.

CoEd_SnapShot_Tour_Photo_GirlGoneTravel CoEd_SnapShot_Tour_Photo_GirlGoneTravel CoEd_SnapShot_Tour_Photo_GirlGoneTravel

My travel year started to slow down as the year progressed but not before my family and I took one last big trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta Vacations_Girlgonetravel Puerto Vallarta Vacations_Girlgonetravel Puerto Vallarta Vacations_Girlgonetravel

I took the long trip to Fiji and am still in awe by how magnificent my experiences were there.

Fiji travels_girlgonetravel Fiji travels_girlgonetravel Fiji travels_girlgonetravel Fiji travels_girlgonetravel

I was honored to be welcomed back on a trip with Insight Vacations, this time to one of my favorite places in the world: Ireland.

Ireland_girlgonetravel Ireland_girlgonetravel

I finished the year of travel with a great achievement as Opening Keynote for TBEX Travel Bloggers conference North America, the response from which left me feeling grateful and moved.

We welcomed family to kick off the holiday season and are feeling incredibly blessed and appreciative for the positive outcomes both professionally and personally this year. I had moments of sadness, especially when faced with the loss of several friends, many of them such beautiful, kind people. This, as I turn 45, serving as a reminder that life is too short and no day should be wasted on  things and people that don’t matter. I think I did a better job this year at being a better me, but alas, it’s always a work in progress.

I want to thank my 2015 partners, agencies, brands, destinations, and the many publications for the opportunities to travel with them, write for them, and partner with them in so many wonderfully creative ways. Special thank you to Expedia, I am looking forward to our continued partnership through 2016.

Many of my travel experiences can be found with a simple click on the links or a search here on my site, where I give not only a personal account of what to expect, but also offer some tips that I hope you find helpful. So, feel free to browse around. (There might be a couple of pieces that I have yet to write, but they are on schedule to be up soon!)

In the meantime, I want to thank you, my friends and readers, for your continued support, for visiting my site and sharing my stories. For connecting with my here and on social media. Without your support and curiosity this work wouldn’t be as fun.

I wish you a very happy holiday season and a very happy New Year. May it be full of love, kindness, and friendships, all of which have made even my saddest day better. I wish on you all the strength and courage to overcome whatever this year threw at you and take on your future with hope. So, before I take a break to enjoy the rest of the year and holidays with my friends and family, I want to leave you with this:

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”- George Addair

Happy travels, in life, on the road, and always.

 

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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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