2016: A (Travel) Year In Review

Previous to 2016, I'd been to a total of seven countries in my lifetime, including my home of the USA.

I must have gotten the travel bug this year...

....because in 2016, I traveled to not three, not eight, but a whopping THIRTEEN new countries, totaling to 20 countries that I've visited in my life.
  1. Uzbekistan
  2. Tajikistan
  3. Kyrgyzstan
  4. Kazakhstan
  5. Denmark
  6. Norway
  7. Sweden
  8. Finland
  9. Latvia
  10. Estonia
  11. Romania
  12. Moldova
  13. Russia

Those are just new countries. I traveled to a total of NINETEEN new cities, two in the USA! (Technically Tashkent and Khiva were in 2015, and I'd already been to Nashville before)
  1. Bukhara
  2. Samarkand
  3. Khujand
  4. Istaravshan
  5. Khoja Obi Garm
  6. Dushanbe
  7. Bishkek
  8. Almaty
  9. New York City
  10. Boston
  11. Copenhagen
  12. Oslo
  13. Stockholm
  14. Helsinki
  15. Riga
  16. Tallinn
  17. Bucharest
  18. Chisinau
  19. St. Petersburg

I made dozens of new friends and travel buddies, and already had a reunion with five of them (oh hey there, NYCers Remi, Calvin, Helen, Tan, and Yvonne from the Silk Road trip!).

I went on TWO Monsoon Diaries trips (The Silk Road and started the Transsiberian on Dec. 31st).

And I had immeasurable laughs, excitement, frustration and joy through it all. Here are some of my pictures to summarize the year, places I've visited and people I've met. Click on a photo to enlarge.

horseback in the Hissar Fortress near Dushanbe
hopping trains in Tashkent
blue tiles in Khiva
Valentina Romanenko fashions in Samarkand 
local boys in Istaravshan
a pit stop in Tajikistan
the Fan Mountains with Anne
thumbs up to painfully hot Tajik spa time!
street market in Khiva
street market in Khiva
the Registan in Samarkand
plaza beside the world's 2nd tallest flagpole, Dushanbe

Yvonne and me in Times Square
dinner with Calvin, Helen and Tan in NYC
Remi, me and Calvin at the High Line

Old State House, Boston
Fort Warren, Georges Island in Boston
the USS Mesa Verde in Boston
Bunker Hill, Boston
Harvard Yard, Boston

Alex, Tijs and Bram in the first moments of the 7-hour pub crawl my first night in Copenhagen
Rachel and me in Nyhavn, Copenhagen
Jesper, my Danish dinner date
Tivoli amusement park in Copenhagen
relaxing on the ferry to Oslo
The National Archives, where I sought out family history, in Oslo
Akershus fortress, Oslo
planning what became an unplanned night with Marco in Oslo
loving Gamla Stan, Stockholm
the authentic Swedish meatball meal I made in my Stockholm hostel
the signage in Helsinki Airport is impeccable
Navy Jerry's in Helsinki
free feast of a meal in Riga
Eric, Damien, Jean-Philippe and Jess, new friends in Riga
the streets of Riga
House of Blackheads, Riga
overlooking Tallinn
final night in Tallinn, when I met my new friends Deniz and Tom

world's smallest DJ at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville
Hatch Show Print, Nashville
Tara got her wallet stolen in Nashville

jumpin' for joy in Nashville
the only gun show i need, Nashville
Johnny Cash museum, Nashville (photo courtesy of Tara)

street market in Bucharest
Trajan and She-Wolf statue (they think it's ugly, too) in Bucharest
me, Sarah, Becca, Megan and Nicky, my new kiwi friends I met in Bucharest
train station art in Bucharest
Sam, Sarah, Becca, me, Nicky and Mitchell in Bucharest
Mikhail, a Moldovan who offered me everything in a time of need in Chisinau
Catedrala Nasterea Domnului, Chisinau
opera in Chisinau
holiday festival in Chisinau
Hermitage, St. Petersburg
Hermitage, St. Petersburg
causing trouble once again with Calvin, St. Petersburg
streets of St. Petersburg
Kazan Cathedral, St Petersburg
"In St. Petersburg, to drink to drink." Thanks, Igor, for the google translate