Egypt, Europe, Greece, Italy, Middle East, Packing, Travel

My 2016 Year in Review

December 19, 2016

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I know the general consensus from the world is that they would like 2016 to be over. While I agree some awful things are happening in the world, I would like to focus on the good things of 2016. This year I am going to tell you all the good things, not just the travel things. Here is my 2016 year in review!


As usual, I was looking to plan a trip right when I returned from my trip home. I quickly decided, with the help of my Mom, to head to Egypt in February! Not sure why it took me so long to decide to go there as I had wanted to go for a long time.


My trip to Egypt was the second week of the month, and I loved every minute of it. Seeing the pyramids was an experience I will never forget. It just baffles me that humans made them. Sailing up the Nile was another experience that I truly enjoyed. I can sit and watch the water go by for hours and not get bored. Not only that I got to see the sun set and rise over the Nile. Here is the video from that day.

YouTube video


I started working out with a personal trainer. This set me up to lose four clothing sizes over the next several months! If you follow me on Snapchat, you probably saw lots of snaps of me on the treadmill and pictures of the sunrise over Doha.


One of my friends invited me on a Dhow boat cruise, which I had only done once before. It was a warm day with great company. I met new people and watched the lights come on in Doha as the sun went down. I also took one of my favorite photos of the year that day!



A paper I wrote was accepted to be presented at a conference, and the conference just happened to be in Slovenia! Slovenia is by far the most beautiful country I have been to so far. I got to see much of its beauty because I drove from Ljubljana to Radenci, where the conference was being held. Not only was it beautiful, but the food was also amazing. Most of it was local, and you could taste how fresh it was.

I treated myself to a staycation at the W Doha. Staycations may become my new obsession! I felt totally relaxed after the stay, and there was no stress of having to travel anywhere.



May was a month of prepping. By now I had lost all the weight and desperately needed new clothes. I was heading to Italy for a month at the end of May and had nothing to wear! Not that I am complaining. A good friend went with me to try on clothes, and it was a good thing she did as I would have left with clothes slightly too big because I wasn’t convinced yet that I had lost so much weight.

At the very end of May, I left for a month in Italy. Believe it or not, this was for work. I was taking a course on bookbinding and bookbinding restoration. The first weekend though was spent with my friends in Italy. They just happen to live close to the course and it was great to start of my trip with them. They live in a small village and when I arrived the Infiorata was happening.  Such a neat experience.

7 Unique Italian Things to do During a Summer Visit to Italy


June stands out as one of the best months as I finally discovered Florence! The second weekend in Italy, I headed to Florence for the first time despite having been to Italy twice before. I fell in love right away. So much so that I went back the next weekend. I enjoyed just walking around and looking at all the amazing architecture. It was like walking through an outdoor museum.


The fourth weekend I was in Italy, I spent it exploring more of Umbria. This was when I discovered the lovely towns of Assisi and Gubbio. I recommend you drive to these towns to see the wonderful Umbrian countryside.


Right when I returned from Italy there was a holiday in Qatar and headed to Oman. Every summer Oman has a monsoon season which, as you can imagine, is rare in the Middle East. For three days I didn’t see the sun!

YouTube video



In August, I need to attend a conference in the United States. I decide to combine the work trip with a visit home. This time I decided not to take a direct flight from Doha to Dallas. I wanted to fly business and the only way I could afford it was to fly American Airlines with a stop in London. Even though I prefer to go direct, the layover was short and it was nice to get a break from the plane.

I spent about a week with my family. I did my usual see doctors and get a haircut routine. It is always great to spend time with my family even though it was short.

The conference I attended was in Atlanta, and one of my good friends lives within driving distance. I hadn’t seen her in 3 years, and she volunteered to drive down for the day to see me! We spent a day catching up at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens seeing the Chihuly Exhibit.



The sailing trip up the Nile in February inspired me to find a sailing cruise for later in the year. So I headed to Greece the first week of September to sail the Greek Islands for two weeks.  I know you may be wondering, why haven’t I seen a post on Greece yet!? They are coming, I promise. I took several blogging breaks this year and happy to say I think it has improved the blog post quality and I am motivated again.



I hadn’t planned on going anywhere in October, but I found a conference I wanted to attend. The conference just happened to be in Florence! I was thrilled. The conference was being held in the Uffizi Gallery Library. While most of the time was spent at the conference, I got to stay in my favorite Florence hotel. I also got to wake up in Florence on my birthday!


While I didn’t travel anywhere in November, I had three Thanksgivings! It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones. One of these Thanksgiving was an invite to the Four Seasons Doha to taste their Thanksgiving buffet. It was a beautiful meal offered at their Italian restaurant, El Teatro.


The first weekend in December, I was invited by the Intercontinental Doha the City to enjoy a staycation! The room offered a stunning view of downtown Doha. I really enjoyed watching the lights come on as the sun went down from the couch.

InterContinental Doha the City

Now I am back home again enjoying time with family. We are having the usual crazy Texas weather where it is 70 during the day and then drops 50 degrees in one day. My parents have a fireplace and I am loving the fire. Christmas celebrations at our house include getting presents and stockings from Santa. Our Christmas tree has a train around it and elves climbing the side.

This will be the last official blog post of 2016 as I will take the rest of the year off to enjoy being with my family before heading back to Doha.

What was your best memory of 2016? Share with us in the comments.

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  • Reply Kathryn December 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Wow, you’ve packed quite a lot in! Glad you got to Florence. Have a lovely Christmas with your family, see you in 2017 x

    • Reply Tiffany December 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      I did! I can hardly believe it. Thank you. Hope you have a great Christmas too. See you in 2017!

  • Reply Laura December 27, 2016 at 10:36 am

    It looks like you’ve had a crazy year of travel! All the best for 2017 🙂 x

    Wander with Laura

    • Reply Tiffany December 27, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      It was a crazy year of travel. I estimate that I have been gone from home for over 3 months this year! You too!

  • Reply Maggie January 1, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    How fabulous that you got to spend a month in Italy! Slovenia looks like a bit of an undiscovered hidden gem and I would love to visit Santorini!

    • Reply Tiffany January 1, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      The month was great. Slovenia is a hidden gem. I wish I had been able to see more. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply Wandermust mummy January 1, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Heres hoping 2017 is as good

    • Reply Tiffany January 1, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      Keeping my fingers crossed!!

  • Reply Jaime @angloyankophile January 2, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I’d love to visit Slovenia – my husband went years ago and loved it. Maybe I can put it on my list for this summer! Happy New Year, Tiffany – wishing you a wonderful year of more travels ahead!

    • Reply Tiffany January 2, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      I hope you get to go. I wish I had more time there. Happy New Year and happy travels, Jamie!

  • Reply Angie Silver January 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    I’m totally in love with Florence too.

    • Reply Tiffany January 2, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Yay, a fellow Florence fan!

  • Reply Tanja (the Red phone box travels) January 2, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    a great year! #travellinkup

  • Reply Anna Parker January 2, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    That’s a busy year and such great variety too!

    • Reply Tiffany January 2, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      It was a busy year, but a great one!

  • Reply Polly (Follow Your Sunshine) January 2, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed following along with both your blog and Snapchat this past year – you had such an amazing 2016! Loved the little insight into the W and Intercon Doha The City you gave and seeing the infiorata on your Snap when you arrived in Italy is a memory that really sticks with me…it was so beautiful and different! Here’s to an equally great 2017 with just as many adventures.

    Polly xx

    • Reply Tiffany January 2, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you so much Polly! I am really glad to hear you enjoyed the blog and Snapchat. I hope you get to see the Infiorata as I know you love Italy as much as I do! Happy 2017 to you too! xx

    • Reply Tiffany January 2, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Also, I will now be checking for milk in all hotel rooms because of you!! ❤

  • Reply Jessi (Two Feet, One World) January 2, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    Wow, what a fun year! I love the combination of work conferences with side-trips – nice one 🙂

    • Reply Tiffany January 3, 2017 at 5:51 am

      It was fun! I see lots that way.

  • Reply Ngaire January 3, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Cool list! Sounds like you’ve been very busy and incredible how far and wide you’ve travelled in just a year! Great stuff!

    • Reply Tiffany January 3, 2017 at 10:46 am

      Thanks! It was a great year.

  • Reply Camila @ AdventitiousViolet January 3, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Wow that all sounds amazing! I definitely should try to treat myself to a staycation this year 🙂

    • Reply Tiffany January 3, 2017 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks! I highly recommend a staycation!

  • Reply Frankie The Mayfairy January 4, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Wow you had an exciting year of travel 🙂
    Especially Florence, I really want to go there and this is just adding to that need!

    • Reply Tiffany January 4, 2017 at 5:25 am

      It was awesome! Florence is my favorite and hope you get to go soon!

  • Reply Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad January 4, 2017 at 1:05 am

    What a year! You’ve been to so many cool places – and it’s interesting to see where you chose to travel to from Qatar, as that’s usually where I read about people going to not coming from… if that makes sense… Anyway, Italy looks beautiful (I also fell in love with Assisi when I visited) and I definitely see the attraction of a staycation, especially in such nice hotels. Here’s to 2017!

    • Reply Tiffany January 4, 2017 at 5:27 am

      Yeah there aren’t a lot of people that live here! It’s been a great travel base though. I definitely recommend the staycation. Happy travels in 2017!

  • Reply B January 4, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I’m jealous of all your travels! I visited St. Louis for the first time for a friends wedding and loved it! I hope to make it back there soon.

    • Reply Tiffany January 4, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      I have been very lucky. I have only been to St. Louis once for a couple of hours. Would like to see more!

  • Reply Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi January 5, 2017 at 11:17 am

    What a gorgeous year indeed – I can’t wait to see your 2017 adventures!

    • Reply Tiffany January 5, 2017 at 11:23 am

      Thanks! It was really great. Lots already in the works.

    • Reply privatkredit September 2, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Jeg likte fargen din kjempegodt. Det er noe Carl-Larssonsk over den pÃ¥ en mÃ¥te, samtidig som den er sprek og modig. Det er vanskelig Ã¥ komme fram til en fin rødvariant – og takk for at du har funnet opp en! Skal ikke se bort fra at denne mÃ¥ testes.

  • Reply Francesca Beckett January 7, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Sailing the nile looks incredible!

    • Reply Tiffany January 7, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      It was! So relaxing and great to see things from a different perspective.

  • Reply vinneve January 8, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Wow! Slovenia looks good. How did you manage to go around since they speak a different language I believe? How I wish I could be as brave as U.

    • Reply Tiffany January 8, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      They do but it wasn’t a huge issue. Most people at the hotel spoke English. The signs were in both languages.

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