12 Days of Travel: My Life on the Road, 2017 in Review

In putting together this series of travel destinations to write about, I've been going back through my photos from this year. I know I get around more than most, but even for me this year has been crazy. 2017 was one of my busiest years yet, setting foot in 8 different countries.In my work for Rick Steves, I did 9 tours--7 different itineraries--and a month of guidebook research. For the new things I am developing I traveled with Reid Coen to Thailand and Cambodia.I know that looking through someone else's travel photos can be a bore, but seriously, my camera roll is not a normal person's camera roll. It has been an unusually beautiful year, even for me.Here is a month by month visual tour through my year. Less commentary this time and more pure beauty. What a lucky girl I am to live this crazy life filled with fun and adventure. Come take a look (please excuse the selfies!)--andiamo!


January always brings our annual tour guide family reunion at Rick Steves HQ in Edmonds, WA. It's two weeks full of brainstorming, chatting and preparing for the year ahead.Over a coffee and some technology tutoring, my colleague Reid Coen had the idea that we should join forces in our off-season, doing tours in worldwide locations, outside of Europe. I went with him to Thailand to train for my own tours.


The same trip bridges into February and brought me to Cambodia. This country was new to me and I found it fascinating. Sad and yet beautiful, with a glorious history that I didn't know much about. Lovely people, gorgeous architecture and delicious if interesting food.


After a breather in February, I was back on the road again. This time I was off for Rick Steves to start some book research. In Sicily, I looked for the biggest cannoli and met some furry locals. In Florence, I chowed on some bistecca alla Fiorentina and pounded the pavement to make sure the guidebook is exactly right.In Florence, I had a hard time getting work done, as Charles and Camilla were blocking my way! After many, many years, I climbed the dome of the Duomo. What a view!


My Guidebook research continued into April, and then I did a Venice, Florence, Rome tour with a lovely group.


May took me home to Seattle, where I chilled out with my kids and got prepared for the next round. We did a little local sightseeing, visiting the state capitol building in Olympia and the Paul Allen Flying Heritage Museum in Everett, a favorite with my sons.


On the road again...the main part of my season began in June. I did a week in Rome tour, a favorite of mine that I don't get to to very often. After that, a Venice, Florence and Rome tour. I had several days off, so I went to visit my friend Andrew in Slovenia so we could plot out our new adventures for 2018.On my birthday, I headed to London and had a full day to myself to enjoy my favorite things in the city, including high tea, book stores and a show.After that I was in Family Tour mode, taking groups of families from London to Florence.


July was dedicated to more family tours. We visited London, Paris, Switzerland, Cinque Terre and Florence. Not bad.


August was dedicated to family time. I took my younger son and Mom out to stretch the legs of my new car. We went to one of my favorite places in the world, the Napa Valley and San Francisco.In big news for us, my younger son learned to ride a bike!


September was back to Italy for several Italy tours.


The whole of October was dedicated to Sicily.


And then home for recovery! Time for some art!


December was all about plotting my next adventure and recharging for the year ahead. I hope you'll join me for more fun in 2018!