2016 was a wild year for a number of reasons. Viral trends mixed with an intense political climate had us itching to get out of town–literally. And since Volume Nine enjoys unlimited time off, travel we did. Here are some of the highlights of V9ers and their epic vacations all over the world.
Anne’s Hawaiin Hideaway
Haleakala sunrise from nearly 10,000 feet above sea level was breathtaking. We spent another sunrise whale watching and were fortunate enough to spot a momma and baby humpback! A truly unforgettable trip.”
Brian’s Perfect Proposal
“During early Spring, I surprised my then-girlfriend with a trip to Iceland. Surprise-trips-to-Iceland are not commonplace for us, believe me, but this adventure was particularly special, as I had an engagement ring in my pocket. Spoiler alert: She said yes.
“Reykjavik acted as basecamp between trips to see the Northern Lights, glaciers, black sand beaches, geysers, volcanic pools and countless
waterfalls. Our Nordic friends told us the beautiful and otherworldly landscape is riddled with trolls and elves, of which I can neither confirm nor deny a sighting.
“Iceland was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The people were welcoming. The food was great. The art was exquisite and the landscape is incomparable. Time to book another trip.”
Miranda’s New Zealand Excursion
“New Zealand. You either know it as the Lord of the Ring’s Land or Down-Under (and you’re wrong – ha!). It is the most magical place, ever. Small and mighty. It has the best of all worlds – mountains, beaches and a volcano (or fifty). This year, I was fortune enough to make the trip. I stayed in homes of some Kiwis, road-tripped around South Island in a van and mapped Aukland in my mind (by driving on the wrong side). If you’re looking for an easy flight, the kindest of mankind, I suggest you go now. You may even cry in the airport on your way home, like me.”
Carly’s Peruvian Paradise
“At the beginning of the year, I was traveling around Peru. It was my first time to South America and an overall amazing experience. My favorite thing about Peru was the vast culture, scenery and monuments (like Machu Picchu).
“One awesome thing we did on the trip was staying at the house of a family that lived in a small town called Mahuaypampa – which is about an hour outside the city of Cusco. In Mahuaypampa, all the houses are made of mud and bricks and people live off the animals they own and the crops they grow – and we got to experience that reality first hand.”
Barb’s Travels to Ireland
“2016 was a big year of travel for me, mostly because of my brand new nephew. Call me biased, but I’m pretty sure this is the most adorable child on this earth.
“Second to my trip to Chicago to see this little butterball on his literal birthday, my favorite trip was to Ireland. I’ve been wanting to visit the Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone my whole life, and I finally made the trip!
“The castle itself was smaller than I thought it would be, but I was surprised to learn it sits on acres and acres of land you can explore. My husband and I spent about 5 hours hiking around exploring the poison garden, the caves, the rock close and the castle itself.”
Scott Cruised through the Carribean
“In October, my family and I visited some of the best the Caribbean has to offer; we cruised to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico. We snorkeled, dove, kayaked, relaxed and ate a lot, and got to swim and play with dolphins! While the relaxing was awesome, my favorite part of the trip was kayaking around what’s called the “Cayman Shelf” – shallow water extending 2+ miles from the shore – the swimming and snorkeling were spectacular. I’ll admit – swimming and playing with dolphins was pretty rad as well!”
Ashley Summits Mt. Shasta
“In June, I traveled to Mount Shasta, California with the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF). I participated in the Climb Against the Odds, an annual mountaineering expedition for breast cancer prevention. Not only is the climb to fundraise for BCF, but I climbed in honor of my mom, a recent survivor, as well as my aunt and a close family friend. This climb is no small feat – the team of climbers from around the country gathered to attempt to summit the 14,179ft. Mt. Shasta. On day 1 we set out for Hidden Valley to establish basecamp. On day 2, we woke up at 1am to eat breakfast and depart in rope teams for the summit attempt via Mt. Shasta’s west face. Day 2 lasted ~12 hours and we climbed pitches up to 45 or 50 degrees!
“My rope team was the first team to summit Mt. Shasta and it was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life!”
Kelsey (and Anne) Went West
In early 2016, I knew I wanted to do something really cool for a vacation, although I didn’t want to spend money on an international plane ticket (I got bills, yo). So I racked my brain for things I could do in the United States, and duh– there are a gazillion places, parks, wilderness, and pools right here in my “backyard.”
I planned a road trip from Denver to Telluride, through the Four Corners to Page, to Zion National Park and, finally, to Vegas. While I was planning, I jokingly told some of my co-workers “I have noooonnne to go with, poor me. I’m just going to go by myself.”
Enter Anne! She liked the idea and off we went!
My favorite places were Telluride and Zion. Telluride was an absolutely gorgeous town and we hiked to the second tallest waterfall in Colorado. Zion was equally as beautiful, but for different reasons. First road trip down.
Jackie Journeyed Through Europe
“This summer, I took an incredible adventure through Europe and visited 4 countries in 2.5 weeks. As jam-packed as it was, it was amazing to experience so many different cultures in such a short amount of time. We started in Paris, took a train to Zurich, flew to Rome and ended in Dublin. Every day we immersed ourselves in the culture of the city, ate the local cuisine and visited historic sites. It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite part of the trip, but I absolutely loved the time that we spent outside of Rome along the Amalfi Coast.
“We stayed in the town of Sorrento and spent a day exploring the Island of Capri. Both have fantastic views over the Bay of Naples with steep, green cliffs and there are no words to describe how magnificent it all was.”
This is just a taste of the places V9 went this year. Each time we travel, we get inspired to come back, buckle down, and continue our work. Safe travels in 2017!