Well just as we predicted in our 2015 Year in Review, 2016 was a BIG year for us. One filled with new opportunities and change that will definitely go down in our record books as one of the best! As we reflect on 2016, here are some of our biggest highlights of the year:
New Years on Cascade Saddle
I don’t think we could have rung in the new year in a more amazing way. Nestled in our little campsite on top of Cascade Saddle in Mt Aspiring National Park after a grueling, but beautiful hike to one of New Zealand’s most picturesque locations. The famous ‘path to no where’ was a highlight but having our own private spot to setup camp with the Dart Glacier behind us and Mt Aspiring in front it quickly became our favorite hike in New Zealand!
The Adventure Proposal
Jordan’s epic 3 month, 6 location, 16 treasure box adventure proposal around New Zealand finally came to an end on the beach at Castlepoint in January after a fun surf session. With the help of our friends Jade and Michael, Jordan surprised me with the final treasure box that I dung up on the beach before he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! If you haven’t seen the web series yet, be sure to see how the whole thing unfolded!
Learning to Trad Climb
Last year we began to learn to lead rock climb and this year we continued to progress those skills with a few more courses that enabled us to learn how to Trad Climb. Trad climbing means you have to place gear and secure yourself as you climb up the rock (as opposed to having bolts pre-placed or being on top rope). Rock climbing continues to push our limits and help us overcome fear. Something about having your life literally in your own hands (and a tiny piece of gear) makes it that much more intense (and makes it tough to take photos!)
For the Love of Glowworms
Following Jordan’s award winning glowworm video in 2015, he followed it up with an even more impressive glowworm timelapse video of the famous Waitomo caves. Since then his story of patience and underground cave adventures to capture these incredible creatures has been featured on National Geographic, The New York Times, Wired, I Fucking Love Science, The Smithsonian and The Telegraph.
Leaving New Zealand
One of the biggest, and toughest decisions in 2016 was to leave New Zealand. We had spent the last 2.5 years exploring every corner of this country and loved every minute of it, but it was time for us to return home. New Zealand has stolen our hearts and will forever be our second home, although Canada was calling us back. It won’t be long before we will return again to Aotearoa though!
Exploring new places
Upon returning back to Canada, it wasn’t long before our bags were packed to explore new places around the world. We spent a whirlwind long weekend in Virginia beach, exploring the beautiful coastline and national parks, indoor skydiving and dunking at the trampoline park!
Not long after we were off to Sri Lanka for the Cinnamon Hotels Travel Blog awards where we won the Gold Award for Best Travel Video Blog! We also got to catch-up with our friends Liz (Young Adventuress) and Marta (In a Far Away Land) at the conference and explore some beautiful locations such as Sigiriya and Kalpitiya.
It was really fun getting a chance to re-discover our home in Canada. I’m originally from Nova Scotia but hadn’t lived here in nearly 10 years. We spent a few weekends up in Cape Breton Highlands National Park hiking and exploring the beaches there. It was great to get back in the outdoors but explore a new area I had taken for granted growing up. Fishing Cove was one of my favorite spots and getting a chance to camp in one of Parks Canada’s new suspended domes was awesome! We even found a secret waterfall slip-n-slide! Honestly the similarities to New Zealand was seen many times during our adventures!
On a sunny, but cold, day in September we got married on the ocean with 360 views of the sea, surrounded by our family and friends. It truly was the BEST DAY ever spending time with our favorite people, partying the night away under the tent. I felt like a princess and was so lucky to be marrying my best friend and adventure partner in life!
2016 was a pretty incredible year and while it will be pretty tough to beat, I have a feeling 2017 will be even better!
What was your best memory from 2016? What are you looking forward to most in 2017?