Be Inspired by our 2018 Resolutions, Plans, & 2017’s Year of Travel
I am a firm believer of setting goals. Particularly goals that are attainable. I have fallen into the trap where I have set the bar so high that if I miss a couple of aspirations, I get down on myself with a trickling negative outcome. New Year’s Resolutions are a thing I try to take on and accomplish. I accept the challenge and do my utmost best to accomplish them. Here is the round-up of our 2018 Resolutions, Plans, & 2017’s Year of Travel. We hope they may inspire YOU to set your own goals, book travel tickets, or simply pursue the passion you always dreamed.
Now for our 2018 Resolutions, Plans, & 2017’s Year of Travel
It was such a huge year of travel for us! We travelled to 2 continents, three countries, and quite a bit of local tourism. Here are our highlights that truly made 2017 a year to remember.
So we started the year Down Under in balmy Queensland chilling on the Gold Coast. While there we explored, marveled at wildlife, shopped at gorgeous boutiques, hugged Bugs Bunny, relaxed on the Mountain, and indulged in incredible cuisine. Most importantly, we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s with family and started the year off with resolutions, champagne and attainable goals. It was a wonderful trip, but did have some sadness with the loss of two of our beautiful pups.We have yet to share with you all our adventures, but will be elaborating further this year. As well, during our stay, we had the pleasure of partnering with a couple incredible experiences you definitely must consider while you are in the region.
Songbirds Rainforest Retreat – a beautiful sanctuary where all are screen-free, unplugged, and where rejuvenation is the mandate. They were incredible hosts and I cannot recommend a stay here more. Especially if you are a busy and active traveller on the go.
Dracula’s Cabaret – A very very fun evening of great food and unmatched entertainment. These guys were a thrill to spend an evening with! It isn’t everywhere that you would enjoy an evening of combined entertainment, cheekiness, laughter, delicious food, and even a dark ride!
Another highlight was meeting a blogging BFF! This industry is a tough one in many ways, but in others, it is the best. Allison of Flights to Fancy flew over to the Gold Coast to have a chat, a laugh, and snap a photo or two! We also enjoyed some tropical cocktails as we compared notes and plans for 2017.
For my birthday in January 2017, my husband booked a week in Queenstown New Zealand for us to explore the adrenaline capital of the world. A thrilling week of incredible activities, food, shopping, and scenery, Queenstown was the complete holiday package. Our trip had no shortage of adventure. It started off with us not packing properly and arriving without enough warm clothing to sustain our time there (the shop vendors were licking their chops with all the dummies like us arriving unprepared.) I counted at least a dozen travellers wearing the same Kiwi fleece jacket I was wearing. And Queenstown is not a big place! While here, we had the privilege and blessing to work with some incredible companies making it one of the most memorable trips to date. Here are some highlights:
Horseback Riding: This was an incredible experience with the Remarkable Mountains in the background. The horses are treated so well, the guides are very knowledgeable, funny, and adoring to their horses, and the overall experience will have you talking for years and years to come. Moonlight Stables was such a wonderful company to work with and Fill My Passport to this day is grateful for the life-changing experience.
Ziplining with Ziptrek: This was such a thrilling experience! It is an adrenaline-pumping activity that also teaches you about sustainability and eco-tourism. Ziptrek is a great company and I could not recommend them anymore highly.
Onsen Hot Pools: This is the perfect retreat after enjoying a variety of action-packed activities. Enjoy a private pool with amazing views as you open your garage door. Definitely a bucket list MUST for any New Zealand trip.
After a wonderful time in the Southern Hemisphere, we head home to Ontario Canada. Our first excursion around the province was to the nation’s capital in Ottawa. We enjoyed our Second Anniversary there amidst sub-zero temperatures, minted coins, and butternut squash ravioli that will leave a lasting impression. Check out our 30 Things to do round up here.
We headed to Beantown and had an incredible experience. We followed the Freedom Trail, ate Boston Cream Pie, mingled with the afterlife on the Ghosts and Gravestone Tour, Went Where Everybody Knows your Name at the Cheers Bar, and met some incredible female restaurant owners.
As a Bewitched nerd and devotee, I was plumb happy to head to Salem on a day trip while vacationing in Boston. I walked in Samantha Stephens’ footsteps, paid respects to the lost during the infamous witch trials, and enjoyed a satisfying meal at the Witch’s Brew. We toured the House of Seven Gables, bought fun witchy souvenirs, and enjoyed truffles from the oldest candy shoppe in the USA. I would say that is a beautiful day trip.
We headed up to Sault Ste. Marie and beyond to explore this beautiful area of Northern Ontario. We met an incredible brother team who manage and run the delicious Arturo Ristorante, discovered the most beautiful hidden secret in Lake Superior – Bathtub Island, and viewed ancient pictoglyphs after splurging on authentic moccasins at the largest Trading Post in the province. The whole time I thought of my Grandfather, the most Canadian person ever to live. And at that moment, was inspired to explore Ontario further. The idea posed by my husband. A brilliant one at that.
Agawa Canyon Train
This was definitely one of the most incredible experiences of the year. An iconic train ride through some of the most beautiful natural beauty of the Ontario province. You really need to see it to believe it, but just imagine walking the footsteps of some of the most amazing artists of the 20th century – The Group of Seven and seeing their natural muse.
This beautiful island just an hour from the Canadian and USA border at Sault Ste Marie, Mackinac Island embraces the beauty and ways of the good old days. An island preserved in time, Mackinac bans the use of vehicles, favouring horse carriages as the main method of transportation on the island. And don’t worry – they take care of their horses! There are more vets on the island than GP’s. The most famous piece of scenery on the island is the Grand Hotel – a 130-year old beautiful spot with utmost hospitality and luxury. The movie Somewhere in Time was filmed on location here in the 1970’s, bringing pop culture to this quaint and charming summer holiday spot. We were blessed to work with the Grand Hotel while on the island by enjoying a delightful meal at the Jockey Club, and navigating the island via horse and buggy. Do head here for a dose of nostalgia and world famous fudge.
My husband had seen Niagara Falls, but only in the winter. Although gorgeous frozen over, Niagara Falls and the Niagara region as a whole have much more to do in the summer. We went for the weekend and were blown away by the hospitality of the locals. We saw the falls from an aerial perspective via helicopter, zipped down beside the falls on the brand new zipline, soaked up the mist of the new Hornblower cruise, and indulged in culinary treats in Niagara On the Lake. As we left the area, we explored the beautiful quaint Jordan Village with a beautiful meal at the Inn on the Twenty, and discovered our favourite winery in the province, resulting in a wine membership – Megalomaniac Winery.
This wonderful holiday refuge in Collingwood is the perfect destination for all seasons. There are activities for the active including hiking, cycling, paddle boating, and walking trails in the summer, and skating, snowboarding, skiing, and other wintry activities in the winter. We had the pleasure of enjoying some great attractions as the Ridge Runner while there, as well as a revolutionary yoga treatment on volcanic flooring, a break from the every day at the Scandinave Spa, and a Canadiana meal at the Kaytoo restaurant capped with a Maple Caesar cocktail and s’mores in a jar.
One of the most beautiful areas of Ontario, the Bruce Peninsula was such a highlight in our travels. We marveled at the shipwrecks in Tobermory, Flower Pot Island, and learned of the preservation of the Night Skies on the Chi Cheemaun Dinner Cruise on Lake Huron. On the way home, we stopped in to Wiarton and paid homage to Willie the famous prognosticating groundhog who passed away earlier that year.
New York City
We ended the year with a bang and head to the big apple to enjoy its buzz during the Christmas season. Some highlights included My dream of seeing the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, the Holiday Lights and Christmas Movie Locations Tour, Sex and the City Tour, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Dyker Heights, The amazing Christmas windows, Macy’s Santaland, and skating in Central Park.
Fill My Passport Accomplishments
This year marked our 1-year anniversary in June. What a whirlwind learning this industry and everything that goes along with it. Throughout our first year, we of course overcame struggles, took many a course, were mentored by those with more experience, and combined them all to achieve some wonderful blogging goals.
Here are our incredible highlights:
- We earned several awards and accolades for our accomplishments including Top 100 blogs of 2017, blogger of the month, and best blogs to follow
- Published the first of our new journal line to be marketed and launched in early 2018!
- Partnered with 29 companies to catapult us higher in the influencer community
- Wrote for high-profile travel websites
- Featured in an online magazine
- Contributed to a large number of collaborative posts
- Curated our first ever guided tour
2018 New Year Resolutions
Every year brings opportunity, possibilities, potential, and a fresh start. We have such a full slate for 2018, but here are our goals and upcoming news for Fill My Passport:
- Journal line – Our brand new line of Travel Journals is set to release early this year! This is our incredible venture that we hope brings further success.
- A dream partnership with Disney – we are so happy to have been chosen by Disney to work with them! Our resolution is for them to be happy with our partnership and agree to future ventures.
- A new Map project to launch on the blog with some very helpful information all in one place.
- Complete our Heavenly Centenary Local Tourism Ontario Bucket lists for Granddad’s 100th Birthday!
- An update Travel Shop with packing lists for every country in the world!
- New sections on the blog to be developed. Our first section, Animals, will give readers insight on seeing God’s beautiful creatures in the wild ethically along with a list of ways to help them. Humans have made a big mess with their lives, so it is our intention to assist readers in making a difference.
- Our new Holidays and Celebrations – This will highlight holidays, celebrations and events worldwide, detailing traditions, food, and background on these celebrations.
- Hollywood section – More on this to come!
- Destination Weddings – TBD!
- Improvement in our knowledge of technical things as SEO, analytics, and how to make beautiful videos from scratch.
- Work with more incredible brands and developing business relationships.
- Supporting more succinct affiliate opportunities with our niche and brand.
2018 Travel Plans
Now although family planning is a huge factor on the table this year, 2018 is not without its travel itineraries! Five days into the new year, we are already looking at flights, travel highlights, and where we can feasibly go. So far, these are scheduled, planned, with a few tentative ideas.
Disney World Florida
As my 39th birthday present, my husband is taking me to the happiest place on earth! 9 days to enjoy all the parks in style, this jam-packed magical trip is definitely an incredible way to start the new year!
Tentatively, we will be heading here for our 3rd Anniversary in March! We hope to skate the new magical skating trail, spot wildlife who thrive in the snow, and relax by a cozy fire with hot chocolate.
The Hawaiian Island of Maui is a spot I’ve always wanted to go and the dream came true this Easter! Time to relax, rejuvenate and explore the most beautiful of all the Hawaiian Islands!
Maine or Washington DC
Still undecided, but a US trip will be planned in June/early July!
James Bay, Ontario
Not confirmed, but possibly a long weekend trip this summer!
Finger Lakes, New York
We will be attending TBEX this year at the Finger Lakes venue! This is uber exciting for us to meet others in the industry!
So there you have our 2018 Resolutions, Plans, & 2017’s Year of Travel. We hope our success and experiences inspire you to travel and follow your dreams.
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