Walking the world one step at a time

Best Travel Moments of 2016

It’s been quite the year! From moving to Ireland to starting this travel blog and traveling to 8 different countries – it has been a year that just keeps on giving. As we wrap up the final days of the year I wanted to take some time to reflect on our best travel moments of 2016. Hopefully this post will inspire you to tackle your travel dreams this year! 

Moving to Ireland!

After taking the hubby to Europe for the first time in September 2015 (to Germany) he fell in love with the slower way of life. Upon returning to the states he asked me if it would be possible to eventually move to Europe with my job. He had his own company and was mobile so moving was really up to my career. I went to the office that week and asked my boss’s boss if it would be possible to move to Dublin (one of our main offices) by 2018. He looked at me and said “Well, we have a position open now in Dublin. Do you want to think about trying for that position?” Wait, what?! You want us to move to Europe NOW?

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!

Flash forward four months (January 2016) and we were on a plane with our four bags en route to Ireland (with the pup shortly behind us)! Neither of us had ever stepped foot in this beautiful country and we were moving there! Talk about a surreal experience. We have loved every moment of it (except that time they threatened to deport my husband because they gave him the wrong Visa – story for another day) and are so thankful for this awesome opportunity. We are soaking up every minute of it and have no plans to move back to the states any time soon. 

The beginning of Boots not Roots

Quickly after moving to Ireland I begged my husband for a camera. This is how the conversation went down:

Me: “Honey, can I pretty please have a camera to take pictures of beautiful Ireland?” 

Husband: “Nope. You’ve had plenty of cameras and have never used them.”

Me: “But those were silly point and shoot cameras. I want a MIRRORLESS camera! Do you even know what that is?!?” **I talked his ear off for about 10 minutes explaining to him why this was different**. 

Husband: “Prove to me you’ll use it and I’ll get you one.” 

For a week I wrote down hundreds of different ways to prove I would use the camera. Sell my photos. Post them on Facebook. Reach out to local photographers. Etc. Etc. Etc. The one that stood out the most was “start a travel blog” 

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!
Scary husband threatening a no camera life. 😉

**A week later**

Me: “Honey, I’ll use my camera to start a travel blog!” 

Husband: “If you blog from now until your birthday (it was March at the time) then you can have a camera for your birthday.” 

I frantically started my wordpress blog and lo and behold I have a camera now! **Queue creepy photo of me geeking out taking pictures**

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!

Real talk: I love this blog and have so much fun with it. The day it becomes a “job” is the day I’m done with it. I truly just enjoy sharing our experiences, exploring locally owned places to share with all of you, and meeting lots of other awesome wanderers on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Thank you to everyone for following along on our quirky journey through life!

Frolicking in fields of tulips in the Dutch countryside

Tulips, cheese, and stroopwafels – What more could a girl ask for in life? Visiting Keukenhof on our trip to Amsterdam in April was a dream come true. I couldn’t get over just how pretty these gardens were and could have spent all day here. If it’s not on your bucket list yet it should be! P.S. This was before my camera! I guess we’ll have to make another trip. 😉

Road tripping with the bestie

For my birthday in May my best friend visited me and we went on an epic road trip through Scotland and Northern Ireland. We saw four castles, discovered TWO off-the-beaten path hikes, almost died on tiny roads on the Isle of Skye, and went glamping for the first time. This is tied for my favorite trip of 2016 (other being Portugal) purely because of the company and the scenery of beautiful Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!

Hiking in Europe

In 2010 I lived in Washington state for a summer internship. Every weekend we would go hiking around Washington and Oregon and I fell hard for the outdoors. While I’ve never done a hiking trip longer than a day, I absolutely adore hiking and exploring the outdoors. When we lived in Austin we were only able to hike for about four months out of the year due to the heat. So, when moving to Ireland in January I quickly got back out on the trails and hiked over 500 miles this year! Ireland and Europe in general is the perfect place to hike. This year we tackled multiple hikes around Dublin, a hike in Northern Ireland, the scariest hike of my life in Portugal, multiple treks along the Wicklow Way, and an ancient pilgrimage in West Cork. My resolution for 2017 is to hike 1000 miles so I’ll be hitting more and more trails this year to get to this goal (would love any European hiking destination suggestions to reach this goal!). 

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!

Portugal trip for the hubby’s birthday

Ah, Portugal. This was the most anticipated trip for 2016. The hubby asked for a beach holiday, and an epic beach holiday was delivered (with some additions of hiking, kayaking, and Sintra day-triping)! We had an amazing time road-tripping through the Algarve, eating the fanciest dinner on the cheap overlooking an epic sunset, and just enjoying each other’s company for 7 days on the road. The people of Portugal are so friendly and the scenery is breathtaking. We’ll be back, that’s for sure!

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!

Meeting my dad on a day trip to London

Sometimes the smallest things can leave the largest impressions. In the spring my dad had a business trip to London. He asked me if I would be able to meet him for a day so I hopped on the earliest RyanAir flights and did a “day-trip” from Dublin to London. Now, I would never suggest doing a day trip from Dublin to London to anyone (I was EXHAUSTED the next day), but it was so nice to be able to see my dad and explore the city together. 

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!

Discovering the “savage beauty of Ireland” in Connemara

Hands down, Connemara is the prettiest place I have ever been. Maybe next year something will top it, but for now Connemara sits cozily at the top of the list. In September, one of our favorite couples came to visit us and we headed for the west coast on a long weekend. Road tripping through Connemara with these two was a joy and I am so thankful we were able to spend some quality time with them. Despite getting pretty car sick (and boat sick on our way to the Aran Islands!) this was one of my favorite experiences of 2016. 

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!

Eating my weight in waffles in Belgium

I hate to say it, but my expectations were extremely low for Brussels. I hadn’t heard great things about it and was more looking forward to the markets then anything else. Man, I was so so wrong. I fell hard for Brussels. The towering churches. The buttery waffles. The friendly people. The strong, tasty beer. And finally the unbelievable food. I LOVE Brussels. Plus, I had one of my best friends to tow along with me as we literally ate our weight in waffles. Word to the wise – if you are a foodie, this might be your perfect city. 

Welp, that’s a wrap. Thank you so much for an awesome year and looking forward to more adventures together in 2017! Happy New Year!

Happy Trekking!

– Boots not Roots

2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!2016 has been a great year for travel for the Boots not Roots family. Get inspired to tackle your travel dreams in 2017!

Oregon Girl Around the World

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  • Young And Undecided

    Congratulations on all your blogging success this year! I’ve really enjoyed following along with your posts 🙂 hope 2017 is even better for you xx

    • Danielle Wisniewski

      Thank you so much Chiera! I’ve enjoyed following you as well! It’s been a really fun couple of months in our little #farawayfiles community! 🙂

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thank you so much Chiera!! I’ve enjoyed following along on your adventures as well via #farawayfiles! Excited to see where you head this year!

  • Untold Morsels

    Ooh what a ride. You had such an amazing year last year Danielle..a testament to taking opportunities and running with them. Your positive outlook and enthusiasm is so infectious. Love your smile. Keep them and the posts coming on #farawayfiles

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Awww that’s so sweet of you! 🙂 I’m glad the positivity shines through! I try really hard to stay positive despite some of the crazy things happening in our world. It’s all about perspective I suppose! Excited to keep up with #farawayfiles this year!!

  • Phoebe Thomas

    What an amazing year you’ve had, I would love to explore more of Ireland, your photos are hugely inspiring (must be that mirrorless camera lucky you!) I’ve only been to Dublin 🙁 Next up for you I suggest France!! #farawayfiles

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Ireland really is beautiful and I would 100% blame the mirrorless cameras for the photos. 🙂 It’s been a great year that’s for sure and the camera has helped a ton! We are planning on doing a quick break to Carcassonne sometime later this year so hopefully we can make that wish come true! We’ve never been to France (I know shame shame) so maybe this year we’ll tick at least a little bit of France off our list. 🙂 Thanks for reading Phoebe!

  • Welcome to Europe! I love living here too because of the slower way of life and of course for all the easy travel! Looks like you made the most of your first year in Europe! #FarawayFiles

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Isn’t it grand? 🙂 It’s really amazing to have so many different cultures literally on your doorstep! Thanks for following along!

  • It looks like you had a great and busy year. You’ve come far from just starting a blog without a camera to having explored the world with camera and written about it! I hope 2017 is just as amazingly successful for you! 🙂 #farawayfiles

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thank you Mandy! It was quite the year that’s for sure. 🙂

  • Fabulous list! I first “met” your blog with your Algarve post and have loved the wild hiking and stunning scenery of Ireland through your lens. As an “OregonGirl” who went to school in Washington, I crave that rugged nature and wild scapes that Copenhagen just doesn’t have. Don’t get me wrong – I love the Danish capital, but green hills and mountains will always win me over! Here’s to 2017 and another year of travel bliss – thanks for being an engaged and supportive contributor to #FarawayFiles – cheers, Erin

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Completely agree Erin! I lived in Washington for a while and I missed it so much after moving back to Texas and then Chicago. I craved that daily hiking/rugged life. And then I moved to Ireland and it all came back to me. I’m glad you have enjoyed it and I’m so glad I’m able to be a part of the #FarawayFiles community! Thanks for having me!

  • I wish I could move to Europe at this moment. I am sure that would be fantastic and I can understand why you do not have plans to come back to the States at the moment. Hope 2017 brings tons of new discoveries and adventures! BTW, how are things going with the mirror less camera? I have a DSLR and a decent point and shoot. I have given up using the DSLR mainly because of the size. I am thinking about getting a mirror less because it is better quality but the same as you, I already have like three cameras. #FarawayFiles

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Living here really is amazing. I hope one day you get to live out your dream of living here. 🙂 My mirrorless is AMAZING. Best purchase I’ve ever made for sure. For less than $500 I’m able to take FANTASTIC photos with very little effort. Check out my 2017 Photography challenge posts for more details on my camera and how I’ve learned how to use it. I’m very much an amateur (didn’t even know what “aperture” was until recently), so if I can do it you can too!

  • Hi! I’m new to the #FarawayFiles linkup. Sounds like it’s been quite a year. We moved to Aberdeen this year after living in Paris for 3.5 years. I love living in Europe – we’ve been able to travel so much because of it. Look forward to reading more form you!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Welcome to the #FarawayFiles community!! Looking forward to keeping up with your adventures!

  • Different Shores

    I love that you moved to Dublin and bought a mirrorless camera to take pics of Ireland – I did the very same things! (on a different timeline; I came here in ’04). Also for me Connemara is the prettiest place I’ve been to in Ireland. (I love your pictures; I think I’ve asked you about your camera before…) Happy travelling in 2017!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Ireland really is the most beautiful country. I couldn’t do it justice with my little iPhone camera and can barely do it justice with my mirrorless. Thank you for following along! Right back at you on the loving of your pictures. 😀

  • Clare Thomson

    Such a great post about a great year. I’ve loved getting to know you and your blog over these last few months and have been inspired by your photos of Portugal and Ireland. Keep it up. I’m looking forward to seeing where 2017 will take you. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thank you Clare!! I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the #FarawayFiles community. I really love the posts every single week. Thanks for having such a great linkup!!

  • Alex

    Wow – 2016 was a massive year for you both, well done for surviving it, and having lots of fun along the way. And your new camera certainly got put to use! So do you rate the camera? (I just followed you on instagram btw – I will be watching!) #farawayflies

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thanks Alex! I LOVE my camera. I might do a blog on it at some point because it has really allowed me to learn about photography without getting frustrated because it does a lot of the work for me. 🙂 It’s a Panasonic Lumix GX7. Thanks for the follow on Insta!!

  • Ahila Thillainathan

    Enjoyed your humorous story behind starting your blog and getting a camera. Wishing you a lovely travel year in 2017 as well, exploring more of Ireland and the rest of Europe!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Thanks Ahila! It’s funny how one little thing leads to another (when it comes down to the blog creation). It’s been a fun ride that’s for sure! Happy travels to you as well in 2017!

  • Renee Hahnel

    Wow you sure did travel to some incredible places in 2016! I am most jealous of your tulip photos in The Netherlands – it looks so beautiful!

    • Danielle from Boots not Roots

      Funny since it wasn’t even with my new camera! 😀 But, the tulip fields in Amsterdam were GORGEOUS. Highly recommend adding it to the bucket list. Well worth a visit.

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