Travel Photos for 2015: Year End Review
I have come to realize that I don’t do anything half way. I love to travel, I love to work and I love taking travel photos, so when I put those things together to create PointsandTravel three and a half years ago, it turned into a business that was unexpected but, that I love dearly! I want to mention how grateful I am to be working this year with Travelocity, Rocky Mountaineer, Findery, Yahoo Travel, Flipboard Magazine, TripAdvisor and Club Carlson. It has been a great year for brand ambassador partnerships. Thank you.
I am so fortunate that I have found my passions in life through travel photos:
Travel writing, travel blogging, photography, being a social media influencer
and now a brand ambassador
Each year since I started PointsandTravel, I take a look back at the places I have traveled to. I look at my travel photos for the year and write year-end reviews.
Here are my last few years in travel photos:
2015: 16 countries, “too many to count” cities.
Whew! That’s right, I am exhausted, so for 2016, I will try to slow down a bit, maybe 13 countries is a bit more manageable!
Once I take a look back, I reflect on how grateful I am for the friends that I have met along the way and the opportunities that I have had. Then I re-evaluate and think about what I want my 2016 to look like, I make goals and think about the things I have learned.
What I have learned:
I learned to listen to my intuition. I learned that I can do more than I thought I could. I learned that the most popular person at something is not necessarily the nicest person. I learned that quality travel is far more important than quantity travel and that that is probably true when it comes to friends and purses. I learned to sit in silence and listen (Jordan taught me that). I learned that religion can be complicated, as are most beliefs in life. At my age, I am surprised at how much I continue to learn! Oh, and I have learned to take better travel photos!
I also learned to never stop learning.
Travel Photos on Instagram for 2015: Year-End Review
Are you following PointsandTravel on Instagram yet? why not?
January 2015: Telluride, CO (family vacation), Scottsdale, AZ (staycation) and Galapagos (major bucket list item)
I started the year off in Telluride, Colorado, for a little skiing with the family. This was a road trip from Phoenix, Arizona, through the obvious stop of Four Corners and make our way to Telluride, Colorado.
Four Seasons Scottsdale, AZ Then had a couple’s staycation in Scottsdale.
Four Seasons #scottsdale #az A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Galapagos: Arriving in Guayaquil, Ecuador overnight, we headed out to San Cristobol Island to catch the Ecoventura Yacht! What an amazing adventure this was! I met some amazing travel writers on this trip!
More sea lions from the #Galapagos #AllyouneedisEcuador
February 2015: Germany
I made my way to Baden-Württemberg, Germany to celebrate the most unusual Carnival (Fashing) that I have ever seen. It was deep in the Black Forrest and worth every minute I spent there! Such a fabulous group of travel bloggers I met on this trip and many I am still friends with today!
I woke up bright and early on a snow-filled morning to see this:
Morning beauty in the #BlackForest #Germany #joinGermantradition A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Crazy #carnival ##joinGermantradition A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
March 2016: Jordan! When the invitation came, I was stunned! I had been there before, but I would never turn down a chance to go again! And what a fabulous group of travel adventurers I met on this trip! Thanks to all of them for such a grand time, I still marvel at the things we did!
I love how the rocks seemed to glow in the sunlight as I finish off a few of my last remaining photographs of #Petra #Jordan. As I am here at home, unpacking laundry and repacking getting ready for my upcoming trip to #Reims and #Champagne #France this weekend. #shareYourJordan #GoJordan #YahooTravelExplorers #ancientRuins #ruins #traveldeeper A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
April 2015: France, Canada April found me exploring Paris once again and then off to the vast Champagne region of France, where I met some lovely ladies from the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.org).
#Paris is always a good idea #France #iWinetc #YahooTravelExplorers A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
If you only see one French Cathedral on your visit to the northern countryside of #France it should be Chevet de la Cathedral de Notre Dame. The grand façade is quite stunning and unique. It is quite the cavernous Gothic nave: the size of a football field #iWinetc #IFWTWA #YahooTravelExplorers #mytravelaffair A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Vancouver, Canada: I was off to explore Vancouver to Banff, Canada on the fabulous Rocky Mountaineer.
From #France to #Canada, I have arrived @Vancouver for a full day of spa activities at the @FairmontPacific Rim! #rockyMountaineer A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
The Canadian Rockies, taken from my beloved Rocky Mountaineer:
Another amazing view from the #RockyMountaineer A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
May 2016: Spain, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia I returned to Barcelona, Spain, and then made my way up to Lloret del Mar, in the Costa Brava region to see my travel friends at The Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX).
Just visited the Colonia Quell, #Gaudi’s crypt, town and church The architecture is unreal and very similar to La Sagrada de Familia #Barcelona #Spain #YahooTravelExplorers A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Lloret del Mar #Spain beautiful view from our boat ride over to #TBEX party. #YahooTravelExplorers
She Is a beauty! #Tallinn #Estonia #jaywayBaltics I have one more night here before we are off to #Riga #YahooTravelExplorers A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Art Nouveau staircase in #Riga #latvia is quite stunning. Actually Art Nouveau was a common style in the late 1800s to the early 1920s. It is simplistic and modern in form. I love it and there are many other buildings made in this style. #JaywayBaltics A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
#HillofCrosses The pilgrimage site of 400,000 crosses will take your breath away. It is believed that the first crosses were placed on this hill in 1831. There are not only crosses but giant crucifixes carvings of Lithuanian patriots statues of the Virgin Mary and thousands of tiny rosaries that of them brought here by Catholic pilgrims. #JaywayBaltics #bestoftheBaltics A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
One of the highlights to my trip to the #Baltic capitals was the balloon ride over #Vilnius #Lithuania with @jaywaytravel #bestoftheBaltics #postcardsfromtheworld A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
What an amazing #Sunset in #Jamaica tonight #sandalsOchi A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Guatemala: I cannot say enough about how fabulous Guatemala is! If you ever get the chance… don’t pass this one up. And what a great group of good girlfriends I made on this trip!
Brightly colored tomatoes spill forth from the market stands in #Chichicastenango #Guatemala In this indoor market, they offer the best selection of local seasonal fruit and vegetables galore. Blog article on things to do in Guatemala in my profile.#VisitGuatemala #yahootravelexplorers A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Travel Photos from Instagram for 2015: Year-End Review
Fabulous #sunset at Latitudes on Sunset Key last night in Florida. #SeizeTheKeys Some nights, they are truly amazing where the ball gets that glowing glowing red before it drops below the horizon. This was one of those nights. A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas: Now who would have ever thought to go here? I loved this UNESCO World Heritage site.
A photo taken from my C plane trip from #keyWest to the #dryTortugas in #florida isn’t the color of the water amazing? #beautifuldestinations #yahootravelexplorers A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
August 2015: I took the month off! September 2015: 3 weeks in the South of France I took a Viking River Cruise on their Portraits of Southern France cruise and reunited with my buddy Annette Slowik-White. What fun we had!
Quaint, yet ancient Arles #France is a nice stop on my #SouthofFrance river cruise with #VikingCruises. I am all about the #blue and the #door #traveldeeper #yahootravelexplorers A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
I also worked with my beloved Monaco:
My view from the Thermes Spa in #montecarlo #Monaco from the Michelin starred L’Hirondelle rooftop!! @visitmonaco What a view!!! It doesn’t get any better than this. #WellTravelled #traveldeeper #YahooTravelExplorers A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
October 2015: Atlanta, Georgia, and a journey throughout Israel! Went to a fabulous travel summit hosted by the Atlanta CVB for a quick weekend, but I learned that I WANT TO GO BACK! Atlanta was fabulous! OMG! Israel was calling! A chance of a lifetime for me and I went whole-heartedly and I would go again in a heartbeat! (Big bucket list item checkoff!)
Deep in the crevices of the Old City of #Jerusalem, I find myself wondering through the old streets and dreaming of those who have been here before me. #traveldeeper #VisitIsrael A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
November 2015: Riviera Maya, Mexico, New Orleans, LA, Amarillo and Dallas, Texas So excited when I got the offer to photograph Dia de los Muertos at Xcaret Park in the Riviera Maya, Mexico! A dream come true! Now I want to photograph the event again in Oaxaca! Great team of travel writers on this trip.
? Amazing decorations of #dayofthedead #diademuertos #diadelosMuertos #FestivalVidaYMuerte #yahootravelexplorers A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
New Orleans: I had been several times before when I was in college, but oh____ it is so much better now that I don’t have to indulge so much and I can enjoy the architecture, the atmosphere, and see a few second lines – it is fabulous!
Street weddings are the best in #NewOrleans. Known as a second line parade, one of the most popular traditions during New Orleans weddings is this famous second line. At a wedding, it signifies the start of a new beginning of life for the bride and the groom. The second line band leads the bridal party and the guests from the church to the reception venue. The second line has two parts the first line is usually a brass band and the ones being honored are the bride and the groom. The newly married couple leads the second line holding uniquely decorated umbrellas. All the guests Who want to join in the celebration make up the second line. They form a line behind the band and the newly married couple dancing and strutting to the lively music with handkerchiefs. #FollowYourNola I saw several of them, but this one had the most energy, amazing band and well-dressed and beautiful participants that I saw while I was there!! #yahootravelexplorers #gnomads #kissmyGumbo A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Dallas, Texas What a fabulous return to my home state, and for a GREAT REASON!! I was selected to be an AMBASSADOR for TRAVELOCITY!! They flew me out to meet the president of the company and the entire amazing team over at Travelocity in the Dallas headquarters! I am so excited to start my journey with them in 2016! (Although the photo below was taken in Sedona, AZ, as they had not made the official announcement yet at the time.)
Baby it’s cold outside! #gnomads in #sedona #AZ A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
December 2015: Santa Fe, New Mexico and Sedona, AZ USA! I was happy to be staying a little bit closer to home for the holidays and ended up falling in love with Santa Fe! I was also reunited with my good friend Marilyn Jones, who teaches me many things about travel writing and life.
#Doors Doors Doors: there are some gorgeous doors in #santafeNM I was in heaven! #yahootravelexplorers #gnomads A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
Sedona, AZ is beautiful this time of year!
Oh, the weather outside is frightful! but the fire is so delightful! And since we no place to go: let it snow! let it snow ! Let it #snow! #sedonawonderland #Sedona #arizona A photo posted by Dr. Cacinda Maloney (@pointsandtravel) on
A big “THANK YOU” to all the brands and destinations that saw something in me this year. Thanks for working with me and allowing me to do the thing that I love to do the most: explore this big, giant world! If you want your destination or travel-related company featured here, just send me an email at PointsandTravel@gmail.com so we can chat. Here are my top-performing travel photos on Instagram of 2015: