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Flashback Friday: Top 35 Travel Moments 2022

I enjoyed a great year of travel, not only doing the vanlife thing while exploring around British Columbia but also a return to international travel with trips to France and Mexico. According to Google, I have visited 76 cities and over 28,000 km! I wanted to share my top 20 travel moments from 2022 to hopefully inspire readers to consider some ideas for your travel shortlists. I've added links to the posts that link to the photos for those wanting more information.

January sunshine and my birthday had me heading into the Fraser Valley to spend a couple of nights camping at Rolley Provincial Park for my first attempt at winter camping with Wanda. It was clear but crisp and I was awake pretty early and decided to head out on trail walk. There are few experiences that feed my soul more than being in amongst the trees.

I then carried on and treated myself to a couple of days soaking in the waters at the beautiful Harrison Hot Springs Resort to celebrate my birthday. I indulged myself with massages, good food and beverages but mainly I soaked, read, took short walks and basically chilled out. It's a rare treat to give myself permission to do nothing

In the Spring, Mady and I set off on our first international trip since the pandemic. We had planned this trip to France back in March 2020 and cancelled it two days before the world shut down. I've laughed at the fact that I have been to Paris multiple times but had never actually been to the Eiffel Tower. We agreed that we were going this time and prebooked our tickets to the top! Wouldn't you know that the day we were to go up there was a problem and we weren't able to go beyond the second level? I was disappointed but also impressed with how quickly and efficiently I was reimbursed (before the end of the day!)

A highlight was the day trip we took to from Paris to Giverny where we spent an incredible day wandering around Monet's house and gardens. I have always been attracted to impressionist art and Monet's lily pond paintings have been favourites. What a feeling to be standing inside Monet's art.

We visited the Palaces and gardens of Versailles which we found both extravagant and excessive. There is simply too much ornamentation to take in but standing in the famous Hall of Mirrors was a pinch-me moment.

Lyon stole our hearts with its medieval architecture and amazing food. We thoroughly enjoyed searching out and exploring the traboules.

We based ourselves in the city of Arles so we could explore around Provence. We loved our little flat right in Van Gogh's city and spent several evenings hanging around the famous Café de Nuit trying to catch them when there was still some of the daily paella available.... it never was.

We spent a day exploring the Carmargue area where we had the chance to spend some time on the beach and see some of the famous horses and bulls of the area.

A memory I will cherish is dancing on the bridge in Avignon. As a music teacher, I taught this song to many school children over the years. Mady, as the ever-indulgent ATB, humoured me.

We like visiting wineries, distilleries, and breweries. When we realized how close Arles was to Chateauneuf du Pape, we organized a day trip to check out some of the wineries in the area. I had to fight my claustrophobic tendencies but touring the wine caves was fabulous day and the views are stunning.

Another day trip took us to St. Rémy de Provence where we followed the Van Gogh walk to the hospital where he spent most of the final year of his life. Again, I really enjoyed recognizing the places I had seen in his art. Spending time in the tiny bedroom he occupied, it's hard not to reflect on how hard he struggled against his demons.

Les Baux en Provence fascinated me with its fortress location high on top of a plateau. The town with its narrow streets and unique shops had something interesting in all directions.

Carcasonne was another location that I had had on my shortlist for a very long time. I had done a research project on the city back in Grade 8 and it had stuck with me. The Cité was better than I could ever imagined.

And as much as I loved exploring the Cité, the highlight of Carcassonne was the amazing food tour we took with Carcasonne Food Tours.

After returning from France, I headed over to Vancouver Island to pick up Wanda who had been getting a makeover. Since I was there, I decided to spend some time at one of my favourite campsites at Rathtrevor Provincial Park, where I did some trail walks and got my forest fix.

The following week, I set out on a road trip around British Columbia. I headed north without a real plan except I wanted to follow the Gold Rush Trail and be in Barkerville, an old gold town now living museum, by July 01. A real thrill for me was seeing the various wildlife. This particular deer hung out at my campsite in Cayoosh Creek for the good part of an afternoon.

I eventually made it to Barkerville and spent several days exploring the town and the surroundings. July 1st is Canada Day but since Barkerville runs on Gold Rush time, they celebrate Dominion Day. The theatre show reopened for th