Greetings! I hope you had a great 2017!
Perhaps like me, you tend to reflect as we enter a new year.
Where did you travel, and what’s still on your bucket list?
What did you learn and how did it impact your life?
For Susan Bruce Travel, 2017 was an exciting year and one of growth, learning opps and special travel adventures.
I’d like to share some of my HIGHLIGHTS:
I christened 2017 with a troupe/troop of like-souls in Antigua, in the Leeward Islands, exploring the island’s:
– Varied and picture-postcard beaches—from smooth to craggy
– Dramatic cliffs and bays with views on a clear day all the way to neighboring islands and countries.
– Lush rainforest sprinkled with tumbling waterfalls and wildlife.
We spent quality time with Antiguans in towns, at beaches and volunteering at a cool dog shelter run by a pair of young American platinum-blonde identical twins.
Thankfully, Antigua was spared the direct hit and extensive damage of the 2017 hurricanes.
In March, I enjoyed a very special FAM trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.
In Hanoi we climbed down into a dark bunker behind the pool area of the grand-dame Sofitel Metropole Hotel. As we entered the narrow shelter single file, the haunting and beautiful Where Are You Now, My Son, recorded in 1972 in the bunker by Joan Baez, while bombs hit on outside sidewalks, filled the small area and heighted the poignancy of this era and the role the Metropole played as a center of communications. The Metropole is one of my favorite hotels in SE Asia — fascinating and beautiful, and in a prime location.
A transportation highlight entailed traveling by sea plane to Halong Bay a World Heritage Site dotted with lush islets and towering limestone pillars rising out of the Gulf of Tonkin’s emerald waters.
An unforgettable evening was a night food tour in Saigon on Vespas — fun, filling, and a great way to take in the city!
The “Hanoi Hilton,” Vietnam War Museum in Saigon, and Cu Chi tunnels outside Saigon were among the varied, haunting memories and fascinating relics of the Vietnam War all over the country.
We continued on to Siem Reap, Cambodia, home of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument ever built, and one of a massive complex of temples.
I continued on to Cambodia’s Song Saa Private Island – one of the best luxury Robinson Caruso island experiences, period. Out of the gate, the owners created a Marine Protected Area and Foundation to transfer skills to local islanders.
I discovered trending restaurants and little-known outings to get to know the locals such as an country organic farm in Vietnam that loving grows all kinds of familiar and not so familiar products, and hanging with families in stilted homes on Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia.
Click here to see my Top 10 Reasons to Adore Cambodia!
Summer brought a girls-gathering on Fishers Island off the coast of Connecticut and time with friends in historic Winter Park, Orlando, wild Merritt Island and the east coast of Florida. A special treat in my own back yard entailed a trip through the Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake. Click here to learn more about these travels.
Some of my more interesting client travels include exotic Oman and Jordan; the spectacular Four Seasons in Hoi An, Vietnam; Uganda to see chimps and gorillas; safari in Kenya and Tanzania; cruising on the Queen Mary II from England to Cape Town, then across Africa and Australia; and tracking snow leopards in northern India. And many clients are still traveling to timeless favorites such as France, Italy, Portugal, Charleston, SC, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Looking ahead…this week I will be traveling to the eastern Yucatan, an ever-popular destination with gorgeous beaches, cenotes, coral reefs, and direct flights from the U.S. I’ll report on how the Riviera Maya has developed and the pros and cons of different areas and properties/hotels. With a special focus on sustainable tourism and protecting the environment.
I’ll be posting during the trip on Facebook.
What were some of your travel highlights in 2017? What’s on your bucket list?
Join the conversation 😊