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2016: A Look Back

As this year comes to an end, I can only sit here in front of the computer with such a full heart. This has been a year to remember and it’s only getting better. I can’t believe all the meme’s I’m seeing on Facebook of how shitty 2016 was for some people. I had trials, tribulations, heart breaks and tragedies, but it’s how you let those things affect you that ultimately shapes your life. I ALMOST hit my goal of traveling to 12 new countries this year (I like to set the bar high), but the grand total came out to be 10! I’m a boss ass bitch, bitch, bitch ….

Let’s take a ride on the wild side and review this magical travel year from start to finish shall we? Take a shot, grab some candy and hold on bitches!

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  1. Best friend came to visit in Atlanta, GA

    This was a great start to the year. My best friend, Anne, hadn’t been up to see me in a while, and after a nasty break up, I just knew she needed a weekend away to have some fun! Her sister Solange came, and we went to a drag show, drank lots of vodka red bulls and took our sweet dogs to the park to look for murals and pose for cliché pictures <3

  2. NBA Magic vs. Hawks Game

    This wasn’t our first NBA game, but it wasssssss our first time being on TV during one! Even if it was just for a couple of seconds, it was still cool. As the cherry on top, The Orlando Magic ended up winning in the last few plays of the game. SCORE.

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  1. Boston

    The first leg of my My 30 day Backpacking Trip throughout Europe. I stopped over in Boston to fly out to Amsterdam, but had a 6 hour layover. Best part? I had a friend of a friend who had never even met me before, pick me up and show me the city!! How awesome is that? It was like we instantly became life long friends, connecting over our love for alcohol and sense of adventure before departing to Europe.

  2. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    First time staying in a HOSTEL. First time in Europe. First time on a long-term solo backpacking trip. Amsterdam popped plenty of my travel cherries, making every experience along the way unforgettable. Did I mention first time going into a bar and instead of getting olives or crackers for bar food, you got marijuana and a grinder. Loved it!

  3. Brussels, Belgium

    A quick stop in Brussels called for some beer tasting, chocolate buying and realizing that Airbnb isn’t always the best option for accommodation. Oh, and that having dinner by yourself can be liberating.

  4. Paris, France

    A week in paradise (or so I thought). My boyfriend Sina and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary in what we thought would be the city of Love. Little did we know, we would end up hating it. For someone who loves history and art, sure this place would be great, but for people like us who love adventurous activities, Paris was a nightmare. The food was amazing, and going outside of Paris to Riems to visit a Champagne House was amazing, but that’s about it. Won’t be making that mistake again. Read about it here: Was a week in Paris worth it?

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  1. Interlaken, Switzerland

    My favorite country by far. The scenery, the people, the cleanliness, the vibe. It was nothing shy of perfect. Everything I hoped for and then some. Met up with an old friend who introduced me to a beautiful Swiss girl. Stayed in a 5 star hotel while being pampered, and went up to “The Top of Europe” at 13,000ft. Oh yeah, and went Paragliding the Swiss Alps.

  2. Germany (Munich- Bavaria-Berlin)

    Visiting Germany for the first time wasn’t as scary as everyone said. The people were surprisingly welcoming! Took a stroll through the BMW Museum, drank lots of beer (again) and enjoyed some currywurst! I met up with another old friend from college who was living in Frankfurt at the time. We went out on the town to experience the nightlife, only to find ourselves in Dachau, The Nazi Concentration Camp the next morning. Oh yeah, and I saw the Neuswanstein Castle, you know…the one that Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World is replicated after? It was incredible!! Berlin however was completely different from either of the other cities. I still enjoyed my time there learning about Adolf Hitler and shopping at some major outdoor malls!

  3. Vienna, Austria

    Probably my least favorite place on the trip (at least in Paris I could be miserable with my boyfriend and not by myself) Here is where I had my first breakdown – I cried like a little bitch for all of 5 minutes. I ruined a classical show by knocking over champagne glasses that stopped the entire performance, and I had a terrible Airbnb experience. Let’s just say I booked my first ticket out of there ASAP.

  4. Budapest, Hungary

    My random stop ended up being one of the most exciting. I saw a video on Facebook of a “Sparty” or Spa Party in Budapest. I decided to cut Vienna and Prague short to detour. What made it even better was my friend from Atlanta knew a girl living in Prague who was down to meet up with me to go! Two random girls meeting / spending the night/ getting drunk / partying / sight seeing for the first time together. Let’s just say I don’t do that often but appreciated every minute of it. Not only did we have a blast, but she invited me back to Prague to stay at her house! What a sweet gesture. Of course I took her up on it and we both rode the struggle bus all the way to the CZR!

  5. Prague, Czech Republic

    Since my time was cut short, we ventured out to the famous ruin bars where we drank cocktails in bathtubs and danced around. Since she had to work, her roommate showed me around the city the next morning. The Easter Market’s were colorful and fun. Low and behold, the entire trip was catching up to me and I ended up passing out around 11 pm, which was probably for the best.  I ended this crazy journey in Berlin before heading back home! Find out about my trip here: What Backpacking Europe Taught me 

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  1. Georgia and Tennessee

    Georgia is now my home, but that doesn’t mean I should ever stop exploring. Sometimes the best adventures are in your own backyard! Sina and I went fishing all around Georgia while I recovered from 30 days away from my bed. It wasn’t long after that though I had an itch (no it wasn’t herpes either) I wanted to have my first GLAMPING experience! Glamorous camping to be exact. We loaded up everything, including my sweet Pomeranian, Pippa to explore the Great Smokey Mountains! After a long weekend, the rest of the month consisted of friends coming to visit, one week after the next! First was Brookie <3 we pet sting rays at the aquarium, shuffled our asses off at a Steve Aoki Block Party before almost making her miss her flight home haha. The next weekend was an old friend from Orlando, Renan. We drank our way through the North Georgia wine region and ended up partying too hard the next day to where we were hung over for the rest of the weekend. Great influences I’d say I have on my friends. Here are some posts from an amazing month: Wine Not? North Georgia Wineries AND How to turn Camping into Glamping

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  1. Orlando, Florida

    The beginning of this month was special because I finally got to make one of my mom’s dream’s become a reality! She is the biggest Harry Potter fan so I surprised her with a weekend in Orlando to go to Universal Studios (her birthday is either on or a couple of days before Mother’s Day each year) We topped off this vacation with bringing her out of her very tight comfort zone and taking her to a male strip show! I’ve never seen her take a shot or dance like that but so happy I could make all of her WILDEST dreams come true 😉 Read all about our Harry Potter Experience: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Experience

    Gotta pause for a second…May 11, 2016 was the first official launch of BONVOYAGE BITCES! I had worked so hard to get the site perfect, and my mom made me realize that nothing will ever be perfect and to just go for it! So with the love and support from her, my boyfriend and close friends, my little baby blog was born! Alive for the world to see! I appreciate each one of you! Okay back to it …

  2. Shaky Beats Music Festival- Atlanta, GA

    I promised myself that each year I would try to attend new festivals and not return to the one’s I’ve already been. Lucky for me, I heard of a new festival coming to Atlanta and decided to try it out. Met up with some old friends from college, some friends from Orlando and even made new friends! This festival was so good that I already bought my early bird ticket for next year! Totally going back on everything I said before haha but who cares. This was more than the typical EDM festival I usually went to, and it was right in my city!

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  1. Key West, Florida

    Although I use to live in Orlando, I never made my way down to the deep deep southern tip of Key West. Since we try to go somewhere every year for Sina’s birthday, I thought we could use some rewards points and have a quiet, relaxing weekend away. This place was definitely not what we expected, pretty dirty and no real nice beaches, but nonetheless we enjoyed what we do best…eating and drinking. I surprised him with a private island dinner at Latitudes (not really worth it for the price), but made up for it by jet skiing around the island and the parasailing together over the ocean. Perfect beach weekend to a new city! Read about our trip: The Keys to Key West

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  1. Atlanta, GA

    Since June proved to be a semi-quiet month, I had to ramp it up a little. My best friend came to visit me again, this time to celebrate 4th of July! We went tubing down the river, I got food poisoning and pukes at my friend’s birthday party, and somehow recovered just in time to sip buckets of rum by the lake with all my favorite people to watch some fireworks.

  2. Surprised Sina with a puppy!

    My sweet little pooh bear. Sina had wanted a large dog or as he calls it (not pussy dog) for the longest time. I refused because of how much work it was going to be, but realized that I always get my way and should probably stop acting like a selfish bitch. Zeus, the newest addition to our family was brought home! The look on his face was priceless. The end of July consisted of nothing but caring for this new puppy. Lord help me.

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  1. Italy (Rome-Florence-Venice-Bolzano-Milan)

    As much as I promised myself I wouldn’t make my way back to Europe this year, a friend invited me on an amazing trip too good to pass up. Pretty much everything was paid for, I only had to buy my plane ticket and bring spending money. Touring the major parts of Italy, the highlight had to be the wedding at a castle in Bolzano. It was definitely one to remember!

  1. Threw my cousin a Bachelorette Party

    Leave it to me to throw the best parties…this one in particular since we put dicks everywhere. Drank beer out of a dick bong, sucked on dick straws, even ate dick shaped pasta I bought in Italy. The weekend got really good at a drag show taking too many blow job shots 😉 Here are some activities if you find yourself in Atlanta: Activities in Atlanta that don’t suck!

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  1. Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

    Yes, the same cousin I threw a party for is the one who was getting married. A very cute, quiet wedding on the water close to our hometown. We are not only cousins but best friends and have been ever since we were little kids. It was so heartwarming knowing I could walk down the aisle with her to marry the love of her life.

  2. New Symrna Beach, Florida

    A weekend away with my boyfriend and his family. I needed this low-key getaway to relax and unwind from going so many places. Drinking mimosas while watching the sunset surrounded by great company, couldn’t be better.

  1. A visitor from Switzerland!

    Remember that girl I met in Switzerland earlier this year? Well we got along so well that she decided to take a trip to the USA! I am sooooo lucky that she chose me as her first stop EVER here in America! I took her to the North Georgia wine region, let her try food from lots of different cultures, and caught up with everything we’ve missed since we last saw each other. I plan to go back to Switzerland sometime next summer HOPEFULLY! Fingers crossed. Check out our fun filled weekend: North Georgia Wineries Part 2 AND Eating Atlanta: A Progressive lunch through Ponce City Market

  2. Salem, Massachusetts

    If you read my, Fall Foliage post, you would know that I haven’t explored the New England part of the US that much. While writing it, I got inspired to visit a place on there I had never been. I instantly thought of my friend Brooke in Boston. I kindly ordered her to let me come up, drive me around AND stay at her house. Of course she went above and beyond by making these amazing witch hats for us to wear around! Check out our adventure: Salem, Massachusetts in a day

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  1. Electric Daisy Carnival in Orlando, Florida

    I know I always say I am only going to new festivals each year BUT when your best friend surprises you with tickets YOU MUST GO. This was special to me since all my friends lived in Orlando, so being able to party/reunite/dance our ass off together made me the happiest girl in the world. What a good best friend 🙂 Check out my post: Why You Should Have a Festie Bestie 

  2. Blue Ridge Mountains, North Georgia

    To continue my birthday month, me and 10 of my closest friends rented a cabin in the woods. All I can say is what happens at the cabin, stays at the cabin.

  3. I turned 26!

    I will always embrace my age since getting old is inevitable. 25 was one of the best years of my life to date and it’s only getting better.

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  1. Orlando, Florida

    Back in Orlando for Sina’s company Christmas Party. Seems like I went here way more than I anticipated this year, which definitely is not a bad thing.

  2. Wilmington, North Carolina

    My hometown! I got to come home for a week and a half to spend it with old friends and family for the holidays. Spending Christmas at mama’s house is one of my favorite past times and couldn’t imagine NOT coming here during this season. Christmas parties, presents, homemade food…good ol southern livin.

  3. London, United Kingdom – Vaujany, France

    I should have explained before but back in August, I won an all expense paid trip to the French Alps!! HOW FUCKING INSANE RIGHT?? Yeah pinch me. We decided since we need to be in France on January 3rd, we would spend NYE in a place I’ve never been, England!! The English are some of my favorite people in the entire world so I am so stoked for that!

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As you can tell, this year has been filled with so many firsts. My life never seems to slow down, and although it get’s exhausting, I wouldn’t want it any other way. This wonderful blog was born, we added a new puppy to our family, AND I almost hit my target of 12 countries in one year! Pretty fucking awesome if you ask me. 2017 will be no different. I have some weddings to attend in the first couple months, but travel will definitely pick up in the spring.

Personal goals for 2017

  1. Go bungee jumping
  2. Travel to 10 more countries
  3. Learn Spanish (I am in the process as we speak!)
  4. Take a photography class
  5. Visit a new continent
  6. Get back into playing tennis
  7. Take a month long road trip
  8. Visit some National Parks
  9. Renovate my camper
  10. Try new food from around the world

Blogging goals for 2017

  1. Learn to edit photos and videos more efficiently
  2. Take my blog to the next level by creating great content for you!
  3. Make more YouTube videos for your viewing pleasure- specifically funny ones that deal with travel
  4. Double my page views and unique visitors since I’m fabulous and everyone should read my stuff 😉
  5. Snag a free stay at a hotel
  6. Learn how to fuck to use WordPress better
  7. Figure out the whole blog schedule thing so I don’t rip my hair out
  8. Conquer all social media platforms like a damn boss
  9. Reach 30k followers across the board
  10. Promote, promote, promote!

To all my bitches out there who have shown love and support through this journey, thank you.

  1. Nico says:

    It seems like a wonderful year you’ve had! Congrats for stepping on the European soil. I like the description of Amsterdam and the photo of you paragliding in Switzerland and what a big + to go back to Europe for a wedding with everything all paid. May 2017 be as good as 2016 😉

  2. Wow it looks like you had a great year! And a great trip through Europe! I am happy you visited The Netherlands, my home country as well 🙂

  3. Congrats on seeing 10 of the 12 countries you wanted to see in 2016 – looks like you had a great year! Too bad you had a miserable time in Paris but it seems either people love it or hate it. At least you got to visit other countries that won you over.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Yeah Paris is definitely either a love or hate thing! Hoping to get way more countries this year! We will see 🙂

  4. First of all congratulations for having a great 2016. Your blogging and personal goals are pretty inspiring not just for you even for people like me. Wish you all the best 🙂

  5. Harsh Gupta says:

    My god! You have a really eventful 2016 and i am so jealous! Jokes apart, even i personally want to increase my social media following and snag a free stay at a hotel. Would love to know if you were successful in getting one, and how :p 😀
    Happy 2017!

  6. Jen says:

    What an amazing year!

  7. Anne K says:

    What an awesome year!

  8. Emily says:

    Amazing year! You saw some great places, especially the German princess castle covered in snow – gorgeous! And I hope you achieve your goals for 2017 (I have some of the same ones blogging-wise).

  9. Nastja says:

    that was a great year for you! Next time you are in Europe you should also stop in Slovenia! Hopefully this year you succeed to visit 10ore countries! 😀

  10. Brian says:

    “Don’t Look Back” is a Bruce Springsteen song! Amsterdam, Boston, Paris & Brussels are cities that never get old. In fact, Boston is my 4th favorite American city!

  11. Joanna says:

    You seem to have had a great year in 2016 and some really nice plans for 2017. Traveling to 10 new countries is a very beautiful goal. I wish I had the time to set goals like this myself. My goal for this year is to try out new things, especially the ones I’m afraid of 🙂

  12. Suruchi says:

    You seem to had a perfect year. You traveled all the beautiful countries in 2016 and nice plans for 2017. Keep traveling and sharing the beautiful experiences. All the best.

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