Looking back on 2017

Wow 2017, you have come and gone in a New York Minute. How did that happen? I didn’t even get a chance to get one blog post out in 2017. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, however, getting back to blogging is something I am hoping to do in 2018.

I may not have done any blogging, but that doesn’t mean I was lazing about on my couch all year. I was fortunate to have quite a few amazing adventures last year, and even added 6 new country stamps to my passport.

A couple of years ago, I did a blog post about where I traveled each month. I thought it was a fun way to look back remember the past year, so I have decided to do the same for 2017. Here we go:

January 2017
My first work trip of the year was to Dubai, UAE. As I had never been before, I was quite excited for this visit. I did manage to sneak in a bit of sight-seeing after my work meetings. I visited the souks in old town Dubai, took an Abra (boat) ride (in the rain), saw the famous fountains at Dubai Mall, went to the top of Burj Khalifa and made a quick stop at Jumeirah Beach to photograph the Burj al Arab from the outside.

Dubai seemed a bit over-the-top to me (ok, way over) but I am glad I saw it. It is a very safe and squeaky clean place (I even saw a guy polishing the door knobs at my hotel) but seems to be lacking in more “traditional” Arab culture.

Burj KhalifaDubai, looking down from Burj Khalifa

Spice SoukThe colorful Spice Souk

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3 Stops Along the Midlands Meander

Wow, where has the time gone? I first started this post months ago, seems I have gotten a bit behind… Over the 4 day long Easter weekend the Frenchie and I headed to the coast for a quick, but much needed beach break. Hopefully I will get some time soon to post about the rest of the trip, but first I wanted to tell you about where we stopped on the way down and back.

Mandela Capture SiteNelson Mandela Capture Site

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A Step Back in History at Liliesleaf Farm

Johannesburg is quite rich in historical sites and museums however there is one place that I rarely see included in the usual tourist stops that really should be. In fact, I live only about 10 minutes away from this site and somehow over the past 2 years I have put off visiting. This was a huge mistake and I finally rectified this situation during this past holiday season.

Liliesleaf FarmEntrance to Liliesleaf Farm

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Dakar: A Working Visit

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is that I get to travel to some really interesting places. My duties include supporting 24 countries in Central and West Africa and back in April I had the chance spend a week in our office in Dakar, Senegal. While work trips are always quite busy, I try and make sure I take at least a little time to get out and see a bit of the place I am visiting. I had visited Senegal once before back in September 2001, arriving just 2 days after the World Trade Center attacks. It was an interesting time to visit for sure, and I have very fond memories of that trip. Even though this trip would be limited to Dakar, I was really looking forward to visiting again.

Terrou-Bi HotelTerrou-Bi Hotel, views from breakfast

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A Quick Peek at the Wonders of Zanzibar

At the end of November last year, I had the opportunity to spend 3 nights on Zanzibar for a work trip. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous island within the United Republic of Tanzania and located about 25 miles off the mainland. It is about 60 miles long and 20 miles wide. Zanzibaris predominately speak Swahili (though English is widely spoken, at least in the tourist areas) and more than 99% of the population is Muslim. We were based in the historic Stone Town and while most of the time was spent on work, we did get a bit of free time to get out and explore.

Stone TownStone Town

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