budapest hungary night view danube river

Baby boomers share 5 best travel experiences of 2019

We are fortunate to enjoy travel in retirement and never take that for granted. While B and Thorny are busy mapping out new adventures for 2020, but we pause to reflect on our 5 best travel experiences of 2019. And since it is the start of a new year, the Wandering Roses resolve to eat better (most of the time), bike/hike more miles and live a life filled with gratitude, kindness and patience in 2020.

We hope you enjoy these highlights from our year of travel:

budapest night

Seeing Budapest at night from the Danube River

We read and heard how beautiful Budapest is at night, but were still blown away by the beauty of its bridges and historic buildings when our ship arrived at 11 p.m. on the Danube River. We enjoyed it so much that we walked the Chain Bridge and waterfront on night 2 and explored the hilltops by taxi on night 3.

new zealand Coromandel Peninsula

Road tripping in New Zealand

You would expect that sometime during our 21-day, 2,500-mile road trip around New Zealand we would be “wowed out” and lose interest in the landscape around us. That never happened. Around every turn was a new “wow moment” like this view in the Coromandel Peninsula near Auckland.

hiking swiss alps matterhorn

Taking the “wrong trail” in Switzerland

Thorny’s wrong turn landed us on a difficult-rated Swiss Alps hike along steep ridgelines using chains to navigate steep descents. It was a far cry from the 3-mile Matterhorn Flower Trail, rated safe for kids 4 and older, that we intended to hike. We would have never chosen a hike so difficult, but the challenge and the scenery was amazing and we’re glad for the happy accident.

Travel is full of the unexpected, so embrace it and don’t let a missed flight or disappointing Airbnb ruin your trip. The control freaks among us (Thorny) quickly learn that even with the most methodical planning, things will go sideways. Some of our favorite travel memories seemed really bad at the time.

Florida Keys travel with grandkids

Seeing the Florida Keys through a child’s eyes

The Florida Keys has long been among our favorite travel destinations. Though we have visited the Keys many times, we saw it anew in 2019 during a one-week vacation with our grandkids. We marveled as they marveled at discovering giant tarpon, dolphins, the beauty of the waterways and delicious fresh seafood.

hking blue ridge parkway north carolina

Discovering the North Carolina mountains

The Roses may wander the world, but we don’t lose sight of the wondrous beauty in our home state of North Carolina. Our focus for 2019 was the mountain community of West Jefferson. Exploring the second oldest river in the world and nearby sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway gave us new appreciation for nature close to home.

Here’s hoping you enjoy many great travel adventures in 2020. Where are you planning to go this year?

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