2017 Travel Rewind: Highlights of the Year


Inspired by Sri‘s annual summary.


Somehow I started my year in Nashville and crashed with a friend I met in Medellín. He greeted me with “wow, you’re actually here.” After all, we’d only spent two days in Medellín partying together. That’s usually how a lot of my travel friendship goes.

Then I got the most amazing haircut in Mexico City… on a rooftop. Thanks to Emma for flying Richard all the way from Montreal.

I caught my first stomach flu in Guadalajara, a city that horrified me unfortunately. The silver-lining: I met a badass travel writer, Julie, whom I ran into again later in Sayulita! We had a nice chat on the beach and we ended up staying friends until now 🙂



Medellín again! It was very crowded and lively in February with all the remote travel programs in town.

How lucky was I to pick the most perfect Airbnb that came with the Lugó twins and an Italian greyhound who peed in my pillow the first day? We had SO much fun together in the apartment, and I met Sydney, who became my best friend in Colombia. We almost spent every day working together for my entire stay.



Tarene visited Medellín and we were invited to a unicorn birthday party simply because we’re Asians. One of the most surreal house parties I’ve attended. We went straight to the club after, probably broke my longest record of continuous partying.

We got our first tattoo together out of a whim as a souvenir from Medellín.

I met my boyfriend, Tyler, on the same night. At an empanadas stand. At 3 am.

Four days later, we ended up drinking tequila shots by the street stand on a Thursday. Went to a bachata class together. He cooked me dinner. I proposed. He said yes.



I went paragliding with Tyler to celebrate my 25th. One of the hooks fell off as we were running toward the cliff. The staff just laughed and we started over. Welcome to Colombia.

We spent our last 3 weeks together in Medellín. He went back to Toronto and I went back to NYC.



Embarked on my European summer adventure. First stop: London.

My Paris trip failed but I ended up meeting Sri from Instagram – we had joked about how our paths would cross someday and there we were. I mentioned this really annoyingly loud person in Medellín, and he said, “wait… are you talking about XXX?”

What do we say in Cantonese? Never talk about people in daylight, and never talk about ghosts at night.

Next stop: Berlin. Mind-blowing nightlife, confirmed.



Budapest. Had the worst roommate ever. I hope she’s not reading this.



Croatia. Reestablished a daily routine. I cooked a lot and had a great time with my Airbnb host and his friends. I went on a small trip alone every weekend. Treated myself to Dubrovnik before Game of Thrones season 7.


Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon. Reunited with my Medellín roomie in Madrid. Gay bars and such.

Toronto. Met my boyfriend’s family for the first time. I flew back to NYC abruptly because he didn’t want to drive me to Montreal. Just kidding.



A nice month at home. Tyler drove down to NYC and gave me a nice little ring (not engagement ring, sadly). He said if I could keep it for at least 3 months without losing it, he’d buy me a better one.



Mexico with Tarene after the earthquakes. We went to almost every coffee shop in Mexico City and barely improved our Spanish. Celebrated Day of the Dead again in Oaxaca. I lost the ring 🙁



Another month at home. NYC was a good hub for travel friendship reunions because people always came here for work or play. I made very little effort to see old friends in NYC but I was happy with the smaller social circle. Dined at home almost every night and spent a lot of time with my parents to make up for all the months I’ve been away.



New Orleans. Family trips are THE WORST. My advice is never take your mom anywhere besides a vacation resort.

Toronto. The most heartwarming Christmas ever with Tyler’s family. It’s freezing cold but festive. Christmas is not a Christmas unless it’s cold, and perhaps snowy.

Made my last flight of the year to LA with Tyler. A 6-hour flight delay. I would have lost my sanity if not for his company.


Biggest Revelations of the Year

  • I don’t enjoy traveling solo anymore after doing so much of it.
  • 25 is an “in-between” age.
  • Quarter life crisis is a recurring scenario, and that’s okay.
  • I’d like to settle down and stop being nomadic some time in 2018.
  • I wrote this post in an hour.



Daphne K. Lee

Daphne K. Lee

I travel nomadically and word vomit sometimes.

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