Teen Travel Chat: 2016 Travel Recap and 2017 Plans

As each year comes to a close, reflecting on all of the positive moments that I’ve experienced throughout it, is a refreshing way to end a year and bring in a new one. I’d like to do just that in regards to my 2016 travels, so here is my 2016 travel recap.

2016 Travel Recap

Last year was fabulous.  Although I did not travel across the globe and stayed domestic this year, I did go to some neat places with my family, and that is what really made my year. We went to Las Vegas and wandered on the Strip, and ate good food. We also got to see news anchor Krystal Allan in action on News 3 Las Vegas, and my sister and I made a quick appearance on air during the weather segment. We swam a lot to keep cool (it is so hot there in the summer!), connected with family and friends, and enjoyed each other’s company – all while I wrapped up an ‘A’ in an online high school course.

We also left our footprints on the beaches in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the luxurious Lago Mar Resort. We got to meet an adorable and wise older couple whose personalities I still remember, played beach volleyball, swam in the clear blue ocean, spent time with multiple family friends that we haven’t seen in years, and chilled. Hard.

While in Illinois, we visited the Windy City’s Field Museum, and the ETA Creative Arts Foundation. We also explored Downtown Aurora, which is not too far from Chicago, to see Hairspray, The Musical.

All of these trips are so special to me as they were filled with fun, laughter, my family, and unique memories that I will always cherish. I am incredibly grateful to have experienced all of these trips. Each day is a blessing to me, and when the New Year approaches I am overcome with the fact that I have been able to live another year.


2017 Travel Goals

This year, I have a variety of ultimate travel goals on my list: The Bahamas, Hawaii, Jamaica, and New York.

Having never been to Hawaii, I really want to go there to experience it for myself. I love palm trees, warm weather, and relaxing, and Hawaii seems like the ultimate vacation spot to do just that. The Bahamas has similar traits that I adore. Despite traveling here once before, I would like to pay another visit. My trip there was so much fun because my extended family joined us, and I really want to do that again.

There seems to be a trend here… but another tropical place I’d absolutely love to set foot on is Jamaica. I want to do a bunch of things there, including: trying the food, experiencing the culture, going to the beaches, seeing the stars at night, and enjoying a trip to a place I’ve never been before. While there, I also want to meet up with a good friend and his family. My parents, uncles, and grandfather have been to Jamaica and brought back funny, precious memories. They make me want to go even more.

Lastly, New York is also on my list of places to go to experience. I want to visit out of curiosity. I want to experience the lifestyle there and explore all that the city has to offer.


2017 Plans

In addition to all of my travel goals for next year, I do have a few trips that are either planned or the planning is in progress. First off, I will be going to London this upcoming spring! Last year, my English teacher informed us that we could possibly go to London in the spring of 2017. At first, I really thought he was joking, but he assured us that he was dead serious. So, I kind of freaked out. As soon as I got home, I told my mom about it because a trip to London sounds lovely.  Thanks to my truly wonderful parents, I am able to go on the trip with about ten other students. It is going to be a week long trip and I am very excited (and a little bit nervous!) for it to finally arrive.

In line with my travel goals list, my mom is also trying to plan a family trip to Hawaii next year that my sister and I are extremely happy about. Although my parents have been there before, my sister and I have not and are dying to go. I have no idea what to expect but it seems like Hawaii will be a real treat just by the feedback of those who have been there and the pictures. The pictures! They are so nice. Personally, if we go there I would like to try hula dancing, see volcanoes, and go to the Black Sand Beach. As the main character sings in the Disney movie Moana, I want to go to Hawaii because it calls me!

And last but not least, my family and I are planning on going to Michigan. There are a variety of schools there that I want to visit. I have very different kinds of colleges in mind as well, so by going to Michigan I hope to find what school size, atmosphere, values, etc. align with my personality.

With both my travel goals and my actual plans for next year, I hope to keep evolving and growing as I experience new places, ideas, people, and environments. Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do and I hope that I can continue to do so not only in 2017 but for the rest of my life. And I believe I can if I keep dreaming big and going for those goals. 🙂


brooke bio cancun spring break in chicagolandI am Brooke Lauryn. I am a high school student with diverse interests. I enjoy being a member of my high school band and marching at Friday night football games, along with participating in basketball and track & field. I appreciate art and music and learning about other cultures. I love spending time with my family and friends. Since I was a child I have always enjoyed traveling, and I look forward to sharing some of my favorite places and “cool” things to do with you.


I am a lawyer. I am a journalist. I am a writer. I am a photographer. And I love to travel.

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