When 2016 started, one of my goals for the year was to invest the year into exploring my own backyard, and discovering (and rediscovering) more of my home country of America. Travel, in many respects, has seemed to become too lofty and inaccessible for many. It’s as if to truly travel, you have to get on a plane and have to get a stamp in your passport. But that’s not a belief I adhere to. And given the current year that it’s been in America, there didn’t seem to be a better time to explore those places just beyond my own area code, while rediscovering destinations that I had previously only visited in my adolescence.

And that’s what a lot of my 2016 travel was, road-tripping the highways, byways, and backcountry roads of the American West. Some of which were new destinations in my own state, while others were new ways of rediscovering places that I had previously only visited on road trips with my parents as a teen. But of course, there were some international trips thrown in there to, obviously.

So to end 2016 (raise your hand if you’re as ready for it end as I am!), I’m rewinding on my travel year with something of a visual journey of my favorite trips and experiences. See below my 2016 travel rundown with photos from my top trips and destinations.

2016 Travel Photos

Mammoth Lakes, California

Sierra Nevadas California Road Trip

What’s collectively become known as “That Highway 395 House,” just beyond Mammoth Lakes.

Ski Lift atop Mammoth Mountain

Easily one of my favorite ski mountains, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata Dominican Republic Beach House

From one of the most impressionable trips of my life, on the inaugural journey of Fathom’s volunteer cruise to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Puerto Plata Cable Car

Atop one of the Caribbean’s only cable cars, Teleferico in Puerto Plata.

South Dakota

Aerial Badlands National Park in South Dakota

One of the coolest experiences of my life, flying in a prop plane over South Dakota’s Badlands National Park.

Bison in the Badlands National Park in South Dakota

Badlands National Park from ground level…Post-lunch nap overlooking Badlands National Park.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Sunrise over the Grand Tetons

Best porch view ever (overlooking the Grand Tetons)? Not my porch.

Sunrise at Jackson Lake in the Grand Tetons

Morning reflections at Jackson Lake looking out to the Grand Tetons.

Lake Tahoe, California

Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe

Just a little hide-and-seek with ski patrol dogs at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe.

Mt Rose Highway Overlook of North Lake Tahoe

Quite possibly my favorite view in all of Lake Tahoe, at the Mt. Rose Highway Scenic Overlook, as you come into North Lake Tahoe from Reno.

Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay at sunrise.

Summer, in Lake Tahoe, is just as beautiful as I discovered.

Paddleboarding Kings Beach Lake Tahoe

Actually, all of Lake Tahoe’s seasons don’t suck.

Sonoma County, California

Aerial Lake Sonoma

What’s become one of my favorite corners of the West Coast, Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. This photo being an aerial shot over Lake Sonoma.

Zichichi wines in Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley

And just down the road from Lake Sonoma, one of the best Dry Creek Valley views, Zichichi Family Vineyard.

Big Sur, California

Big Sur at Bixby Bridge

Parting shot from my annual Big Sur, California road trip. It never gets old.

Big Sur Bixby Bridge at sunset

Yet the yin and yang of my Big Sur road trip, a colorful skyline, but as a result of the forest fire that lasted a majority of the summer.

Orange Beach, Alabama

2016 in travel photos: Orange Beach, Alabama at sunset

Best sunset of the year? Yet another one on my list of under-appreciated destinations, Orange Beach, Alabama.

Sunset over Orange Beach, Alabama

I’m an aquarius and like long walks on the beach….at sunset.

Sayulita, Mexico

Watching the sunset in Sayulita

The perfect end of my year of travels, unplugging in Sayulita, Mexico during Election Week.

Sunset from the beach in Sayulita