Instagramming … Travel Life in 2013.

Detroit Instagram 4 - Instagramming ... Travel Life in 2013.
(Last Updated On: November 13, 2018)

Compared to previous years, I travelled much less over the course of 2013. Mostly, it was because I moved back home to Toronto and a life full of new responsibilities.

So I made the most of weekends away and of all the vacation time I had. I hit up some North American destinations including Ottawa, Detroit and San Francisco. Of course, I also made my way back to Europe, taking in Germany, Poland and Iceland.


My first adventure of the year was a weekend away to our nation’s capital in early February. I spent a weekend in Ottawa for the annual Winterlude celebration. Highlights were walking (not skating) along the frozen canal by day, eating Beavertails and seeing Parliament Hill at dusk.

Ottawa Instagram 1

Ottawa Instagram 2


In May, a friend and I headed to Motor City to get to know the good side of Detroit. We stayed at an urban farm and took in some community art installations like the Heidelberg Project and MBAD’s African Bead Museum.

We also did some urban exploration by taking a look at abandoned buildings – including the Packard Automotive Plant and Abundant Life Christian Church.

Detroit Instagram 1

Detroit Instagram 2

Detroit Instagram 3

I returned to Detroit in August when I was flying back from a vacation in Berlin. Unfortunately, it was just to switch planes but I did finally see the Light Tunnel at the airport.

Detroit Instagram 4

San Francisco

Then it was July and I eagerly paid a return visit to my all-time favorite American city of  San Francisco. I walked and walked and walked some more … more than 50 kilometers over the first two days alone! By the end of my time there, walking up a hill felt like a painful and fruitless attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Amazing moments included taking in the San Francisco street art and getting to know Dogpatch, a new Indie neighborhood.

Even better was meeting all the German people staying at my hostel. We had some fun times – especially on my last night when we made cocktails at the hostel and then ventured out to Chinatown for some Mai Tai’s at Li Po Lounge (a spot favorited by Anthony Bourdain)!

San Francisco Instagram 2

San Francisco Instagram 1

San Francisco Instagram 3

San Francisco Instagram 4


Passed through Beantown in August while enroute to Berlin, switching planes at Logan International Airport.

Boston Instagram 1


August arrived and I paid a visit to Berlin, spending three bittersweet weeks hanging out with friends and doing touristy things like taking a boat tour along the Spree and lounging on the lawn in front of the Berliner Dom.

To see even more Instagram photos of my Berlin vacation, check out my first post and then my second one.

Berlin Instagram 1

Berlin Instagram 2

Berlin Instagram 3


Despite having lived in Berlin for 18 months, I’d never once visited Potsdam. I made my way there on a beautiful summer day, working off all the sausages I’d been eating on a 20 KM bike tour.

Potsdam Instagram 1


Not known for being a tourist destination, Szczecin remains one of my favorite Polish cities. I took a day trip there from Berlin just to have beer and perogies!

To see more Instagram photos of Szczecin, check out my first post and then my second one.

Szczecin Instagram 1

Szczecin Instagram 2


I ended the year by spending Christmas in Iceland. While there, I swam in the Blue Lagoon, rode horseback across a lava field and even snorkeled at Silfra where I swam between two continents!

I also did my usual urban exploring, walking around Reykjavik.

Iceland Instagram 1

Iceland Instagram 2

Iceland Instagram 4

Iceland Instagram 3

Not a bad year! And 2014 is looking good so far with weekends away to Chicago, Montreal and Denver. I’m also visiting Italy at the end of January – cue, for a girlish squeal of delight!

I wish you happy travels this year, my friends. Do you have any exciting vacations planned? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

If you like my photos, follow me on Instagram (@cdngrrleh) to see updates from my life in Toronto and on the road.

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  • Reply Adam January 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Seems like you’ve had a colorful year, Cheryl! xoxo

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 5, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks Adam! It was a good one and I’m happy. This coming year is going to be better though. πŸ˜€

  • Reply Britany January 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Gorgeous shots! Especially of Berlin… of my favorite destinations this year πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 6, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Britany – thank you. Same to you! I miss Berlin oh so much and can’t wait to get back there in spring or summer. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Nancy D. Brown January 5, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Fun times. Cheryl, are you interested in writing a guest post on Writing Horseback about your horseback riding experience in Reykjavik? Iceland is on my bucket list!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Nancy – that sounds fun! I’ll drop you a line when I’m ready to write my post here and I can offer up a somewhat different perspective for a post on your site.

      I hope you get to Iceland, you’d love it! . πŸ™‚

  • Reply Mary @ Green Global Travel January 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I loved this post! I really loved the pictures of Ottawa and Reykjavik. Looks like you had a fantastic year! I hope you have great trips to Chicago, Montreal and Denver.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 6, 2014 at 11:55 am

      Thank you Mary! I’m heading to Chicago this weekend and well … the weather doesn’t look good. It’s a chillllyyy -26 degrees Celsius there today.

  • Reply Dan January 6, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Awesome year. How great is Iceland? I’m a little jealous that you live so close, you could visit almost any time of the year, as long as the flights are cheap!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 6, 2014 at 11:53 am

      Dan – Iceland was wonderful and I’m already planning to return there in warmer weather. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries January 6, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Really great shots, are you just using an iPhone or are you uploading stuff you’ve shot from your camera as well?

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 6, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks! All of my Instagram shots are taken with my native iPhone camera and edited in a photo app or two.

  • Reply Kara Brandt January 7, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Loving your shots! It’s good to see all the travels that you’ve been to in 2013. Seems like 2013 is really good for you. I’d love to visit Iceland middle of this year. Thanks!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 7, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Thank you Kara. You definitely need to hit up Iceland – the landscape is beautiful, almost out of this world.

  • Reply Frank January 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Busy year Cheryl – some great pics, especially San Francisco!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 11, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Frank – Thanks! Funny part is that this was one of my slowest years yet! πŸ˜€

  • Reply Lisa January 22, 2014 at 12:26 am

    This is a really interesting collection of destinations. I love that you went to Detroit, and I didn’t know you could take a day trip to Poland from Berlin.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 22, 2014 at 12:50 am

      Thank you Lisa! It’s a pretty bizarre mixture of destinations, I know. πŸ™‚

      Detroit was fantastic. There’s lots of bad but it was fun to seek out the good too.

      And yes, you can reach Szczecin with a 1.5 – 2 hour train ride from Berlin.

  • Reply Jennifer February 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Looks like you had a great year, Cheryl! That light tunnel at Detroit airport is one I am very familiar with. Detroit was my typical connection when I’d pop home for a visit.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 5, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks Jennifer. It turned out to be a good year, especially after getting back into a full time job!

  • Reply Laura February 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Looks like a great year. Beautiful photographs, especially in Iceland — out trip there was pretty gray.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks Laura, it was pretty nice! Hope you can make it back to Iceland again but with much better weather. πŸ™‚

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