Travel News

Top Travel Experiences of 2022

Dave hiking in Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu in the background. His third visit was a top travel experience in 2022. (photo by Kelly Lemons)

It’s the final week of December, my preferred time to pause and reflect on my top travel experiences of 2022. If 2021 was a year of transition, 2022 felt like settling into a new groove.

I continued to travel domestically in the United States, especially around Texas, where I live.

Despite living in Austin for the last six years, it wasn’t until 2022 that I began to appreciate better everything the second-largest state in the country has to offer.

Dave hiking in Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu in the background. His third visit was a top travel experience in 2022. (photo by Kelly Lemons)
Hiking in Machu Picchu (photo by Kelly Lemons)

And my one international trip of the year took me back to a familiar favorite, Peru.

Please join me in a look back at some of the many adventures, big and small, from a year of travel.

Where I’ve Been

Kel with an orangutan at Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas
Kel with an orangutan

Waco, TX

My first trip of the year was a road trip to Waco, Texas, about 90 minutes north of Austin (and 90 minutes south of Dallas).

This was my second trip to Waco, the first being a Baylor University football game a few months prior.

Kel was excited to show me the Cameron Park Zoo, the highlight of which was the orangutan exhibit.

Seeing these lovely creatures in person again reminded me of my trip to Borneo, where I met Sweet Hope and learned about conservation efforts to save orangutans at Camp Leakey.

Outside the zoo, we visited the Baylor Bears, Lady, and Joy, who live on the Baylor University campus. Sadly, Joy passed away in July 2022.

Kel and Dave at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, WA, one of Dave's top travel experiences this year.
Dave and Kel at the Museum of Pop Culture

Seattle, WA

My first new city of 2022 was Seattle, Washington. Not only did I fulfill my teenage desire to visit the 90s capital of grunge music, but it was also my first trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Highlights included the Museum of Pop Culture and Museum of Flight, wine tasting in the Space Needle, touring Pike Place Market, breakfast at Salish Lodge (as featured in the Twin Peaks TV show), and researching Seattle speakeasies for a story on Feastio (my food blog).

New York Yankees spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida
George M. Steinbrenner Field

Tampa, FL

March signaled the start of New York Yankees spring training in Tampa, Florida, an occasion to get together with family for a game.

Unfortunately, the Yankees again missed the World Series in 2022, but at least it was a historic year for Aaron Judge, who set an American League record with 62 home runs.

In 2023, I plan to continue this tradition, plus give myself a few days in downtown Tampa to learn more about the city center.

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