Hollar at that dollar honey boo boo child! Well hello, 2017. It’s always exciting to look back at the year and reflect on the things you were able to accomplish, not accomplish, or plan to try to accomplish moving forward. The beginning of this year started off great for me and then became very difficult when I moved back to the states from Naples, Italy to go to grad school.

I was not even sure how easy it would be for me to continue traveling, to continue the lifestyle I love so dearly, and keep my grades up as a full-time student. Well in some how and some way it did happen (mostly because I believe that you always make time what you make time for), and you can see in my Instagram top 10 that travel did again dominate my social media this year. Cheers for 2017, may we all find the hope and happiness we strive to obtain!


LOCATION: MT. PLEASANT, PA This photo actually came from one of my best friend’s profiles, and I don’t always like to post things that are very specifically about myself or an accomplishment I’ve had, but for this, I’ll make a small exception. I was chosen as the first military female keynote speaker in my hometown this past May, and reluctantly I agreed to do it. Now I’m glad I did. There’s always a first for everything and breaking barriers feels damn good. I even got to take a picture with a young boy who had never seen a female “soldier” before.


LOCATION: UHRU PEAK, MT. KILIMANJARO I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in January of 2015, but had entered a contest with one of the photos on Instagram, which is how this turned up again. What is even more exciting, is that West Virginia University featured my photo at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro representing the WV flag. Once a Mountaineer, always a mountaineer <3


LOCATION: HAVASUPAI, GRAND CANYON: HIKE TO MOONEY FALLS This place. WOW. If you guys are lucky enough to get permits to hike to the Havasupai Indian Reservation for the weekend, you have got to do it! This photo was taken on the morning after our arrival. We were climbing to Beaver Creek by way of this slightly treacherous path down the cliffside to Mooney Falls. Amazing!


LOCATION: ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND Ahh, a place that will forever hold a magical place in my heart. This was my second trip to Zermatt Switzerland, and the photo was taken from my bedroom window the first morning we were there. It’s truly magical, the skiing is awesome, and they have the best Apres ski a girl could ask for, and they played Country Roads without a request! Love it!


LOCATION: MACHU PICCHU, PERU The morning I climbed to the top of Machu Picchu, our small group was the first few people in line at the gate. Buses drive to the top if you are not into climbing, but the tourists onboard them are extremely annoying. Before all the madness we got to the top and were able to sit on the ridge for a minute and take in the scenery. The fog is slowly dissipating as the sun rises.


LOCATION: CITY HALL, SAN FRANCISCO While in San Francisco attending a TED Talk, I was taking my lunch break outside on the edge of the curb when the blue angels started doing flybys’. Apparently, it was Fleet Week that weekend and they were getting ready for a big air show, and we got a small preview of what was to come.


LOCATION: HAVASUPAI, GRAND CANYON Remeber that pass I mentioned climbing down on the way to Beaver Creek in the Havasupai Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon? Well, here’s view of it from down on the ground. Only scary part is that the water from Mooney Falls coats the ladders and railings as you are climbing down making this trek just a bit slippery and treacherous.


LOCATION: MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN, CALIFORNIA It was Thanksgiving evening in Mammoth, and I was out smoking a “new world” cigar by the fire at our hotel. Just a moment in time, where I was pondering life and remembering all of the things that I am so thankful for.


LOCATION: MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA BRUNCH Since moving to Monterey in March, brunch has been a constant in my life. I absolutely love salmon and cream cheese with capers, and this dish, sold at the Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove, was salmon and cream cheese served on top of a potato pancake, yum!


LOCATION: HAVASU FALLS, GRAND CANYON My most liked photo this year was the view of Havasu Falls, which is the first view you will see of her if you are hiking into the canyon. This is your view as you walk down the steps towards the campsite. It instantly made the 10-mile trek in 100+ degree heat during July bearable. I’d gladly do it again for this view.

Now it’s time to see what kinds of things 2017 has in store, Bring it!

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.