2014: My Year Told In Pictures of Sunsets

Pictures of sunsets

As the sun (almost) sets on 2014 I’m so happy to be sitting here writing these words: “I’ve had an amazing year of travel”. They’re the kind of words that can make people want to push your smug little face into the dirt, but I hope you’ll forgive my boasting because my amazing year of travel came directly off the back of 2013 – my worst travel year yet, and as the sun rose of 2014 I was terrified that my travel curse would follow me into the New Year.

So much so, that when I boarded my first flight of 2014 to Andalucia, all I could think was, “What am I doing?” and “I don’t want to be here.” What I’ve not mentioned in any of my posts this year is that it took me a solid 3 weeks before I got into my travel stride and for every one of those 21 days I fought daily with indecision, loneliness and self-doubt. But then, somehow (perhaps with a sprinkling of the year’s first sunshine) things finally clicked and my year just got better and better.

From Andalucia to Berlin to Amsterdam to a coast to coast journey across Mexico…and back the opposite way across the USA (interspersed with a couple of months in Colombia), I’m happy to say that 2014 has been one of my best travel years yet. Largely it was down to the people I met. New friends I made, old travel friends I miraculously bumped into along the way (the world really is smaller than we might imagine some times) and, of course, the dependable, amazing friends and family at home who still manage to encourage me despite my curious way of life.

Why am I showing you my year in pictures of sunsets? The simple answer is that I love sunsets (who doesn’t). But, more than that, whether I’m suffering travel burn out or even when I’m high on life, sunsets are nature’s one sight that stun me every time.

For my 2015 travel plans, you’ll have to wait for my next post. But, for now, here’s…

My year told in pictures of sunsets

Europe

Pictures of Sunsets
Sunset at Malaga Airport.
Pictures of Sunsets
Sunset at Malaga Airport.

Malaga was my first stop of the year and was the entry point to Spain for my month-long trip through Andalucia. Although I didn’t hit my travel stride until the final week of this part of my trip, this stunning sunset as I flew to Berlin felt like it symbolised the start of a new chapter of travel for me.

Articles from my 2014 adventures in Europe

Visiting Malaga – Just Another Brit Abroad?

Taking A Vacation Apartment in Berlin

Seeing the Tulips in Amsterdam

Cuba

Pictures of Sunsets
Sunset over the Malecon, Havana from the cocktail terrace of Hotel Nacional.
Pictures of sunsets
Sipping rum, dining on lobster and playing dominoes with this view – I finally got a long overdue break from my laptop in Cuba.

After spending the first quarter of 2014 in Europe, I set off on my main adventure of the year in May. At the time I planned to spend 6 months living as an ex-pat in Mexico (oh, how plans change) but first up was a much needed holiday (I hadn’t taken a proper break since 2010). I opted for two weeks exploring Cuba with my Travel Amiga Karen and with zero access to the internet, it was the first time in four years I’d fully switched off. Bliss!

The first picture was taken while I was having sunset cocktails on the terrace at Hotel Nacional in Havana. And with recent news that relations between the United States and Cuba are thawing, I’m excited to finally be able to say to my US readers – when you visit Cuba, you absolutely should try the cocktails there!

Articles from my 2014 adventures in Cuba

Casa Particulares in Cuba

The Hershey Train in Cuba: The Slow Way to Varadero

Varadero Beach Resorts: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

A Rave in a Cave: Disco Ayala, Trinidad, Cuba

La Boca: One of the Best Beaches in Cuba

10 Essential Things to Know About Cuba Before You Visit

One Day Hiking in Toppes de Collantes

Coast-to-coast across Mexico

Pictures of Sunsets
It was my first time this far north in Mexico and the scenery changed dramatically compared to what I’d seen elsewhere…as did the prevalence of cowboy boots and hats!
Pictures of Sunsets
Finally, I got to fulfil my travel dream of riding the train through Copper Canyon.
Pictures of Sunsets
Sunset in La Paz, Baja California. I became obsessed with the sunsets in La Paz and they kept me in this beautiful seaside town for way longer than I’d intended.
Pictures of Sunsets
More of La Paz.
Pictures of Sunsets
La Paz….again.
Pictures of sunsets
What can I say? La Paz put on a stunning sunset every night!
Pictures of sunsets
And finally, La Paz looking beautiful even after a storm.

I’d found an apartment, got myself a Mexican phone number and was on the brink of signing up for a gym subscription but I couldn’t shake my urge to be on the move. So, after just a few weeks in the Yucatan peninsula, I scrapped my original plan to stay in one spot for 6 months in Mexico and instead in June I embarked on an epic coast to coast journey across Mexico that took me from the east peninsula to the western Baja coast. Caribbean and Atlantic waters as well as the spectacular Sea of Cortez presented some superlative sunsets.

Articles from my 2014 adventures in Mexico

How to Drink Tequila Like A Mexican

Guide to Swimming with Whale Sharks in Mexico

Best Things to Do in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Quick and Easy Guacamole Recipe from Mexico

Luxury in Los Cabos Without Visiting A Resort

Is Mexico Safe? From Someone Who’s Been (Part 1)

Is Mexico Safe? From Someone Who’s Been (Part 2)

Coast-to-coast across the USA

Pictures of Sunsets
Sunset in Nashville.
Pictures of Sunsets
Sunset at the Washington Monument, Washington DC. Winter sunsets can be just as beautiful as summer sunsets at the beach.
Pictures of Sunsets
A speck of colour after an otherwise grey day in Richmond, Virginia.

Having crossed Mexico from coast-to-coast (east to west), completing the same journey in the opposite direction (west to east) across the USA seemed to have a wonderful synergy. When this travel idea hit me I was ideally situated a short hop from San Diego and thus my US coast-to-coast journey began in August.

It was a journey that would take me across 11 states from the height of summer to the thick of winter (with a 2-month pause in between when I flitted off to Colombia to escape Arizona’s summer heat).

I pressed un-pause on my US trip in late October when I returned to complete my journey. (All the pictures above are from the second part of my US trip when the sun set earlier against the backdrop of fall and then winter.)

Articles from my 2014 adventures in the USA

Best Things to Do in Washington DC in 3 Days

The Ultimate Travel Destination: Space & Beyond

What and Where to Eat in New Orleans: A 7-Day Eating Itinerary

How to Spend One Day at the Grand Canyon

Taking a Breaking Bad Tour in Albuquerque

Colombia

Pictures of Sunsets
Sunset in Cartagena. Although I’ve edited the picture to enhance the colours and details, there are no colour filters on this picture. It really was that pink and beautiful.
Pictures of Sunsets
Sunset in Cartagena. This picture was taken the same evening as the previous shot, just a bit later. Again, there is no colour filter on this image.

Colombia had been on my travel wish list since I skipped the country during my Around the World Adventure in 2010. Finally, in 2014, I made good on my promise to get to Colombia and some stunning sunsets – and two of my favourite sunset pictures of the year – ensued.

Articles from my 2014 adventures in Colombia

The Best Places to Visit in Colombia

Why Medellin is the Best Place to Learn Spanish in Colombia

How was your 2014 for travel? Did you see any beautiful sunsets or are you more of a sunrise person? Let me know about your adventures in the comments below. 

Article written by

Jo Fitzsimons is a freelance travel writer who has visited over 50 countries. www.indianajo.com is the place where she shares destination details, travel itineraries, planning and booking tips and trip tales. Her aim: to help you plan your travel adventure on your terms and to your budget.

7 Responses

  1. zoe milburn
    zoe milburn at | | Reply

    Jo!
    I am so glad I did not forget your blog name. We met at a hostel in santa marta and we went out for a delicious dinner with Padraig the Irish social worker. As i learned through my travels it is the people you meet along the way who make the experiance of solo travelling what it is and you are one of many people i met in my 5 months away from home who i will never forget. I was still near the start of my trip and finding my feet. Alone in latin America with no spanish and no real plans of what i was doing it could have all gone so wrong….. but it didnt. You and your stories filled me with confidence and sitting in that restaurant with you and padraig we all poured our hearts and deepest darkest secrets out to each others, there were tears and laughter and i knew then that if travelling can involve meeting people like the 2 of you i would be ok. And i was. I would love to stay in touch and hear about the rest of your trip. Hope to hear from you 🙂 X xx all the best zoe milburn xx

  2. Corinne
    Corinne at | | Reply

    Love a great sunset, and you have some beauties!

  3. Helen
    Helen at | | Reply

    Gorgeous pics Jo!

    Especially love the Cartegena sunset! Wow, looks beautiful.

  4. Jac
    Jac at | | Reply

    I really like the idea of this post Jo! And your adventures as always are pretty amazing. I think I like the Washington Monument one best because that glow is really quite unearthly. I love how colourful sunsets are – they definitely don’t look alike at all!

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