A Year Told In Pictures of Sunsets

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Bight orange sunset in La Paz Mexico

As the sun (almost) sets on another year 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 my worst travel year yet, and as the sun rose on a new year 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 the year 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 this year 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 terms 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. So, here’s how I spent my year – told in pictures of sunsets

Sunset at Malaga Airport

Sunset at malaga airport
Sunset at Malaga Airport.
sunset reflecting of building at Malaga airport
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.

Sunset in Havana, Cuba

Sunset behind palm trees in Havana Malecon
Sunset over the Malecon, Havana from the cocktail terrace of Hotel Nacional.
Grey and yellow sunset in Cuba by beach
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 the year 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 adventures in Cuba

Sunset in the Copper Canyon, Mexico

From Cuba, I returned to Mexico. 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.

Blue sunset over the mountains of Chihuahua in Mexico

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! The above picture is the sunset over Chihuahua, coming into land by plane.

Sunset on the copper canyon train in Mexico

Finally, I got to fulfil my travel dream of riding the train through Copper Canyon.

Sunset in La Paz, Mexico

Sunset behind a yacht in La Paz Mexico

From the Copper Canyon, I took the Ferry to La Paz in Baja California. Above is one of the stunning sunset in La Paz. 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.

Sunset behind a statue of a mermaid and dolphin in La Paz Mexico
More of La Paz.
Calm sunset over the sea in Baja California
La Paz….again.
Collage of sunsets and sea and boats in Mexico
What can I say? La Paz put on a stunning sunset every night!
Sunset after the rain with white bench in La Paz
And finally, La Paz looking beautiful even after a storm.

Articles from my adventures in Mexico

Sunset in Nashville

Sunset on glass building in Nashville

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).

Washington Monument Sunset

Pale pink sunset over washington monument and reflecting pool in DC

Sunset at the Washington Monument, Washington DC. Winter sunsets can be just as beautiful as summer sunsets at the beach.

Winter sunset in Richmond, Virginia

Dusky sunset with fall colours in Richmond Virginia

A speck of colour after an otherwise grey day in Richmond, Virginia.

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 adventures in the USA

Cartagena Sunset in Colombia

Bright pink sunset in Cartagena colombia

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.

Blue and pink Cartagena sunset

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. Finally, 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 adventures in Colombia

How was your year 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. 

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Author - Jo Fitzsimons

Hi, I'm Jo, the writer behind Indiana Jo. In 2010 I quit my job as a lawyer and booked an around the world ticket. As a solo female traveller, I hopped from South America to Central America, across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It was supposed to be a one-year trip but over a decade later, it's yet to end. I've lived in a cave, climbed down a volcano barefoot, spent years as a digital nomad, worked as a freelance travel writer, and eaten deadly Fugu. Now I'm home, back in the UK, but still travelling far and wide. You can find out more About Me.