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All the Best of 2023

Did you have a banner travel year? We sure did, and we’re here to tell you all the wonderful places we went, what we did, what we ate, and most importantly what we loved! This article coupled with our Top Ten Podcasts will give you plenty of things to start planning your next epic trip!

After taking an obligatory couple of years off from our regular travel schedule, it sure felt like we got back on track in 2023. We hit 17 countries and two bailiwicks. Yep, you read that right.

A bailiwick is an entity under the jurisdiction of another country. We visit both Channel Islands, Jersey and Guernsey, which fall under the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

In this article we’ll list out all the fun things we did, but we’ve also included some of our podcasts where we talk about some superlatives. You can check them out here:

The courtyard of Mont Orgueil Castle on Jersey Island.

Countries Visited in 2023 (18)

  • Japan
  • Vietnam
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Greece
  • Thailand
  • Laos
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Jersey Island
  • Guernsey Island
  • Germany
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg

Out of all the amazing countries we visited, only three were brand new to us. We’d never been to Laos, Jersey or Guernsey Island before. We thoroughly loved them, and will gladly put them on a return trip if the opportunity arises.


We finished 2022 and began 2023 in Japan. It’s certainly one of our “go to” places, and this time around we visited with our grandson which opened up a whole new way of taking it in.

While there, we did so many fun things, pretty much spending the majority of our time in Tokyo and Yokosuka.

Some of the things we enjoyed doing this time around included:

  • Going to the Mipig Café and cuddling with some pretty cute piglets
  • Wandering through Team Planets and finding it to be just a little bit weird and a lot of fun
  • Checking out the fresh sushi at the Toyosu Fish Market
  • Gawking at the pandas in Ueno Zoo
  • Eating ramen, ramen, and more ramen
Corinne and Jim on Golden Bridge, Vietnam.


We spent the most time in Vietnam. We obtained a long-term visa and tried to see the country from bottom to top. We did so much I cannot remember it all, but some of our highlights included:

  • Living in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Riding an old train in Dalat
  • Taking a fun boat trip on the island of Phu Quoc
  • Riding cable cars in some amazing amusement parks like Bana Hills
  • Taking the overnight train to Sapa
  • Getting as north as we could go to visit the Ban Gioc Waterfalls
  • Enjoying beach life in Nha Trang
  • Checking out all the sights in Hanoi
Kids of all ages love the Bum Boat River Cruise in Singapore.


The small city-state of Singapore is another one of our favorite places to go. We’ve done so much there, but can’t resist going back. This time, we were also with our grandson, and really sought out things for kids to do there. We had a splash of a time!

Some of the things we enjoyed doing were:

  • The Singapore Botanical Gardens
  • Getting wet in all the splash parks
  • Visiting a few great museums, like the Museum of Ice Cream and the Singapore National Museum
  • Enjoying Gardens by the Bay, the Super Trees, and the night light show


We only spent a day in Malaysia this time around. We went to Malaysia Legoland, and just had a really fun day out. It was an easy day trip from Singapore and we weren’t disappointed.

Jim and Corinne enjoy the huge boulders used to wall the Mycenaen city where Agamemnon once ruled.


Traveling to the Peloponnese Peninsula mainly due to a travel conference, we really utilized our time there to the max. We did a huge road trip and saw many archaeological sights as well as some beautiful scenery. But, like you might have guessed, the food was by far my favorite thing.

Some places we loved were:


Both Jim and I’ve been to Thailand a few times, but this time around we both went back to places we hadn’t done together – Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Some of the best things we did included:

  • A boat tour along the Chao Praya river
  • wandering through the largest outdoor market in the world in Bangkok
  • visited temples
  • had many massages
  • took a day trip to Ayutthaya
  • had the best Khao Soi and Pork Satay
  • spent a couple days in an Happy Elephant sanctuary


Visiting Laos was the first time we really went somewhere new. We decided to base our stay in the World Heritage City of Luang Prabang, and we’re glad we did.

After Thailand and Vietnam, it was quieter and more relaxing. The city is beautiful with its gorgeous architecture and stunning temples. We loved it all.

Some of the best things we did include:

  • Watching the morning alms procession
  • Wandering the city and visiting as many gorgeous temples as we could
  • Tasted some amazing Laotian food
  • Swam in the most beautiful waterfall at Kuang Si
  • Took a cooking lesson


We didn’t spend much time in Canada. We only spent a couple of days exploring Toronto and Niagra Falls.

We loved:

  • Trying some truly Canadian fare
  • The Provincial Museum
  • The sunrise with a city view
The Needles is a popular viewpoint.

United Kingdom

As soon as we landed at Heathrow Airport, we grabbed our car and headed southwest. There’s so much to see and do, and one of our main goals was to take the ferry to the Channel Islands.

What we got up to:

  • Stonehenge
  • The Diddly Squat Farm Store
  • Isle of Wight
  • Portsmouth
  • Pendennis Castle
  • Mousehole
  • Tintagel
  • Port Isaac
Corinne of ReflectionsEnroute at Mont Orgueil Castle.

Jersey Island

Taking the ferry to the Channel Islands has been on our list for some time. We couldn’t wait. We hit Jersey first, and boy is it hard to beat. I can’t wait to go back again.

We enjoyed:

  • Orgueil Castle
  • Jersey Museum and Art Gallery
  • Devil’s Hole
  • Jersey Cows
  • Maritime museum and Tapestry Gallery

Guernsey Island

We expected Guernsey to be just like Jersey. Spoiler Alert! It wasn’t. It was just as charming and well organized, but it had a bit of its own personality.

  • Visiting a dolmen
  • Fort Hommet
  • Shipwreck Museum
  • Eating Guernsey Gache
  • Castel Cornet
  • Priaulx Library
  • Guernsey Museum and Candie Gardens
  • Victor Hugo House


We love France! I think everytime we visited this year, it rained! But who cares? With a melodic language, lovely scenery, and the best food in the world, I just can’t get enough.

We only have done a few things this time around, like:

  • Exploring Metz
  • The Colmar Christmas Market


Again, whenever we need a getaway, we always think of Ireland. After relaxing in a pub with some live music time and again, you would too! We were only in the country a few days, but we really had fun.

What we did:

  • Road-tripped a bit of the Wild Atlantic Way
  • Loved the Burren
  • Rode ebikes on Inis Mor
  • Visited the Cliffs of Moher
  • Wandered Limerick and its castle
  • Stopped off at Clonmacnoise


We had one goal, and one goal only on this trip to Switzerland. We wanted to visit Santa’s house in Rocher de Naye. You take a cogwheel mountain train up, up, up and at the top the kid’s get to meet the jolly old elf himself. I ask you. What could be better than that?

We did also:

  • Visit one of my favorite towns, Gruyères
  • Wander around Montreux and its Xmas market
  • Explore Castle Chillon


For these next three countries, we did a short road trip when our daughter was visiting. We hit the Benelux countries, and we wandered around the cities, tried lots of different foods, and visited the many Christmas markets.

Our highlights:

  • Maastricht and its cool book store
  • Valkenburg
  • had the best Dutch food at Pannenkoekenbakker


In Belgium, it was more of the same.

We loved:

  • Leuven
  • taking the train to Brussels
  • Visiting the Chocolate Museum


We used to live on the Luxembourg border, and probably visited at least once a month, so it’s a place we know very well. We just love it.

Our highlights:

  • Eating Luxembourgish food; Judd Mat Gaardebounen
  • exploring Vianden Castle
  • Enjoy the city of Luxembourg and its Christmas Market


I left Germany for last, because we once again live here. That means that we will be doing more and more in this amazing country.

So far, we’ve:

  • revisited some of our favorite places and foods in Germany
  • Rothenburg ob der Tauber
  • Nuremberg
  • Frankfurt
  • Wiesbaden
  • Enjoyed some fall festivals, especially the medieval ones where there are shows and jousting, and even fire
  • Went to Christmas market after Christmas market looking for the best vibe and food

States Visited in 2023 (6)

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin


We spent the most time in California visiting our oldest daughter and just hanging out. We still found lots of great thing to do, though, such as:

  • Visiting the Gentle Barn
  • Camping at Point Mugu
  • Having breakfast at the original Big Boy


We have family ties to this beautiful state, and in fact while we were there, we cleaned up some gravestones. But we always include some fun, too.

We loved:

  • Visting Groton, and especially the sub museum
  • Taking a lighthouse boat tour
  • Eating great Italian food and lobster


We weren’t in Michigan long. We basically just passed through. However, we did stop in Detroit to try the famous Coney dogs. And we also, had to stop and have some blueberries that were in season. Good eats.

New York

The same with New York, we just passed through…and ate. Here we had the famous Buffalo Chicken Wings where they originated. And we also tried something new, a Beef on Weck sandwich, which I still can’t get out of my brain. I loved it!


We jumped up to the Evergreen state just to pack up our stuff and send it to Germany. While there, we had to wander around our favorite North American city, Seattle.


We visited Wisconsin to attend a family reunion, but while there took the time to do one of my favorite things, go to a state fair. The Wisconsin state fair lived up to my expectations in a big way.

We also had to try out a Supper Club. I’m not sure what all the hype is about, it just felt like any other restaurant to me. But the food was good, and a good time was had by all.

2023 was a fabulous year! We did so much, and had lots of fun. Here’s to hoping that 2024 is just as great!

Podcaster Bios for Jim and Corinne: Jim and Corinne are a married couple who love everything travel. Having met and married in Germany, they’ve never stopped. Along the way, they have raised two kids, visited over 90 countries (including every country in Europe), and have plenty of stories and travel tips to share. Read more about them on our About page.