A Year in Review: 2016

2016 was a good year in travel for Dailey Adventurers! We travelled more days than we ever have, and visited 8 new countries! We took various trips around the Pacific Northwest. It was a big year of personal growth as well, and we even sold our first house!

Read on to see some of best moments of 2016, as well as what we have planned for 2017. There will be some big changes coming on Dailey Adventurers!

las vegas skyjump

 Girls Trip to Las Vegas  

Las Vegas Strip    Fremont Street   The Stratosphere Hotel

I spent 4 days in Las Vegas with some friends from work. It was my second time in Vegas, and my first time visiting when it was cold! We stayed at The Stratosphere on the Las Vegas strip. While the hotel itself wasn’t my favorite, we managed to do a lot of fun things. We went to a comedy show, saw a burlesque show, explored Fremont Street, and I jumped off the Stratosphere! I had been wanting to do the Stratosphere Tower SkyJump since I had heard about it, so I didn’t hesitate to book it. We had to wait until the last day though because of windy conditions. You can watch my SkyJump HERE

Another big thing that happened in Vegas: I got my first tattoo!I got the word ‘wanderlust’ on my wrist. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend getting a tattoo on the Vegas strip (so expensive!), I have no regrets. It was an experience I won’t forget.


Blue lagoon

A Week in Iceland

Höfn    Blue Lagoon    Reykjavík    Selfoss    Þingvellir    Vik

We spent the last few days of February into March exploring the ‘Land of Ice and Fire.’  We both fell madly in love with Iceland! If someone was to ask me my favorite country I may answer Iceland…although Thailand is an awfully close second. On my list of 30  things I want to do by 30 it includes returning back to Iceland and traveling all the way around the Ring Road by camper van. I know we will be back soon.

staircase rapids olympic national forestHiking in the Pacific Northwest

Staircase Rapids    Lava Canyon Trail    Burfoot County Park    Cold Water Lake

The Pacific Northwest is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Every year I make a vow to explore more, but this was the first year that I have made that happen. I managed to sneak in a couple hikes in Washington this summer. My favorite trails were Staircase Rapids in the Olympic National Forest and the Lava Canyon Trail near Mt St Helens.

I just got these Black Diamond Alpine Trekking Poles which I am excited to try out this year! A good pair of hiking poles really makes a huge difference.

Lincoln City oregon

A Quiet Weekend on the Oregon Coast

Lincoln City    Tillamook Cheese Factory    Depoe Bay

In August Jakes dad rented a VRBO house in Lincoln City, Oregon for the weekend. I had driven through Lincoln City a few times, but this was my first time actually spending time in the small town. Our house was one block away from the beach, so we were treated with beautiful sunsets each night. We also had our first experience with deep sea fishing! We all reached our limits on seabass, lingcod and Dungeness crabs. Other than battling some seasickness it was a really fun experience! We booked our trip through Tradewinds Charters out of Depoe Bay, Oregon.

new york city

3 Nights in New York City

Brooklyn       Ellis Island    Manhattan     

I have been dreaming of visiting NYC since I was a little girl. For the most part, our time in NYC far exceeded my expectations! We ate copious amounts of NYC pizza, saw The Lion King on Broadway and explored some of NYC top attractions with our NYC CityPASS.

–> Save up to 41% on New York’s 6 best attractions with CityPASS. Shop Today!

We stayed at this Airbnb in Brooklyn, which helped us keep our budget down. If you are looking to save even more you can use our link to save $35 on your first Airbnb stay! 

3 Weeks in Europe

Italy    Vatican City    France    Germany    Austria    Liechtenstein    Switzerland

This was our biggest and most epic trip to date! We spent 3 weeks exploring 7 new countries. There is too much to talk about, so I will just mention the highlights. You can view our full itinerary here.

colosseum rome

· Italy ·

Verona     Venice     Florence    Pisa    Lucca     Rome    Milan    Vatican City

If I’m being totally honest, Italy was a bit of a letdown. The history, wine, cappuccinos and food of course were incredible. But we found Italy to be way too crowded. There are still areas I would like to visit, but I think it’s a country we would be okay not seeing again for a little while. That feels so wrong to say as I think about the food and the £2 bottles of wine!

eiffel tower night

· France ·


By the time we arrived to Paris we were a bit worn out from our 10 days in Italy. I had plantar fasciitis from walking so much and we both felt exhausted and like taking it easy for a few days. So we did. We didn’t bog ourselves with trying to see all Paris had to offer. We ate a minimum of 2 croissants a day. We enjoyed French wine every night. And we went to see the Eiffel Tower 3 separate times! We both pushed outside our comfort zone and discovered we like frog legs and escargot! Paris was laid back and exactly what we needed before we took on Oktoberfest!

disney castle germany

· Germany ·

Munich    Dachau    Neuschwanstein Castle

The #1 must-do on our list was to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich! And oh, did we have the time of our lives! I don’t remember a moment where I’ve ever been happier than standing on the bench with Germans and people from around the world, beer in hand, belting out lyrics to Sweet Caroline and German folksongs. Due to recent terrorism in Germany, the crowds were smaller than in previous years. Knowing this, somehow, made it more special. I knew that we, and everyone around us, had made a decision to be at Oktoberfest despite the fear. We were a group of strangers who all decided to choose joy and kindness rather than living in fear of the evil in the world.

While in Munich we also took the time to head to Dachau Concentration Camp. This was definitely the most somber moment of the trip, but also important to remember. I still tear up thinking about it.  Seeing the place in person definitely made it more real and it was something I will never forget.

Following our 3 days in Munich, we picked up a rental car to start the journey south. Our first stop was to Neuschwanstein Castle, near the Austrian boarder. Neuschwanstein Castle was the inspiration behind the Disney castle, and it was easy to see why! The drive to the castle afforded us some of the most beautiful countryside we have seen.

innsbruck austria

· Austria ·


After spending time at the castle, we continued south to Innsbruck, Austria where we spent a night. We obviously didn’t spend nearly enough time here! It was all we could do though, considering the time constraint. Just the drive to Innsbruck was incredible though, as we drove through the Alps. We arrived at dusk, and had just a little bit of time to explore Innsbruck that night. We hope to return to Austria in winter someday soon!


· Liechtenstein ·


We stopped briefly in Liechtenstein to stretch our legs and to walk around the capital ‘city’ of Vaduz. I say city loosely 😉 It was a very small town. The countryside was absolutely stunning though! We got quickly acquainted with the strength of the Swiss franc when we bought a coffee which turned out to be the equivalent of $10 USD!

Lugano Switzerland

· Switzerland ·

Bellinzona    Corticiasca    Lugano

The drive to Lugano, Switzerland was gorgeous of course. The mountains were breathtaking. We spent 2 nights in Lugano where we stayed at this off grid rustico that we had to hike to. The drive to the rustico was terrifying, as we went back and forth up a tiny curvy road on the side of a mountain. Staying off grid was such an enjoyable experience though and it really opened our eyes to how easy off-grid living can be!

If you want to save $35 on your first Airbnb stay, click here to sign up! 

Winthrop Ice rink

Celebrating my birthday in Winthrop

I have wanted to visit this tiny town in north-central Washington since I first heard about it. From the downtown to every single house in Winthrop; it is Western everywhere you look! And not a tacky western. Winthrop is absolutely adorable and is a winter wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts! We celebrated my 27th birthday in December by spending the weekend there. We had an adventure packed weekend and went cross country skiing, snowmobiling and ice skating on an outdoor rink. We topped it off by having dinner at Arrowleaf Bistro, which is ranked as one of the top #10 restaurants in Washington state.

Our front yard view

The Big Move & Embracing Country Living

In February we moved to the tiny town of Toledo, Washington. We spent the spring & summer renovating our old house and getting it ready to sell. We accepted an offer while standing in line at the Empire State Building! We enjoyed our house, but we have changed a lot since we purchased it 3 years ago. Suddenly the 2,100 square feet was overwhelmingly large. We are now living in less than 800 sq feet and have never been happier! We were more active this year and it has been nice spending more time outdoors. Our dogs have enjoyed the change as well, with our lab spending about 50% of her time outdoors now.

In Spring we got 9 chicks and started our journey as organic chicken farmers. Our chickens are very docile and friendly, and we have enjoyed the benefit of no longer needing to purchase eggs. We are currently averaging 2-3 dozen eggs a week! We were able to supplement our diet a lot this summer by growing and harvesting some of our own food from the garden as well.

We also added to 2 kitties to our farm; Rogue and Bandit. I am allergic to cats, so they are very much outdoor cats which has helped keep the field mice population down.

And just in December we have added rabbits to our farm. The New Zealand rabbits we have are more suited as meat rabbits, but I hope to get some Angora rabbits this spring. I will be able to brush and harvest the Angoras wool and have it sent off and made into yarn.

dailey adventureres

Big Changes for Dailey Adventurers

When I created Dailey Adventurers the intent was to document our travel adventures. While we still greatly enjoy travel, it is not our only passion. I have found myself wanting to discuss things on the blog, but opting not to because they didn’t necessarily fit into the travel category.

I want this blog to become more of a full representation of who we are. We aren’t full time nomads, or people who can travel a massive amount of the year. And I don’t think we necessarily want to be those people. Not at this time, anyhow.

We enjoy having a home base. In fact, we kind of love it. We love being able to grow delicious food from tiny seeds. We love taking boards and creating a whole new structure from it. We love creating new recipes in our kitchen. We would like to start creating our own wine and hard cider. We have become more minimalist since the move, and continue to downsize everyday until we only have the stuff that we need and/or truly enjoy. We don’t want to live a life where we work full time for 50 years before finally getting to live the life we want to. We are starting it now.

We have gone through big changes, and we would like to share that on Dailey Adventurers. That is why we this site is not going to just be at travel blog. We will still travel and talk about it. But this is going to become more of a lifestyle blog as well. We are going to talk about homesteading, cooking, self sustainment, minimalism, photography, life in the Pacific Northwest and whatever else takes our fancy.

I hope that you will continue along for the ride. It’s going to be a great one! Happy New Year, and I hope 2017 is your best year yet!

*This post does contain affiliative links. This means we will receive a small commission if you purchase something through our links, at no added cost for you!***

jake and valerie dailey




3 thoughts on “A Year in Review: 2016

  1. Ahh you traveled to so many places in 2016!! That’s amazing. I’ve really, really wanted to visit Italy for a while now (but have been hearing a lot of disappointment, which makes me sad.. still gonna try to go, though!). Love your photos, too, btw 🙂

  2. This was so fun to read! My husband and i live in a small apt in Florida and are about to move into a RV in Europe. It is so much fun living simpler and growing your own food! Cheers!

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