Our 20 Best Instagram Photos of 2016

Year in Review: Our 20 Best Instagram Photos of 2016

As we reflect on our travels in 2016, we are digging through the archives and reviewing the past year via our JetSetting Fools Instagram account (@JSFtravel). In an effort to wrap the past 365 days of travel into one post, we’ve picked our 20 best Instagram photos of 2016 that reflect our travel experiences this year.
In 2016, we explored new countries and revisited a few that we love. We rang in 2016 in the Netherlands, got a real dose of winter on a quick jaunt to Iceland in February and then completely thawed out with a five-month stint in Costa Rica. After a quick visit to the States, we took off for Europe in the middle of the summer…and have yet to leave. For five months, we’ve ventured through the countries of the former Yugoslavia (including Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia) before landing in London for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
We invite you to review the year with us and take a look at our 20 best Instagram photos of 2016.

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Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia in Autumn a Photo Essay JetSettingFools.com

Visit Plitvice Lakes in Autumn: A Photo Essay

Besides the dramatic coastline, Plitvice Lakes is Croatia’s most well-known natural wonder. The chain of 16 lakes filled with vivid blue water are linked by a series of waterfalls. Streaming, thundering, tumbling and babbling, the flowing water has carved a deep canyon into the limestone rocks. But, what makes Plitvice Lakes extraordinary are the tufa barriers over which the water spills from one lake into the next. The naturally occurring phenomena, in which calcium carbonate is the culprit in a complicated formula {Ca (HCO3)2+water dispersion → CO2+H2O+CaCO3↓ (tufa)}, has been at work for 7,000 years, resulting in mounds of mineral deposits covered in algae and other plant life. In scientific terms, it’s complex, if not a bit drab; to the casual observer, it is quite simply breathtaking to visit Plitvice Lakes.

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PIcture PIran A Slovenia Photo Essay JetSettingFools.com

Picture Piran: A Slovenia Photo Essay

Charming. Lovely. Appealing. Enchanting. These are just a few adjectives that could be used to describe the peninsula town of Piran, Slovenia. Picture Piran: the stunning turquoise sea surrounds three sides of the town that is situated between Italy and Croatia on Slovenia’s 29 miles of coastline. Café tables are abundant on the cobblestone streets that weave through the preserved medieval center. Music often floats on the breeze; a nod to Piran-born violinist and composer, Giuseppe Tartini, whose statue stands in the center of the main square that bears his name. Above the red-tiled rooftops, a lone bell tower pierces the sky, while defensive walls rise even higher on the hillside; both built as protective measures. Take a look at the town through our camera lens and picture Piran, Slovenia.

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Lake Bohinj Pictures: A Slovenia Photo Essay

We departed the bus at the Ribcev Laz bus stop near the southeast corner of Lake Bohinj, Slovenia where the Sava Bohinjska River begins, flowing east from the lake. We had been following the curves of the river since we departed Lake Bled, watching through the window as the limpid water streamed in the direction opposite of us. As we hauled our backpacks out from the belly of the bus, the driver pointed us north in the direction of Stara Fuzina, the village where we were staying.

Even from the side of the main road, we sensed a calmness in the atmosphere. No one hurried; not the people or the cars or the bus. The early evening sky was still light, but the air was already turning cool. Unrushed, we walked 50 meters to the one-lane, stone-arched bridge. Standing along the side, we took in our first view of Lake Bohinj. Just like a painting – or the hundreds of Lake Bohinj pictures we had seen – the scene in front of us almost didn’t look real.

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Red flower on the beach on Playa Zancudo, Costa Rica

Immersed in Nature in Costa Rica

I was inside the house working on my computer, two fans noisily spinning the hot, humid air – one pointed on me, one on the computer, neither doing much to cool the temperature. Kris suddenly appeared at the screened window. In a low voice, he hissed, “Come out here. Now!” In a fluid motion, I was out of my chair as I swiped my camera from the tabletop and started moving toward the door. I had no clue what it was I was racing toward, but I had learned early on that the nature in Costa Rica was almost always photo worthy.

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Iceland in Wintertime Vik Black Sand Beach JetSettingFools

Iceland in Wintertime: A photo essay

We were in Iceland for less than 100 hours – 98 hours, to be exact. In that time, I managed to click the shutter on my camera more than 2000 times. I try to practice self-restraint, but with the beauty of Iceland in wintertime, I had zero willpower. I was in awe at every turn. City streets and amazing architecture {click, click}. Snow blanketed landscapes {click, click, click}. Thundering waterfalls and dangling icicles {click, click, clickity click}. Black sand beaches and silhouetted rock formations {click, click, click, click, click, click}. Powerful nature putting on a show {clickclickclickclickclickclick}.

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Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland Our Experience JetSetting Fools

Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland: Our experience

It was our 4th and final day in Reykjavik, Iceland and we hadn’t seen the Northern Lights. On our first three nights, the excursions in search of the green glow in the sky had been cancelled due to cloud cover. The notifications via text arrived each day by mid-afternoon. Getting a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis was at the top of our list when we planned our trip. But, on our last day, we were coming to terms with the fact that we might miss seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland.

In the late afternoon we began making alternate plans for our last night in town. The day had been mostly cloudy and the fierce winds were brutally cold. My optimistic outlook and high hopes that skies would clear were waning. However, as the hours passed and darkness came, we had yet to receive a cancellation notice. Still doubtful, it wasn’t until an hour before the 9:00pm departure that we finally realized the chase for the lights was on.

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Beek-Ubbergen, Netherlands in PIctures - Beek-Ubbergen Center Square - JetSetting Fools

Beek-Ubbergen, Netherlands in Pictures: a photo essay

During our time housesitting in the Netherlands, we’ve seriously buckled down to accomplish some much needed work on our blog and social media. We’ve spent way too many hours staring into computer screens. Thankfully, we have a dog to walk twice a day and that is forcing us out of the house. Not only have we discovered the nature that surrounds our village, Beek-Ubbergen, but we have ventured beyond the borders to nearby towns.  In doing so, we have been able to capture the beauty of Beek-Ubbergen, Netherlands in pictures.

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Nijmegen Netherlands in Pictures The Weigh House on Grote Markt JetSetting Fools

Nijmegen, Netherlands in Pictures: A Photo Essay

Nijmegen, Netherlands in pictures is a compilation of our 13 best photos of Netherlands’ oldest city. During our two-month stay in the nearby village of Beek-Ubbergen, we made several trips into the city – and were able to capture the beauty of Nijmegen, Netherlands in pictures.

Click here for a city walking tour guide.

We want to know: Which photo do you like best of “Nijmegen, Netherlands in Pictures”? Tell us in the comments!

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Perast Montenegro Island JetSeting Fools

Best of 2015: Our 20 favorite Instagram Photos

As we close out 2015 and head into the new year, we can’t help but look back at our previous 12 months of travel – and we’re doing so by looking through our favorite Instagram photos of 2015.

We started the year in Italy, bounced through the Balkans and Eastern Europe, made a quick stop in Dublin and experienced London with our first housesitting assignment. We wrapped up our ‘Round the World journey with a return to the United States for a seven-state whirlwind tour (Ohio, Arizona, Oregon, California, Florida, Colordo, Massachusetts) before heading back to the Land Down Under for our second housesit – and longest stay at two months – in Melbourne. From there, we were lured back to the Croatian coastline, made a quick jaunt to Rome to meet up with family, followed by a stay in Sarajevo and are ending the year in the Netherlands with our third housesitting experience of 2015.

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