It’s now 2017 and 2016 — the strangest, confounding, interesting and most unpredictable year — is finally over. What a difference January to December makes. Who could have predicted the series of events that took place this year — well besides the man who predicted the Chicago Cubs would win the 2016 World Series in his 1993 yearbook photo, but that’s beside the point.
Many people dubbed 2016 as the worst year; some say it’s because we were cursed. But, let’s be honest, 2016 had its good moments and people should just be thankful they were alive to experience them.
The year was full of contradictions, suffering the deaths of David Bowie, Prince, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and even Harambe. There was also plenty of fun like the Rio Olympics and Pokémon Go. Let’s not forget about the memes of Joe Biden and Barack Obama that made us wish we were friends with Biden. We also had the United States election and, more than anything else, the country and year was consumed by politics.
The year started off with numerous celebrity deaths that saddened the country from the get go. Lin-Manuel Miranda made Alexander Hamilton great again. Then, in May, we said RIP to the 17-year-old Western Iowland gorilla, Harambe. In June, the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter occurred inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history. We then became anxious during the summer, as the Southwest began to sweat and suffered one of the hottest summers to date. Then came Brexit. Pokémon Go made a comeback and millions actually ventured outside to obsess over capturing little Pikachu.
Brangelina announced their divorce in September, a shock to all. We endured a clown scare, which might I add is not something to joke about. In October the Mannequin Challenge went viral to “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd and anyone and everyone began miming along. The Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series. Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize. November rolled around and the fire in the dumpster exploded thanks to the election. Emotions were out of control: tears and sadness, happiness, anger and laughter. Ken Bone’s sweater earned 15 minutes of fame. Carrier Fisher, Princess Leia of Star Wars, passed away the last week of December and then her mother, Debbie Reynolds — known for Singin’ in the Rain and the Disney channel series Halloweentown — passed away the day after.
Well, what a year. That’s a wrap 2016.
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When a break from reality is in order, sometimes it’s best to not only escape your surroundings but also to escape your social network, including coworkers, friends, family members and even significant others. In the highly underrated world of solo travel, here are a few domestic destinations to consider for a brief solo sojourn for some ever-elusive moments of solitude.
For most of us, time in the car is “me time.” You can listen to that podcast you’re captivated by, blast that pop song and sing along at the top of your lungs or listen to the next chapter in that biography e-book you’re almost finished. A road trip only amplifies those opportunities. So, next time you’re traveling by road, take the wheel and take control. Opt for a rental car on your next vacation, rather than a rideshare, taxi or public transportation, and enjoy the open road on your own terms.
Part of the allure of podcasts, aside from being able to listen during practically any activity, comes from the wide breadth of topics they cover. A well-informed host can teach you about any topic you can imagine. In the world of history podcasts, there are many in-depth, factual and entertaining casts to spend time with.