Best Photos of 2016 & Plans for the Coming Year

photos 2016 legal nomads

In 2016, I moved to Oaxaca for a few months and ended up signing a lease for a lot longer stay. Part of this decision came down to my battle with chronic pain, but also to the fact that the city is beautiful and delicious. After years in Asia, it is a big change. But a welcome one, as I’ve long wanted to improve my Spanish from its inauspicious, embarrassing beginnings.

To end 2016, I wanted to share some photos from the last year. In 2015, I posted my favorite pictures from the prior 12 months. This time, I’m sharing the ones that you decided you liked the most based on my Instagram feed. In addition to Oaxaca, I visited Belize, Austin, Seattle, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, and Rio de Janeiro this year. Regardless, almost all of your love went to Oaxaca. And an alpaca, but who can blame you?

What’s happening for 2017?

I’ll be in Oaxaca for the winter and spring, and I plan to maintain an apartment here when I head back to North America during the summer. I’m in the middle of writing a long guide to the city, focusing on food – of course – but also what to do, where to stay, and fun trips in the Oaxaca Valley. I’ve eaten at some lovely family-run spots and I look forward to also profiling them on the site.

For those who signed up for my writing course, check your inbox in coming weeks for course outline, costs, and a short application form. I will be taking a class of 10 people to start, and close to 100 have signed up. The application form will help with making sure the class goals fit your needs. I plan to offer these courses on a rolling basis, with a lower price for the first one. So if you are not in the first round, I hope to work with you a little later in the year.

I’ve also started this season’s food walks, and have 25 people booked in so far.

Finally, my shop now offers lightweight black tote bags in addition to the sturdy canvas ones. These are great for errands, and fold up easily to carry around when you’re not using them. Japan food map is coming soon.

It will be a busy winter and spring, and I’m excited to dive into these projects. I’ll update further in my customary annual review on 1 April — last year’s piece, 8 Years of Legal Nomads, follows that model! — but for now: thank you for reading Legal Nomads, for your support of the site through the shop, and for reaching out to share your stories.

Now: the photos! For those reading via email – you’ll need to click through to the web to view the embedded Instagram photos.

2016 in Photos

2016 in photos - Legal Nomads

1. Day of the Dead, Oaxaca

My first muertos celebration, and it won’t be my last. Fabulous time, filled with visits to the cemeteries, marching bands, fireworks, offerings, and a face painting to end all face paintings. So fun!

2. Me in a Field of Marigolds, Zaachila

My friend Susanne took me and her son out to the fields near Zaachila just before Day of the Dead, so we could frolic in the flowers like nobody’s business. The farmers were amused but tolerant, aided by the fact that I bought a bunch before we departed the fields.

It’s no field of roses, but this field of marigolds outside of Oaxaca will do just fine. 💛😍

A photo posted by Jodi Ettenberg (@legalnomads) on

3. Oaxaca City at Dusk

This city’s light knows no limits.

4. Corn Husk Installation, Oaxaca

These corn husks-as-birds were installed over the Alcala, the main walking street in town, and hovered over for a few weeks before they were taken down. Lovely.

5. Oaxaca at Dusk on Cinco de Mayo street

6. Hierve El Agua

I wrote a longer post with higher-res photos of the gorgeous calcified waterfalls outside Oaxaca City, but understandably this photo was a hit. Such a beautiful spot.

7. Tornado at my Dad’s Place (RUN!), Quebec

Family reunion gone just slightly awry. Of course, seeing as how we aren’t used to tornados, we simply took photos and stared instead of running for cover. Luckily it dissipated quickly!

Ruh roh…. Family’s Canada Day BBQ hits an unexpected obstacle. 🇨🇦❤️😱

A photo posted by Jodi Ettenberg (@legalnomads) on

8. Alpacas in New Zealand

These alpacas were in my photoessay from last year also, but this time I reposted as a throwback on a day I needed some cheering up. Apparently you did too.

9. Me in a field of Cockscomb Celosia

The flower I love most in the world is everywhere in Oaxaca come Day of the Dead. I was a happy Jodi.

10.Jacarandas on the Ground, Oaxaca

The trees in town bloom at different times, from bright orange flamboyantes to yellow blossoms that paper the sidewalks, to these gorgeous purple jacarandas.

11. Rio de Janerio from above

One from my fabulous trip to Brazil to help friends celebrate their wedding. This one was taken from atop the

Rio, you sure are beautiful.

A photo posted by Jodi Ettenberg (@legalnomads) on

Thank you again for reading, andI hope each of you have a wonderful, healthy, and happy 2017.


16 thoughts on “Best Photos of 2016 & Plans for the Coming Year”

  1. My first place vote goes to 9, and my second place vote goes to 2.

    I like pics of a cheerful Jodi, or Juana or Juanita or whatever handle you go by these dias. May you be happy!

  2. I love the violet flowers scattered across the ground but the picture of vibrant New Zealand waters steals my heart. So glad that you’ve found a place that you feel good about calling home for now.

  3. I love the face painting from the Day of the Dead, and all the flowers were lovely too. I liked the bird exhibit, too, but I think that would feel a little creepy for me to walk on that street. Happy new year!

  4. semi-relatedly, i went to hierve de agua last week. i feel like there is not enough said about he harrowing, hairpin ride it takes to get there! so scary. happy new year!

  5. Lovely collection, Jodi! Love the Day of the Dead pic with your beautiful face painting but my favorite is probably the tornado forming, just because I love the drama of bad weather.

    So happy you found a place that brings you joy and food when long-term stays in SE Asia aren’t feasible anymore.

  6. I love your photos of Oaxaca. They are so beautiful and breathtaking. It’s on my list of places I would like to travel to.

  7. That’s it. I’ve just got to get to Mexico this year! The photos of the fields of flowers are my favorites. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos with us again.

  8. Great photos Jodi! Your Day of the dead costume/make up is fabulous! Oaxaca looks beautiful and is now our list of places to visit! Thanks for sharing :-)

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