Reflections on 2017: Travel edition
Another year… it’s always crazy how quick these end of year posts come up. I feel as though everyone says that which you know, makes me feel like I’m not the only one.
I kinda felt like I didn’t travel thaaaaat much this year, but in reflection, I definitely have. I think I took some longer holidays which was nice as it is how I prefer to travel these days rather than really rushed city breaks. But you know, less frequent but longer holidays is quite a nice concept. I’d say it’s likely to continue into 2018 (though I do have some quick trips planned too!).
It’s also the first year where I haven’t done any travel between October and February. That’s a long time in the country for me, but it’s been an expensive year and I need to save those pennies! Anyway, let’s look back on the year of travel.
It seems SO long ago but the year started off down under! We celebrated New Years at the most amazing place I’ve been to in a long time, Byron Bay. We flew back on the 5th of Jan so this was more of a 2017 holiday but it did mean we started the year off strong. We are planning NZ next year instead of Aus which will make a nice change! However, I know that Australia is one of those places that’s on most people’s bucket lists. Because of this, I thought it might be nice for me to tell you a tip that one of my friends told me. She said that hiring a car might be a good idea when traveling to Australia. Apparently, it can work out cheaper, especially if you were planning on going to see all of the main tourist attractions. Parking is also easy with the help of Parkhound Melbourne that tells you where there are spaces to park. This can make your trip more interesting and exciting!
For our first proper trip of the year, we did a quick jaunt to Berlin. This was actually Paul’s birthday present and my second trip to the German capital. I really like Berlin but we didn’t do well with the weather, where it proceeded to pour down for 2 of the 3 days. That said, I’d definitely go back again, it has an amazing feel about the place and is of course, steeped in history.
Jersey, Channel Islands
My sisters and her husband moved back to Aus this year, so we decided to make the most of it and have a trip away together. I looked at a range of places but we eventually decided on Jersey as it was a country we had never been too before and we thought it would be good to see a Channel Island.
Overall, I really enjoyed Jersey and would definitely recommend it. It was expensive, but that was probably due to our activities more than anything. Again, my rainy holidays continued but we had a great time driving around the island in the rain, and you know, perfect excuse to have a spa day right?!
Then, the big event of the year – my sister got married! She got married in a small town outside of Bordeaux so we jumped down there for the wedding and for a few days afterwards too. It rained (of course!) when we got there, but luckily the sun broke through right in time for the wedding and the rest of the holiday. We drank lots of wine, saw lots of beautiful French towns and had some great family time. My sister and her husband have been together for a long time, so it was exciting when they announced their marriage. They get on so well, so it’s likely they’ll be together for a long time. When they got married, one of my friends recommended that they considered getting a prenuptial agreement sorted before they became husband and wife, just in case! My friend told her that agreement would be beneficial if the marriage ever failed. Although that’s not very nice to think about, it is always a possibility for any couple. My friend suggested that they went to a local divorce attorney to try and sort that out before the marriage. Now that’s in place, the two can enjoy their marriage together!
This was actually the trip which really made me want to see more of France. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Paris, but Bordeaux was loooovely. I really want to spend some more time exploring the smaller, more quaint areas!
My only proper UK trip this year, was to Cornwall with the gals! We all jumped in the car and I drove aaaaall that way down. As goes the trend, it rained, but we still had an awesome time. I’d love to go back to Cornwall and explore it a bit more with a little bit more time (and hopefully better weather) but this trip was the best taster!
Geneva + Zurich, Switzerland (+ Chamonix, France)
When my dad said he was popping over to Switzerland, well it was the perfect time to book a little trip over to finally tick off that big hole I was missing in the middle of Europe. Switzerland matched a lot of my expectations – expensive and full of banks. But it also really challenged some – it was totally boiling, a real melting pot of cultures and really interesting.
We also did a day trip to Chamonix, and it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. This town reminded us of the ski holiday we had in Snowmass Village in Colorado. It must have been a couple of years back, we booked a snowmass hotel that had the best view of the valley.
This wee trip jumped in by surprise! I crashed darling Ericas little holiday to Split and we had the BEST time! We had a villa, a very eccentric tour guide and spent the whole trip drinking copious amounts of wine and eating copious amounts of seafood pasta – all my fave things. The weather almost behaved itself until the final day where I saw more rain than I ever thought possible.
It was my second time back to Croatia and it definitely confirmed my love of the country. A little gem that one is and one I will always be pleased to go back and visit.
The Algarve, Portugal (+ Seville, Spain)
And finally, we rounded the year off with a lovely little relaxing trip with just Paul and I. This was my forth (!) time back to Portugal and I honestly love it there. The weather is great, it’s a bargain, beautiful and the people are just the best. We had a little air BnB and explored loads of the Algarve in our little fiat car.
We did a day trip to Seville too which was great but omg sooo hot! I basically melted. I’d love to go there when it’s a little closer to Winter as I bet it’s perfect.
I realise whilst writing this that I basically loved everywhere I went this year, but well, I did!! I did quite a few revisits to countries I’ve been to previously and enjoyed. For a country ticker like me, this can sometimes be a little bit against my nature but it is SO worth it. I need to challenge that notion in myself more.
Phew, so what about 2018? Well, so far I have 1 trip booked in which is with the gals to Cyprus in February. There’s also a little twinkle about maybe a Canaries trip in March with some other pals. The big trip which will be New Zealand will be in May, but I want to stop off somewhere on the way – maybe Bali?
But I’m obv waiting for the imminent explosion to occur before deciding on that one. My dad is heading over to Rome in July, so I’m sure that’s going to happen. And boom, without even giving it much conscious thought, we have half the year of travel planned already!!
Where was your highlight of 2017 and where do you want to head off to next yar?