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2019 Travel Roundup

This year has been an odd one. I wasn't sure I even wanted to write this post but I know how much I enjoy looking back at my travel round ups so I'm writing this for future me; but and also for present me, to remind myself that although I am finding things hard right now, this year hasn't been all bad.



I started 2019 in London with Jonny but it wasn't long before we were off to explore a little bit of Europe since he'd never been to this side of the world before.

Amsterdam 

Our first stop was Amsterdam and we decided to go by Eurostar - coming from New Zealand, he loved the idea of getting a train to another country so I went with it. With one day to ourselves, we managed to squeeze in a canal ride, the sex museum, a lot of pancakes and an evening wandering around the red light district.

The rest of our time was spent with his long lost family which was pretty cool - his granddad left the Netherlands for an adventure after the war and ended up in NZ. We spent loads of time with them over the next two days, going out to see the windmills, eating traditional dutch food and swapping stories of life of opposite sides of the world.



Rome

From Amsterdam we flew to Rome. I've actually been in the Capital a few times before but only on a cruise so I really enjoyed finally getting to explore the Colosseum and the Vatican. As well as that, it meant that we were actually there long enough to eat. Italy as a whole was a foodie highlight of the year for me!

Rome was a huge bargain because we were there in low season. Our 3 star hotel, a few minutes walk from the station, cost €160 for us both for 5 nights. On top of that, most resturants had amazing food deals on and we were going out for three course meals, plus a glass of prosecco for €12 each. It was awesome.



Venice

Having realised my love of land travel when I was in Southeast Asia, I decided to book us a train to our next stop - Venice. It's such a unique city but it was just too expensive and a little bit crowded for us. After we'd seen the church and wandered around the shops for a few hours, we didn't have too much left to spend. Luckily, one thing that was pretty cheap was the alcohol so we spent our evenings sat out on the Grande Canal eating pizza and drinking €2.50 cocktails.



London

We came back to London to regroup before our 5 weeks apart, since Jonny hadn't been home to see his parents for months. During our last week in London we did some more touristy bits, heading to south bank for the London eye and the aquarium, eating our way around Chinatown and wandering around Trafalgar square for what felt like hours looking for a statue that he wanted to see.



After Jonny went home, I stayed for another month or two and made the most of it by spending as much time as possible with my friends, family and Molly.

Brisbane 

After four months on the Gold Coast in 2018, we had decided to try somewhere new for the rest of our year in Australia. Somehow, we agreed on Brisbane and if I'm honest, it was a complete disaster, I hated it there so that didn't last long. As soon as Jonny arrived; a week after me, we got on a bus and went straight back to Surfers Paradise.

Between walking along the huge motorways and the worst jet lag of my life, I did manage to see a few bits of the city - like the man made beach and a couple of markets.



Surfers Paradise 

Australia is one of the best countries to live in for older people and it was also my favourite place to live in! Life back in Surfers was awesome. Jonny and I moved into a huge house that backed out on to the canal, in the perfect location, just down the road from where we lived before.

We made a bit more of an effort to see everything this time around too so there were more adventures from seeing my first kangaroos and koalas to hiking around Springbrook national park. Plus I managed to get an amazing job and made some new friends too.



Bali

It seemed such a waste to have to fly home from Australia and not stop off somewhere faraway on the way. With my friend Luke having some free time, we decided to head to Bali and chill out at a fancy air bnb for a week. Between Ubud, Canggu and Seminyak, we spent most of our time eating - because the food in Bali is so incredible.



Mediterranean Cruise

I came home in the middle of summer and really enjoyed it at the start but it wasn't long before I was itching to go away again. Luckily my next trip was only a month later.

It was our first family holiday in years and along with my parents and both of my brothers, we cruised around the Mediterranean for 12 nights, stopping off for a different adventure each day.


Thailand

After another few months back home, I was bored and ready for some more excitement so I booked a flight to Thailand and was off on my way the day after. It was a really hard time for me at home and if I'm honest, I was just running away.

I did however enjoy my two week escape and as per usual, I didn't want to come back at the end of it.



Birmingham

and of course the annual trip to the Birmingham Christmas market. Highlights from this years trips include visiting the worlds biggest Primark and dinner at the cutest christmassy restaurant by the canal for my dads birthday.



and now it's new years eve. How crazy. Sadly, this post hasn't been a happy one to write but whilst the last few months have been an actual living nightmare, it's getting better and I am slowly starting to feel hopeful again. I feel excited at the prospect of feeling better and I'm excited for whats to come in the next 12 months.

I have been very lucky to have had another year of travel and I hope that I am able to continue with this incredible lifestyle in 2020 but I also want it to be.. happier. Hopefully I'll be able to look back this time next year and say I've achieved that, and more. 

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