My 2017 Travel Roundup

Friday 15 December 2017

I don't really make new years resolutions but at the end of last year, I was adamant that 2017 was the year I was going to start traveling more. I never could have imagined, however, just how much I would achieve in this past year. I have been on some of the most incredible adventures from squeezing trips abroad into my weekends when I had a job to get back to on Monday morning, visiting some dream destination that I never thought I'd actually see and a monster three month trip at the end of the year which basically changed my life.

Apart from getting to see the world, this years travels have done so much for me as a person you wouldn't believe! I was scarred to do anything at the start of the year and by the end of it, I was gallivanting around South East Asia all alone and loving every single second of it. This year,  I managed 12 trips in all, 29 flights, 6 all day bus journeys and only two minor meltdowns along the way! and here they all are:

Gdansk | POLAND | More: here & here
My first trip of the year, although it was only overnight, was a pretty big deal for me. When it actually came around, I didn't really want to go; it was -19 degrees at night, I'd never stayed in a hostel before and I was going with a complete stranger who I'd met on Facebook but I knew I was going to have to push myself if I was going to do this travel thing. Turns out it wasn't so bad. It was pretty cold, yep but I really enjoyed seeing a new country and spending the weekend seeing what Gdansk had to offer!
Hamburg | GERMANY | More: here & here
The boys invited me along on the first lads holiday of 2017 which was alot of fun! We did a couple of big nights out at the Reeperbahn and once I had managed to get them up and out of bed, we got to see a few of the local attractions as well.
Marrakech & Essaouira | MOROCCO | More: here, here, here & here
 Being invited on this trip with Much Morocco was a bit of a pinch me moment; I had always wanted to visit Morocco, Marrakech especially! As well as wandering around the souks, Jemaa El Fna Square and doing a cooking class, I also got to see some real life tree goats whilst we were driving to Essaouira which was another life goal ticked off of my list! 
Porto | PORTUGAL  | More: here
Selena & I got on so well the first time that we decided to take one more trip before she had to go home to Canada. This time we decided on somewhere warm: Porto. All I want to mention from this trip is the pretty blue tiles that decorated buildings around the city and Portuguese tarts. So many Portuguese tarts.
Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hanoi & Halong Bay | VIETNAM | More: herehere & here
Going to Vietnam was a huge turning point for my style of travel. It was my first budget holiday but you know what, I really enjoyed staying in hostels and eating street food - would you believe I'd been to Asia twice before that and never eaten any street food?! I love south east Asia but I would say Vietnam is one of my absolute favourite countries there. Two weeks just wasn't enough.
Schladming | AUSTRIA | More: here
  Another summertime trip to Austria although this time there was much less snow and much more kaiserschmarrn - yum. I did alot of things that scared me that week; zip lining, biking up a mountain and another cable car but I left Austria feeling rather pleased with myself having given them all a go!
Santander | SPAIN | More: here
I had never heard of the Camino before this trip but since then, I have seen it being mentioned here there and everywhere! Whilst I didn't walk the whole thing, I really enjoyed seeing a different side to Spain. As usual, the food was a huge highlight of this trip for me; the hearty mountain stews were perfect for refueling along the way.
Catalonia | SPAIN | More: here
This month was literally crazy. I had three back to back press trips and I had just found out that I was being made redundant as well. What better way to spend my last working month than using up my leftover holiday in sunny Spain?!
Menorca | SPAIN | More: here
This was a really lovely week that felt much more like a holiday with friends than it did a press trip. We were in the country for a blogging conference but spent the rest of the week exploring what Menorca has to offer and taking a day or two to completely chill out around the pool.
Disneyland Paris | FRANCE
Andrew and I hadn't been back to Disney for a few years and I had just lost my job so lets just say this was the best birthday present ever! We love Disney so much; just how happy and carefree it makes us both feel; plus it was great to spend some time together before I left for my big trip.
Kuala Lumpur, Yogyakarta,  Canggu, Bangkok, Perhinthian Islands, Penang, Langkawi, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Pai, Phi Phi & Singapore 
 This trip was more than I could ever have imagined; leaving the UK on my own was nerve wracking to say the least but it turned out to be the most amazing adventure. I had spent months planning and had it worked out literally day by day but as soon as I arrived in Kuala Lumpur, the whole thing went out the window. I wanted to hit up 8 different countries but I only managed three (and a half - the volcano scared me away from Bali). I was only meant to spend 4 days in total in Malaysia but I ended up staying for two months, one of which was spent just in Kuala Lumpur; I would have stayed even longer if I hadn't booked return flights! Hardly anyone had mentioned it on their itineraries when I was reading blogs beforehand but it was the cheapest place to fly into and within days, I very unexpectedly fell in love with the place.
 Although I haven't written much about it yet, I have a couple of posts in the pipeline which I am super excited to share with you all over the next few months!

 The Hague, Utrecht & Rotterdam | THE NETHERLANDS
Somehow I managed to squeeze in one more trip abroad this year and left for The Netherlands two days after I got home from Asia. After a 15 hour flight home, I was pretty pleased that we were getting a ferry over rather than another flight and as usual, Stena Line were on point with their food, service and comfy cabin rooms! This five day trip with the girls was a little colder than I was used to but certainly lots of fun and very tasty which seems to have been a running theme throughout the year!
What will 2018 bring?
Whilst I did some amazing trips and also some pretty lovely stay-cations in London as well, alot of them were on a very tight budget; I only spent £74 all in on my weekend in Poland! I've come to love budget travelling but if I were to win the lottery tomorrow, there is one place that I would love to splash out on and that is the Maldives - somewhere I wouldn't even attempt on a budget! I'd also love to visit Japan, & India next year which are maybe a little more attainable on my current budget! 

Who knows what 2018 will bring. I certainly didn't think I'd have the guts to go solo backpacking at the beginning of the year and I also didn't think I'd be finishing it as a single woman for the first time in my adult life so these days I'm all about just seeing where it takes me! Hopefully to somewhere far away and exotic!
 *In collaboration with Lottoland
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