“Some people wouldn’t even do that in a lifetime” – Dad, when I just read this list to him.
2012 has definitely been a crazy one for me when it comes to exploring. I’ve visited 10 countries and 13 cities; lucky me. I’ve also scored a super cool job where I get to eat, breathe and sleep travel. This has led to a fair few amazing trips, I’d never usually be able to afford…
#1 Bohinj, Slovenia
Back in January I learned to ski in Slovenia. I went with 4 friends and had a great time up in the mountains at Vogel Ski Centre and eating my way around the nearby villages of Bohinj and Savice. I definitely want to go back here in the summer to try out the water sports and go hiking in the mountains.
#2 Edinburgh, Scotland
Unfortunately for some reason I didn’t take one photo in Edinburgh. I’ll try to paint a picture; old buildings, beautiful castle, raining, cold, cobbled streets, friendly people, amazing views and tasty food. If you need to book one of the hotels in Scotland check out TravelScotland for a good range to choose from.
#3 Oslo, Norway
I booked flights to Oslo on a whim. I’d been to a travel event the night before and got told how amazing the city was and that I needed to go. With flights at around £30 I agreed. It was only when I saw the price of accommodation that I realised just how expensive Oslo is.
#4 Amsterdam, Netherlands
BMI Baby gave me two flights to Amsterdam and we managed to choose a sunny weekend for it. We went to see Beach House at Melkweg, which was one of the highlights of my 2012 and we chilled out in the Amsterdam parks (steering clear of the chavs).
#5 Zanzibar/Serengeti, Tanzania
I won a trip with G Adventures from Zanzibar to Nairobi in June. It was an incredible two weeks filled with laughter, Konyagi, lions, tents and incredible scenery.
#6 Nairobi, Kenya
I had one night in Nairobi at the end of my tour. We went out with some locals to a meat restaurant and ate enough goat to suit me a lifetime – all knocked back with bottles of brandy. I might’ve been sick in the airport coming home.
#7 Porto, Portugal
#8 Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
I won another trip! This time for two to the resort capital of Egypt. I decided to take mum with me and we had a great time trying out the excursions. I saw the Libra constellation in the sky out in the desert, had a massage at the Savoy, and took mum for her first snorkelling adventure. It was a brilliant week that I’ll value forever.
#9 New York, USA
First week in the new job and I was off to New York for a conference. I only managed a quick visit to Times Square and an incredible meal at Gaucho Grill, but I was reminded of how much I love New York City.
#10 Toronto, Canada
From NYC I flew to Toronto where I spent a few days in the Toronto office before exploring the city. I went up the CN Tower and was amazed by The Path that runs under the city connecting it all together.
#11 Vancouver, Canada
Another work trip, and this time to Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops in Vancouver. I went dog sledding, had a skiing lesson from their Olympic Gold medal winner and ate a lot of food. And attended the conference of course.
#12 London, England
I count this because I look at my weekends in London as holidays. Sometimes I’ll stay in, sometimes I’ll just hang out in Kilburn, but the weekends I visit the Tower of London, go to Vinopolis and party in the park are holidays for me, in the greatest city in the world.
What’s in store for 2013?
Iceland is all booked for the end of January with the family – *fingers crossed* we see the Northern Lights or there’s going to be an angry mum to deal with.
Then I’m going to Cuba at the end of April – really looking forward to spending May Day there, looks crazy.
I’d love to go back to Porto for the late May Bank Holiday and then I’m going to my friend’s wedding in June. I’m invited to another wedding in Vietnam in August, and as always I have the desire, just not the funds… or the annual holiday.
Also on the wishlist: I need India in my life, a weekend in St Petersburg would be cool, Lyon Festival of Lights looks amazing and I had arranged a whole road trip in the USA that’s looking more unlikely as the days pass. I’ve always wanted to go to Colombia, and the more I read about The Phillippines the more I want to see.
I’ll stop now…