What a year it has been. A year of big personal change, a new place to call home, some great new friends and some amazing travelling. For 2018, I went for the less means more approach, doing two big long-haul trips, with a few hops to Europe in between, for work and for fun. Strap in, this is going to be a long post!
My 2018 travel in numbers:
6 countries (1 new one!)
3 continents (1 new one!)
2 group tours
& my first ever solo trip
I began my 2018 where I’m ending it, staying with a good friend in a small German town called Bensheim. Aside from that trip, it was a quiet month as I looked for a new place to live.
February – March 2018
February saw my official move to the big smoke and my second visit to Thailand in 12 months. I wanted to try a group tour for the first time, so convinced a friend to join an 8-day Contiki trip around Northern Thailand, followed by a week recovering in Chiang Mai. Safe to say, it was incredible and made me love Thailand even more (and I ended up booking a second Contiki later in the year – this time on my own!).
April was quieter again as I settled into London life, but took me to Bordeaux for a sun and wine-filled weekend with one of my best friends. This was the first of our 2018 trips that we booked while drunk (a common occurrence with us two!).
Two weeks later I was back in France, this time for a wedding in Provence. I joined up with two of the bride’s friends (who I’d only met for the first time at her hen party) and spent a fabulous 5 days exploring the region with them. Plenty of wine was consumed and new friends were made.
My work started to ramp up at this point and meant I went on my first photo shoot abroad in Mallorca. It may not have been a trip with much time for exploring, but our shoot locations meant we got to see a lot of the island and try some amazing restaurants in Palma.
Work craziness continued into June and I jetted off to my favourite European city, Lisbon, for filming. Super long days meant I didn’t get to show my colleagues around too much, but it was so nice to be back.
Let’s not forget that this was also the month of World Cup madness AND a heatwave – what an amazing (expensive) month to be living in London!
July saw me back in Mallorca again, this time for a holiday with friends. Not a cultural trip at all, but it was nice to be away by the pool/ in the sea/ in the sun!
No travelling this month, but I made the most of London in the sun and discovered that Hampstead Heath is one my favourite places to spend my Sundays.
Another month in the UK (yes, my feet were unbearably itchy by this point!), trying to see more of lesser-known London – my mum came to visit and we visited some cool places as part of Open House London. I spent the rest of the time frantically preparing for my rather last minute trip to Peru…!
The month of a trip of a lifetime – Peru! My first time in South America and my first solo trip. I can’t describe in this tiny paragraph about how amazing it was – the country, the people, the food, the views, the new friends and even the 4am starts (incredible sunrises!).
There will be a whole separate series of posts on this trip, but in short – if you haven’t been to Peru yet – book it! If you’re thinking about doing a Contiki tour – book it! If you’re thinking about travelling on your own – do it! I made some amazing friends on this trip, who I’ll be travelling with again in 2019.
November was spent recovering from my Peru trip, catching up with friends and generally plotting when I could next go away…
December started with my second drunkenly booked trip to France, this time to Paris (sense a life theme here?). I commend us for getting a great deal on the Eurostar and choosing decent train times! I’ve visited Paris so many times now, but this was one of the best trips I’ve had – we avoided all the tourist craziness, instead following recommendations from a Parisian friend and visiting a friend living there. Hands down my favourite trip to Paris yet.
Silly season was full on crazy this year, so I welcomed our relaxed family Christmas in the New Forest (somewhere I definitely want to spend more time this year). And, I’m ending the year in Germany again – the best place to reflect on the year and recharge before starting 2019.
2019 is looking like it’s going to be a pretty jam-packed year of travel, with plenty of new places to see and old favourites to re-visit – I can’t wait for it!