For me, 2017 was a year jam-packed with adventures around the globe, a lot of sightseeing and countless incredible experiences. I travelled more than ever before and with each trip, I grew more and more obsessed with exploring new towns and cities.
There wasn’t a day that went by while overseas that I wasn’t grinning from ear to ear as I encountered new cultural experiences, but some cities and memories stand out more than others. Here are my top 5 travel experiences of 2017:
Falling in love with New Orleans
Unsurprisingly, I fell in love with New Orleans as soon as I arrived. The cities massive art scene, amazing nightlife and unique history had me hooked. I was amazed by the many varied activities, tours and excursions on offer which made me wish I had booked longer than 5 days in the city. I will definitely be back one day!
Finally visiting New York City
The city that had been number one on my bucket list for a number of years, finally stepping off the plane at JFK airport seemed so surreal. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I strolled around Central Park, admired the view from the Top of the Rock and visited many art galleries and museums. Visiting New York was a dream and I was definitely not disappointed.
Seeing my favourite band play at a music festival in Lisbon
Lisbon had been on my European bucket list for quite a while by the time my favourite band announced that they were playing at NOS Alive music festival. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a band I love in a city so high on my bucket list, so a few months later I jumped on a plane ready to watch some live music and explore Portugal’s capital.
I spent my time in Lisbon admiring stunning views from many of the cities viewpoints, exploring the charming neighbourhood of Alfama, visiting the tile museum and eating world famous custard tarts from Pasteis de Belem. The city soon became my new favourite in Europe, beating the likes of London, Paris and Vienna.
Discovering the fairytale town of Sintra
Hopping off my tour bus in Sintra, I felt as though I had stepped into a fairytale. The town is home to magnificent palaces and castles that were hiding beneath fog on the day of my tour, making everything look all the more magical.
As I set my eyes on Pena palace for the first time, I was speechless. The array of vibrant colours, mix of pattern and decorative architecture was incredibly impressive. My only regret was that I was on a guided tour and couldn’t take the time to truly discover everything on offer within the grounds of the palace.
Tip: As I was on a guided tour, my time in Sintra was extremely limited and I couldn’t hope but wish I had more time. I would recommend spending around three days in Sintra, which will give you enough time to explore everything that is on offer at a leisurely pace.
Exploring the beauty of Santorini
A popular spot for holidaymakers, the beautiful Greek island of Santorini is a truly dreamy destination. With the most magnificent views, tasty food and exciting excursions, I was blown away and left wanting more. I plan on returning as soon as possible.
What were your favourite travel experiences of 2017? Let me know in the comments below!