For many (myself included), the beginning of a new year brings a lot of reflection. Reflection on goals, personal growth and what the past year has taught you. Personally, 2018 has been the worst year of my life (which you will already know and understand if you know me personally or are a frequent reader of this blog). However, it hasn’t all been bad.
One of the things that
My first adventure of the year took me to Dublin, Ireland after scoring some mega cheap flights (cheers ryanair). I spent the weekend learning about the cities history, drinking Guinness and making friends with like-minded travellers.
My second solo adventure of the year saw me head to Hungary’s capital, Budapest. Here I spent six days bathing in the cities famous thermal baths, going on free walking tours, eating goulash and returning to the same restaurant four nights in a row because it was THAT GOOD. I also partied in the ruin bars, took an informative cruise across the river Danube and admired the views from Fisherman’s Bastion.
Budapest is a popular destination to visit in Europe for good reason. The city boasts
Keep your eyes peeled for a few blog posts that I will be writing on Budapest in the near future!
In April, my sister Kelly and I took our brother Mark to Paris to fulfil his dream of going up the Eiffel Tower. We spent the entire trip crying with laughter at each other’s jokes (okay, mainly Marks), admiring the Eiffel Tower from loads of different angles and making precious memories together. It was truly special and turned into the most memorable trip of my life.
Returning to Paris on a work trip three months after losing Mark was emotional, but it also gave me time to remember the happy memories that we had made.
Within minutes of arriving, the fairytale town of Colmar had stolen my heart. I visited in April and the weather was ideal with blue skies and a lot of sunshine. I spent the whole two days wandering the enchanting streets, relaxing on a boat ride of little Venice and drinking Aperol
In mid-April, I jetted off to Copenhagen solo to celebrate my birthday. I celebrated turning 24 with a walking tour of Denmark’s capital, a meal at the number one restaurant in the city and several very expensive cocktails that were TOTALLY worth the pricetag.
Read more: 10 free things to do in Copenhagen, Denmark
Ruthin, North Wales
On more than one occasion, I visited family in the stunning town of Ruthin in North Wales. Every time I visit, I can’t help but snap loads of photos. Ruthin is so charming and I would highly recommend a day trip here to anyone, especially if you are creative. Although only small, the town boasts a craft centre and a number of art shops which are great for artists and creatives looking for inspiration.
Read more: 6 reasons to visit Ruthin, North Wales
After wanting to visit for so long, I finally headed to Marrakech in August on the first stop of many in the incredible country of Morocco. Against all advice from well-meaning friends and family to not go to Morocco solo, I did and I had a fantastic time.
Marrakech instantly became my new favourite place in the world and I spent six days shopping in the souks, drinking cocktails at
Atlas Mountains, Morocco
The most authentic and cultural travel experience that I have had to date happened high in the Atlas Mountains. On a day trip out of Marrakech, myself and my tour group were invited for lunch at the home of a local Berber family. It was truly unique and gave me a great insight into how the locals live.
To escape the hustle and bustle of Marrakech for the day, I headed to the coastal city of Essaouira. I spent the day exploring the port, visiting art galleries and relaxing on the beach.
Sahara Desert, Morocco
Visiting the Sahara Desert was an incredibly surreal moment for me. Camping overnight in the largest desert in the world had always been so high on my bucket list and finally being there felt like a dream. I felt quite emotional and I literally had to pinch myself at one point. I would say it’s a once in a lifetime experience, but honestly, I plan on doing it again one day.
If you ever go to Morocco, do NOT miss the Sahara Desert. If you can, try to spend at least two nights in there. That way, you will have more time to spend doing activities and your time there won’t feel rushed.
Although Fez is the city that felt the least safe exploring this year due to an uncomfortable experience outlined in this post, I still really enjoyed my time there. The city is full of so much colour, pattern and incredible architecture that I found so inspiring. Checking out the Royal Palace of Fez was one of the highlights from my time in the city, although I almost didn’t make it there because I got lost.
Tip: If you are heading to Fez and plan on visiting the palace, note that it’s not open to the public. Also, if you are staying in the medina I would highly recommend getting a taxi.
I couldn’t have spent two weeks in Morocco without spending a day visiting the countries blue pearl, Chefchaouen. The whole city is painted different shades of blue, making it a photographers dream. Compared to other Moroccan cities, Chefchaouen is a lot less touristy which makes for a more relaxed vibe. Next time I am in Morocco, I plan on spending several days in Chefchaouen just wandering around with my camera and paintbrush capturing more of the cities beauty.
2018 TRAVEL HIGHLIGHTS
Taking my brother up the Eiffel Tower in Paris
This is (obviously) my most precious memory of the year and quite frankly, nothing will ever beat the fact that myself and my sister made Marks dream a reality. I will always remember that trip as my number one travel experience and my favourite memory that I made with my younger brother.
Exploring the fairytale town of Colmar
Because I could have easilly stayed in Colmar for another week. I was truly gutted to be leaving the charming town, gorgeous weather and my lovely airbnb where I could 100% imagine myself staying long term. I will be back one day!
Celebrating turning 24 with a solo trip to Copenhagen
Since celebrating my 21st birthday in Amsterdam with my sister Kelly, spending my birthday abroad has become a tradition. In 2018 I opted for Copenhagen because although I heard it was expensive, what better way to treat
Riding a camel to my camp in the Sahara Desert
Because I actually STILL can’t believe I’ve been to the Sahara Desert?? WOW.
So far in 2019, I have two city breaks booked to Munich and Oslo. I am yet to book my birthday trip, but I am considering either Turkey, Russia or Morocco. Which would you prefer? Please let me know!
Here’s to more adventures in 2019! Happy new year everybody!
Where did you travel to in 2018 and what were your personal travel highlights? Did you cross off a major bucket list destination? Let me know in the comments!
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