For me it feels like this year has gone on forever. I kickstarted 2017 by being sick and sleeping through the midnight chimes (I ended up being ill for two weeks which was a right triumph). When I look back at what I’ve achieved and done it’s a hell of a lot and feels a million years ago. Time has been on my side this time around (all the times) and I’m excited to see what 2018 brings. This is my recap post so it’s an abundance of links and reflections and bragging basically. If I can continue to one up myself each year I’ll be one happy bunny. For the nosey ones out there here’s 2016 and here’s 2015.
January – The year started with a pretty epic bang of my first time every in Italy. I’d always postponed going as I wanted to do an all guns blazing roadtrip for a few weeks, hitting up all the spots and sights but that dream slowly died when holiday days and work came more of a reality. Instead I opted for little getaways and this was the one that kickstarted it all. I went with the sibs to Rome on Jet2 for Christmas/New Year and it was amazing. Rome is such a beautiful city with so much to see and do. I got to be a bad Jew and go see the Pope at the Vatican give his holiday speech which was bucket list worthy and we did a trip to Pompeii which was ridiculously cool.
February & March – I approached my six month anniversary of moving to London and went to see the Lantern Festival – you all know I’m a sucker for lights. Then Lizzy and I did a cheeky weekend trip to Helsinki as we found some bargain Finnair flights. You only need a day or so to do the main part of the city but some nice day activities include little island hopping (one of which was Seurasaari and it felt like real life moomin land). I would love to go back to Helsinki just for that sweet sauna life alone.
April – One of my biggest achievements and proudest moments was running the London Marathon this year. Albeit I could’ve been more prepared, done more training and not flown back from Asia three days prior but I finished it and still hold my medal every so often with the biggest grin on my face. Most of April I was actually in China on a pretty dreamy holiday. Three weeks off work through some amazing loophole holiday booking and quite the dent in the bank account but all worth it. I finally got to use my Virgin miles through partnering with Air China and flew first class (real treat time) and check out their lounge.
May – Beijing was my first stop and although I got pretty sick right away (the pollution is no joke), it is an amazing city and worth the heaving coughing fits haha. Temple of Heaven is stunning and the whole Tiananmen area is really overwhelming. Highlight for me though was doing the Great Wall and it’s something I would love to do again and again and again.
June – From there we took an overnight train (very interesting endeavour) to Xi’an and then a flight to Shanghai. I actually took a lot of different asian airlines so I could try them all out from Shanghai Airlines to China Southern and EVA Air. A highlight for me was getting out of the cities and experiencing some countryside. Guilin was absolutely stunning with the karst mountains, going down a river cruise to Yangshou was relaxing and then getting to wander a real rice terrace was a bucket list item (even if it was scary foggy that day).
July – Whilst over there I couldn’t just stay in China so a few days in Taiwan were added on. There is so much to do in Taipei and we could’ve easily spent a fortnight exploring the sites. It’s an unusual hybrid of China and Japan and well worth a visit but also get out and explore the neighbouring villages like Jiufen.
August – A month of catching up on life really. I did my annual birthday bucket list for 2017 (and here’s 2016/2015). Updated you on my life like the narcissist I am and with the London heatwave went to a lavender farm to delight my nose.
September – My belated birthday trip was to Italy (like I said earlier this year seems to have been Italycentric). I flew with Ryanair and went to Pisa which was great. I’ve wanted that iconic leaning tower pic for a while and finally getting to see it up close was great. We made it our base and did day trips to Florence and Cinque Terre. I’d recommend giving yourself a week to really do the area justice but a long weekend was fab for me.
October & November & December – Things got a little cheeky here and I uploaded posts from a trip I took a while ago. Forgive me! I found them all deep in my drafts and figured better late than never. I went to Cyprus with Thomas Cook and spent a week city hopping from Paphos to Nicosia and day trips in between using their bus system. It wasn’t my favourite country I’ve been to but for a cheap, sunny getaway well worth it.