2017

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 Vaticanย 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 Chinaย 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.

Discussion

Nicosia - Borders & Mosques

Day Out - Aphrodite's Rock

Paphos - Castle & Sights

Day Out - Cinque Terre

Florence - Duomo & David

Day Out - Leaning Tower of Pisa

Day Out - Mayfield Lavender Farm

Taipei - Jiufen and Yehliu GeoPark

Taipei - 101

Yangshou - Li River

Day Out - Longji Rice Terraces

Guilin - Sun & Moon Pagodas

Shanghai - Bund and Temples

Xi'an - Terracotta Army

Day Out - Great Wall of China

Beijing - Temple of Heaven

Beijing - Tiananmen and Forbidden City

Helsinki - Seurasaari

Helsinki - Cathedral & Suomenlinna

Day Out - Lantern Festival London

Vatican City - Peter and the Pope

Day Out - Pompeii

Rome 2 - Colosseum and Forum

Rome - Food, Trevi and Pantheon

Madrid - Bear and Tree

Hotel One Shot Prado 23 Review

AVE Renfe Train Review

Day Out - La Tomatina

Valencia - Aquarium & Gulliver

Air Europa Review

Adventure - Scandinavia 2016

Bergen - Boats and Fish

Flรฅm - Hikes and Views

Oslo - Vikings and Ships

Oslo - Vigeland and Ski Jump

Stockholm - Abba & Meatballs

Copenhagen - Land

Copenhagen - Water

Day Out - Frederiksborg Castle

Adventure - Israel 2016

Jerusalem - Places to eat and drink!

Jerusalem - Old City

Jerusalem - Museums and Markets

Day Out - Makhtesh Ramon

Tel Aviv - Places to eat and drink!

Tel Aviv - Outside the city

Tel Aviv - In the city

Day Out - Caesarea

Haifa - Places to eat and drink!

Haifa - Wadi Nisnas & Mount Carmel

Haifa - Bahai Gardens

Day in the Life - Tel Aviv

Day Out - Horashim Forest

#13 - Israel

Barcelona #2 - Montjuic & Barri Gotic

Barcelona #1 - Gaudi

Bristol - Things to eat and drink!

Bristol - Things to do and see!

Day Out - Sherwood Forest

#12 - Xmas

Day Out - Winterville London

Zurich - Outside the city

Zurich - In the city

Day Out - Harry Potter Studio Tour

Adventure - Japan 2015

Tokyo 2

Nara & Hiroshima

Osaka

Koyasan

Kyoto 2

Kyoto

Tokyo & DisneySea

Tokyo

Boston Islands - What to see and do!

Boston - What to eat and drink!

Boston - What to see and do!

Seattle - What to see and do!

Adventure - British Columbia 2015

British Columbia 3 - Victoria

British Columbia 2 - Vancouver

British Columbia 1 - Whistler

Adventure - Alaska 2015

Juneau - Outside the city

Juneau - In the city

Whittier - Glaciers, Bears & Whales

Anchorage - Outside the city

Anchorage - In the city

Denali - ATVs, Huskies and a Moose

Louisville - What to see and do!

Little Rock - What to see and do!

Oklahoma City - What to see and do!

Kansas City - What to see and do!

St. Louis - What to see and do!

Memphis - What to see and do!

Great Smoky Mountains #2 - Hike and Fog

Great Smoky Mountains #1 - Bears & Dixie Stampede

Lake Erie Roadtrip #2 - Cleveland, Xmas and Rock & Roll

Lake Erie Roadtrip #1 - Toronto to Detroit

Fargo - What to see and do!

Reykjavik - Outside the city

Reykjavik - In the city

NYC Winter #2 - Markets, Lights and Trees

NYC Winter #1 - The Christmas Cluster

Day Out - The First Thanksgiving

New Orleans - What to see and do!

Montreal - Food Walking Tour

Montreal - Dos and Don'ts

Austin - What to eat and drink!

Austin - What to see and do!

Ghent in a day

Bruges in a day

Brussels in a day

Lisbon Day #3 - Tiles and Trams

Lisbon Day #2 - We Hate Tourism and Sintra

Lisbon Day #1 - Parque das Naรงรตes

Mountain Roadtrip #6 - Potatoes, Temple and Pride

Mountain Roadtrip #5 - Deer, Lakes and Cowboys

Mountain Roadtrip #4 - Yellowstone

Mountain Roadtrip #3 - Dudes, Spirits and Towers

Mountain Roadtrip #2 - Storms, Bison and Mount Rushmore

Mountain Roadtrip #1 - Denver, Snow and Red Rocks

Baltimore - Crabs, Old Bay and Beer

Las Vegas #2 - The Strip

Las Vegas #1 - Neon Museum, Hoover Dam & Fremont St

Day Out - Santacon NYC 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #4 - Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta 2013

Balloon Roadtrip #3 - Albuquerque

Balloon Roadtrip #2 - Flagstaff to Farmington

Balloon Roadtrip #1 - LA to Flagstaff