i know i say it every year, but i want to travel more this year. like, last year i did: the lake district, glasgow (twice), palma de mallorca (spain), cornwall, tavira (portugal), yorkshire (twice), istanbul (turkey), bournemouth, margate, manchester and edinburgh, which seems a lot but in reality was only three trips outside of the uk. ~only. i know, i know, and i don't mean to be a twat about it, but the opportunity to travel is really the reason i moved to london, so to not really be doing much of that is a bit of a bummer. some would argue - as i would, and why i'm able to find solace in my three ~measly trips abroad, that discovering what's in your own back yard is oftentimes more of a valuable experience than wandering abroad. and i'm so glad i made those trips - some alone, some with pals, but nevertheless, with the spirit of adventure in my heart... or something.
(please note the level of sarcasm above...)
(please note the level of sarcasm above...)
but still, i want more. i was aiming ~hard to knock off thirty countries before my thirtieth (or, the end of my thirtieth year because i aimed high), but only managed twenty three (twenty five if you count stop-over countries, which i don't. i figure you have to have left the airport for it to count!), which i know is still a massssive amount - especially considering that nineteen of those have been in the last five years, but it's not enough! so this year, i'm going to push for twelve in twelve: twelve trips in twelve months, with at least half of them being new countries abroad.
i know it sounds ridiculous, and expensive, but that's what i came here for. also sounds highly unachieveable, but my friend becca managed twelve trips abroad last year, so i'm going to bloody do my best to do it ~this year. so, where do i wanna go? well how about:
that cruise i've been talking about for years? sounds a bit 'retiree vay-cay' but genuinely, what better way to tick off a bunch of countries that are super close to each other, plus get bed and breakfast everyday, and unbelievable scenery? according to the bolsover cruise club, you can get deals a cruise from the uk that visits italy, montenegró, spain, and a handful of the greek islands for only £700. sounds a lot, but that's three new countries over seven nights, which you would never get so cheap if you booked them separately. could be the ideal end of year trip, really!
somewhere warm for christmas? i have waited a long time now for that "white christmas" that films would have you believe are really a thing. the last few christmases (edinburgh, the lake district, london) were all void of snow, despite claims in the weeks leading up to them that it would be white, and i am sick to death of nothing but cold and wet winters. maybe i'm finally starting to miss the green, green grass of home (i'm not)(well, maybe new zealand, but: far), but what i wouldn't give to have some sunny skies on christmas day again. maybe this year i'll try my luck at a canary island resort, or a (tame) boat party in croatia, or a tunisian beach break.
a road trip with my mumma? that's right folks, mumma's back; back again. she'll be here after the summer and number one on her list of things to see this time around is ireland. though i have been before, it was a long time ago and i didn't see a lot. this time, we're going to hire a car and take the road less traveled (somewhat), and take it all the sights and sounds of the irish coast. i'm super excited at the prospect, as at the time of my arrival in the uk and on my first "trip" to ireland i declared to myself that i had never seen ~anything so pretty, and that i would ~one day make ireland my home. let's see if it lives up to the hype, eh?
somewhere cold while london burns to a crisp? like, i truly could not loath summer in london any more than i already do. the upside of a london summerr - although unbearable, is that they're pretty short. unlike summers back home, that rage on for monnnnths of the year, london summers are brutal, but over and done with pretty quick. in saying that though, i'd like to avoid it as much as possible this year, and maybe try my hand at somewhere like finland, or sweden, or iceland then. i know everyone goes to iceland for the northern lights - and, don't get me wrong, i'd love to see them, but i'd also love to not freeze to death standing out waiting for them in the middle of the night. i think iceland has so much to offer in other parts of the year, that i might have a look at tripping over there mid-year, if i can scout a decent enough deal.
somewhere large and in charge, and really, really far away? like, it's - for some reason, super important to me that i go to canada and russia in my lifetime. i'm not really sure why. like, i have had the ~weirdest obsession with ice hockey since i first saw mighty ducks (like, i wanted to see the ~real mighty ducks just ~train in anaheim when i was there in l.a. once because it was the off season and i was obsessed) and decided it was a sport i liked - probably something to do with the physical violence on such a dainty form of transport, but regardless, i was in. my dad bought me wayne gretsky wrist guards (after i'd broken my wrists, thanks dad), official ottawa senators merch for when i was rollerblading in the streets, and i eagerly joined a group of dickhead idiots one summer purely because a few of them played ice hockey in the state's junior team. i mean, seriously, what am i like. oh, plus it's not just ice hockey, because bacon and maple syrup and vodka, eyyy. no but i do want to go to both these countries ~badly, i just don't really know why.
so there we have some big old travel plans for the next twelve months. i'm pretty sure i'm due a lotto win, or a twenty grand pay rise, or a financial windfall of some sort, so that will sort they money factor right out. all i need now is the time off work, comfortable shoes, and someone to travel with.
i'd love to hear what countries are on your travel bucket list this year;
what overseas destinations have i missed?
*all photos used with creative commons licence. written in collaboration with brand*