last year i travelled a lot. whether it was work or pleasure, i managed to squeeze 17 trips into 12 months, which was pretty epic. less than half of them were abroad though, which was pretty bad going - especially when i originally planned to do 12 countries in 12 months. but, certainly not all bad, because i actually got to see a lot more of the uk than i planned, which.. is a massive bonus. the uk is extraordinarily varied when it comes to things to see and do, and i am so grateful i got the opportunity to see as much of it as i did.
but. there are so many countries i still want to see, so this year - despite saying i was going to slow down and save for a house, i am going to see them. i'm so serious about this that i've actually already booked a shit load. five, actually. and it's still only january. then there's a list as long as my arm of other places i want to visit this year, which is making my bank account quiver at the thought, but makes me endlessly happy when i'm researching and planning, and booking those bad boys in. so, what's on the cards for 2017?
|riga old town, latvia|
berlin (germany) and riga (latvia)
since moving to the uk, berlin has been atop my travel bucket list. and yet somehow, in six years, i've still not been. every man and his dog that i know has, of course, just not me. so when i saw a bargain holiday package for six nights in berlin and riga, including flights, accommodation and transfers, well - i booked it. despite the fact i struggled to find a willing partner, who struggled to get the time off work, it's booked. and we're going over in the first weekend in feb. and i cannot wait. i'm going to eat sausage and drink bier and see the wall and look at all the street art, and it's going to be amazing. and riga? well, i knew nothing about riga, but the old town looks as pretty as any european city could, and - best of all, all the attractions are free. that's my kind of holiday!
god bless black friday. when the girls and i saw return tickets on the ryanair site on black friday for less than £40, we jumped. we'd been talking about a bangarang trip for so long, and while we're all talking about japan for later in the year (more on that in a bit), we thought we'd better try out the travelling as a group thing somewhere a bit closer to home. so, in late feb, seven of us will be hitting up romania's capital city for two nights. and when booking.com tells you you can secure two self-serviced apartments with a balcony overlooking the city for less than £18 each, and make reservations at the cities michelin starred restaurant that boasts a 16 euro menu in advance, you squeal with excitement. it's going to be epic, and i can't wait. february is going to be exciting!
|lake bled, slovenia|
malta was on last year's bucket list that never actually worked out. there was a small group of us misled by a groupon "deal" (that was obviously too good to be true), who missed out on a few days in the sun through so shady wording, so it's gone back on the list this year. to be honest, i don't know too much about the country, except that i love malteasers. they're the national food, right? bex and i are heading over in the first may bank holiday for a few nights, on an easy jet holiday package that seemed like a really good deal. it'll be the first sun of the year for us, and we're expecting low 20s, which will be rrrreeeeeaaaally nice.
lake bled has been on my travel wish list for the longest time, but i just didn't know it. i'd see pictures of it, and think - that's so pretty, i'd love to go there, just never really knew where "there" was. but then i was talking with bex who mentioned lake bled, and i googled it, and woah! yeah, let's go there. so we are. making the most of the may bank holidays, and following up malta with three nights in slovenia. starting in ljubljana and then finishing up on the lake of dreams. *on* the lake isn't an understatement, our hotel is legit looking out on to the lake. dear god, hurry up time! i want to see it now!
alright, so this is the big one. late last year, the blogger-girls and i were talking about some of the places we wanted to travel long-haul, and japan came up. i never really considered japan before as i've never really considered "asia" of interest to me. like, humidity and amount of people, and the obvious language barrier, just don't seem like things i would want from a trip, but... japan, man. it's such an epically varied country, and offers everything from mountains to coasts to cities to amazing food, and.. well, that's all totally me. so, spurred on by the rest of their enthusiasm, i decided yeah, i think i'd actually *love* japan. so, we're hoping to look into and plan that after our bucharest trip in late feb.. keep your eyes peeled for more info on that!
i didn't see a lot of sun last year, and sort of don't want to fall into that cold, wintry travel life i led then again this year; there are so many sunny destinations on the uk's doorstep, croatia being only one, that i'm going to make a concerted effort to visit in 2017. i've wanted to head to dubrovnik for ages now - mostly since reading jasmin's post on the city, and so it's a firm favourite to head to later in the year, post summer. sun chasing is not my usual motive, but this year.. it's all i want to do!
i've never been to greece. it's another of those "everyone is been, but no-one will go with me" type places, but since heading to italy twice last year, i've really found a bit of a love with the mediterranean. there are so many gorgeous spots in greece, so many islands to hop to-and-from on, but rhodes has really taken me. i love the idea of hiring a private villa in greece with a pool, and just lounging by it with a good book in between wandering down into the village, pottering through the markets, and taking day-trips out on a private boat. a lot more relaxing that these long-weekend trips, that's for sure, but the week we spent in sorrento last summer was one of the best, so i'd like to replicate that somewhere new this year. a girl can dream!
last year, the basel christmas markets were dangled in front of my eyes like a honeyed carrot, and then rudely ripped away with no warning. a press trip invite gone wrong, sadly, but the desire to go is still with me, so i've made the decision to go there this year - invite or not, to see those damn markets! i do love a christmas market, and especially one in the snow. i figure that basel will be a good place for snow in december, no? so, i've booked the friday of the last week of work off, and i'm going to go *for christmas*. probably alone, as everyone i know has a loved-one to spend christmas with, except me. and if i still don't by tbe end of quarter four, i'm doing it. no regrets.
so, that's quite a list, don't you think! ambitious, at best, but i'm going to make it work as best i can. i want to regret nothing when i truly start saving for a house, and putting down roots. i know there's so much of the world left to see, but if i can satisfy the local cravings, then i hope the rest will subside... a bit... for a while... at the very least.
*post written in collaboration with clickstay. all travel lustings are my own*
*images sourced from creative commons*
*images sourced from creative commons*