I love travelling to new places and this year I’ve been lucky enough to tick some cities off my bucket list, explore new places in the UK and make memories where I’ve been before.
Today I’ve rounded up 17 of my favourite travel moments from this year.
One of my best friends was living in Oxford at the start of the year, so a couple of us went to visit her in January. It was really nice to spend time in a UK city that I’d never visited before, with people that I love spending time with. It definitely started the year making me want to explore more places.
Back in February, I went to see Strictly Come Dancing at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. Half of my family are from Liverpool, but it had been a few years since I had spent any time there. I took an afternoon off work and went over with my family. It was a gorgeous clear day, and I remember feeling really content whilst watching the sunset over the Albert Docks before the show.
I’d been to both Paris and Brussels before, but both times I flew. Back in March, Jordan and I went to Belgium on the Eurostar, and the whole experience was so seamless. There are no luggage restrictions, you can take liquids (and more importantly, alcohol) to drink on the train, and the journey flew by. I would definitely recommend the Eurostar if you’re going to either of these destinations.
As I mentioned, I’d been to Brussels a couple of times before, so when we went to Belgium, most of our time was spent exploring Bruges. Bruges was completely different to the capital, but there was still so much to do. I loved walking down all of the cobbled streets, sipping fruity beers while we people watched and our boat trip along the canals.
The TV Tower was something I didn’t know existed until we landed in Berlin – Geography has never been my strong point. Once we had got our bearings on the first day, we made sure that a trip up to the top was on our agenda. I’m so glad we did it before the views were amazing, and we were up there just as the sky was changing from day to night which meant the sunset was amazing.
The East Side Gallery had been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember, and I really enjoyed walking down the side of the river looking at all of the murals along the way. It’s crazy to think that the wall only came down a few months before I was born and that people lived in complete segregation up until then.
When my friend Emily suggest Ibiza for her hen do, I pictured booze cruises, rowdy tourists and everything in-between, but in reality, Ibiza was nothing like that. It exceeded all of my expectations and became one of my favourite trips ever. We had amazing company, great food, and incredible memories from our three days there. I especially enjoyed walking up to the castle through the old town and visiting Formentera island.
One of the memories that stands out for this year is when Hannah and I went to Paris back in June. We were there to celebrate my birthday and leaving my job and had such a memorable few days. On the first evening, we were there, we were on a boat trip going past the Eiffel Tower just as the sun was setting and it was so beautiful seeing everything lit up by the golden rays.
What says Paris more than sipping on wine on a roof terrace? We researched some of the best places to go when we were in Paris, and this terrace came highly recommended in the 15th Arrondissement. I remember watching the sky turn purpley pink, and the Eiffel Tower lighting up in the distance and feeling incredibly happy about my new chapter.
Jordan and I went to Royal Ascot back in June, and it was my first time attending the event. I had seen some of the fashion on TV previously, but that doesn’t do it justice of how amazing everyone looks in their posh dresses and suits. I really enjoy the atmosphere of the races and seeing the Queen topped it all off.
I was lucky enough to be treated to a chocolate workshop at the York Chocolate story and brought Jordan along with me for a day out to York tied in with celebrating his birthday. We learnt all about the history of chocolate, sampled different types, experimented with colouring and flavours and got to make and decorate our own bar.
A little closer to home, a group of us went to Chester Races in summer, and I had such a fun day out with loads of my closest friends. Chester is one of my favourite places to visit in the UK, and it’s a bonus that it’s so close to home. Getting dressed up and day drinking is definitely one of my favourite things to do – plus it means I can still be in bed before 10pm!
For my friend’s hen do back in September, a group of us travelled over to Yorkshire to the Bingley Live music festival. We were greeted to some late summer sun and spent the day playing games, listening to music and sunbathing. It was such a great weekend, and one that I will remember for a very long time.
I have so many amazing memories from Italy, but one that really stands out for me is sitting with Hannah in a bar after we’d been laughed at for ordering Negroni’s and we couldn’t understand why. For those of you who don’t know, a Negroni is a traditional Italian drink comprising of gin, vermouth and Campari, with no mixer (we didn’t realise this at the time…) I just remember having the take the smallest sips and not being able to keep a straight face whilst the waiters sniggered at us getting progressively drunker.
On the evening that we were in Florence, we had dinner next to the Duomo cathedral, whilst a quartet played beautiful classical music near to the restaurant. One of my favourite things to do is sit outside to have dinner, and with the amazing backdrop and beautiful music, it was up there with one of my favourite memories.
I love visiting London for work, but I love it, even more, when I can tie it in with seeing my friends who live down there. Last time I had a conference, I tied it in with seeing two of my friends and visiting some cool bars and restaurants. London is one of those places where you can go to a million times, but there will always be a new place to visit, and that’s one of the reasons I love it so much.
Brighton is by far one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited, but the thing that stood out to me the most was the beautiful beach. There’s something about a pebble beach that is really pretty, and I really loved people watching – everyone seemed so happy to be by the sea.
Have you been to any of these destinations? Where have you enjoyed visiting this year?