2016, you have made yourself a year to remember. Among the global icons we have mourned and the huge political upheaval we face, I think we are all hoping for a more uplifting 2017.
For me, 2016 has been about travel more than ever before. The year began with a night of fireworks, dancing and laughter in Barcelona. We were ripped off (yes we paid €20 for a jug of sangria) and got lost among dark, winding streets. But it was a blast from start to finish.
February brought my first trip to America with two of my best friends. One day that will be forever in my favourites was visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios completely by surprise. But the entire week was an incredible, whirlwind adventure in which we visited the states of California and Nevada. We experienced larger-than-life everything in Las Vegas and spent a blissful day in Santa Monica.
Then came decision time. After months of talking about travelling to Australia, I applied for a visa and booked a flight to Sydney in March. The next few months were for saving, saving, saving but they also brought some of the happiest times of the year. I spent a lot of time with friends and got to know my favourite person in the world. I could never have predicted 12 months ago that we would be here in Australia together but I’m so happy that we are.
When work came to an end, I jetted off to Greece twice in quick succession. First to Crete for a week of amazing food, sunbathing and this day trip to Spinalonga. The next was a chance to spend time relaxing with my family in Kefalonia before the big goodbye in August.
Then, feeling completely unprepared, I flew to Australia for my first real solo trip. Arriving in Sydney was the most terrifying experience of my life but also taught me a great deal about myself.
Visiting the Whitsundays has been one of the standout moments of my time in Australia. It was always top of the places I wanted to see and it really is just like the pictures. The kind of beauty that you can’t quite believe is real. I also enjoyed a brilliant rainforest day trip in Cairns that added some fantastic people to the next few weeks.
Spending Christmas away from home for the first time was a weird experience. Despite a fun (and incredibly hot!) day in Melbourne, it hit me just how much I love the routine of friends, family, TV specials and foodie treats. I wrote this post last year – 10 brilliant things about Christmas in the UK – and it’s definitely true. Someone please remind me of this next year when I’m complaining about the cold!
My goal for 2017? To appreciate every moment of this time away from working 9-5 and the icy weather!
Happy New Year everyone!