2018 has been fantastic, we have travelled a lot and made the most of the time we have off. We’ve had some fantastic experiences, ticked off some bucket list items and laughed almost every day. Of course there has been a lot of time that we’ve spent sat behind a desk or doing laundry but I suppose those moments help give clarity on the moments that really matter.
2018 Top Experiences:
Discovering the streets of Havana – The streets of Havana confuse and excite you, they are filled with colour and noise and transport you to a time since past.
Havana is honestly everything you read about it.
There is so much to do and so much time you can spend just watching the world go by.
Trinidad – This small town captured my heart. We spent a few days there soaking up the sunshine and the atmosphere around the steps drinking rum and listening to music. It is firmly on the travellers route but most people come and go within a day, stay a little longer, really explore the back streets and if you go make sure you have a Bon Bon Frio!!
Learning how to butcher a pig – I haven’t written about this experience yet but it was a highlight of the year. After our bucket list experience at River Cottage we felt this was a good next step.
Plus I have now mastered the butchers knot and that is a life skill.
Falling in love with Guinness – Another bucket list item was sipping my first Guinness in Ireland. This was achieved (along with many many more ‘sips’) and was everything I’d hoped for.
If you haven’t had a Guinness give it a go, even better do it in Ireland!
The wild west coast – If you’re looking for jaw dropping cliffs, puffins and winding roads then the west coast of Ireland is for you. We thoroughly enjoyed driving around the countryside from hill tops to coast lines. We had epic weather which helped. Plus I saw real life puffins.
Bog walks – Sounds odd I know but one of the best things we did in Latvia and Estonia was two bog walks. Planks take you out onto the bogs, the environment is quiet, peaceful and flat. Very, very flat.
If only I’d remembered my swimsuit as one of the bogs you could swim in!
Estonian Spa – Covering yourself in mud and sitting in a sauna for 30 minutes plus a visit to a silent spa almost can’t be beaten. We had an awesome time in Parnu, Estonia at the Hedon Spa & Hotel, relaxing and taking some time out.
Food – Between the pintxos and Michelin starred dining the food could not have been better in Bilbao. Pintxos at every bar to be paired with cold crisp Txakoli or extreme fine dining at Nerua over nine courses with wine to match.
I can’t pick what I preferred!!
They were both fantastic. If you go to Bilbao factor in time to just eat.
- 6 Countries Visited (excluding England)
- 6 brand new countries (Cuba, Ireland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Spain)
- Almost 7000 photos taken between us (approx)
- 6 books read and 3 more started (not quite the 12 I’d hoped for but almost!)
- 33+ hours spent flying
- 23 blog posts (half as many as last year plus I have LOADS of content still to write. With an off period between Jan-Apr it’s unsurprising.)
- 90 Instagram photos (1320 likes!)
- NEW Instagram account: 18 photos (288 likes)
Favourites & Not so Favourites:
Favourite Moment: Spending time relaxing with my husband in sunny Trinidad.
Favourite Country: Tough choice but I think it has to be Cuba, followed very closely by Spain and Ireland.
Not so Favourites:
Less than ideal sleeping situations in Ireland, it seems we spent almost the whole time we were there with noise, uncomfortable rooms and just not sleeping well.
Getting into a sticky situation in Havana which could have escalated, luckily we got out as quick as we could.
What to look forward to in 2019…
Much the same as last year we have one European weekend break planned, this time to Lille in France, and one big trip almost completely planned – I’m looking at you India!
We’ve never considered going to India before but after watching ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’ this year based in Udaipur my opinion changed. Once I started looking into it I couldn’t stop and that was it, we were looking to head off in March.
We also have our eyes set firmly on Chile, particularly Patagonia but that won’t be until this time next year! Plenty of time for some adventures in between *cough Iceland cough*.
I suppose I should also mention that 2019 will start without much hair! I’m shaving my head for charity on 21st December so a period of adjustment will be needed to cope with the new look!!!
I’d love to spend even more time travelling but the need for money to do that keeps us firmly in the 9-5 regime. I love coming home, I love my own bed and familiarity but as each year goes by the more I find my home isn’t really set in one place. I’ve left bits of me all over the place and I’m dying to head back and explore these places more. The list just gets longer. The want gets more intense. Who knows what the future holds but I’m not stopping any time soon.
Watch out 2019 I’m coming for you!
Why not pin it for future reference?