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2019 has been another great year for travel for me with 7 trips in total, of which 2 involved visiting completely new countries. I’m excited to kick off 2020 with a trip to Thailand, which will be my first time in Asia, but for now let’s dive into a review of our travel in 2019 and what made it great!
January – Iceland – 7 days
Kicking off 2019 with a bang, on 9 January, I headed to Iceland for the very first time and what a trip it was! With 7 days in the country, we managed to see quite a bit of the incredible Icelandic landscape, although we were hindered by a terrible snow storm which came in half way through the trip. This only added to the experience though as we battled through snowstorms in our hardy Suzuki Jimny, determined to see as much of Iceland as possible!
We visited the Golden Circle, the south coast of Iceland, Reykjavik, the Reykjanes Peninsula, Reykjadalur hot springs and other attractions and sights that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
While there’s no doubt that Iceland is expensive, you can still visit on a budget like we did and despite its surge in popularity in recent years, we didn’t find it too crowded!
February – New York City – 5 days
Another month, another epic trip! In February, we visited New York City for the second time, after seeing a deal online that was just too good to refuse. We booked this trip a few months in advance and really enjoyed our second time in the Big Apple, although we did find the city to be much more expensive since our first visit 5 years ago.
We spent time doing things we’d missed on our previous trip, such as walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line, drinking cocktails at a rooftop bar, eating fantastic food, watching a New York Knicks basketball game at Madison Square Gardens (which was a highlight) and strolling through Central Park.
May – Cyprus – 5 days
In May, we jumped on a plane to Cyprus – another new country we’d not visited before. This trip was mostly a working holiday as my husband, James, is a professional photographer and was photographing a beautiful villa not far from Larnaca, on the south coast. We spent two days photographing the villa which meant we had 3 days to explore the island and local area.
One day three, we headed up into the beautiful Troodos Mountains, strolled around the rustic mountain village of Omodos, enjoyed some lovely beaches and crossed the border into the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in Nicosia.
I really enjoyed this trip to Cyprus (Jamie was less impressed, as his heart is forever in Corfu) but still, I loved learning about the turbulent history of Cyprus, as well as enjoying the scenery inland, which was very green when we visited due to increased rainfall in the weeks before our trip. I’ll definitely venture back to Cyprus in the future, as there is still a lot more of the island left to discover!
July – Paris, France – 2 days
In July, I took a spontaneous solo trip to my favourite city, Paris. With only two days in the city, my focus was on unwinding, cafe hopping and eating good food. I managed to include a stop at Jardin du Luxembourg and Tour Montparnasse, two places I’d not managed to see on previous trips.
The weather during my stay was exquisite and I absolutely has the best time wandering around the streets of Paris in the sunshine, reading my book and stopping at quintessentially Parisian cafes for chilled glasses of wine while people watching. It was just what I needed.
This was my fifth trip to Paris and it certainly won’t be my last.
August – Provence, South of France – 5 days
For those of you that don’t know, I love France. So our trip to Provence at the end of August was a highlight for me. We stayed in a beautiful French farmhouse near the village of Lacoste, complete with a pool and a view to die for, with a group of friends for 5 days.
From the exquisite food and endless glasses of chilled rose to the picture perfect French towns and wall to wall sunshine, the trip did not disappoint.
I’m yet to write about our trip to Provence, but in a nutshell, I would highly recommend visits to the towns of Bonnieux and Gordes, the antiques market at L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue and the walk to the source of the river in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, as well as the villages of Menerbes and Lacoste.
September – Corfu, Greece – 7 days
Regular readers of this blog will know that we take an annual trip to the luscious Greek island of Corfu every summer. I’ve written quite a bit about Corfu in the past, from the outstanding beaches and the best places to eat, to the reasons why we continue to make an annual pilgrimage to one of the most underrated Greek islands.
This year saw us visiting with a group of friends, hiring out a simple apartment, exploring the island by car and spending long sun-drenched days at our favourite bar, La Grotta, as well as some of the islands best beaches.
November – Missed Flight!
A travel blog wouldn’t be a travel blog without the occasional epic travel fail. In November, we were psyched to enjoy a bit of winter sun in southern Spain. We were due to fly into Malaga, pick up a hire car and drive an hour to Nerja to stay with some friends.
Unfortunately (and it’s embarrassing to say this), we missed our flight because I forgot to pick my passport up off the table! I’d had a really busy, stressful week and my head was swimming with so many things that I walked straight past my passport and didn’t realise until we were halfway to the airport. We turned around, got my dad (hero!) to drive towards us with my passport and tried to make it to the airport. The sad thing is, Jamie made it to the gate on time, but my bag got pulled at security for a random spot check, which meant they closed the gate before I got there.
Obviously, we were gutted that we missed this trip but it was a huge lesson learnt for me. It made me realise that nobody is immune to this type of thing. No matter how often you travel, mistakes like this are easily made if you’re head isn’t in the right place!
December – Oxford, England – 1 day
No overseas trips were scheduled for December as we were knuckling down to save money for Thailand, but as I had some time off work over the Christmas break, I decided to take a spontaneous solo trip to Oxford for the day.
Oxford is a city I’d heard a lot about but somehow had never managed to visit. I enjoyed a day to myself, eating lovely food, wandering the streets, enjoying the architecture and even took my very first walking tour (loved it!). I’ll definitely be paying another visit to Oxford in the future to see more of what this incredible city has to offer.
So, that’s a wrap of this 2019 review. It was a great year for travel for me, with some truly incredible destinations ticked off the bucket list – I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!