So here it is, Merry Christmas! 2017 feels like it’s gone by in a flash, no wonder though, as all of us at Ladies What Travel have been very busy this year.
Here we each take a little look back at our personal highlights from the last twelve months and share with you our Christmas and New Year plans! Hope you’ll be back to join us for more travel adventures in the New Year!
A busy work year meant that 2017 was relatively quiet for me, travelwise. But I did manage to get out and about a little – highlights included a trip to Castellon, Spain with some other members of the Bristol Bloggers and Influencers Group and I’m not long back from a trip to Copenhagen with my husband where we spent hours wandering round the city enjoying the festive atmosphere (the Danes definitely do Christmas in style!).
After spending the last few years visiting family at Christmas, we’re staying home this time and although I’m not taking much time off, I’m looking forward to turning off my laptop, catching up with my ever-expanding reading pile and plotting where to visit in 2018.
I’ve had a rather good year in terms of travel, but my highlight definitely has to be New York. I’ve always wanted to go and this September (after much planning) I found myself on my second ever long-haul flight winging my way to the Big Apple. In my opinion Central Park was the best bit, and I only covered a fraction of it so I’ve told my boyfriend we will have to go back so I can explore more! You can read my post on the Park here, keep an eye out for more New York posts coming in the New Year too!
Christmas is my favourite time of year. I become very much like Elf and get excited about absolutely everything, especially if it’s even vaguely sparkly, twinkly or lit up. I’ve already circled everything in the Radio Times I want to watch so from now until Boxing Day I am pretty much set! I will be spending this New Year with my boyfriend’s family in Southampton, which will be lovely to see them and I’ve never really ventured to that part of the country before. Being from the Midlands I never get to see the sea and I get very excited whenever I do!
I don’t have much planned in for 2018 yet. My boyfriend and I have decided that instead of doing birthday presents we will go on a European city break every year for our combined birthdays. We are thinking of Amsterdam for 2018’s trip as neither of us has been and it’s always been on my travel list!
This year has been a funny old one. A lot has changed in my little world but I’d say for the better. I began the year with Joe’s 30th birthday in Iceland, which was beyond incredible. I’ve moved jobs three times to one that I couldn’t be happier at that challenges me in new ways, with a team that is beyond friendly and supports me. I’ve moved to a beautiful Victorian house in Brighton, my favourite city with my husband and 2 fur babies. I’ve made brand new life-long friends along the way who’ve made my life that little bit richer. I’ve witnessed my closest friends get married and have their first children; I can confirm that they are adorable. I’ve seen more of my immediate family than in recent years, learning that my brother is having his first child and I’ll be an Auntie in March. And to top it all off, I’ve had so many incredible experiences, from seeing my favourite childhood bands live to going to unforgettable geeky exhibitions and seeing many exciting new films.
So, with that in mind, Christmas is going to be a very restful affair. Christmas Eve will be me wrapping presents with Christmas classics playing in the background and a romantic dinner with just Joe and I at a local pub on our road. Christmas Day itself will again be just Joe and I, eating too much food, watching our favourite films and no doubt playing some Mario Kart. We may even venture out to a park for some fresh air. Boxing Day is for family; my Mum, Dad and brother will be coming down for presents, more food and the usual entertainment. As for the rest of the time out, I’ll be seeing one of my besties and chowing down on all the pizza for their birthday, seeing family while they’re over from Germany and preparing for a spectacular NYE party! I really can’t wait.
As for next year, who knows right now? All I have planned in is Harry Potter The Cursed Child and Cirque du Soleil’s OVO in January, and then I’ll be beginning roller derby again – this time with the Brighton Rockers. There’s nothing more ‘planned’, as it were, which makes it more exciting in some ways as nobody knows what’s around the corner. All I know is it’ll include family, friends and new experiences (including travel, of course!) and that’s more than good enough for me.
It’s been a year of great highs and lows for me, but sadly I think 2017 will always be remembered as the year I lost my little fluffy girl, Ella. This little cat has been my constant companion for the last nine years and I’m still reeling from her sudden death in November. I know it’s going to take time to get used to life at home without her, but meanwhile I’m trying to remember the good times we had together, spend my Christmas and New Year with friends and family and begin planning things to look forward to in 2018.
I’ve already got some trips in the works – including my first visit to Hay-on-Wye in January, a Spring trip along the Lycian Way in Turkey and a potential exotic trip later this year to celebrate the fact that I turn 40 in 2018. Oof!
Although I may be a little on the maudlin side at the moment, if I look back over the last 12 months I’ve also had some wonderful times too. Travel highlights include my first Scandi trip, as I spent a long weekend in Oslo, then in the summer I discovered two Polish hidden gems: Lublin and Zamość. I also took the famalan (that’s what the cool kids call family, don’tcha know?! ) to Tallinn and Helsinki before they headed back to school – two destinations we really loved!
Here’s to a Happy Christmas and a healthy, travel-rich 2018 everyone. Hope you all have a wonderful time over the festive season, and if you’ve got a fluffy one of your own at home, give them a cuddle for me, would you? X
Happy Christmas from everyone at Ladies What Travel, hope you’ll join us when we return on January 8th for another year of travel-filled stories and inspiration!