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At the end of 2016 I in no way thought I would manage to travel more than I had that year, but somehow I outdid myself in 2017. The past week I have started looking back on everywhere I have been this year and felt so incredibly grateful for every opportunity I have experienced over the past 12 months, it has been nothing short of epic. I worked my butt off to afford these trips and worked so many night shifts I have lost count, but it was worth every second and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
The downside? Well apart from my savings taking a hit, my desire to explore, document and photograph places around the world is stronger than ever ans I constantly feel I am taking interest in new places I have yet to visit.
My year started with a last minute trip to Sarajevo to work with the Dog’s Trust, I was positioned in the Veterinary University as an Anaesthesia teacher for the Veterinary students while also neutering the street dogs of Sarajevo. I have only just realised I never documented this on here, but it was a wonderful experience and one I hope to repeat. Incidentally it also sparked my love of teaching, something I hope to pursue over the coming years. Due to the nature of my trip I did not get to see much of Sarajevo but of what I did, I liked, despite the minus 11 temperatures.
In February, DJ and myself took a last minute weekend break to Paris, despite not enjoying Paris too much on my last visits, this time I saw a side of the city that I have not previously seen, drank lots of red wine and took in beautiful views of the city from the top of the Arc De Triomphe.
March saw two trips with a girls weekend in Lanzarote and a trip back to Orlando to complete DJ’s life long dream of seeing Wrestlemania and of course, we went back to Disney World. Oh and can we just talk about the fact I worked with Universal Studios while there? A complete blogging (life!) highlight, being able to take my friends to the parks and skip all the queues was an incredible thing for me to be able to do. Orlando, as many people know, holds such a special place in my heart and memories from all stages of my life, it is the one place I know I will continue to keep visiting again over the years.
Over Easter, we took on the Money Shop Challenge in Warsaw, Poland. Although I did not feel there was not too much to do in the city, I loved seeing some more of Eastern Europe and it I am extremely keen to see more of Poland – Krakow and Gdansk are next on my life.
In June I took the trip of a life time to work with Worldwide Experience on their Vets Go Wild trip. I spent 16 beautiful days in my favourite country with one of my best friends. We went on daily game drives and got to work hands on with Rhino, Lion, Giraffe and many other African species. Learning from a veterinary wildlife team on the forefront of conservation was an experience that will stay with me forever.
In July I took my first trip with Visit Holland to Rotterdam. This trip saw the start of my adoration for The Netherlands, a love which has since grown enormously and it has since become a country I feel I have a strong connection with.
August was spent with my feet in the UK and in September we with headed to Budapest with Wizz Air. We spent a weekend exploring the unique museums relaxing in the thermal baths and eating our body weight in Langos.
October was a trip of a lifetime to India, a place which has been a dream of mine to visit since I was child. India was not at all what I expected it to be, but it was an enlightening and whirlwind of a trip, I still have so much more I want to write about our travels there, especially the people, as they were the kindest I have met anywhere in the world. Of course, visiting the Taj Mahal was a bucket list moment.
Towards the end of October I took another trip with Visit Holland and had the opportunity to visit both Den Bosch and The Hague. I won’t harp on about my love for this country again, as I am sure you are already aware.
My final trip of the year was a beautiful log cabin holiday in The Cotswolds, the perfect winter escape complete with snow! I visited with Liv, Ellie, Sophie and Kara, my blogging girl gang who have become wonderful friends over 2017 – we were even wined and dined by a private chef.
What a bloody year it has been! Eleven trips to eight different countries and the opportunity to work with some many incredible brands and tourist boards. I have no idea how 2018 can top this but I am damn well going to try. Already on the cards is an epic road trip in March from Atlanta to New Orleans via Nashville and Memphis, a spring weekend break to Jersey, a winter break to Barcelona in a few weeks time and excitingly, I have been asked to be an Ibis hotels Ambassador for 2018, so exploring more of the UK is on the cards. Volunteering wise, I would love to do another trip this year and I have my eye on a neutering trip in Bulgaria, but if that does not happen I will be starting to volunteer for Street Vet in the UK regardless.
For my blog, the challenge I have set myself is to be more creative, this is mainly for Instagram but will count towards all platforms, I have seen so many inspiring creative accounts recently and I would love to channel this inspiration into taking more creative travel photos. I also want to restart and keep continuity with the passion project – London Food Trucks.
Away from online, I turn thirty next year but I am trying to ignore that for now, myself and DJ are going to be buying our first home and I have some pretty ambitious plans for my business, so overall I am really looking forward to 2018.
2017 had some downside but overall it was a brilliant year filled with wonderful friends and family, I learnt a lot about myself, as I feel I say every year, but I am ending the year in a good place and that is all I can ask for really.