As the new year approaches, I chose to reflect on 2013 and my year in travel. It’s certainly been my busiest yet, from New York to Brazil, Lisbon to Jamaica, my trips have been as varied and spontaneous as ever to fit into an ever-busy schedule.
2013 started with a new year break to Paris, seeing the sights of the city accompanied by a stay at Oceania Paris Porte de Versailles. Shortly afterwards, a city break to Berlin was enjoyed by my partner and I courtesy of Expedia. We experienced bitterly cold temperatures and contrasting experiences from Sachsenhausen concentration camp to a street art tour with fantastic accommodation provided by Eurostars Hotel.
This was followed by a two week jaunt to Brazil, where I was fortunate to experience Rio Carnival, sights of Sao Paulo, the beauty of Paraty and the island vibes of Ilha Grande – a complete blend of city and coast.
Shortly after returning from Brazil, I returned to the UK, disillusioned and keen to remind myself of… LIFE. There came my most spontaneous trip yet – a flight from Heathrow just 48 hours later to New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn) followed by a three week stay in Jamaica.
My return to the UK gave me a chance to settle into a job that I enjoyed whilst continuing my travels around the world.
Next up was Lyon, followed by a return trip to Berlin to revisit the captivating sights and experience the city at its best – summer. It proved to be an equally eye-opening experience and a chance to really reflect upon all that the city has to offer.
September 2013 saw me fit in a total of three city breaks to Marseille, Geneva and Stockholm/ Uppsala.
Marseille delivered plenty of sunny weather and fun times onboard the Carnival Sunshine ship which was docked in Marseille for a day, whilst Geneva enlightened me to the grandeur of the Intercontinental Hotel and pricey experiences!
My trip to Sweden provided me with a fantastic opportunity to catch up with a close friend whilst exploring Stockholm and Uppsala – both scenic and interesting places for learning about Swedish culture and enjoying Fika! It’s also home to Jumbo Hostel, the world’s first hostel on a plane.
The latest trips of 2013 have been to Lille to enjoy the Christmas markets supported by Eurostar which was a completely fun and shopping-filled city to experience. With fabulous crepes and an overwhelming number of shops, Lille showed me a complete new way to enjoy shopping in France beyond Paris!
I finished off my 2013 travels with a trip to Lisbon which was to be my first (and certainly not the last) trip to Portugal. An eye-opening experience, Lisbon is the city where I made new friends and danced into the night in Lisbon, the place that just keeps on giving.
Christmas has been spent at home in Birmingham, enjoying the likes of the Frankfurt Market and shopping in some of my favourite stores at the Bullring shopping centre.
The year has presented me with so many amazing opportunities to explore and see diverse parts of the world, experiencing new cultures and most importantly, learning. I’ve travelled with friends, family, my partner and solo, all of which provided alternative and fun ways to learn about the world around us.
As a reader of the blog, I also want to extend my gratitude to you for your continued support this year. Without you, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to share my passion through this platform.
Looking ahead, I only hope that 2014 delivers even half of the experience that 2013 has brought.
What are you looking forward to for 2014?