2017 was always going to be a hard act to follow when it came to travel. I spent 7 months of 2017 travelling full time to 10 countries, backpacking my way around South America. I spent some time in some of the most extreme environments on this planet, I met some truly amazing people, learnt a lot along the way and most importantly gained a new insight into life and travel.
I spent two months in New Zealand for my first kiwi summer in 7 years before going to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and finally Mexico. The experience was life changing and I feel very lucky to be in a position to have taken a sabbatical from work and fulfil my actual dreams.
So this year is going to be a little different, I’m not ticking off any lists, I’m not trying to visit every new place and I’m certainly not going to try and do it all because life is all about the special moments, not rushing around trying to see it all.
As a teacher my holidays and travel plans are always restricted to school holidays and certain times of the year, I’m not complaining though – 13 weeks paid holiday is pretty darn good!
So this year it is all about more meaningful trips rather than ticking off new places. Meaningful is a word that can be used in different ways, of course I’d love to do something more meaningful this year with animals, people in need or health and yoga when it comes to travel but this year my definition of the word meaningful looks a little something like this.
Visiting friends and family because they are the most important people
One of our friends moved to Berlin a couple of months ago and as I’ve not been to Berlin for seven years we thought we would go and see him and his life there and see what all the fuss is about! He lives in the very hip neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg which he says there are loads of great vegan restaurants in the area too.
We met an awesome couple in Colombia who we spent a week living with on a beautiful island in the Caribbean, we just clicked with them in a way that you only can do with people when you travel. We rented a house together, cooked together, hung out everyday and Ceven even taught the very cautious Dan how to ride a motorbike. They came to see us in London a little while ago so we are going to see them in Hamburg. We’ve both been to Hamburg before but can’t wait to see our friends there and get a more local perspective.
I miss home, I miss my friends and I miss my family more than I’ve ever done in my nearly 8 years here in the U.K so it’s only natural that I want to go home to New Zealand to see them all and recharge my kiwi battery. Travel from the U.K to New Zealand is much more accessible than it has ever been. Long haul airlines are competing with each other over fares and I managed to get some ridiculously priced return flights with Air New Zealand (the best airline in the world) in the Black Friday Sales, as much as I loathe consumerism I did love this sale. So I’ll be spending 10 days back home in Auckland catching up with everyone, going to Hobbiton and checking out Auckland’s vegan scene.
Travelling with friends makes it all the more fun
Two very dear people to me are moving from New Zealand to London next year (yay) so I’ve organised a trip to Italy upon their arrival to ease them into European life here because who wants to move to London and find a job straight away?
The four of us will spend 12 days visiting Naples, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Capri. It’s going to involve lots of wine, food and laughs I’m sure, it will be great to have them on this side of the world instead of miles away and I just know were all going to have a blast.
Interested in Italy travel? Check out my Italy page
Dan’s been twice, I’ve been once and because we loved it so much we are going back in July! Iceland is easily one of our favourite places so we are going back for two weeks with our lovely friends from Hamburg who we met in Colombia to drive around the whole country and get back to nature!
Having spent 5 out of 12 months of our years travelling camping it’s fair to say I got to enjoy it so I’m really excited to camp in Iceland, wake up somewhere beautiful, wash in a fresh lake and get back to basics.
Dog friendly locations
We have a new addition to the family in the form of a very tiny sausage dog. His name is Blue and he is 3/4 mini dachshund and 1/4 Jack Russell and so far he is a dream. I will no doubt we spending more time in the U.K at dog friendly locations like Cornwall and the Cotswolds throughout the year as these places seem like perfect places to take a furry friend.
The key to this year is focus on being happy, healthy and spend time with good friends. Keeping it simple.
Happy New Year people