I’ve begun typing this up on my phone notes as I loiter by the side of my hotel pool, patiently waiting for two o’clock to tick past so I can gather up my belongings and head to the hostel I’m booked into for the next week. On my own.
2018 marked a first for me. I travelled solo. For the first time. Previously I’ve only flown by myself (and how can we forget that ill fated trip to the states last year) but spending three and half weeks in Italy was totally new to me. It is without a doubt one of the best things I’ve ever done and after the disaster that was last summer, it was the confidence boost I needed so bloody badly.
I spent six days on my own in the Italian capital before being joined by my mum. We stayed there for another six days and together headed to Sorrento, catching the train from Rome to Naples to Sorrento. I had four days with her before ending up on my own again, with a whole week in this Italian town stretching out in front of me.
Italy has been on my travel bucket lists for a long time now – it has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to visit. Italian cuisine features so much in my life and thanks to my studies into classical civilisation at university, it is somewhere that is always popping up on my horizon.
But after three and half weeks, I’m happy with how my travels in 2018 have been. I’ve ticked off Ibiza, Stockholm and Italy all for the first time – with a cheeky return visit to Amsterdam as well. As I don’t think my time (or my finances) will allow a little weekend jaunt between now and 2019, it is back to the bucket list and planning where the next year might take me travel wise. I’ve got a list, of course.
Dun dun dun, of course I want to visit Bali. I hadn’t given this cluster of islands a lot of thought to be honest until recently despite the hordes of bloggers travelling there in the last couple of years. I’ve never set foot in Asia or gone somewhere quite so exotic so the idea of Bali just seemed too unattainable for right now.
But after reading Hayley’s fantastic Bali travel guide, I’m hooked. It has been featuring on my Pinterest searches, I’ve been looking up flights and I’ve told my mum I want it to be my Next Big Trip.
I have a Bali trip marked in the diary (and on the whiteboard) for September 2019. Rachel and I are planning on booking our flights at the beginning of 2019 if we’ve both saved enough money and then deal with accommodation later. I am so freaking excited and I am now on a saving-money-for-a-flight-to-Bali drive.
I finally achieved my goal of setting foot in Scandinavia this year with a few days in Stockholm with my two best gal pals. Copenhagen has been on my list for the longest time and after visiting Stockholm successfully on a budget, surely I can do the Danish capital next?
Now that I’ve solo travelled and adored it, I think I might do a solo Copenhagen visit around next February as a happy birthday to me kind of trip. However as I’m now saving for Bali and can’t keep spending money on holidays, I might have to postpone the happy birthday to me solo trip till post-Bali.
Another long-time holder of a spot on this list is Dublin. I’d love to explore the Irish capital and finish up somewhere nice in the late afternoon to have a pint. There is loads of history I’m enamoured with and a trip to the city seems something I could easily fit in thanks to its proximity to Glasgow on the map.
I’d love to see the Irish countryside as well as it seems a diverse nation with beautiful scenery but I’m starting small and just pursuing a trip to Dublin first. It’s probably the flights I check the most on Skyscanner.
Scottish Highlands & NC500
For someone born in Scotland and having lived there their whole life, I’ve seen shockingly little of the place I call home. I’ve seen snippets of Dumfries & Galloway and the north thanks to family holidays as a kid but not much of which I can remember. I know Glasgow and the Scottish Borders (obviously), Edinburgh fairly well and have visited both Dundee and Aberdeen once thanks to university open days. But the rest? Nada.
Can you believe I’ve never been to St Andrews? Or Inverness? Or one of the islands? I want to change that ASAP. The NC 500 has been on my horizon for a looong time and I’m desperate to see more of my homeland.
Okay yes, I’ve just spent three weeks in Italy which saw me visit Rome, Naples, Sorrento and Positano. But I am dying to visit Florence. I met a few people on my travels who were either heading there or had already been and it gets rave reviews.
It seems my cup of tea: smaller, more intimate, great food, lots to see and do. Whilst returning to Italy any time soon isn’t my biggest priority, Florence is my exception to my rule.
I dislike Paris. If anyone asks me which destination I’ve been to that I don’t like, it is always Paris. I found it grotty, unsettling and a bit unsafe with lots of people leering at you and hastling you all the time. However, that title might be stolen by Naples now. When I was at my cooking class in Sorrento however I met a French couple who lived in Paris and well, now I need to go back to see if I do actually dislike Paris.
Montemarre has been on my horizon for a little while as a lot of bloggers I follow are staying there and it does look glorious on Instagram. I also never visited the Sacre Coer on my previous visit so it would make the perfect base for exploring Paris a second time round.
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