2018: A Year in travel
2018 was another year of travel. From the Caribbean to Munich, from Tuscany to London, my passport was well exercised throughout the year.
54 days, 13 trips, 9 countries.
Despite usually striving for a big, epic trip at least once a year (It was New Zealand in 2017, Japan the year before, and three months in South America in 2015!), in 2018 I dialled it back a bit and spent a lot of time travelling around Europe on shorter breaks. The beauty of living here is the ease of travel. It truly is an absolute wonder to be able to get to Schiphol Airport in under 30 minutes from my tiny studio in the centre of Amsterdam, and catch a short haul flight for under €100 to most destinations in the continent.
But I didn’t do all this travelling completely out of my own pocket. Before I left my job as Editor of a yachting magazine, travel was a big part of my work, and a lot of my 2018 trips were squeezed in either side of work travel. Which, seriously, everybody who has to travel for work should do. Yes, it gets exhausting and of course, you have to spend a bit of time figuring everything out. But managing to fully make the most of all of my work trips, and factor in a cool trip either side meant that I got to do a lot of things my bruised and abused bank account probably wouldn’t be able to handle otherwise.
Tuscany was a great example of that, where I spent a weekend in the Tuscan hills following shipyard visits in Viareggio, or a short but sweet historical tour of Cambridge to catch up with a friend following a visit to interview a naval architecture firm in Southampton.
But it hasn’t all been jammy little add-ons through work. Travel in Europe is cheap and easy, so making the most of exploring somewhere no every once in a while is a no-brainer. It’s so easy to hire a car or jump on a train, with inexpensive accommodation and incredible sights and tastes and smells to explore at every turn. Here’s where I headed to in 2018!
JANUARY ST LUCIA
5 DAYS ST LUCIA
3 DAYS Munich
2 DAYS Milan
May is my favourite time of year in Amsterdam. It’s bright and sunny and all of the canals come alive again. And, finally – FINALLY – after months of wind, rain and bitter, bitter cold, riding your bike is once again an absolute joy.
4 DAYS VIAREGGIO – METATO – PISA
4 DAYS PORTO CERVO
2 DAYS NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
8 DAYS Porto – Duoro – Albufeira – Lisbon – Porto
TOP 3: – Wine and cheese by the port of Porto – Relaxing in the hills of Duomo – Sunshine and euro-trash in Albufeira
4 DAYS BERGEN – LOFTUS – GUDVANGEN – FLAM – LAERDAL – BEKKJARVIK, BERGEN
TOP 3: – Candlelit dinner in the fjords in Laerdal – Viking Village overnight stay – Flam Railway
4 DAYS LES HOUCHES – CHAMONIX
4 DAYS SOUTHAMPTON – CAMBRIDGE – NOTTINGHAM – BIRMINGHAM
7 DAYS MONACO
Also one of my favourite times of the year, with Indian summers providing lots of last late nights of sitting in the park sipping beers and snacking in the grass.
4 DAYS LONDON – NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
So, with 2018 well and truly over, where to in 2019? As expected, it’s another year full of trying to bankrupt myself in the pursuit of adventure – this time without the support of a full-time, travel saturated job. One year was too long without a big trip, so soon I’ll be heading to South Africa for a 3-week road trip around the entire country, as well as indulging in a weekend in Paris in Spring, midsummer in Finland, Monaco in September, and somewhere along the way, Jordan, the USA, Hungary and a handful of visits to the UK. And, of course, the majority of my time will be spent soaking in my favourite city in the world: Amsterdam.