It’s been a funny year for travel. In some ways it’s been my best ever and in others it’s been a disappointment.
Even this post is different to the one I thought I would write a few weeks ago, when I was on course to complete the #take12trips challenge. As it is, I end the year having been on 10 trips, which is still really good. Although I could be sneaky and include a one-day work trip to London and my visit to Vienna, but as neither of those were overnight, I don’t count them.
Most of my travel experiences in 2017 came in the first six months of the year, before I started my new job. Since August, I’ve been much more focused on work and my writing career, so I haven’t had as much time or capacity to squeeze in extra trips and travel has fallen slightly down my list of priorities, which does make me a bit sad.
But I have two trips booked in so far for next year, so we’ll see what happens.
This year I didn’t meet my unofficial goal of visiting three new countries, thanks to my birthday trip to Berlin being called off at the last minute due to a cancelled flight. I’d like to think we’ll make it there next year instead, but we’ll see.
And much of my travel has been within the UK, but that’s no bad thing.
I’m lucky to have had some absolutely brilliant travel experiences this year and I’ve made a lot of memories.
This was my year in travel.
January – London
Last year, I bought my husband a trip for Christmas, specifically a weekend break in London. We headed down on the train the last weekend in January and enjoyed a brilliant weekend packed full of activities, including a theatre visit, seeing the new Trainspotting film and visiting the Natural History Museum.
March – Amsterdam
I visited Amsterdam for the first time in March, with one of my girlfriends. We had a fab weekend visiting museums and wandering around Vondelpark in the sunshine. I’m going back to Amsterdam next spring with husband, which I’m really looking forward to!
Read my Amsterdam posts for more:
Art and Culture in Amsterdam: Visiting the Rijksmuseum
Four Reasons to Explore Amsterdam by Canal
April – Bratislava (and Vienna)
My second trip overseas was also with another friend. We spent a long weekend in Slovakia, exploring Bratislava, which was actually one of my favourite ever city breaks. While we were there we also hopped on the train to Vienna, which is about an hour away (I still haven’t managed to write about this). The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed a bonus day wandering around in the sunshine.
Read my Bratislava posts for more:
A Guide to Visiting Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava Castle: In Pictures
UFO Bridge, Bratislava: In Pictures
Visiting Bratislava: Post Socialist Tour with Authentic Slovakia
April – Manchester
One of my favourite trips this year was an overnight stay in Manchester. We travelled over with friends as a surprise for another friend’s birthday and while we were there we did the Crystal Maze live action game, which was the most fun ever! I definitely want to take more trips with friends in future.
May – Masham, North Yorkshire
Shockingly, I still haven’t managed to write about this trip yet but early in the summer husband was in need of a break and booked a last minute trip to a log cabin in the woods near Masham in North Yorkshire. We took the dog with us and I’ve never seen her so happy, bouncing around in the woods like Tigger! It was only a two night trip, but it was incredibly relaxing.
June – Bedale, North Yorkshire
Our second cabin holiday of the year saw us head back to a luxury cabin where we’ve stayed twice before. This is one of husband’s favourite places, thanks to the gorgeous scenery and the hot tub.
July – Manchester, again
We returned to Manchester in July, this time to see Radiohead perform live. The concert had been scheduled to take place at Manchester Arena, but the bombing a few weeks earlier meant that the gig was moved to Old Trafford Cricket Ground.
I go to a lot of gigs, usually in much smaller venues, but this has to be my favourite of the year. Radiohead were amazing and there were just so many memorable moments, including the crowd singing ‘For a minute there, I lost myself’ over and over, hoping the band would come back out for a third encore. Gorgeous.
September – Burghley and Blenheim Palace
After starting a new job, I went on a trip down to Burghley House and Blenheim Palace with colleagues, to research a project we’re working on. As work trips go, this one was really interesting and I got to look around two beautiful country estates that I’ve never previously visited.
September – Manchester once more
That same week I also took a solo trip to Manchester, for the Northern Blog Awards, where I won Best Arts and Culture Blog. I stayed in a crappy Travelodge but enjoyed a lovely night at the black tie awards do at The Principal Hotel, which is stunning.
September – Corbridge, Northumberland
In what turned out to be our final trip of the year, we spent a weekend relaxing in a cottage in the town of Corbridge where we did a lot of walking, taking a day trip up to Hadrian’s Wall with the dog. The house we stayed in was lovely too and somewhere I’d definitely visit again.
December – Berlin, the trip that never happened
I’m still not quite over the cancellation of my birthday trip to Berlin, which I’d been looking forward to for ages. If we’d had a bit more notice – the flight was cancelled while we were actually sitting on the plane ready to depart and we weren’t able to rebook – I’d have found something else, but with only two weeks left in the year, it was just too short notice and prices were high. Still, if I ever manage to get a refund for the hotel stay, I’ll feel better (no sign so far).
Hopefully 2018 will be an opportunity to enjoy some more travel and we already have trips booked to Amsterdam and Krakow, which I’m looking forward too.
What about you? Did you travel much this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!