Travel // Looking Back On 2018
2018 was my best year for travel so far. Firstly, I visited 18 new countries, and revisited 4 countries. Secondly, I ticked many things off my bucket list. Also, I succeeded in my quest to visit 30 countries before I am 30. I started the year on 18 countries visited and ended with 36.
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Here is a look back at my 2018 travel….
TRAVEL IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2018
First up was a weekend away to Stockholm and Helsinki. This included going on my first cruise ship travelling from Stockholm- Helsinki overnight and back. This was with Viking Line, and I highly recommend them! There was a spa, shops, restaurants and bars on board. Find informations about Viking Line by using the link below.
Romania, Bulgaria and Greece
This trip was one week long, and included Bucharest, Bran in Transylvania, Sofia and Athens. I went to Dracula’s castle in Transylvania, explored the vibrant city of Bucharest. Went on a tour about the history of Sofia, and Bulgaria’s communist past. Ate a lot of amazing Greek food, and explored the Acropolis in Athens. All of these cities are unique, beautiful and have so much to offer and I loved my time on this trip.
In 2018 I visited Poland twice, once to Warsaw and once to Krakow. During the trip to Krakow, I visited Auschwitz and learnt the history of the Holocaust. Both cities have old towns, which are beautiful and very interesting to look around and explore. I highly recommend visiting both of these places. Poland is a beautiful country and very budget friendly to travel too.
Visited Greece again in 2018, this time to the island of Crete with friends. Whilst here I partied, soaked up the sunshine, ate a LOT of feta cheese, explored the whole island including the mountains and a local farm where we had a go at making cheese. We also drank a lot of Raki, their traditional spirit, and learn the saying “don’t worry, drink raki”.
I adore Spain. I love the food, the culture, the language…everything. And when first planning the trips I wanted to take in 2018, my first thought was Barcelona. I studied Gaudi’s work at school in art class, and even made the Sagrada Familia out of cake for an assignment! I loved this trip so much, it was filled with great food, lots of sangria and a lot of sightseeing.
I went to Belfast with my best friend for a couple of days, we explored the city including the city hall, the Titanic Experience and the nightlife, and also done a Game of Thrones day trip, which including the Giants Causeway and filming locations from the show. This was such a beautiful place and exceeded my expectations completely!
TRAVEL IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2018
I fell in love with this city, its architecture, ruin bars, and amazing river views. There is so much to love about this city, and I cannot wait to go back at some point in the future.
I went to Croatia twice in 2018, the first time was a 6 night trip which included picking up a hire car in Zagreb, and road tripping to Plitvice National Park, which is beautiful! And if you ever go, stay in Apartment Milka, which is nearby, it’s owned and run by a lovely lady who had cakes and shots of liqueur waiting for us when we arrived. Then after exploring the National Park, we went to Pula for Outlook Festival, which was loads of fun!
The second trip was a day trip to Dubrovnik with my parents when we were in Montenegro. Dubrovnik is amazing, but as its so touristy, it is also pretty pricey. Not backpacker budget friendly, but the rest of Croatia definitely is! I was also excited about Dubrovnik, as it is another Game of Thrones filming location. I’m really ticking off the Game of Thrones tours now!
After Outlook Festival, we moved on to Slovenia. Visiting Lake Bled and Ljubljana. This was such a beautiful country, and Lake Bled was just the chilled atmosphere needed after a music festival! Definitely recommend having a picnic at Bled.
France and Monaco
Next was a little trip to Nice and a day trip from there to Monaco. Nice was very very touristy, but it was lovely weather and you can’t go wrong with wine and moules frites! We then took a short bus ride to Monte Carlo, basically to see how the other half live. There isn’t much to do there but eat, shop or gamble, and you can only really do these things if you’re rich. But was an interesting place to see, but we couldn’t afford to spend longer than a couple of hours there.
After Nice, my friend travelled home, therefore Lisbon marked my first trip as a Solo Female Traveller. And it was great, I was very apprehensive at first as I arrived late at night, but I booked a shuttle bus from the airport in advance which was so nice not to have to worry about navigating my way to the hostel. This trip was great, I wandered the streets of the Alfama District, one of the oldest parts of Lisbon. Later, I went on a boat and bus tour of Lisbon, which included the Tower of Belem. I also drank port and ate Pasteis de Nata. However, I definitely did not see enough of this city, and will return to see more in the future.
The next trip was to Toronto, I really jam packed this trip as I didn’t have very long and there was so many things I wanted to do. First I went up the CN Tower, and then to Ripley’s Aquarium, then went to Tim Hortons (because you have to). Then for the rest of the day I went on a trip to Niagara Falls, this was probably my favourite day of the year. An unforgettable experience, and I’m already planning where to go for another trip to Canada.
United States of America
This was my first ever trip to the USA, and the furtherest I had travelled solo. I planned to go to America, as I was volunteering at the first ever TravelCon 2018. But it was a long way to go for just 4 days, so I planned in some other cities to visit as well to make the trip longer. I went to Las Vegas, Austin and New York. Vegas was the first stop, and during my visit I went on a helicopter ride above the Vegas Strip, a ride above the Grand Canyon, saw Penn & Teller’s Show, ate a Guy Fieri’s Mexican Restaurant and ate far too much at the breakfast buffet. Oh and WON money!
Secondly, I went to Austin for TravelCon, and it was so lovely to meet so many like minded people with the same passion for travel. And the food in Austin is insane. Then I went to NYC, I explored Central Park, saw Aladdin on Broadway, went to the Museum of Natural History and done the Sex and the City Hotspots tour, because I am a huge fan. Unfortunately it rained most of the time I was in New York, which really made it difficult to do too much, there was any point going up the Empire State Building for example, as it was so cloudy. So I’m hoping for better weather next time I visit NYC as there’s a lot to still be seen. But I really do love this city.
I found the U.S. a great place to travel to, particularly as a solo female traveller.
Just a disclaimer incase anyone counts these countries and realises there’s one missing, I had a couple of nights in Belgium on my way back from the USA, but was so jet lagged I have no photos from the trip. After Belgium I flew to Copenhagen, this marked the end of a month of travelling, and was my 5th country to travel solo to. But, I didn’t do much during my time in Denmark, so sorry for the lack of photos.
The last trip of 2018 was with my parents, we went away for a week to Montenegro, and squeezed in three day trips to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. This was a great trip, and I loved all the places we visited, but especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, we went to Mostar and to a Monastery and winery. It was so beautiful.
FUTURE TRAVEL PLANS
In short, that wraps up 2018’s travels. It was an amazing year, with so many new places explored. In 2019 I have already been on a few trips and have a few more I hope to do before the year ends. I hope this post inspires you all to explore some great new places.
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- Volunteering with Animals in Moldova
Albania Animals Belfast Belgium Bender Bosnia and Herzegovina Bucket List Experience Bulgaria Canada Chisinau Croatia Day Trip Denmark Eastern Europe Edinburgh Europe filming locations Finland France Game of Thrones Greece Hungary Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro North America northern ireland Poland Portugal Romania Scotland Slovenia Solo Travel Spain Sweden Tiraspol Transnistria Travel United Kingdom USA Volunteering