2017 has certainly has had its ups and downs, but I’m not the type of person to dwell on the past so the new year seems the perfect opportunity to look forward and plan for the things that make me happy.
And one of the things that has really cheered me up recently after a horrible break up was my trip to Budapest just before Christmas (blog post coming up!), so 2018 definitely needed to see more travel. And then I realised I said my new year’s resolution last year was to travel more, but I didn’t really do as much as I wanted. As well as Hungary, I managed to visit Poland, Cyprus and Scotland, all of which were very different experiences but all fantastic!
I wanted to see more of the world this year but couldn’t just leave it at that, so I’ve set myself a 12 countries in 12 months challenge! It would be great to do one country a month, but I doubt I could squeeze that much in around work and other family commitments, so I’m thinking a longer summer trip might cover several countries. I feel like if I make a proper plan with countries and a rough idea of dates it’ll be easier to stick to, so here it is:
1.Scotland (January) – I’ve already booked a night away in Edinburgh for the end of the January. I’ve been to Edinburgh before a few years ago, but there’s so much left I would like to see and do away from the main tourist spots that I visited last time.
2. Poland (February)– As I previously said, I did visit Poland in 2017 but that was for a Holocaust Education Trust CPD trip for work, so didn’t get to see much apart from the airport and Auschwitz. My brother and his girlfriend did a tour of several different places in Poland last summer and I realised just how much this country had to offer. I’ve been looking at budget flights for February half term to Wroclaw- a bit different from Warsaw and Krakow as the major tourist destinations.
3. Italy (March/April)– I visited Milan and Peschiera del Garda in 2016 and fell in love with Italy. As a teacher, we do get loads of holiday time so with the Easter holidays I’ve been thinking of flying to Naples (eating all of the pizza!), then travelling onto Pompeii and Herculaneum for the inner history nerd, then to Sorrento and either Capri or the Amalfi coast. Hopefully it won’t be too busy earlier in the year but will still be warmer than Yorkshire!
4. Holland (May bank holiday)- P&O ferries do mini cruises to Amsterdam which would make this a perfect weekend getaway but obviously going on a weekend drives the price up and if I’m trying to travel more this year I do need to be careful with the budget. Amsterdam is still high on my list, so I need to do a bit of research into flights and hostel costs v. ferry costs. One to think about….
5. Greece (May)- The combination of history and beautiful islands and beaches, along with great food makes Greece very tempting! This would be the perfect break and de-stress before the chaos of exam season at work. I’m thinking Athens and then somehow going to one of the islands for a bit- need some more research here!
6. France (June)- My birthday falls at the end of June, and with the start of the summer holidays for me (there has to be some advantage to working in a high pressure private school!) it might be the perfect time to have a little trip. Paris might be the city of love but as a newly single girl with no idea of what the future might hold in that department, I feel like seeing it for myself. I went as a kid to Disneyland Paris and did a day or so in the city but barely remember it so I think its about time I return.
7 and 8. Spain and Portugal (July/August)- I’m thinking a bit of a road trip around the Iberian Peninsular to cross off some of the places in Spain and Portugal that have been on my travel bucket list for a while. Barcelona might be the place to start- a bit of a cultural city break but also still the chance to take advantage of the beach before the crowds arrive with the start of the normal school holidays! I think I’d then head down the coast to Valencia, and on to Granada which I’ve wanted to visit for a good 7 years now! Then maybe to Seville before crossing into Portugal to visit Lisbon before returning home via Madrid. I know its a bit ambitious and would need a lot of saving up for, but it would be amazing!
9. Czech Republic (October)- October half term hopefully will see a trip to Prague. So many people have told me how great it is, and I’ve been dying to go for a while now. After a quick google, the weather shouldn’t be too cold so should make a perfect city break.
10. Ireland (November)- Like Edinburgh, I’ve been to Dublin before but there’s still lots I would like to do, the main one being listening to a proper Irish folk band in some old pub which for some reason we didn’t do when we visited last time… I just need to persuade a group of friends that they should be free for a weekend away!
11. Austria (December)- After watching the new years celebrations in Vienna on TV I’m thinking another pre-Christmas trip to get me in the mood and have a quick escape before the big day with the family. Vienna looks stunning and I can’t wait to visit as the perfect end to the year!
12. Unknown! Still undecided on this one. All my school holidays are filled in this plan so it’d have to be a quick weekend break or maybe sneaking in on holiday with my parents during the long summer holidays! I am trying to be more spontaneous and not such a control planning freak, so this leaves things a bit open. You never know, I might find a Mr. Right to whisk me away for a weekend somewhere romantic…… or just go on my own again! Any suggestions would be welcome!
With a plan in place, all I need to do now is to do a bit more research and save up enough to actually pay for all of this! But it sounds so amazing and I want to make the most of my youth and freedom while I can (and also avoid the nagging feeling of needing to be a real grown up!)