2017 was pretty epic for Andrew and I in terms of our adventures and the places we were able to visit. It’s the year that we finally felt settled in London after moving in 2016. We started working but took every opportunity to travel and see the world, which is the reason why we moved to London in the first place. I guess that’s the thing about knowing you’re going to be in a place for a limited amount of time. You take advantage of the time you have there and see every moment as a chance to experience something new. Looking back on 2017, we feel very fortunate that we have been able to travel to so many different places and make that happen for ourselves. Here are our Top 10 travel memories in 2017!
1. Experiencing falling snow for the first time in Prague
Until the start of 2017 I had never experienced falling snow before, let alone snow. Old slush on the corner of the road doesn’t count, even if it is in Spain haha. I have vivid memories of walking around the Old Town in Prague and being greeted by falling snow. I was like a kid in a candy store! A friend of ours took this photo and it’s one of my favourite photos that we have together. I wrote a Prague Travel Diary which you can read here.
2. Attending the LTA Summit
For me, the LTA summit is a clear example of how stepping outside of your comfort zone can sometimesbe the best thing that you do for yourself. If you’re not too sure what the LTA summit is, it’s an event that’s held by the Live the Adventure Club over a weekend. The aim of the event is to bring like minded people together with a focus on travel. I was so apprehensive of attending the summit that I considered selling my ticket leading up to the event. I’m so glad that I didn’t do that because in the end it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences, despite feeling under the weather! We’ve now made friends all over the world and have had the chance to meet up with them either in London or during our travels. The lesson learnt here was to say yes to taking chances and doing things that make you feel slightly uncomfortable. Those are the experiences that have really helped me to grow.
3. Hiking Trolltunga in Norway
Hiking Trolltunga will not only be a favourite memory for 2017, it will be a favourite memory for years to come. It was the hike that Andrew wanted to do and we were able to do it on his birthday! We did 3 hikes during our Norway trip but Trolltunga was the focus. With a total hike distance of 28km (from the carpark), it was the longest hike that we had ever completed and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing it. This experience also made me extremely grateful that Andrew introduced me to hiking. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to see amazing sights like Trolltunga.
4. Visiting the Blue Lagoon in Malta
We almost missed out on going to the Blue Lagoon but my friend told us that we had to go. She said that if she could go back to Malta she would spend several days there. I trusted her opinion and I’m so glad that we went! We lucked out and got chairs next to the water. It was amazing soaking in the views and swimming in the clear water.
5. Going bear watching
After a very rainy adventure!
Andrew surprised me with a bear watching experience for my 30th birthday. We wrote about the experience in our ‘Top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island’ post so I will direct you to that post to read more about it. It was an unforgettable experience!
6. Turning 30
Speaking of 30th birthdays. Turning 30 was another travel highlight because I spent it on Vancouver Island. Turning 30 scared me initially due to the responsibilities that typically come with this next decade of my life – house, marriage, family but after turning 30 I don’t feel any different and I’m actually looking forward to my 30’s. I wouldn’t trade my 30’s for my 20’s at this point in time because I feel like I learnt so many lessons during my 20’s that it’s made me who I am today. If you fancy reading about 30 lessons that I’ve learnt in 30 years see my blogpost here.
7. Hiking Abbott Ridge in Canada
We experienced all sorts of weather during this hike – wind, snow, sun, rain. You name it – we had it! I have a short Instagram clip here that shows you how varied the weather was during the hike. What I loved most about this hike was the beautiful colours of the autumn trees. This was the hike that made me fall in love with Canada AND Autumn.
8. Spending time with family overseas
We were so lucky that we caught the canal races while in Venice!
To me, family is so important. I value family more now than I have done ever before and I think this has something to do with me getting older. We were lucky enough to have my mum and Andrew’s parents visit us in London. We were also able to see family in San Jose during our US/Canada road trip. With Andrew’s parents we showed them around London as well as spending a few days in the Cotswolds and Bath. Our aim was to show them why we moved to London and how amazing the UK is. We definitely achieved that!
Cake and tea stop at the famous Peggy Porschen Cakes
My mum visited us in May. After spending a few days in London Mum and I spent 1.5 weeks travelling around Trieste, Venice, Budapest (food guide and coffee guide) and the Plitvice Lakes in Croatia (travel diary here). It was actually hard trying to find places for us to visit together! My mum used to study in the UK and travelled to so many places during her 5 years that when I would suggest a place she would respond with ‘I’ve been there’. My mum is the person who has inspired me to travel the most so I loved travelling with her, just the two of us.
Walking around Plitvice Lakes
Exploring Burano in Venice
9. Discovering coffee in each city
Coffee in Copenhagen
Coffee in Berlin
If you’re familiar with my blog or Instagram you will know that I love coffee. I always try to find the best coffee in each city and it’s why I write my coffee guides. Some of my favourite coffee that I’ve discovered has been in Berlin, Budapest and Copenhagen but my absolute favourite place was Proud Mary in Portland. If you’re in Portland you have to go! We went twice in two days and I dedicated a whole blogpost to it which you can read here.
10. Christmas in Edinburgh
This was our first Christmas with just the two of us. We bought groceries, hired a car and drove from London to Edinburgh for Christmas. Edinburgh was beautiful for Christmas and I loved roaming around their Christmas market which was 4 levels! On Christmas Day we cooked our Christmas lunch together, enjoyed each other’s company and watched Netflix. It was such a chilled out but fun day. I also made mulled wine for the first time and it turned out amazing!
Tell me, what were your favourite moments in 2017?