In my 2017 reflections post I talked about how this year has been a year of stability. Mostly because I came back to London from Jordan in 2016 to be closer to Josh. Having a consistent base for more than a year has been really wonderful and much needed. But I’ve definitely still done a lot of travel this year, now just with the best travel buddy there is! This post is a travel round up of 2017 but first, here is my year in numbers:
13 countries visited
14 flights taken (not including layovers)
50,821 miles traveled
16 hotels slept in
4 cars rented
3 tents slept in
2 #vanlife adventures
January – Hungary
My birthday month! I celebrated it by spending a magical long weekend in Budapest, Hungary with Josh. We soaked in hot baths throughout the city, drank cocktails in old ruined buildings, reconnected with old friends from when I lived in Uzbekistan, explored the city at night when the twinkling lights and snow make it look even more beautiful, and we even toured a park filled with old soviet-era statues.
Read more about our weekend in Budapest here.
February – Egypt
In February, I went to Egypt for two weeks with work. While most of my time was spent in meetings, I did carve out some time to see the city. I saw the pyramids for the first time (major bucket list moment!), climbed Bab Zuweila to see Cairo from above, bought too many rugs in Souk al Khayamiya, sat along the Nile River, and tried all the Egyptian food I could find.
Read more about Cairo here.
March – Lanzarote
For Christmas I bought Josh flights to the island of Lanzarote, which is in the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa. This was the most random of trips! I barely even knew where Lanzarote was, but the tickets were cheap, and the photos looked cool. To make it even more of an adventure, we road tripped and camped around the other-worldy volcanic island in a van.
Read more about #vanlife in Lanzarote here.
April – France, Iceland
This month I went to Paris to watch josh run the Paris marathon. Unfortunately, he hurt himself before the trip and couldn’t run. We already had EuroStar train tickets and a hotel reservation so we went anyways. It turned into such a lovely long weekend exploring Paris, a city that always treats us well. We did all the things we love – picnic under the Eiffel Tower, sit on the steps of the Sacre Coure in Montmartre at dusk, visit museums, and eat pastries at our favorite Boulangerie.
Read more about what to do over a long weekend in Paris here.
After Paris, I went to Iceland with a close friend. And because I love vanlife so much we spent the trip roadtripping the country and sleeping in a rented van, Litil Leif. Iceland took all of our money but it did not disappoint. We hiked through pelting rain to find hidden hot springs, explored glaciers, saw seals, ate hot dogs in Reykiavik (it’s a thing!) and woke up in front of water falls.
Read more about our Iceland adventure here.
May – Egypt, Germany, Austria
In May I was back in Egypt for work. I also went to a family wedding in Germany and took a little trip from there to Salzburg, Austria with my mother. The coolest part of that trip was that we stayed in the house of the Von Trapp family from the movie the Sound of Music. Big fan over here!
Read more about Salzburg here.
In June, I finally chilled. I didn’t take a single flight and instead enjoyed all that my current city, London, has to offer.
July – Croatia
July was a month of love, with a trip to Croatia to celebrate the marriage of two friends. We also spent some time exploring the tiny island of Cres in the Adriatic Sea.
Read more about our time on the sleepy island here.
August – Ireland, Portugal, UK
In August, we spent some time in one of our favorite countries, Portugal, visiting some of Josh’s family. They own an old ruina in the Algarve region that they’ve fixed up into the most beautiful house surrounded by fruit trees. The mornings were spent at the beach, the afternoons napping and the evenings at a dinner table chatting and eating well into the night.
I also took a few weekend trips closer to home. One to Ireland for a really quick visit to see two of my close friends from the states who are there. And the other was a weekend trip kayaking the River Thames in England with a few London friends.
September – Sri Lanka
My long-awaited trip to Sri Lanka was in September. It was two weeks of exploring beaches, going on a safari, attempting to surf, hanging out of trains, hiking and gorging myself on the most amazing food and fresh juices.
Read about our safari in Udawalawe national park here.
October – Egypt
A third trip to Egypt for work! Nothing more to report here other than that work travel seems all glamorous but really just involves long days and little time to see the country. As always, though, I managed to squeeze in a little sight-seeing time to see the Pyramids of Giza and Citadel.
Read more about visiting the pyramids here.
November – USA
Sweet, sweet November. I made my yearly trip home to spend the first holiday (Thanksgiving) in a long long time with family and friends. First, I saw my sister and her kids for a few days in Washington D.C. and then I made my way down to Asheville, North Carolina (best little mountain city ever! I need to write a post about it soon.) to spend time with my parents and friends for a week. It was such an amazing time – lots of tears, both in happiness to see people after so long – a few friends I hadn’t seen in 4 years – but also in sadness at having to say another goodbye. These are the downsides of living so far from home for so long. But I am lucky to have so many wonderful people to miss in so many places!
Read more about the USA here.
December – Ireland, South Africa
And I ended the year with a bang. After a quick work trip to Dublin, Ireland in the beginning of the month, I made the long journey down to Cape Town, South Africa to meet Josh’s family for the first time! I haven’t had time to write a post about our two weeks in South Africa (we’re actually still here into 2018) but it’s been filled with lots of family visits, wine, early morning hikes, sun, roadtripping, lazy days by the pool and beach, penguins, seals and dolphins!