Allow me to join the bandwagon of saying that 2016 as a year was just a big ol’ thumbs down. But personally, 2016 was a big year. I finally registered as self-employed and joined the masses as a full-time freelancer and all that that entails. It’s been hard, but fruitful, and satisfying, and I still very much enjoy working for myself. And in terms of travel, well – it was probably my best year yet in that regard too. Jon and I ticked several places off our collective travel bucket list, including a country that I’d been wanting to go for absolute ages. I think 2017 may be a bit slower (I say, when I’m getting on a plane again next week…) but we’ll see how long I can hold off on making a plan to head somewhere new and beautiful.
So in the tradition of my yearly look-back – some of my travels and personal highlights from the past 12 months.
January – Playing tourist in London with my friend Joe. I know I go there all the time, but I hadn’t had the chance to play tour guide for anyone in a while, and it was so good to explore one of my favorite cities with one of my favorite people.
February – For Jon’s birthday I treated him to a fancy weekend away at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. We had an amazing time, which included lounging in the spa, watching the Eurostar trains come in, and indulging in a truly decadent meal (which was quickly followed by a very luxurious and sensual food coma).
We also had a little weekend away in Bristol to surprise a friend for his birthday. A gorgeous city!
Also Jon took this picture in February, and it still makes me laugh, so here it shall be.
March – we didn’t go anywhere, but I did buy a paddleboard and made good use of it on the river as the weather slowly (so…so….slowly) warmed up.
April – Jon and I went to Barcelona with some friends of ours to celebrate a few different things – new jobs mostly! We rented bikes and cycled all over the city and ate our weight in tapas.
May – Jon’s Christmas present to me was a weekend away in Cornwall at a gorgeous historic hotel that had great food, fantastic outdoor space, and also happened to be dog-friendly. We already can’t wait to go back. And on the way we stopped off at Tintagel to see King Arthur’s “castle”, and everything was gorgeous in every way.
June – Phew…June was crazy. A three-week road trip of the States can be pretty intense! We did New York City – New Orleans – Austin – San Antonio (realising I never got around to blogging about it…oops!) – then finally Ohio before heading back to England, much poorer and fatter.
July – I took a quick jaunt to Paris for a long weekend with some lady friends of mine. The trip was…not the best, for a few different reasons, but it was wonderful for other reasons. And Paris is always a good idea, particularly Paris in summertime.
August – Finally, a month with nowhere to go! Some friends came down for the bank holiday weekend, we spent time on the beach and went to a cider festival, and English summer was in full, glorious swing!
September – Another month with no place to go, but this is also the month we got a car, which was intensely exciting. We broke it in by exploring beautiful nature further afield. The Seven Sisters Cliffs were first up.
November – The year began to wind down, us with it. Things took a turn for the deeply melancholy. Beach walks and outdoorsy goodness happened while the weather cooperated, and many expat Thanksgiving celebrations took place at the end of the month.
December – Nowhere to go, but lots to do, including finally making it to the ice rink in front of the Brighton Pavilion, and taking what has become an annual walk along the South Downs Way on the last day of the year, followed by a pub lunch.
Here’s hoping for a better 2017, in all realms.