This is quickly becoming my favourite time of year on the blog. I love recapping the previous year and remembering all those travel adventures I took throughout the year. Plus it’s fun to look back at how my year went versus how I thought it was going to go when I wrote my 2022 recap.
This year has certainly felt like a grown up year. I bought a flat, which is not easy to do as a freelancer in expensive London, and I even sorted out a will. Who knew 35 was the year I actually became a real life adult!
But don’t worry, in between doing the grown up stuff, I had many travel adventures throughout 2023. Want to know more? Keep reading…
- 1 2023 Travel Stats
- 2 A Look Back at 2023
- 2.1 January – Preparing To Move
- 2.2 February – Finally Moving
- 2.3 March – Nepal
- 2.4 April – India
- 2.5 May / June – Work Trip to Nottingham
- 2.6 July – Brussels
- 2.7 July – Work Trip To Belize
- 2.8 August – Dublin, Ireland
- 2.9 September – Work Trip To Essex
- 2.10 October – Edinburgh, Scotland
- 2.11 November – Work Trip To Grenada
- 2.12 December – Christmas Trip To Germany
- 3 What’s Planned in 2024?
- 4 More Personal Posts
2023 Travel Stats
Countries Visited: 7
New Countries Visited: 3
Flights Taken: 20
A Look Back at 2023
January – Preparing To Move
January turned into a more stressful month than originally planned. When Boyfriend and I first purchased the flat, we were optimistic about a December move. That then got pushed back to January so packing had begun and then suddenly we couldn’t move in until February. That meant January was pretty much spent packing as much we could without packing any essentials. We had boxes everywhere and it was not an ideal way to live. It also meant we couldn’t plan any fun adventures as we thought we would need the time to move.
February – Finally Moving
Thankfully the move in date didn’t get pushed again and we were finally able to move into our new home in February. It still feels weird to say I’m a homeowner but it’s been an exciting journey. Albeit a stressful one! But after renting in London for over 10 years it feels great to know that any changes I want to make to the place I live, I can without having to worry about a landlord.
March – Nepal
The reward for all our hard work packing, moving and unpacking was a month-long trip around Nepal and India for Boyfriends’ sabbatical. This was my first new country of 2023 and I could not wait to visit Nepal. This beautiful country has so much more to offer than just Everest and hiking and it was great to spend a couple of weeks there, visiting a few different areas.
If you don’t want to do any big treks but still want to see Nepal’s impressive mountain range, you can take a small tour of the mountains by plane. This was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. The mountains look so beautiful from above and yes Everest is of course included on this tour.
Of course, there is so much more to Nepal than the mountains and it was great to explore different areas of the country. The trip starting in the bustling city of Kathmandu before heading to the small mountain village of Bandipur and then finishing in chilled out Pokhara.
April – India
After Nepal it was off to India and it had been several years since my last visit so I was excited to return. During my last visit to India I explored the south of the country so I was keen to explore more of the northern part of the country this time.
The India part of the trip started in Darjeeling, which as a tea loving Brit, I was so excited to visit. I thought this would be my favourite part of the trip, however, I must admit the city didn’t wow me like I expected. Maybe I went in expecting too much but it wasn’t a stand out of the trip for me. Although that being said, I did sample some amazing teas and brought many home so I am definitely glad I visited.
It was actually the next stop that turned out to be my favourite stop in India. There was something about Kolkata that just captured my heart. I loved exploring this city and found the people here to be so friendly. Plus there were so many great places to eat here. It was definitely a highlight of the trip for me.
While Kolkata might have been my favourite place, the big highlight was in Agra when I finally got to visit the Taj Mahal. I’ve dreamt about visiting for a long time and it was great to finally go. I’m glad I waited to come here though as it made it extra special to go to this monument of love with my love.
May / June – Work Trip to Nottingham
During May and June I was busy working in Nottingham again. This was my second year doing this job in Nottingham and it’s really made me appreciate the city. While the job can be mentally draining having to go back and forwards between London and Nottingham every few days, I do enjoy getting a chance to explore the area.
READ ALSO: Vegan Friendly Restaurants in Nottingham
Not only does Nottingham have a really good food scene, the craft beer scene is one of the best in England. Something I did not realise before I started coming here! With great breweries and taprooms, beer lovers will be in paradise in Nottingham.
Plus, this year I discovered that Nottingham has a cat cafe. Kitty Cafe had been refurbished and had only just open up when I returned to Nottingham so I was happy to be able to visit. I love having so many cat cafes in the UK to explore.
July – Brussels
Boyfriend turned the big 4-0 this year and I couldn’t wait to spoil him. As it was a special birthday, a special birthday trip needed to be planned. I thought long and hard about what special trip to take and decided to go with Brussels.
READ ALSO: The Best Things to Do in Brussels
Two places we love to visit in London are Belgium bars/restaurants and we tend to visit them several times a year because we both love Belgian beers and Belgian food. And while we have both been to Belgium, we’ve never gone together. So with that in mind I booked Eurostar tickets to Brussels.
Since this was a special birthday treat, I made sure to book a special hotel. Not only that, I bought us a cheeky upgrade on the usual room we get. Whilst we were in Las Vegas in 2022 we got upgraded from the most basic room to a suite! He loved it so much I booked us a junior suite to enjoy at Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel and they certainly made him feel special.
July – Work Trip To Belize
When I first got offered a job in central/southern America (I don’t get the full details at the start), I couldn’t not say yes to the work. Until this point the only places I had been in the Americas were Canada and the USA so I knew this would be not just a new country but a new area too.
Unfortunately I couldn’t extend my stay in Belize, although it was offered, so I really didn’t get to see too much of the country. I was in a beautiful, however, quite isolated hotel where I both lived and worked so I wasn’t able to get out much. Although being in a beautiful hotel for 3 weeks is not the worst thing.
Luckily I did get one day off during the job where I was able to leave the hotel grounds. Taxi’s were not cheap here but I was so keen to leave the hotel I was happy to pay for a private tour to see some ancient Mayan ruins.
August – Dublin, Ireland
The reason I couldn’t stay in Belize after the job ended was because I had already booked a weekend away with my mum to Dublin. My mum is half Irish and we go over quite regularly to see her family who still live out there. However, we’ve never had a holiday out there together to just enjoy Ireland.
It had been a few years since we went away for a mummy/daughter holiday so it was nice to spend some time together. We had a lot of giggles exploring Dublin together.
September – Work Trip To Essex
While Essex is only next door to London, this was a great job for me. Not for the location as the job was just in a standard studio in Essex and the hotel was a not so special motorway hotel. What made this a memorable job for me though was getting the chance to learn a new skill.
October – Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is one of those places that I’ve meant to visit for a long time now, I just hadn’t gone around to it. So when a Canadian blogger friend invited me to her wedding in Edinburgh I finally had an excuse to visit.
We actually had a road trip planned for 2020 that had to be cancelled due to covid so it was really great to be able to see her again. Plus it was great to finally be able to explore Edinburgh. Together with some of the other wedding guests we let out our inner child at The Cauldron with a wizard inspired cocktail class and at the adult ball pit bar Ballie Ballerson.
November – Work Trip To Grenada
After my work trip to Belize, I was supposed to be done with location work for 2023. However, when asked if I wanted to do a job in the Caribbean I couldn’t resist and cancelled other plans to make myself available for the job. Something I definitely did not regret! It also meant that I got to visit one final new country in 2023.
Not only was it great having my commute be a 5 minute walk down Grenada’s most popular beach, but I was able to delay my flight home afterwards. This meant once the job was over I was able to have a weeks holiday by myself. This was my first solo trip in the longest time and it was fun travelling by myself again.
December – Christmas Trip To Germany
Before 2023 ended I went away one final time. It’s been a few years now since I last left the country during Christmas time and while I did miss the family, it was fun to be away and celebrate the holidays somewhere new.
While I have been to many German inspired Christmas markets in the UK, I have never actually visited one in Germany before. I had heard Nuremberg had a good Christmas market so that seemed like a great place to head to for the holidays.
We also stayed in Nuremberg a few extra days after Christmas so we could explore more of the area. Bavaria has always been a favourite spot for me. And while it was too cold to want to visit the beautiful lakes in Bavaria, we still went on a few day trips from Nuremberg. One places I was really keen to visit was Wurzburg as they have a bridge where you can buy wine from a hole in the wall.
As always, thank you to everyone who has read this blog, followed my social channels and supported me throughout 2023. I’m always pleasantly surprised to see this blog get as much traffic and support as it does. You guys are amazing and I can’t wait to share 2024 with you all.
What’s Planned in 2024?
I love this part of the year when my next year hasn’t really been planned and I can sit here and dream about all the amazing places I might visit in 2024. For a travel lover this is always fun.
I don’t really like to plan too far ahead and try not to fill out my schedule too far in advance. But that being said, I usually have something booked by the end of the year. Even if it’s just the flights. However, this year ended with no concrete travel plans at all. Right now it’s all up in the air.
But this is what I’m thinking might happen next year…
- A short trip to Lisbon to finally visit a friend who moved out there
- An Easter break trip to Eastern Europe, most likely Lithuania
- A summer trip to Tanzania
- It looks like another tropical work trip is coming up next year too
More Personal Posts
If you like these personal style posts, why not check out these:
- What I Read in 2023 (coming soon!)
- A Year in Review: 2022
- How I Got Into Travel
- Confessions of My First Solo Trip
- That Time I Had to Flee Poland
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