Eleven visited countries (including five brand new ones!), exploring England and Scotland, solo travelling, travelling as a couple, amazing people, great memories, freedom, love and happiness. But also difficult decisions, people’s bad intentions, disappointments, changes. A lot of changes. What a year!
When it comes to travelling, I was never into the amount of places, that I visit (I still have to count every time that someone asks me how many places I’ve been to), but the quality of my stay there. However, this year it turned out, that I’ve been to 11 countries – and only one of them was planned in advance. With a full time, 9-5 job, I think that it’s pretty good outcome. Everything is possible!
I started 2016 with a bang, in Russia. Together with my friends Paulina and Grzesiek we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Moscow and New Year in St. Petersburg. With -19 degrees, snowy streets and frozen pavements, city sighseeing had entirely different persective and taste of vodka and a hot soup in a local restaurants was the best in the world!
I came to the UK through Poland, and after a couple day I was already going to Abu Dhabi in UAE for a training from work. I spent there the whole January, visiting all the known places and exploring new ones.
Philippines, Malaysia and India
Spontaneous decision about travelling to Asia from Dubai by myself, straight after training, was one of the best ones. It gave me the opportunity to travel solo in Philippines, Malaysia and India. Although very short, still amazing! Philippines charmed me with it’s calmness and friendly people, Kuala Lumpur with its colorful streets full of tastes and smells, and Kerala with local food and entirely different look than the one that I know from the North India.
Madagascar & Italy
After another visit to Poland, there was a time for bigger trip. And so, with cheap tickets offer announced in fly4free, in May I found myself spending 2,5 weeks in Madagascar. On the way I also visited Florence and Pisa – two Italian cities, that I haven’t seen before (photos come from random people who I met on the way). Despite the bad situation that happened to us and resulted in the loss of all of our photographic and camera equipment with our phones and some money, it was still a great trip. I fell in love in the wilderness and diversity of that island of lemurs and big smiles of Malagasy people. I will definitely come back there.
At the beginning of September my big dream came true – we went to Iceland. It was the only trip, that I decided to do for sure this year, and it worked out very well!
Together with Alex we drove around the whole south part of the island, sleeping under the stars, watching unbelievable Northern Lights spectacles, bathing in the wild hot springs and watching amazing nature around us. I am already thinking about another trips to that country in order to see other parts of it!
In October, as my birthday surprise gift, Alex took me to Madrid. The amount of Sagria that we drunk, jamon and calamari sandwiches that we ate and my excitement for paella was over the limit 😉 It was great to spend few days in the sun, see real flamenco show and visit beautiful city buildings.
December trip to Poland was the end of my trips abroad this year, but there were still a lot smaller local ones, that allowed me to explore wonderful corners of the UK.
Scotland and England
July saw us in the Lake District, where we visited Windermere, hiked up to Scafell Pike and did some pub crawling in Keswick.
We also went to Manchester, Pennines and Peak District with its green hills and lamas in the gardens.
In Scotland we made a trip to Oban, where we tried amazing seafood platter. By ferry from Oban we got to Isle of Mull and Isle of Iona with a boat trip to Isle of Staffa. There were beautiful views, rich history, very interesting geological formation and puffins (!).
When our friends paid us a visit, we rented 7 seater and drove north through Applecross, Torridon and Gairloch, camping on the way.
Another trip was to Ullapool and Lochinver, where we hiked on Suilven, dominating above the surrounding area.
Next trip took us to Isle of Skye, from where we took a ferry to Isle of Lewis and Harris with spectacular white sand and turquoise water beaches and rich nature.
Apart from that our weekends were full of going to the mountains to hike or to Edinburgh eg. for Fringe festival.
This Christmas we went to the tree house in the middle of the forest in Scotland, where we were supposed to spend the night. Unfortunately things weren’t entirely as we planned, but it was still nice!
And now we’re in London, where we spent NYE watching fireworks over London Eye. Today we visited English riviera in Brighton with beautiful blue skies and sun through the whole day 🙂
A lot have happened this year!
I started it alone, after all the changes that previous year brought to me, but I am finishing it in a happy relationship, already planning the next year travels.
The biggest change, however, is the fact, that after over 3 years living in Scotland, I am ending this chapter of my life. I am moving out of Aberdeen in January.
(*It turned out that 2017 had even more surprises for me – I’m staying in Aberdeen for 6 more months and I’ll see what happens later 🙂 at least it will give me time to plan and visit more of beautiful Scotland!)
My future plans are still under construction, but when I know for sure what I’m going to do, I will share it with you.
But you can be sure – what’s coming is big and it will be a hell of a year!
I’d like to wish you 2017 to be even better than 2016.
Aim high, don’t worry to dream and make those dream come true. It’s not always easy (in fact, it usually isn’t!), but that’s what life is about – you need to get up after you fall and try again and again and again. Until it works out.
Travel deep and truly – you don’t have to go far – even hidden part of your home country can sometimes have more charm than crowded Thailand.
Treat other people with respect, together with their culture, beliefs and behaviors. When travelling, you are only a guest in somebody’s else home, but use that time in the best way you can to learn about people and this fascinating world. You will find out pretty quickly that all the people you meet have good in them, that’s worth sharing.
Live your life to the fullest, because it’s the only one that you have. 2017 is the only of it’s kind as well, so use it wisely!
All the best,