Saying ‘So Long’ to 2016: A Year Filled With Hidden Adventure

So that’s it then. 2017 has somehow snuck up around a chilly northern corner and chased 2016 off in a cloud of Christmas dust. I barely noticed it leave the mulled-wine-with-extra-rum fuelled party. There’s been a lot of bad stuff in the world last year, and many people aren’t sad to see it go. However, looking slightly closer at my own small world of wandering, there has been a surprising amount of happy adventures to celebrate. This is how I’d like to remember the year (while blocking my ears and eyes of all the bad news for a few minutes).

When I started seeing ’round up of the year’ posts coming from the world of travel bloggers, I felt a bit sad. I’ve spent 2016 trying to adapt to the idea that I’m now a part time traveller and can no longer spend every day wandering and exploring the globe. With no money left, I had to concentrate on the age-old grown-up dilemna of getting a full time job.  I thought there was no point in writing any kind of summary about my year as I’ve not had nearly as many adventures as previously.

I sulked in the corner for a bit, longing for days gone by. Days filled with long bus journeys through South America, when getting up for sunrise was something I really wanted to do every day. Then I took a closer look at my journal. Suddenly I realised that 2016 has in fact been filled with a wealth of hidden adventures. Smaller trips and experiences that have made my year really one to remember.

Without realising, I have happily achieved my goal of applying the adventurous spirit I learnt through travel to my every day life. Hurrah! It is possible to do while working 9-5!

Here are the highlights:

Top Destination Checked off my Wanderlust List: Vietnam

This is actually a little more than a ‘small trip’. Vietnam has been on my list for 15 years. At uni I studied the impact of the war on the arts and became more than a little bit obsessed with the history of the country. 2016 was the year I finally got to see it all for my own eyes, and it really was a dream come true.

Moped tour Vietnam
Mountain moped rides
Pagoda Hue Vietnam
Pagodas, temples, tombs and much more in Hue
Vietnamese fishing boats Hoi An
Fishing boats in Hoi An
Trains in Vietnam
Long distance train travel for the first time
Moped madness Vietnam Hoi An
Moped madness in Hoi An (and everywhere!)
Con Dao islands rainforest Vietnam
Wandering the rainforest in Con Son

My favourite Vietnam Posts

Vietnam in 3 Weeks: An Itinerary

First time traveller? Vietnam is perfect for you! 

Top Vegetarian Experiences in Vietnam

An Inspirational Weekend in Wales

North Wales is a stunningly beautiful part of the world. I’ve completely under-estimated what it has to offer previously. 5 days soaking in the incredible beauty of the coastal areas, made me make a big life change this year. I realised how much I need nature in my life. Inspired and longing, I made the decision to leave London and started looking for somewhere I could adventure closer to home.

Sunset beach North Wales
Sun setting through the clouds
Wellies on the beach
Exchanging flip flops for wellies for paddling in the sea

North Wales mountains

An Adventurous Summer in London

With one final summer left in the Big Smoke and not a lot of money, I was determined to make the most of it. I made a list of the top things to do on a budget in London and had so much fun exploring them all! It is possible to visit the city and not spend a fortune.

Pelicans living in St James' park, London
Still can’t get over this pair of Pelicans in the centre of London

A Long Weekend in Berlin

‘Yes!’ I said without pausing to think, when my friend invited me to Berlin. Both travel-lovers, our long weekend in the city was packed with top experiences.


Vegetarian Currywurst Berlin
Trying veggie currywurst for the first time
Photographer, Berlin
Lots of fun exploring the city with my camera!

A New Home in Chester

September and October saw the most exciting experience of all. A move to the beautiful city of Chester in the North West of England. I fell in love with it the minute I saw it, and we are loving getting to know each other better.

Chester clock
Walking the walls in Chester

New Adventures in the North of England

Chester is a great base to wander closer to home as it’s very near a lot of stunning areas of the UK.  So far, Delamere Forest, Peak District and North Wales have all offered days out to be remembered.  I’ve got a ever-growing wanderlust list to get through in 2017 right on my doorstep!

Moel Famau - North Wales
The top of the hill at Moel Famau – North Wales
Delamere Forest Cheshire
Magical Delamere Forest

My Very Own Planet Earth Experience

Christmas was spent in Suffolk, and the last day saw a true natural wonder. The murmuration of the starlings phenomenon is something I was recently made aware of through the BBC’s totally brilliant Planet Earth II. Well, I got to see it with my own eyes at Lopham Fen in Suffolk. It was the best Christmas present.

Here’s a video by my dad… (I was too awestruck to take pics!)

That’s a lot of birds!!

New Blogging Friends

Finally, I’ve had so many great adventures through connecting with other bloggers this year. I am continually inspired by every single one of you, so thanks for being there. Special mention goes out to the brilliant ladies of #WanderfulWednesday the community at #TRLT and for all the travel literary delights from #TravelBookClub just to name a few.

And Finally…

On top of all this, I’ve moved house twice, got a new job, visited friends in Glasgow, continued learning Spanish, got my first paid freelance work for writing, visited friends in Oxfordshire, Bournemouth and Yorkshire AND had time to watch 2 series of Narcos!

Turns out, when you’re determined to keep adventure as part of your life, a lot is possible in a year. (Even with a full-time job and very little money spent!)

Here’s to more of the same in 2017. Happy New Year everyone!

What’s been your highlight of 2016? 


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