In the 365 days that the Earth has spent orbiting around the Sun, I have journeyed to a few places myself. Now that the first weekend of 2015 is drawing to a close, I thought back to the highlights of my year, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, they were all travel-related. There’s just something addictive and poetically adventurous in knowing that you’re about to leave your daily routine and everything you know behind, and give yourself over to the bliss of the unexpected, the undiscovered, and the unimaginable.
Top 5 Trips of 2014
I’ve put this beloved city of mine in the fifth place only because this was the third time I’ve walked its glorious streets. I wouldn’t normally go to a place I’ve already seen, but the eternal charm of the City of Light can’t be resisted easily. My favourite part of that trip was strolling around Montmartre, the artists’ quarter snuggled behind the marble Basilica of Sacre Coeur. Also, just getting lost in the streets of the Latin quarter and discovering some beautiful little-known passages. For more tips, check out my detailed posts about Paris Day 1 and Paris Day 2.
I suppose I was incredibly lucky seeing Cambridge and its lovely Colleges through the eyes of an insider, as we had the privilege to be showed around by one of the current students there. The highlight of this trip was looking around the houses and gardens of Burrell’s Field, where the luckiest of Cambridge Undergraduates reside. Regardless of whether you can get a glimpse of these most exclusive spots, a general tour around this picturesque university town is compulsory for anyone who sets foot in the UK! Follow in my footsteps around Cambridge with this post.
It’s fair to say my love with Scandinavia dates back to my visit to Stockholm last April. This incredibly beautiful and clean city impressed me as much in the matter of a week as few others have. When you walk around the 14 islands that make up Stockholm, you have the feeling you’re just walking in one huge park dotted with countless pure lakes and glittering canals. The definite must-see: the Old Town (Gamla Stan). The definite to-do: ferry boat around the canals. Simple and charming, IKEA style.
Another Scandinavian city which won itself the second place in my Top 5 list mostly because it managed to surprise me even after I was already aware of the charm of the Nordic countries. Copenhagen had so much to offer – cultural palaces, amazing gardens, great club scene. It’s hard to pick just a few highlights, but if you find yourself in this lovely part of Denmark, do pay a visit to the Treasury in Rosenborg Castle, don’t miss the panoramic views from Frederik’s Marble Church (above left) and go for a meal and drinks along the canals in the Nyhavn area (above right). See the full post about Copenhagen here.
I’ve been to Italy a fair few times, and I have to be honest – my trip to the charming little town of Bellagio on Lake Como is by far my absolute favourite as it was one of my life-long dreams to visit it, and it didn’t disappoint! However, Rome is an entirely different experience, one soaked with ancient history, tales of fabled emperors and legends of gloried warriors set in a city of old cobbled streets and piazzas of eternal grandeur. An obvious favourite is the tour of Vatican City (above, picture 1), and the magnificent views from St Peter’s Basilica (above, picture 2). Fewer people actually know of the Spanish Steps (picture 3) and inexcusably miss taking a walk around the splendid marble rooms and exotic gardens of Villa Borghese (picture 4), where unfortunately photography is not allowed – so you’ll have to go and see for yourselves!
In the past year I’ve stayed relatively close to home, visiting European destinations only. In 2015 I hope to stray a bit further out towards the edges of the map (so to speak), and take a more adventurous approach to travel.
My personal scratch map of the world – you can get one yourself here.
In the trending spirit of #NewYearsResolutions, here’s my Top 5 Trips to make in 2015 (in no particular order):
Riviera Maya, Mexico
Andalucia, Spain – Seville, Granada, Cordoba, Ronda
If you’re sitting in your living room in your cosy slippers and your comfy gown and thinking “I wish it was that easy to just grab my bag and go…” – it really is! The only things stopping you are trifles, and the excuses that you make for yourself. So kick these slippers off, lose the gown and jump into your walking shoes – it’s a wide world, and it won’t get any smaller, so the sooner you start endulging your wanderlust, the better. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling, but be warned – it’s dangerously addictive!