24 January 2015

Cheers to 2014!

It has taken me a while to actually getting around to posting this. I had planned to do a Review of 2014 right away in January but things just got busy here in London... So 3 weeks later than planned here it finally is.

2014 was a really good year! I did lots of fun things around London, went on some blogging adventures, travelled as much as I could, and had a wicked thirtieth birthday. Here are some of my travel highlights for the year... 

In April a friend of mine came to visit and we went to Madrid and Barcelona for a few days. Then we ventured up to Edinburgh to see the Highlands. It was such a great trip and I got to spend 2 weeks travelling around with one of my good friends.
Check out full posts here:

In May I went to two back to back hen dos for a couple of my good friends here in London. One was spent for a long weekend in Paris. We had such a good time hanging out, walking around and seeing Disney! The other one was spent at a cozy cottage weekend spa in Devon. Which was filled with beautiful weather, country walks and relaxing in a jacuzzi! Both amazingly good times.
Full posts:

In June I travelled back to Paris once more but this time with 60 children. Yikes. But no it was a really good trip... exhausting... but fun. The best part was travelling with children who had never been anywhere before and they were so excited to just have this experience.

 At the end of July I travelled home for the summer where I got to watch one of my brothers get married and spend some time with my nephew! I also got to experience one of my bests bachelorette party in 'murica which was such a good night and it was so great to hang out with all my bests in one place! It had been wayyyy to long overdue! I also got to relax and hang out with my fam jam! 

Check it out:

In November I turned the dirty thirty and took a weekend trip with some of my favourite London ladies to Liverpool to celebrate the occasion. It was such a good relaxing weekend and I loved every minute of it! Liverpool is such a cool city and the people are really friendly which made for a good time. 

And for Christmas as I just posted a few weeks ago I spent it travelling to Eastern Europe on a tour where we hit Prague, Czesky Krumlov, Vienna, Budapest, Zakopane and Krakow. By far one of the most fun experiences I have had so far. 

This year I have lots more travel plans in the works. So far I have booked a Belgian holiday adventure to Bruges and Ghent for my February half term, and a Yurting weekend in Norfolk for the May bank holiday long weekend. I am currently searching for something to do in April for my 16 days off and a possible Ibiza trip is in the works for early summertime.

 My travel lust list still has me craving to see Italy, Germany, Greece and Croatia so we shall see where life takes me this year :)


21 January 2015

London Christmas Shopping Walk

Before the Christmas holidays I embarked on another great event hosted by Joe Blogs and Currys. It was an afternoon Christmas shopping walk lead by Best LDN Walks. I had previously been on the Instagram walk and loved it so I happily signed on to do another one.

Before the walk began we were all given a Jawbone UP24 to wear to test out and calculate our steps for the day. I have never really blogged about fitness before but I do love tyring out new gadgets. This one was great! It fit nicely on my wrist and linked right up with my smartphone the entire time. The best part was I wore it all day and kept my Bluetooth synced on my phone and it didn't drain the battery! Which to be honest would have been a deal breaker for me!

The walk took us to some upscale posh shops in London which I would have never ventured to on my own. We took in some chocolate tasting at Charbonnel et Walker where I got to sample an English violet which we were informed was a favourite of the Queen! I personally thought it tasted a bit soapy... We also got to try partake in a little gin tasting at Berry Brothers which was surprisingly nice for a non-gin-drinker like myself. We also hit up a fancy hat shop, custom made shoe shop and a cheese shop along the route. Overall it was a pleasant day and I'm glad I got to have an adventure around London where I might not normally hang out.

Thanks again to Joe Blogs and Best LDN Walks!


11 January 2015

Christmas Travels

I wasn't sure how to write this post as I have just come back from an adventure through Eastern Europe for Christmas. It was literally the best trip that I have taken to date. There are so many reasons for this and I'm not quite sure how much of it I'm actually willing to share on my blog and with the general public. I will just say that I spent thirteen days seeing some beautiful sights, eating mouthwatering foods, and making some really incredible connections with people. I fell in love with it all for thirteen days.

Travel buddies on day 1 in Prague
When I first signed up to do a tour I was actually incredibly nervous. I had never done any solo travel and all my adventures so far have been with close friends. This was not the case for this one. I was really worried about not meeting people or everyone being 18-year-old drunk Aussies... Sorry to all my new Aussie friends but it's true the younger ones do have a rep. Anyways this was not the case! Yes everyone was mostly Australian and drunk a lot but we had a good range of ages and in the end it just didn't matter because we all just sort of worked as a group of travellers. While I was looking for something to do during the holidays a friend of mine recommended checking out Busabout because she had travelled with them before and had some good experiences. So after doing some research and checking them out a travel show I found the Eastern European Festive Trek and knew right away I wanted to go.

Our little home on wheels
The tour began in Prague where I spent two nights. The first one I had arrived in the night before the tour started since it was early the next morning. We spent the first day walking around Prague and taking in the Christmas markets. Prague is a great city and I wish that I had more time to really experience it. One day just wasn't enough.

The next day we travelled over to Cesky Krumlov for a night. This is a little fairy tale village that almost doesn't feel like a real place. The entire time I felt like I was on a fake Hollywood movie set since a lot of the buildings had painted on stones or carvings. It was a bit odd but still such a cute and beautiful little place with a great view.


Then we left the Czech Republic and travelled over to Vienna for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations. This is where we started to click together as a tour group. Everyone was keen to party and celebrate which lead to multiple 1 Euro beers and a cramped infamous party... I also began my love / hate relationship with apple strudel. By love I mean it is amazingly good, and by hate I mean I overindulged and had to tap out of it on Christmas day.

so good.

 The next two nights were spend in Budapest before we headed over to Poland. I had been to Budapest last year for my Autumn half term break with a friend and had loved it so much then (you can read about it here.)Going back I still felt the same. Budapest is such an underrated city. It has some beautiful sights and a great nightlife. I didn't take many pictures as I had already done so last time and actually I was quite hungover from a certain boat cruise. Side note apologies to my new travel buddy Nicola who had to hang out with the 'stain' version of me all that day :) I did however get to re-experience a couple things again from the last time I went, my favourite ruin bar Simpla and the outdoor baths. But this time we went for a dip at night and it started to lightly snow while we were in the baths!
stolen snaps from Danielle, Nicola and Sasha
Then on to Poland, our last country on the tour. I spent two nights in Zakopane and three in Krakow for New Years Eve. Zakopane was where we finally got to see lots of snow and it really reminded me of a Canadian winter. I spent the day hanging out in coffee shops, played at an indoor water park and even built a snowman! Plus we indulged in the biggest meat feast ever during our 4 course Polish dinner. It was intense to say the least.

meat feast part 1 at the meat palace

We left Zakopane and headed to Aushwitz on the way to Krakow. I'm not going to say too much about Auchwitz because it was pretty much exactly as you would think it would be. The whole experience was somber and haunting. And I honestly was taken aback by the number of people with selfie sticks taking selfies all day there... is it just me or does that just feel inappropriate?
*side note... it seems Time magazine agrees with me on their list of the top 8 worst times to take a selfie.

On to Krakow which was our last stop and I really enjoyed all the time we spent there. There was a good buzz about the city for New Years and I personally was ready to have a good last blast before the trip was over. The city was very welcoming and friendly and I wish I could have spent another extra day wandering around. We did get to do a day tour but it was freezing so they cut it a bit short and we spent some time drinking good coffees and eating cakes. For New Years we went on a pub crawl and rang in the new year with fireworks in the main square! It was a great night and I was so happy that I got to spend it with some amazing people! 

My favourite picture from new years! (photo credit Michael E.)
Then after such a high from a good night came the low point of the trip in the next two days where I was forced to say goodbye to these people who I had just had this incredible experience with. Most of which I probably won't see ever again. It was actually incredibly hard and I didn't think I would make such strong connections with people whom I had only known for such a short time. But who knows what will happen in the future and if your meant to see each other again then you will :)  

 Overall I had a fantastic time and wouldn't change a thing! Each city had so many highlights but what made the tour that much more amazing were the people I got to share my adventures with. I met some pretty stellar people and created some really fast friendships. We spent the days wandering the city streets snapping pics and eating glorious food. Then we spent the nights drinking beers, dancing and laughing! I couldn't have asked for anything better! I wish I could rewind my trip and do it all over again! 

Cheers to more adventures in 2015!