Even for December the weather is terrible. Now, I am not one of these traveller-types who hate the cold Blighty brings in the winter months. I quite like wrapping up in a big scarf and hat, donning a pair of hiking boots and heading off on some long winter walk. It is a season of roast dinners – and, my personal favourite, Yorkshire puddings – mulled wine and staying in with good friends.
Even so, as the rain lashes against the kitchen window, I can’t help but let my mind drift to sunnier climates, rather than the cobbled streets of Stockport.
As 2015 is drawing to a close, and I look back on all the amazing places I have been lucky enough to travel to this year, I have been inspired to think about the places I still want to visit. My Instagram (embobs85 – come say hi!) is rife with beautiful images from people’s adventures – queue unquenchable wanderlust and a serious addiction to Skyscanner.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
2016 is a new year and with this fresh twelve months, comes a whole new list of countries I want to see, cultures I want to experience and memories I want to create.
I am currently in the process of booking flights to Budapest for my childhood friend and I. The last time we went on a holiday together we were nineteen and on summer break from University.
We worked all summer in our various mind-numbing jobs, and decided to blow it all on an all-inclusive holiday to Turkey. Queue an extreme bout of tonsillitis, local rum poured in giant measures, and the memory of an old German man taking all his clothes off pool-side (an image that will haunt me until my dying day). Its safe to say, that now we are older and well, a little bit wiser, our travelling styles have somewhat altered. Check out some throwback pictures below! My personal fave is the one where I look drunk/terrifying.
My parents know that coming back to the UK has been pretty bitter sweet, and so they surprised me on my 30th birthday with a homemade voucher for a European trip. All I have to do is choose a location and book the place. I have always wanted to go to Budapest – see the Royal Palace and the Szechenyi Chain Bridge.
I was lucky enough to visit New York in 2014. My mum and I booked the trip as a surprise for my Dad who was turning 60. I had the best time with my parents and got to see some amazing sights – the Brooklyn bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller centre, The Empire State Building and a pretty poignant 911 tour… but we have very different travelling styles. So housemate, Jess, and I decided that for our 31st birthdays (I hear that this is the one that really gets you), we are booking flights to The Big Apple. This time I want to hit the vintage shops in Brooklyn, go see a Broadway show and party in a New York bar!
I adore Inverness. It is such a stunning part of Britain and its one of those places us British folk completely overlook. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit most years with a group of writer friends from Manchester. I love this part of the country and have spent many happy days writing and getting drunk with great people. I have just signed up to next year’s course in May at the stunning Moniack Mohr. Read why I love it so much here.
Ok, so this destination is highly unlikely for 2016 unless I win the lottery. If I suddenly come into money, or decide to rob a bank, then I would definitely be booking a plane ticket to Brazil. Rio, the Salt flats of Bolivia, Machu Picchu (which is number one on the list of UNESCO sites I want to visit), Ipanema Beach, La Paz and the nearby ancient ruins.
It was a toss up between Amsterdam and Budapest for my first European trip of next year. Despite the stigma that surrounds Brits in Amsterdam, I really want to visit this beautiful city but have always chosen somewhere else last minute. The Anne Frank House is a must do, having read her diary repeatedly as a young girl and being absolutely in awe of such a beautiful, determined and brave soul. Oh, and I suppose reading The Fault in Our Stars didn’t dispel this wanderlust. Infact, it only helped turn it into a romantic destination for me. Okay? Okay!
If I could fit in a little trip to Munich for the Christmas markets next year, I would be the happiest girl in the world. I love Christmas, and a good festive market in particular! Billed as the ‘original’ and oldest Christmas Market – dating back to the ‘Nicholas Markets’ of the 14th century, it would be remiss of this Christmas fanatic to overlook it.
So that’s my 2015 travel wish list. Hopefully I will be able to check a few of them off by this time next year.
Is travelling on the agenda for 2016? Do you have an insatiable wanderlust and a bucket list as long as a piece of string? Let me know!