Following my 2018 round up, it’s time to look forward to new adventures in 2019. Last year was a bit of a flop all round, and travel was part of that – I’m very happy to have had the adventures I did in 2018, but it was mainly travel for work, family or to keep my long-distance relationship going (if you’ve missed it, I’m glad to say the boyfriend is now living with me here in London!).
This year, I’m looking forward to more fun travel for new destinations. Now that Alan is here in the UK, we’ll be doing some European trips to places he’s always wanted to go, and for me we’ll be ticking a couple of big ones off the list! Here’s what I have going on and what I’d like to make happen.
Valencia, Spain: February
The first trip of 2019 will take the boyfriend and I to a country he’s been so keen to visit: Spain! Understandable, as Spanish is the foreign language much of the US learns when at school, and for his love of Spanish food! Specifically, we decided to go to Valencia as it’s a little less on the tourist radar, by the sea, warmer in winter months (we’re going for a weekend in February) and of course: paella, given it’s the dish’s birthplace!
Skiing in the French Alps: March
I’ll be returning to Les Arcs on the skis in March, this time with my whole family – parents, siblings, brother-in-law, niece and nephew! And of course Alan will be joining me, with it being his first time skiing in Europe and first time in France. Exciting stuff! I don’t think it’ll be much of a relaxing week, with so many of us, skiing all day every day and entertaining the little ones, but it sure will be fun. I’m looking forward to be reunited with those mountain views (and showing Alan why I always talk about them – and proving I’m not just a ski snob!) and having access to a heated outdoor pool, a sauna and steam room, which will be heaven on the muscles.
The Big Trip of the year. I’ve wanted to visit Vietnam for a very long time, and finally we’re making it the year to do it! In May, we’ll spend just over two weeks travelling the country, from Hanoi down to Ho Chi Minh City, taking in Hoi An, Ha Long Bay and Hue along the way. We’re hoping to hit a few beaches (I’m desperate for some beach time) and take a trip to the Mekong Delta as well. If anyone has any tips, let me know!
Glastonbury Music Festival, UK: June
Finally! I’m going to Glastonbury Music Festival in June! I somehow managed to get tickets a few minutes into the sale starting, so I secured mine and Alan’s spots without much stress. I have friends who have been a few times (and two friends I’ll be going with) so I’m keen to get the hacks to make it a great weekend (and not forget anything essential).
Boston/Massachusetts, USA: December
2018 Christmas was spent in the UK, so 2019 will be spent with my boyfriend’s family in the US (we alternate years)! As it’s so long until then, the details haven’t been planned out yet, but most likely we’ll be flying into Boston (perhaps spending a bit of time there, not sure yet) and heading for Townsend, Massachusetts, where Alan grew up and his parents live. It’s possible there’ll be snow over Christmas which rarely happens in London, so it’s nice to experience that fairytale setting in New England! Either that, or given Alan’s brother lives in LA, maybe we’ll be heading there, but as that’s what his parents did for 2018 I doubt it!
This one isn’t confirmed, but I’d quite like to go back to what I like to call my half-city (being half-Czech and that side of my family being from not too far from Prague) – in fact, I’m making it a travel goal to head here at least once or twice a year. It’d be nice to show Alan the country where my mum grew up and which holds so much of the culture I grew up with. Plus, I’ve been taking Czech classes (I know, shame on me it’s only just now!) so it’d be… interesting… to be able to practice my Czech at some point this year.
Still a bit up in the air, but I’m aiming to go to Falmouth over the Easter weekend to visit a friend who lives there. I’ve been meaning to for a long time and she always makes the long trip to the rest of our group dotted around the country, so it’s about time and only fair. Plus, her pictures make me so envious of that beside-the-sea lifestyle! I’m hoping for a bit of a road trip to nearby sites, lots of beach walks and some stand-up paddleboarding (and surfing).
A surf trip or two
I say this every year, but I really want to make surf trips more of a fixture in my life – I won’t get better without consistency, especially as I live in a very inaccessible place to waves! Ideally I’d just like to have a few weekends in Cornwall or Devon; I’m not planning on going anywhere far during the UK summer months (for many reasons but to name a couple: price and weather – IF the English weather holds up, I like to make the most of it!) so weekends will be pretty open for this – I just need to commit to it. My brother-in-law is giving me one of his old surfboards too, so there really is no excuse.
More UK city breaks
I’ve barely explored my own country, so I want to make sure I make time for some UK cities I’ve always liked to visit but rejected for sunnier, abroad-ier pastures. Those include: Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool and York. And yes, I’ve really not ever set foot in any of those! (I may have gone here very young as I have family in the area but I don’t remember!) It’d also be nice to go to some old favourites, like Norwich (where I went to university) and take Alan around some classic British cities like Oxford and Cambridge.
More European breaks
I mean… we’ll see how this pans out with Brexit (Brextinct? Hopefully?) but now being back in England, the ease of cheap European weekends away is something to be taken full advantage of. We’re starting with Valencia next month, as mentioned above, and with a relatively-new-to-Europe boyfriend having recently moved here, this will take priority. Top places on his radar are Copenhagen, Berlin (and multiple German cities, actually), Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto, Budapest, San Sebastián, Dublin and Norway’s Lofoten Islands. We’ve actually even got a secondary list as well, so there’s a lot to choose from!
Go to Prague at least once
Speaking of European breaks and following from what I mentioned above, I want to make it a yearly thing to go to Prague at least once (twice if I can!) to visit my family there and practice my Czech. And just generally get to know the city better and use it as a jumping off point to explore more of the country as a whole, too.
Somewhere warm for my birthday
I admit it, I’m hooked after my 25th birthday in the Bahamas. Although I love my birthday (and birthdays in general), November’s never been the best month for celebrating: it starts to get cold, it’s usually raining or drizzly, no one wants to go out – including myself – and at university it was always when friends ran out of money! So having a birthday where I could actually feel the sun on my skin, swim in the ocean and have a picnic including Champagne on a sand bar with nobody else on it was an absolute dream. This year I have a few ideas floating around, including Mexico (I would LOVE to go to Mexico City and the Yucatan Peninsula), Costa Rica, Mauritius, Mozambique and Cape Town. We’ll see! One of these years I’d love to spend my birthday in Australia, but sadly I don’t have the time or money for that this year.
That’s pretty much it for the moment – I still have half a year to fully plan out, but I like some spontaneity and spreading that excitement throughout the year. If you’ve been to any of the places I’m going and have some tips, please do reach out and let me know! And I love hearing about everyone else’s travel plans for the year too.