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Glacier point overlooking half dome, Yosemite

Travel, food and bucket list highlights of 2019

Happy New Year and new decade! In true tradition, I am here to recap on some of my favourite things of the year (read: travel, food, cocktails and bucket list activities that have finally been crossed off!). What an awesome year 2019 has been. Full of wonderful memories, pinch-me moments (yes, Yosemite really is THAT mesmerising) and discovering countless of new delicious dishes, this year has made me feel even more fortunate about where I am at the moment. Like with everything, there have been some ups and downs as life likes to throw a little bump on the road sometimes. However, I’m one to believe life is about balance, and there’s always plenty of positives that counteract the moments we feel most vulnerable about. And 2019 has been full of of them.

Here’s a look back at our 2019 highlights. I hope you had just as much fun as we did!

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London bike tour by Buckingham Palace

London Highlights bike tour with Baja Bikes

Post sponsored by Baja Bikes. Post contains affiliate links.

If there’s a way of really experiencing the authentic flavour of a place, it’s indeed through the eyes of a local. Walking tours, bike tours, hop-on hop-off buses and boat tours offer a fantastic way to see the best of an unfamiliar city. But what about experiencing your own town?

Having lived in London for the last 3 years, I’d never actually got around to grabbing a bike for the pure joy of exploring the capital. We often get stuck into the routine wandering and commuting, and although there’s always something to do in London (and I’ve got a long London bucket list to prove this), playing proper tourist is somehow left to the times where we get out of town.

So when Baja Bikes got in touch and proposed exploring London from a completely different perspective, I said yes without thinking it twice! To say I was pretty excited to somewhat rediscover London (and ticking the bike ride box too) is an understatement. Even Sam, who commutes to work by bicycle, was eager to explore more of the city on two wheels. So, come on and grab your bike (and helmet) – we’ve got some sightseeing to do…

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New York skyline at night from the Rockefeller Centre

Travel, food and bucket list highlights of 2018

How can it be 2019 already? Seriously, where has the time gone? I feel like it was only yesterday when Sam and I were working on one of our first travel guides. Now more than thirty posts later including reviews, travel tips, recipes and bucket lists, I can wholeheartedly say 2018 has been a hell of a year.

From starting the year crossing the pond all the way to New York and finishing with a quick christmassy weekend escape to Bath, 2018 has been filled with amazing opportunities to see more parts of the word, amazing experiences and cross new places and activities off my Ultimate Travel and London bucket lists.

But what’s stood out the most? Join me on a trip down memory lane with a look back at the different places we’ve visited, as well as our favourite activities, restaurants, brunch places, cocktail bars and bakeries of the year.

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Christmas Garlands

The ultimate Christmas songs playlist

Christmas is finally around the corner and I am SO ready for it! There’s just over a week until we wake up to a stocking at the foot of our bed and we spend the rest of the day (and Boxing Day, let’s be honest) stuffing ourselves with mince pies and yule log. And the Christmas spirit is absolutely EVERYWHERE. From festive decorations inside our homes and impressive Christmas lights on the streets, to warm mulled wine, advent calendars, classic Christmas movies, mistletoe and Christmas jumpers, there’s no doubt this festive time of the year is a favourite for many. Oh, and let’s not forget the Christmas markets, gingerbread houses, Secret Santa and  Christmas carols of course!

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Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

I recently got some wonderful news while wandering around the medieval streets of beautiful Prague. I’d been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award not once, not twice but actually THREE times! Woah! I was so thrilled to find that the lovely Emma (Forever Lost in Travel), Dani (Life in Traveling Chucks) and Aimsy (Aimsy’s Antics) had all nominated me. Thank you so much girls, I feel beyond happy and lucky to receive such support from the blogging community and have my baby blog recognised!

For those not familiar with it, the Sunshine Blogger Award recognises the creativity, joy and positivity of inspirational bloggers. You can imagine how good it feels to know your hard work has paid off!

The Sunshine Blogger Award rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  • Answer 11 questions the blogger has asked you
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and ask them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post

As I’ve been asked 33 questions, and some of them were pretty similar, I’ve selected 11 in order to avoid repetition, shorten this post and make it much more enjoyable for you.

Ok let’s do this!

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Things to take on holiday

What to Pack: Short haul travel essentials checklist

Packing has become a bit of a routine for Sam and I lately. Either hopping on the next train to explore the hidden gems of the UK or boarding a flight abroad for the millionth time, packing is a pattern that never ceases to precede our travels. In just a few hours, we’ll be heading to the airport to explore yet another city from my Ultimate Travel Bucket List – Prague. As a matter of fact, this post might already be up when Sam and I are wandering around Prague’s Old Town and crossing Charles Bridge! Having ticked off Madeira, Brussels and Bruges in the last few months, I’ve become a bit of an expert when it comes to our holiday checklist. No matter the season, destination or type of transportation, I believe there are some travel essentials you always need to make sure to incorporate in your cabin-size wheelie carry-ons or travel backpacks. Our Herschel Little America backpacks are a favourite travel companion of ours, as they are not only comfortable but also the maximum size for carry-on luggage, fitting pretty much everything you need!

So, whether you’re going on a quick weekend trip or a week-long one, here’s my holiday packing list for short haul trips.

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Postcards

My postcard collection

The art of collecting postcards is very old. ‘Can you get me a postcard?‘, would be one of the first things I’d ask friends and family who have just informed me about their plans for their latest holiday trip. They are used to it by now; they know how much I love postcards. It must be the anticipation of receiving an item from a different part of the world; or maybe it’s the excitement of finding a treasure with a message on its reverse, waiting on my doorstep. Perhaps, it’s both things at once – an enthusiasm that can only perhaps be surpassed when I’m the one buying postcards every time I travel.

They are my own souvenirs, after all. My own fragment of the world in a piece of illustration.

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