Getting Around in 2013 – My Travel Review

I can’t believe this year is almost over. It is true what they say that time goes by faster as you get older … or so it seems! All the more reason to make the most of every moment. You only have one life so live it to capacity and squeeze in as much excitement as possible.

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Well I’ve certainly been Getting Around in 2013. This year has been a year filled with travel, probably my busiest yet, with lots of planned and unplanned adventures to different corners of the globe. I made it to thirteen different countries this year, which seems crazy. I remember 5 years ago my New Years Resolution had been to visit three new countries every year. I have managed it every year since, except one when I saved up for an epic road trip across North America. I definitely ticked off more than three new states that year and they pretty much count as countries 😉

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This year saw me visit eight new countries and return to five. I feel so spectacularly lucky to have had all these amazing adventures and thank each of you who have followed along. I hope there have been some useful tips for your future travelling escapades.

Here are a few highlights of this year’s adventures…

THE BEACHES OF GHANA

I kicked off the year on the beach in Ghana with friends, a gorgeous place to start the year, with heavenly beaches, surfing, tasty food and friendly locals. It really is a beautiful country and the people so welcoming.

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KAYAKING DOWN THE THAMES 

Kayaking along the Thames at night in London was one of the adventure highlights of my year, it was one of those things that you don’t even dream of, it’s so random! So when I saw an offer to do something crazy I jumped at it. It was cold but with a warm pie and mash at a pub in Greenwich before kayaking back again it was an energetic, surprising and adventurous evening on a midweek night after work.

Made it safely back to shore

Made it safely back to shore

SKIING IN AUSTRIA

This year I had my first ski trip in 14 years, I was nervous and beyond excited and after a shaky start with a few too many moguls on the slopes in Austria I finally found my ski legs on the final day. I can’t wait for more skiing fun in the New Year, it is time for skiing to become an annual holiday again.

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WE WON A PLANE TO SWEDEN

Seriously we did! Well my friend Steve did and brought 49 friends with him on his private British Airways jet. Wowee. It was quite a weekend, the sun was out, the ABBA museum had opened and the whole lot of us had some dancing fun in a beautiful city.

SLEEPING IN THE SNOW

Possibly my craziest adventure of the year was snowholing in Scotland with my brother. We climbed a mountain, dug a huge hole and then slept in it for the night. It was freezing!! and I perhaps won’t do it again, but one ticked off the bucket list for sure.

The view from my bed of ice in the morning. Breathtaking

SCAVENGER HUNTING IN COPENHAGEN

I was lucky to be one of four chosen winners to enjoy a weekend scavenger hunt around Copenhagen. It was a mentally busy weekend, running and cycling around the city to tick off things on our bucket list. I learnt what Danish Hygge is, I tasted Smushi (delicious) and climbed up a tower in the middle of the city, to name a few. It was an excellent way to see a place and I recommend getting a friend to organise a scavenger hunt for you for any new cities you might be visiting in the New Year. At the end of the trip I was crowned Denmark’s Blogger of the Year, wowee, my first big award as a travel blogger.

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A LUXURY CRUISE

Living in the lap of luxury for a long weekend made me realise just how much I LOVE luxury! Call it obvious but I always thought I was a rough and ready kind of girl, but oh no, give me a 6* hotel on a boat and a personal butler and I am more than happy to enjoy it. Flowing champagne, exquisite cuisine and stops at some of the most beautiful parts of Italy and Malta. Only three nights but an incredible trip to remember!

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RAFTING IN THE PYRENNES

Just one of the many adventures we had on a week travelling across Catalunya in Spain. We were looked after so well, with meal upon meal of tasty treats until our bellies were full to bursting. Good job we had a few active adventures to keep us moving, rafting and a harder than first expected, Via Ferrata.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PART OF SCOTLAND

A last minute adventure to the Isle of Skye and Knoydart with my dad and brother was so much more than I expected. Knoydart is now one of my favourite places in the UK or even the world. A tiny village on the Scottish mainland, but only reachable by boat of a 15 mile walk across the hills. The one cafe and one pub were both equally special and my favourite moment was watching the locals to an impromptu gig in the pub… bagpipes of course included!

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NEW FRIENDS IN EGYPT

A last minute trip to Egypt for relaxation and sunshine became so much more than that. We scuba dived, we quad biked across the desert and pampered ourselves to the max in the onsite spa. What made the holiday though was the people. I found the Egyptian people around Sharm El Sheikh to be some of the friendliest I have met. They went out of their way to help us and made our stay at the Hilton Sharm Dreams resort extra special.

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THE DTOUR OF A LIFETIME

The best bit of the year couldn’t be anything other than my #DTour across Africa and the Middle East. An immense three weeks in the UAE, Oman, The Seychelles,  Tanzania and South Africa. I have never done so much or seen so much as I did in these three weeks. It was a very special experience and one I will never forget. Everywhere I went I was greeted with warmth and a new collection of adventures from water sports in the UAE, to cruising in Oman, the best beaches in the world in The Seychelles and a spice tour of champions in Zanzibar. All topped off with a money can’t buy experience in Cape Town when Nelson Mandela passed away while I was there, A sad but momentous occasion.

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WOWZERS what a year. I can’t say I expected it to be like this. On top of all of this I quit my job in London and moved back up to Derbyshire where I am now helping run the family deli alongside various other little adventures.

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I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for me… right now I have no idea other than a definite trip back to my second home in the United States of America for my 10 year High School reunion in New Jersey. I can’t wait.

What were your top adventures of 2013? 

 

Comments

  1. Ken Lilley says

    Hi Jen,

    Sorry I missed you in the shop the other day, thank you for some great photos and writing. Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

    Ken

  2. Olivia Bothamley - dakin says

    Unlike you,jenny i hardly travel but for the new year i have got two adventures planned , sailing in Scotland,Barbados sunny sport.
    livi

  3. says

    Even though I knew about all of these, it still seems crazy that you saw so much, when you see it all written down in one blog post. Well done on accomplishing so much. You worked hard for it and you deserved each and every one of these fantastic experiences :)

    • Jen Lowthrop says

      Thanks Ari. I hadn’t realised quite how many places I had been until I wrote it all down. What a year! Not sure this year will be quite so adventurous, but a girl can dream 😉 x

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