December on The Little Backpacker

December on The Little Backpacker

Oh December. What a crazy, crazy, crazy month and yes I felt the need to write crazy three times. It started just a November had ended knee deep in placement and being more tired than I can remember being in a long time. I must never ever say yes to that much again… well try at least. Anyway with December change came thick and fast. University was quickly over for the year, assignments got handed in weeks early and I set about celebrating Christmas 12 days early. All because it was time to fly to Rio de Janeiro.

Although I had only had the flights booked for six weeks this was a trip I had known I’d take for the last 7 months. I had been building up to this for so long and with JP already there the excitement couldn’t have been higher. Despite my tiredness I’m not sure I slept much in the days previous to my flight and since then life has felt surreal…

Where I’ve Been Travelling This Month

London, UK

Ice Skating with Emily had more than one hilarious moment.

Ice Skating with Emily had more than one hilarious moment.

I made the most of Christmas in London and explored the light trail at Kew Gardens and Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park including at cheeky ice skate with Emily in one week. Admittedly doing so much in that last week in London killed me off for a few days but I was so happy to feel Christmassy and make the most of being in the city. From hot mulled fruit drinks in Starbucks to gorgeous stew at Kew Gardens I certainly made the most of the food too.

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

rio de janeiro  rio de janeiro  rio de janeiro rio de janeiro  rio de janeiro rio de janeiro

Life has been surreal since I arrived; I’ve drank coconut water on Copacabana Beach, sunbathed on Ipanema Beach, ran around the Lagoa, watched sunset from Sugarloaf Mountain, eaten more steak than ever before, tried Brazilian beer, attempted to speak Portuguese and so much more. I’ve settled into a weird needing to make the most of the city but also knowing I will be here for another three plus months in 2016. Rio de Janeiro is going to be my home away from home for the next 11 months and that’s what makes everything about being here slightly strange.

Tomorrow, the final day of 2015 will bring one of the biggest celebrations I will see in Rio (I unfortunately won’t make it to carnaval). I will dress up in my newly purchased white dress, join JP and many of the other expats working for Rio 2016 Olympics and party on Copacabana beach for the night. I cannot wait to experience a Brazilian party!

Santiago & Valparaíso, Chile

santiago santiago

And then to make things even more surreal we flew the Chile on Christmas Day. Yes, I wrote that right, Christmas Day. It was the most exciting thing to do on Christmas Day but maybe didn’t help with feeling the full Christmas spirit. However, it did make it the longest Christmas Day ever with 25 hours of Christmas. Enough about that and more about Santiago, our destination of choice. The town is framed by mountains in both the east and the west including those famous Andes mountains which even in summer had a splattering of snow on top. The town was the perfect size for exploring over a few days and we throughly enjoyed the food and the views from Cerro San Cristobal.

Our trip to Chile also included a day tour to Valparaíso the gorgeous colourful seaside town and a cheeky stop at a winery on the way there. We tasted gorgeous white wine, took a tour around the vineyard and then marvelled at the house in Valparaíso – it was a good day trip and a great first adventure in Latin America.

What I’ve Been Writing

The blog has been a little quiet this month but I wrote these six posts…

10 tips for working as an au pair abroad NYC-36 Christmas for Kew photo editing apps I use for Instagram travel wish list: 10 cities to visit in europe MY TRAVELS OF 2015

What I’ve Been Listening To

Dua Lipa – Be the One

This artist is listed in the BBC Music long list sound of 2016 and she is honestly one of my favourites from the list.

Also on that list is this artist who is another of my favourites.

Billie Marten – Bird

Blogs I’ve Loved This Month

Similarly to last month I have done very little reading of other blogs this month. The few I have read though, have been articles I have absolutely loved.

This piece by Brenna about living someone else’s dream resinated so much with me, as did this piece by Char of Taylor Hearts Travels. I have loved this girls photography since the first day I stumbled upon her blog but Nicola has outdone herself with this Portugal photo diary. I tend to get stuck reading the same old blogs when I don’t have much time but this blog captured my eye with a breathtaking (in photo terms) post about cute mountain towns in Europe.

Finally I have been obsessing over creating a bullet journal for the whole of 2016 and have begun reading a totally different style of blogs and Boho Berry is one of these.


I will be in Rio de Janeiro until the 6th of January and I hope to tick off another ‘must do’ or two with JP before then. After that I will be back to ‘real life’, I will be back to my room in London, back to university, to work and all those normal things. I am just beginning my marathon training for April so the gym and running is quickly going to take over my life.

Aside from that I have a wedding to photograph and possibly a cheeky trip to Disneyland Paris at the end of the month (not officially booked yet though)… Any tips and tricks for Disneyland Paris would be greatly appreciated.

What did you get up to in December? Comment below with your highlight of the month and any big plans for January. 

Jodie Signature

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