So I know these posts are kind of self indulgent to write but I actually really love reading other people’s round ups of their travels. I find them a great inspiration to read to help to plan next year’s trips because you always forget what people did in the first half of the year. I also love reflecting back on my own life and seeing how many travel goals I’ve fulfilled for the year, and what a year 2018 has been!
Bringing the New Year in in Budapest
This trip was one of our two honeymoons this year and was a total surprise to me until we got to the airport. We’d only been married a few days when we rocked up in Budapest and wow this trip was special. It was just the two of us for the first time since the wedding and it was nice to just enjoy each other’s company. It was still only just sinking in that we were married.
Budapest itself was such a gorgeous city; the architecture was beautiful, the Christmas markets full of life and then there were the baths. We ended up at Széchenyi Baths on New Years Eve and it seemed that this was where the party was starting. Everyone was drinking sweet Hungarian wine (which was mega cheap) and generally having the best time. That atmosphere spilled out onto the streets of Budapest as New Year rang in.
I’d return over and over to Budapest to repeat this exact trip.
Dubai for February
It’s funny to think that back in February I was living in the UK and in a long distance relationship as now those days seem far in the past. But this February’s trip was my third time in the city and it was my first trip during the cooler temperatures so we made the most of it. During this week we visited the Miracle Garden, had a picnic at Al Qudra and enjoyed dinner beside the Dubai fountains.
As always it was a fleeting trip which seemed to be over just like that but it gave me another chance to find my feet in the city I would call home by the end of the year.
Sri Lanka and Maldives for our Honeymoon
I thought our surprise mini-moon was exciting but our honeymoon was something else. The Maldives had been on my bucket list for several years but I’d always said I’d like to go for my honeymoon and thankfully my husband thought the same thing. It was probably the most expensive trip I’ve ever taken and ever will take but it was everything we imagined.
Our trip started with a flying stop in Colombo, Sri Lanka first. We just had enough time to explore the city, dance at a cricket game and ride around in a tuk-tuk long enough to give us those South East Asia feels. After that we headed off to our Maldives island for 10 days of bliss.
The water was as blue as I could have imagined and the over water bungalow was everything I hoped it would be. It was the first time we’d ever taken an all inclusive holiday together which was bizarre at first but we slowly got used to it and certainly made the most of the unlimited drinks. It was the small moments of joy like getting to gaze at the stars from our deck or watch the fish swimming underneath our villa through the glass floor that I’ll remember.
Greece in May
Another 7 weeks of long distance passed and we were off on yet another amazing holiday. This time we met in the ‘middle’ and treated ourselves to a Greek holiday split between the city of Athens and the gorgeous island of Mykonos. This holiday was suppose to be pretty low key after our honeymoon only a month or so previous but having barely spent any of our married life together we went a little overboard.
We splashed out on nice Airbnb apartments, including this amazing windmill and dinned out on the most delicious greek food. We kept ourselves entertained with the Greek history in Athens and the gorgeous old town and beaches of Mykonos. Having a city and beach break was the perfect way to do a holiday.
Moving to Dubai
This was the biggest ‘travel moment’ of the year; becoming an expat in Dubai and finally living with my husband. Ever since I started this blog I’ve dreamed of working and living aboard as a way to see the world and this year I finally got to do that. Yes I’ve dabbled in this life before with our gap year and living in Rio for three months working on the olympics but this time it’s for real. I’m doing the job I’ve spent three years training for, I have my own work colleagues, my own work visa and a foreign pay check at the end of each month.
Of course it doesn’t come without struggles of how living here is different to home but being able to fulfill the goal of working and living aboard with my husband has been a huge high this year.
UAE Road Trip
Living in Dubai means getting to enjoy the many Islamic holidays that happen in the latter part of the year and that started with a road trip at Eid. We decided to hit up a few spots around the UAE and my was I surprised at what I saw.
First of all, did you know that the whole of the UAE is not a desert? Yeah me neither.
We saw rocky mountains, drove the most incredible mountain road, snorkeled in the only reef along the east coast and cycled around the Yas Marina F1 Circuit. It was a trip that opened my eyes to what the rest of the UAE is like, don’t think Dubai or Abu Dhabi show a true representation of this country.
Back to England
During October I took a trip back to the UK. It was a trip that very few people knew about because I only booked it 10 days before I boarded the plane. Unfortunately my Grandad, who has been battling cancer for the past year, took a turn for the worst. I decided I’d like to go home and say my goodbyes in person instead of at a funeral. So I spent a few days enjoying my Grandparents company, laughing, joking and chatting just like we had all summer before I left.
I couldn’t be more grateful for being able to fly home and have that special time together before he passed.
Musandam in Oman
In October I also had my first taste of Oman, a country which borders the UAE both north and south. We headed to the northern part to spend a night on a boat sailing around the most gorgeous fjords. The water was so blue and clear, dolphins followed the boat dancing in the waves and we got to hang out with new and old friends for 24 hours plus. It was brilliant.
Still to come in 2018…
It might be nearly the end of the year now but as you read this we are enjoying ourselves on one last trip of 2018. This will be the third Christmas aboard and I am so exciting to be spending it visiting a place that has been on the top of my bucket list basically since my bucket list began…
Have you written a round up of your travels from 2018? Leave the link below because I’d love to have a nosy!