My year in travel

Some people spend their whole lifetime waiting for the bounties they'll be entitled to in after life. Just imagine how something you never believed in will happen, turns out to be so much better. Little did I ever expected to see this year, but if there's such thing as an afterlife, better than all you could ever imagine or ask for, that's what this year was for me.


I had a bit of a silly year plan: to travel somewhere every month. Well, it wasn't even a plan at first, it just happened that I went somewhere in January, somewhere in February, then got a last minute trip for March. And after that I had travels booked for April and May. So I figured out, why not, since it was all going so natural and well, let's make it that I runaway somewhere each month of this year. And so I did, for the first time something actually worked out, the first life plan of mine that came true.



I managed to visit 13 countries, I took way to many flights (on way to many uncomfortable low fare planes after to many sleepless nights at the airports), but most importantly, I made some unexpectedly incredible memories, and met extraordinary people, some of which became my good friends.



London (UK)
My year started in British capital, to be honest I didn't even surely know when, as I was working on that evening and could only tell there's been another turn around based on the noise from fireworks that were happening outside. At that moment I had no idea what's waiting for me, can honestly say no plans, a little fantasy as always, and in the whole insecurity, probably simple decision to just go with the flow and take the most out of wherever life takes me.
Trough the year, London also served as my base, the place of 'come and go', the one I returned to to change my laundry and hord some money, and the one I kept referring to as 'home'.


It all started with me seeing an online advertisement  for screening of Lord of the Rings, one of my favourite movies, with live music. As I was already accused of being lame, for missing my favourite band's concert about a month before, I decided I have to get my hands on tickets. Except that the ones for London performance were already sold out, not to mention how very expensive. But there was much cheaper screening happening in Gdansk, in January. Without overthinking, I booked myself return flights, hostel for almost a week, tickets for concert, of course, and off I was, visiting Poland for the very first time.
My first impression and memory was definitely cold, second the beauty of city center, and, way more then a concert, stuck to me adventure of my own, that happened right after, when I had to ''Simply walk'' not into Mordor, but 8+ kilometers, in the middle of the freezing night, back to my hostel, all the way from some industrial area (but more about this in some other story).

Out of the blue I was invited to this class about building a web page. Since that's something I studied, but coding was also the only class I managed to fail, I had strong interest to attend. Well, the training itself turned out to be lousy, but the absolute bonus was making some great friends that I'm still seeing regularly, and also making my first Lithuanian friend, which will turn out as great importance later. Despite all the cons, we still had lots of fun in our free time, discovering city, drinking Turkish coffee and hanging out on hotel's roof top, in short sleeves, as weather was warm enough for it already.



This is where my yearly plan actually started forming. I was discussing with my friend to pay her a visit this month, but as a lot of other things were happening already I kinda abandoned it. Until she invited me over very last minute and I just couldn't say no. I left London as it just started snowing there in the morning and ended up in snowed in Warsaw. The city might have been cold, but I met some really warm people and had a great time visiting Poland once again.





April: Gaziantep (Turkey)
You could say staying in school for so many years killed all of my imagination by now, since all my travels so far turned out to be Poland-Turkey-Poland-Turkey. Yet I never even wrote about this one, maybe because I didn't want it to be touched by judgement of the outside world. Going to Unesco city of cuisine was certainly an unforgettable experience. There was food, and then there was cave, and a 6 star treatment for more then a week. There were some amazing visits to local businesses, boat trip down the Euphrates and another one all the way to Syrian border. Meeting an incredible bunch of people, my birthday buddy and my first official friend. And love and stars and all you could ever ask for. 
I remember coming home and replying to how it was by ''The best holidays of my life''. And to this day I still think so.




April: Slovenia
What got me here was actually the annual festival of chocolate in Radovljica. In few days this lovely old town turns into Meka of sweet lovers and on numerous stands we were able to experience so many things, from award winning praline with lemon and mint by chocolate shop Lucifer (I can totally identify with that name), to chocolate infused wine and chocolate covered nettle leaves.





April:Italy
This was truly a brief visit, but still, why count it out. As winter served with enough snow, it was still possible to go skiing at Slovenia's highest ski resort Kanin over Bovec. Being here several times before, what I never experienced was going over the passage and ski to the Italian side of Sella Nevea.
And the best part of it all: despite being surrounded by white, the weather was comfortably warm, which made me, a big disliker of cold, truly enjoy this new route.



May: Cyprus
I actually arrived here in April already and spend most of the time in small village of Agros, which offers you everything, from high school, sport center, variety of shops, different factories from rose to candy one, 4 star hotel and even spa center. But we didn't miss the opportunity to visit other cities, such as Limasol, Paphos and Nicosia, where we took the chance and crossed to the Turkish side.
And this was also where my summer began, as I took my first swim in surprisingly warm Mediteranian sea on the first of May.


June: Georgia
''I've been to Georgia and... some other places''
Gorgia started as a mess, and what a mess it was. I remember that first day, how everything went wrong from the start, but since I was with two of my favourite people, I can say that despite it all that was actually my favorite day of the whole trip.
We spent most of the time camping, not even sure where, as I didn't bother to check navigation on my phone for more than a week. We were caught far away from reality, with no wifi, no touch with outer world and for some days even with no electricity and water as the storm destroyed all the connections. So we were left with nothing but each other, in this remote environment, really given a chance to bond, and I could only imagine how things would turn out if we would stay much longer. But this was all like a dream world before gods played their roshade.

July: Romania
Another county I visited for the first time. It started with a long train journey to Pietra Neamt (most of which I overslept anyway). While having a great time sightseeing and doing some summer activities I also made a great Romanian friend, with who I later travelled to Brasov, from where I also visited Bran castle, one of the most famous Romanian sites. 
My trip ended up in Budapest, exactly where it started, with seeing one of the most impressive buildings of parliament and having a romantic pre-birthday celebration next to a beautiful lake. 


August: Lituania
This is where my previous travels came all together. On my way to Georgia I managed to loose my camera (on the plane, as proper genius) and loving photography from young age, I went to buy new one as soon as I returned home. Except my knowledge in the field is very limited, so I annoyed my photographer  Lithuanian friend that I met in Izmir to help me choose one. We were looking at them till late in the evening, except I forgot our time difference, and at the end, when we finally picked what I wanted, he told me this is it, and "If I have any more questions, I can come visit him in Lithuania." And so I did. 
I actually spent most of the time in remote place of  Daugirdiškės, swimming and relaxing by the lake. Except for the last few days when I visited Vilnius, where, beside tasting bunch of incredible food my most unforgettable experience will certainly stay singing Vitas in Lithuanian government.


September: Romania
It all started with my friend offering me to come over, and as a true adventurer, how could I say no. I flew to Cluj Napoca, from where we headed to beautiful Bukovina far north where we spent 10 days, doing various things, from hiking to visiting Vatra Dornei and generally having lots of fun.
At the end we all headed back to Cluj, where I extended my visit to discover the city and visit salt mines (which truly turned out to be amazing). And right before the day of my return me and my friends went to taste some crazy drinks during happy hours at Soviet bar, came the chance for me to stay some extra.
Completely ''forgetting'' about my return flight, I was heading back to Vatra Dornei, for another week of adventures, during which we visited some historical places, and at the end of which I also won an ''Oscar'' for directing one silly politically oriented movie, called Romaniacs.

October: Valencia (Spain)
This initially started as another visit to yet another friend, the sad thing was only that my friend left before I managed to see her. Still I totally felt in love with this city, it's historical architecture with so many details and soul stunned me from the first day. 
And beside having all this great time, let's not forget, that after six months, this was also the end of my summer. I took my last swim of the year at the long sandy Valencian beach on 24th of October (funnily, being accompanied by the same friend I've been with in Cyprus).


November: Dublin (Ireland)
If all of the previous ones were trips out of pure pleasure, this was certainly one of rage. My year plan was working out so well and if coming true, this would actually be the first real plan that ever worked out for me. But for November I was set to work at some training and then visiting my family for the rest of the month. To close to succeeding, I decided I'm not going to fail, no matter what it takes. So in few free days I had left, I just booked myself a short trip to Irish capital, another country I've never been to. 
Well, if you ever decide to do it, I'd recommend you to get a fun drinking buddy, as it turned out to be mostly visiting distilleries and breweries, but still I'm glad I experienced something new, even if on my own.


November: Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 29th of  November comes the republic day of former Yugoslavia. As it was 75 years of it's creation, there were several commemorations going on in different places, main one held in Jajce. We decided to follow the memorial route, spending few days travelling from Jesenovac in Croatia, to Drvar, Ključ, Mrkonjić Grad, Jajce and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, attending some of memorial ceremonies while reminiscing on the old country.





December: Gorizia (Italy)
At the beginning of this festive month, they organise a fair called Saint Andrei, and as a kid, this was one of the most exciting events of the year. Yet, I haven't visited it since high school, but this December I got a chance to do it again, and so I found myself in festive environment, between the holiday stands and theme park attractions. And of course getting some sweets, such as mandulat is a must during this occasion.






December: Eskisehir (Turkey)
It's back to my camera, and Georgia, and Izmir again. So I got myself this fancy photographic equipment, but I realised I have no clue how to use it and I never took time to figure it out. And there it was, this amazing photographic training in Turkey, in picturesque city of Eskisehir. As soon as I saw pictures of it I knew I have to go. Despite the cold and first snow, trip turned out to be amazing, with many new experiences, beside finally figuring out my camera and falling in love with the city.
And the bonus of it all: as I was waiting for my return flight for almost the whole day in Istanbul, I had a chance to see a sunrise in this city, once again, after almost 10 years.


December: London (Unite Kingdom)
My year ended exactly where it started. Going around for months and month did nothing good to my bank account, as you can imagine, and once back I headed straight to wok to fix that. Therefor I was also working for new years eve, but what a job it was. Being part of the team at VIP party on Tathershall castle, a small steam boat with restaurant, located on a Thames right opposite the London eye. We actually spent more time hanging around and eating all the fancy food than working.
Right before midnight they sent us all out, to a restricted area on deck, from where we were able to see the countdown and fireworks from the most front row view, better than all the people who paid and queued for hours to see them.

It really made me feel special and amazing and I could not ask for better start of the year, so let's hope it will continue being such amazing one! 





   

Comments

  1. Oh wow, the past year looks as though it was filled with travel for you - I hope you've had a fabulous time exploring! Happy 2019!

    aglassofice.com x

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  2. wow, you traveled in 2018 a lot! Hope 2019 is going to be as interesting for you as 2018 was x

    Laura
    https://pinkfrenzymissl.blogspot.com/

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  3. That's amazing that you were able to go a different place every month (and sometimes two places).
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  4. This is AWESOME. I can't believe you got to some place new every month, that is so fun.
    Lee | LegalLee Blonde

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  5. What a very busy and fulfilling year you had last year! Loved reading the stories associated with each and I hope you continue to have wonderful adventures through 2019!

    Ruth
    www.voguefauxreal.com

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  6. What a great year!! :)
    I wish you a wonderful 2019!
    kisses
    Elisa

    http://desiresinstyle.com/

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  7. So many places you have visited last year and you have been twice in my country (Poland), I'm impressed!

    jointyicroissanty

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  8. I see you had a fabulous year darling! Loving all your traveling pictures and wishing you another amazing year!

    Adela
    www.hautespark.com

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  9. So many beautiful travels here! Congrats doll, I wish you all the best, happy new year!
    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself

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  10. You may not have reached that initial goal but you accomplished SOOO much! Best wishes in this new year!
    https://www.nancyugo.com/

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  11. WOW! What a year. Your travels sound absolutely fantastic. As a huge chocolate lover I would love to visit the chocolate festival in Slovenia. It sounds amazing and so yummy. Chocolate infused wine? I'm in!

    Happy new year!

    Tamara Chloé
    https://www.TcStyleClues.com

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  12. This is so amazing! I love how many places you have visited!
    Hope you have an even more adventurous new year!

    www.fashionradi.com

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  13. Thanks a lot :D

    wooow, you are a lucky girl :D
    I want to travel more!!

    NEW TIPS POST | WINTER SKIN, WE TAKE CARE.
    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  14. Wow you are such an inspiration, 13 countries in a year is a big accomplishment. Hope I can grab my ass this year and take it somewhere like you did!

    BLOG | INSTAGRAM | BLOGLOVIN

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  15. Traveling is the best experience :)

    Federica
    www.federicadinardo.com

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  16. You had such a fun 2018, love your travel diary. Cheers to an awesome 2019!

    www.busyandfab.com

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  17. Wow, I'm very impressed! You travelled really a lot!
    Happy New Year!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  18. What an amazing year of travel you had, you saw so many places! :)

    Hope that the first week of 2019 is off to a great start for you and you are having a nice weekend :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  19. Wow! You had such an incredible year traveling. I'm very jealous! Haha. :) I would love to spend some more time in Turkey! I am hope you have a wonderful 2019 as well.

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  20. Oh wow! Every month a new place, that's an inspiration! :) It really was a well-traveled year ^_^ Wishing you a wonderful 2019!

    xoxo,
    Bri | https://blog.brigitadaisy.com/

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  21. Such a fun post dear! Love your travel photos, so fun and inspiring!
    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  22. OMG I love Poland, Warsaw ♥
    Amazing travels, amazing pics!!

    https://www.heyimwiththeband.com.br/

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  23. Oh my goodness you were nonstop in 2018! All such beautiful places. I'm dying to get to Ireland. Happy 2019!

    xx www.qustomquinns.com/blog

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  24. You have had an amazing year babe!! Turkey is definitely on my list! cant wait to see what you will get up to this year!!

    xxx

    Ashley

    www.missgunner.com

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  25. Sounds like an amazing 2018! Happy 2019 babe.

    X Merel
    www.andathousandwords.com

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  26. You sure had a fun year with travels . I plan to do more travelling this year. Happy new year dear.

    Glowyshoe's blog

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  27. What a great year! So beautiful place... Happy New Year!
    https://chicchedimamma.com/

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  28. I've had an amazing year travel vise.
    Great post.
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

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  29. It's always so wonderful to explore. See more and travel more, and embrace life.
    Laura xo
    www.shehearts.net

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  30. Love your travel photos! Wishing you a beautiful year ahead!

    Marie
    The Flower Duet

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