Where to next? Adding to my bucket list…

Though there’s been a serious lack of posts on the site during the latter half of this year, it’s still safe to say that 2017 has been a pretty good one for me with regards to travelling. I’ve managed to visit eight new countries in just 12 months (one of which I made it to twice), and ticked several items off my bucket list. But unfortunately, like many travel bloggers I know, work has been the biggest hurdle when it comes to actually sharing my travel tales. That, and the small matter of purchasing a house.

I’ll be honest: the first half of the year didn’t go as expected. Though I managed to cross drinking Guinness in Dublin off my bucket list in February, subsequent trips booked to Berlin and Malta with my (now ex) boyfriend were cancelled when our relationship ended abruptly in April. Because of the split I quit my job up in Yorkshire and returned to my hometown of Reading. I then took some time out of work and embarked on a mini travelling mission, visiting five new countries in just three months, helping to smash my self-set challenge of 30 countries before my 30th birthday in July.

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Then in July I started a new job in London, so had to sedate my sense of wanderlust while I concentrated on impressing my new bosses and passing my probation. Mid-July I also had an offer accepted on a new house. This meant having to put all my money-saving travel tips into practice when it came to planning trips. But I surpassed even my own expectations when I found a super cheap holiday to the Dominican Republic for mum and I in October. At less than £500 each for nine nights in the Caribbean, how could I refuse? Plus I wanted to treat mum, to say thanks for everything she’d done for me since April.

Going on that trip definitely reignited a burning desire to travel. But because I knew I’d need every penny to put towards the deposit, as well as all the extra costs of purchasing a house like legal fees and stamp duty (which was a ridiculous figure, as this is my second property), I managed to resist the temptation to book flights to anywhere else. And when I went to Iceland earlier this month I had a strict budget that I stuck to for the full six days I was there. I even spent a couple of nights in a hostel to keep costs down – something I’d never done before (and don’t really want to do ever again).

I finally picked up the keys to the new house on Friday 15 December, though the previous owners had left it in such a state that I’ve still not moved in. Mum and I have been working hard to get into a position where it’s at least liveable – after working full time in our offices during the day, we’ve been at the house in the evenings ’til late scrubbing everything, laying lino, pulling up carpets and ripping out the kitchen. It’s getting there though, and I’ll be sleeping there for the first time this weekend. Just in time for Christmas!

All of this combined has sadly meant less money to travel, and much less time to post about the few trips I have been on during the latter half of 2017. That doesn’t mean I’m not making plans and daydreaming about my next adventure though…

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What does 2018 hold in-store?

Well, they’ll definitely be a fair bit more DIY and decorating in the house, that’s for sure. But with regards to travelling, so far the only thing I’ve got booked is a weekend in Budapest in January. I fell in love with the city when I visited at the end of June this year. Budapest will always have a special place in my heart, as Hungary was the country that completed my “30 before 30” travel challenge, so I’m looking forward to that. I’ve also spoken about going back to Iceland, as there’s still so much there that I’d love to see and do.

Where else would I like to go? I mean, how long’s a piece of string? Since I began blogging in January 2016, I’ve been given so many travel recommendations and am constantly inspired by places I see on Instagram, that my bucket list just keeps getting longer and longer. So, having ticked four items off my original 2016 bucket list, I’ve complied another, with other places I’d love to visit:

1.  Walk under the umbrellas in Dubai Mall.

You can stand under my umbrella ☔️

A post shared by Nina Nicholls (@nina_nicholls) on

2. Spiral around the staircases of Quinta da Regaleira in Portugal.

3. Snorkel around Pablo Escobar’s abandoned plane in the Bahamas.

4. Take a bath with a view in Bangkok.

5. Go bananas at the Museum of Ice Cream in LA.

6. Photograph the pink church in Ho Chi Minh City.

7. Check out the Headington Shark in Oxford.

One of these days I guess?! 🤔🤔🤔 #requindansmachambre

A post shared by Ralph Amoussou (@hereisralph) on

8. Swim at sunset in North Shore, Hawaii.

Nothing like a north shore sunset 🙌🏽✨💫

A post shared by SARAH KOHAN 🌙 (@moonstrucktraveller) on

9. Stroll around Saint Catalina Monastery in Arequipa, Peru.

10. Scream from the rooftops in Basel, Switzerland.

11. Watch the hot air balloons in Cappadocia, Turkey at sunrise.

12. Scale the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps in San Francisco.

13. Hike through the Rainbow Mountains of Peru.

14. Explore the blue city of Chefchouan, Morocco.

15. Eat Indian food at Panna Il Garden, New York.

Had dinner at the craziest little Indian place this evening! Delicious 😋

A post shared by Nomad Seeks Home (@dianezak88) on

16. Ride the metro in Stockholm, Sweden.

17. Stroll along the Diamond Beach, Iceland.

18. Hang out in the Hanging Gardens of Bali, Indonesia. 

Admiring the view 😍 (📷: @pilotmadeleine) #beautifulhotels

A post shared by BEAUTIFUL HOTELS (@beautifulhotels) on

19. Marvel at the colourful houses of Manarola, Italy.

I T A L Y // Bags are packed, ticket is ready, Italy I'm on my way 🇮🇹

A post shared by Marta (@voyage_provocateur) on

20. Leave my mark at the Garðskagaviti lighthouse, Iceland.

*****

What have you got on your bucket list? Have you been to any of these places? If so, let me know your recommendations for the best time of year to go. And if not, do you have any other places you think I should add to my bucket list?

 

106 thoughts on “Where to next? Adding to my bucket list…

  1. Sounds like you’ve had a rough year, but with a bucket list like that there’s so much to look forward to. I would add driving the Amalfi coast if you haven’t already done it!

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    1. Thanks Rhiannon, you’re totally right – there is so much to look forward to! I’ve not done the Amalfi coast yet, but have heard amazing things! Have you got a post on it that you could share? Would love to see some pics 🙂 x

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  2. Moving house is so expensive so you did well travelling still. Some lovely photos for inspiration here. I would love to go to Brugges next year, as well as Savannah in Georgia. I am going to a travel conference in Finger Lakes in New York State so a trip to Niagara Falls just has to be done and maybe Canada too.

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  3. You’ve had such a crazy year Becca!! Well done for just being so amazing and together xx
    I’m going to Basel next week so I’ll let you know how the screaming goes!! Ha. I have been to Manarola though, it’s just as pretty in real! And I’m dying to go to the blue place in Morocco x another one on my list is the Bolivian Salt Flats x

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    1. Ahhh thanks so much Natalie, that really means a lot ❤️ it has been a very roller coaster year, but thankfully it’s nearly over, and 2018 will be here soon, bringing a new start and new possibilities 😊 so jealous of Basel – are you going between Christmas and New Year? Will stalk your social for pics 😉 Manarola looks absolutely beautiful, as does Chefouaen in Morocco – not considered the Bolivian Salt Flats before, thing I really know about is that they did an episode of Top Gear there haha! 🤣 Here’s to 2018 and lots more adventures for both of us xx

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      1. Yep, 2018 is going to be fab, I can feel it!! Yes, 29th to the 2nd. Found some fab BA flights using some Avios which helped! £50 return in business class! 🙌🏼 there’s a cute couple on YouTube called Kara and Nate and they did a video on the salt flats that totally reeled me in! Much better than that drainer from Top Gear 😂😂 xx

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  4. Seems that you had a tough year but 2017 is almost over and I am pretty sure you will have an amazing time. The struggle is real and I feel you. For 2018 I want to save money too and I am tempted all the time to book holidays and explore this gorgeous world.
    PS: I manage to drink Guinness in Dublin this February as well.
    PSS: I travel to Iceland so if you need any recommendations, let me know.

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    1. Ahhh thanks so much Catalina! That’s so nice of you to say 🙂 I have actually been to Iceland already this year, but I want to go back at a different time of year, so I can experience a different temperature and different landscape 🙂 x

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  5. I think after the year you had, you deserve to be happy and the fact that you not only ticked off countries off your bucket list before you were 30 but also managed to visit so many countries is truly incredible. Plus congrats on the new house I know that you worked so hard for it and I hope that you continue to be able to travel as much as possible next year. For me out of the bucket list options that you have listed the idea of snorkeling around Pablo Escobar’s abandoned plane in the Bahamas would be incredible. I definitely need to become a stronger swimmer first though!

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    1. Thank you sooo much Ana, your comment means a lot ❤ I am so relieved that the house has finally gone through and I'm making progress on it now, the bathroom is nearly done! 🙂 Really don't want to give up on the travelling, but the cost of the house has definitely dented my bank balance haha! I hope you have had a lovely Christmas, and you have a great start to the new year xx

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  6. I live in Oxford and has no idea about the Headington Shark – just so you know though, Headington is really just a boring old ex-council estate. The centre of Oxford is much more beautiful but nothing like the Cotswold villages on its outskirts.

    I love this list though – you’ve given me so much inspiration!

    C x

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    1. Well I live just down the road in Reading, so a quick day trip over to Oxford (and Headington) may be on the cards in the new year, before the shark comes down (or blows down in the bad wind we’ve been having lately!) x

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  7. Moving can be so expensive. I moved from OH to AZ and wow just wow lol. It sounds like your year was long but with this bucket list you have alot to look forward to. Love the pic of you in the flowers. Reminds me of a trip I took to canada. Loved reading about your Bucket List and I hope you get to do each and every one

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  8. 2017 sounds like it’s been a year and a half for you and you managed to pack sooo much in! Hope 2018 contains just the right amount of travel for you, I love the look of some of those ideas, lots of lovely inspiration there! 🙂

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    1. Oh wow! I can’t believe you don’t have a stamp in your passport yet! I guess as you don’t need a passport to go from US state to US state, there is not much chance – and there is so much of the US to explore! Good luck with getting your first passport stamp Tiffany! x

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  9. Making a new wish list and do to lists is something I love to do every day as soon as I have time to dream and to plan! I like yours and I really wish you can make it all! Personally I don’t count the counties I have visited because even going back to a country I have already visited is always a new challenge and something new to learn!

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  10. So much beauty all around the world! The rainbow mountain is awesome! I wish to travel to all of the places you mentioned in this post. OMG, if traveling was free, I would not be sitting here battling with wanterlust!

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  11. I wish you the very best, your traveling bucket list is precious and I hope your dream to visit those places get fulfilled next year because you really deserved it. I’m hoping to travel more this year too and that’s a something that I’ve been planning long time ago but hasn’t happened yet due to other circumstances.

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  12. I hope that you find such happiness in your new place! Even though that means less travel, once you are set you will have such a great place to call home when you get back from travel too.

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  13. Wow congrats on the new house, I want to sell my flat and buy a house in a few years so I am very conscious saving money and it means I am trying to keep my trips a little lower. I have five planned for this year and nothing too major like I’ve done before, but your bucket list looks stunning x

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  14. Well I love everything about Bucket Lists so I love your 2018 goals! We only share one similar to you this year: Explore the blue city of Chefchouan, Morocco. So excited for this one because we have yet to touch the african continent so we are going to bounce around for a bit! We will be exploring Pablo Escobar too I guess but in Colombia rather than his plane in the Bahamas. How cool would that be to snorkel around!
    Love that you are going to have an adventure in Peru. We had a blast exploring that country several years ago! Wish I had known about the shark in Headington Shark in Oxford. We were in Oxford last year and were very happily surprised about that town. Need to go back and explore it more!

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    1. Unfortunately these aren’t all places I’m definitely going to this year – they’re places I’d like to go to, at least once in my life time 🙂 but if I had an endless supply of cash and no work commitments, then you wouldn’t see me for dust, I’d be off like a rocket to all of these places and more haha! When will you be visiting Morocco? I have been to Fez and Marrakech, so if you need any tips or pointers, just give me a shout! x

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  15. I hope you’re able to cross off as many of these off your list Becca, as possible, in 2018 🙂 Maybe we will just bump into each other at one of these places haha. Some of them are on my bucket list for 2018 too – I don’t if I’ll be able to make it that far but I would love to snorkel around Pablo Escobar’s abandoned plane in the Bahamas too or stroll around the blue city of Chefchouan in Morocco. If you do plan to visit Dubai to cross off the first item on this list, do let me know. It’s my hometown and I’d love to meet you here!

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    1. Ooooh that would be great! I’m just waiting for some cheap flights to Dubai to pop up, and then I’m there 😉 so I’ll give you a shout if I come over your way – it would be fantastic to finally meet you! x

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  16. You’ve definitely inspired me with your choices Becca! There are so many good ones here, but I think my favourites are Peru and seeing the Pablo Escobar plane! How cool is that photo. I’m definitely suffering even more now a case of the ‘I need to travel’ blues!

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