2014, Reflections and travel summary


As I write this I’m tired, aching and with flushed cheeks after spending the day walking through Delamere forest in the bitter cold. I have a cup of tea at my side and I’m sat in my warm and cosy room, as comfortable as can be.

2014 was the year where I appreciated what I had in life and where I forged new goals and exciting changes to my life. I spent a lot of time with my family and friends and tried and failed to settle back in to small time life. It was a year filled with much happiness but mush frustration and boredom at my lack of travels, at times I felt like a caged bird who just wanted to break free.

At the start of the year I bought a DSLR and started to study and take an evening class in photography, something that I’ve always wanted to do. Throughout my life I’ve always inhibited my creative side, preferring to think of myself as an academic. My travels in 2013 made me realise that I can be whoever I want to be, I’m the only one holding me back.

I didn’t blog as much as anticipated in 2014, for some reason I found it hard to find motivation to write after working hard all week. This will definitely change in the future as I will have a lot to write about.

Travel, It’s what I love the most but it’s something that I’ve not done enough of in the past year. Having a few weeks annual leave doesn’t help the cause but I could have been more pro-active. I did explore local areas of interest with friends throughout the year though. England is a country rich with history and you are never far from a castle, a stately home or an area of exceptional natural beauty.


March 2014, Poland.

Ah Poland, It sounded so exotic to me, so different to anywhere I had ever visited before. I was certainly not disappointed. During my time in Krakow I stayed at Mosquito hostel, a really friendly and social hostel. I had a ready made group of friends and I loved socialising each night in the various bars and clubs of Krakow.

In the day I honed my photography skills and satisfied my interest of WW2 history. I went on two walking tours; one of the old town and one of the Jewish parts of Krakow. I visited Schindlers museum , the salt mines and spent a harrowing day at Auschwitz too. A day I will never forget.

The food was amazing too, I loved the Polish pizza and Pierogi; Oh and the beer and vodka was cheap and plentiful! It was hard socialising with fellow travellers knowing that I was going back to a 9-5 and couldn’t just pop on the next bus to Hungary like they could.

poland, Krakow



April 2014, Egypt.

Just a week after arriving home from Poland I was back on a plane heading to a completely new continent, Africa! I was travelling in a very different way and staying at an all inclusive resort in Sharm El Sheikh. I had a very relaxing two weeks enjoying beer in the sun but felt trapped just staying in the resort.

I did manage to get out of the resort. I went snorkeling in the Red Sea with my parents then spent 5 further days scuba diving in the Red Sea, one of the best experiences of my life! The amount of different fish and the sheer numbers of them is indescribable and it just took my breath away. My scuba diving skills improved immensely and I kept up with the other scuba divers who all had years of experience.

pool, Egypt


scuba diving, Egypt

June 2014, London.

It’s no secret that I’m absolutely mad about culture. I love nothing more than spending my days gazing at amazing architecture or discovering ancient artifacts in a museum. I travelled down to London solo to do just that. One of the perks of solo travel is that there is no-one telling you not to go to your third art gallery of the day!

I managed to go to the V&A, the British museum, the National portrait gallery, the Natural history museum and the national gallery. I loved wandering around Chinatown, It reminded me of Asia! I saw Maleficent in Leicester square and went on a walking tour of London, the same day that the trooping the colour was happening at Buckingham palace.



British museum


British portrait gallery


July 2014, Italy.

It had always been a dream of mine to visit Italy, the language, the food, the art and the wine all appealed to me greatly. I decided to go on a mini backpacking trip around Tuscany and I visited Pisa, Lucca, Florence and Siena. I loved my time in Italy but it just didn’t feel exotic. In hindsight that statement sounds weird but It felt similar to Spain and the places I visited were a lot more touristy than I naively expected.

I loved Pisa. It was so laid back, unpretentious and the leaning tower (and leaning Cathedral and Baptistery!) were so quaint and quirky. Lucca was equally charming, I found the people to be friendly and welcoming too. I ate a delicious pizza and enjoyed a leisurely glass of wine watching the world go by, Italian style.

Florence, I just didn’t get the hype. I’ve never seen a higher concentration of tourists in my life! I loved the city but It did not feel Italian at all. I spent my days tactically calculating how to avoid queuing up for tickets to each attraction and eating copious amounts of gelato. I did visit the Uffizi and the Accademia and loved the culture and artwork. Even a culture buff like me sometimes gets sick of seeing paintings of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, no matter how beautifully they are painted.

Siena was another touristy town. I loved the architecture but once again didn’t feel like I was in Italy. I treated myself to a posh hostel in Florence on my last night and spent most of the day lounging by the pool.

leaning tower of Pisa

street view, Lucca

ponte veccio


The future.

I love new year because it’s a blank canvas, the year is what you make of it. 2015 will be a year of great change for me and will certainly include a lot more travel than 2014!


How was your 2014? Did you achieve your goals? Was it the year that you decided to take a change and travel? As always I’d love to know your thoughts.






Mourning England before I have even left…

peak district

The past few days have been an emotional roller-coaster. I have left my job,  packed up and moved out of a flat that I loved so much in an amazing city and I’ve moved back in to a box room at my parents house. (Only for 10 days until departure day) I never realised just how much ‘stuff’ I had accumulated!

What has surprised me is how nostalgic I am feeling about the UK. I have found myself looking around Liverpool and smiling, seeing it through new eyes. I have been craving English food like Sunday roast, mash, fish and chips and fish finger butties!

I find myself feeling warm inside when I think about how polite we British are, how we have a stiff upper lip and how we cherish good manners. The funny thing is that these are things that have annoyed me in the past! So I have come to the realisation that….

I am mourning the UK (Before I have even left!).

I have been ringing my mother everyday, making the most of what time we have left together. Soon I will be on the other side of the world and I won’t be able to just pop round for a cup of tea.

I am noticing how easy everything is in the UK. We have laws that most people abide by, we have freedom of speech, the shops sell absolutely everything and we never want for anything; we are always guaranteed a life without poverty.

I have realised how lucky I am to have been born in such a beautiful great country. It has it’s flaws of course and the main reason why I want to travel is because I want to experience the opposite of what the UK has to offer!

I want to feel free, for the weather to be warm and sunny, to experience different cultures, for things not to be easy and to speak different languages.

I have started being incredibly protective of the UK too, before if someone moaned about the food I would laugh with them. Now I vehemently defend it! It surprises me how people can judge a whole country on one thing. For example a friend complained that the sausages in the UK are horrible. Further investigation revealed that he based this opinion on the fact the he had a fry up in a cafe once and a sausage roll once. Come on! England has the best sausages! Bangers and mash, Toad in the hole and Cumberland sausages are national treasures!

File:Toad in the hole.jpg

It has made me more determined not to make sweeping generalisations when I am travelling.

It takes time to really know and appreciate a place. It takes time to know a places quirks.

Who am I to judge what I don’t understand?



I love England’s little quirks!