Memories: Where I’ve been and my travel bucket list

I love travel and holidays. Pre-baby, most of my disposable income went towards the next holiday… the next big trip. I love it all… package holidays, city breaks, backpacking on a budget and a bit of luxury!

My motto used to be ‘work hard, play hard, travel harder’! I’ve had some amazing experiences and I firmly believe that even not-so-good travel experiences should be classed as a positive life lessons!

Here’s some photos from some of the countries I’ve been to with some of the memories  created there….

Arenal, Costa Rica
Arenal, Costa Rica

Costa Rica: zip wiring, kayaking with crocodiles, sloths, tarantulas, sunset at the Mariposa, monkeys on the beach, waterfalls, frogs, hot springs overlooking a volcano

New York after Sandy
New York after Sandy

New York: Sandy! sisters, coffee, waffles, SATC, Tiffany’s, Starbucks, shopping

Baby turtles, Sri lanka
Baby turtles, Sri lanka

Sri Lanka: first wonderful holiday with my other half, releasing baby turtles into the sea, seeing elephants in the wild, fishermen on stilts, afternoon tea and tea plantations, tuk tuks, beers at sunset, watching turtles in the sea

Sunset, San Antonio, ibiza
Sunset, San Antonio, Ibiza

Ibiza: sun, swimming pool, showers (or lack thereof), beers on sunset strip, sangria, amazing steak and awful paella, girly fun

Marbella, Spain
Marbella, Spain

Marbella: girly weekend, pretending to own a huge yacht, mixing  gin with red bull = awful hangover

Amsterdam
Amsterdam

Amsterdam: Anne Frank’s house, wine, scrabble in a pub on a Saturday night, the cat museum… and another trip…. 12 hours of madness including a stag do and getting behind a bar to DJ in a pub!

Lagos, Portugal
Lagos, Portugal

Portugal: a few days by myself but making a great friend in the hostel, amazing beaches, amazing seafood, a man cooking sardines outside his house, cobbled streets and a wonderful square

Near the top of mount Kinabalu, Borneo
Near the top of mount Kinabalu, Borneo

Borneo: arriving alone and deciding to climb a mountain twice as high as Ben Nevis: getting up at 3am see sunrise from the peak was pretty special! getting approached by an orang utan at the sanctuary, wandering round the city barefoot (lost my flip flops) with people calling ‘miss, miss, you wanna buy slippers?’, our bus breaking down and being propositioned by a politician

Sunrise after a full moon party, Koh Pangan (no filter!!)
Sunrise after a full moon party, Koh Pangan (no filter!!)

Thailand: full moon parties (3!), temples, hours waiting for buses, overnight journeys, my first (and only) drive of a moped, seeing fluorescence in the sea for the first time, waterfalls, jungle treks, live music, great food, beautiful beaches, ping pong bars

 

 

Whitsundays, Australia
Whitsundays, Australia

Australia: sleeping on the deck of a boat in the barrier reef, camping on fraser island and thinking a dingo was outside our tent, taxi fun in Sydney, kangaroos and koalas in Australia zoo, bats in the botanical gardens, meeting the English rugby team… and Romanian waterboys!

Snorkelling in the Gili islands, indonesia
Snorkelling in the Gili islands, Indonesia

Bali/Lombok/Gili islands: snorkelling with the crazy boat-man, Ramadan, amazing seafood

Petronas towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Petronas towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysia: where do I start…. spending the night in a jungle hut, the night before sleeping in the worst accommodation ever – no running water!, the night after spending a fun night on the jungle night train, snorkelling with turtles in the Perhentian islands, having to leave said islands as co-travellers nearly started a riot, getting up early and hungover to go up the Petronas towers, bat cave, drinking in the hostel stairwell, rollercoasters in shopping centres

Sleeping man in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Sleeping man in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Vietnam: lanterns in Hoi An, cone hats, noodle soup and cheap beer on the streets, getting lost on a moped looking for ‘chicken town’, hanging out with tribes in the North, getting invited to a wedding party, going to a fashion show, mud baths, war museum and tunnels, getting ripped off by a taxi driver on my first day, sleeping on the deck of a boat in Halong bay

Ta Phrom, cambodia
Ta Phrom, Cambodia

Cambodia: temples, hanging with locals at a sacred lake, scorpions, sad recent history, spending a day helping out at an orphanage (the day Michael Jackson died), making new friends for life, waiting around for a bus to go into the remote North East

Trinidad, Cuba
Trinidad, Cuba

Cuba: beautiful Trinidad and beautiful beaches at Varadero, dancing in the streets

Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos
Monks in Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos: 10 pin bowling then staying up all night for sunrise to see the monks receive their alms, nearly drowning in a kayaking incident, long bus journeys, hanging in a hammock with sticky rice on 10 thousand island, Buddha park, beers and food at Vientiane riverside where you could buy a turtle’s foot for dinner 😦

Tulum, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico

Mexico: temples, driving a hire car, my first time snorkelling, dancing on the sand in a nightclub in Puerto del Carmen, Halloween in Cancun, sea sickness, amazing food!

Burj al Arab from medinat jumerah, dubai
Burj al Arab from medinat jumerah, Dubai

Dubai: family, breakfast on the beach, Atlantis, sunburn, shopping, 4×4’s in the desert

Old and new: Boston
Old and new: Boston

Boston: family, autumn, the crazy town of Salem, pretending to be students at Harvard

Shacks in Soweto, South Africa
Shacks in Soweto, South Africa

South Africa and Lesotho: horse riding to the highest waterfall in Africa, being so cold that I had to sleep fully clothed and keep my head under the covers, a bat in the house, roadside graveyards, shebeens (illegal drinking dens!), seeing elephants and giraffes in the wild, amazing landscape

The YSL garden in Marrakesh, morocco ,
The YSL garden in Marrakesh, morocco ,

Morocco: haggling, lanterns, amazing smells of spices, amazing food

Coliseum, Rome
Coliseum, Rome

Rome: rugby, lots of Chianti, pizza and club sandwiches in the hotel while playing cards

So there we have it – most of the places I’ve been! We’re hoping to continue seeing the world with baby W in tow and I still have so many places I’d like to visit….

  • Croatia especially Dubrovnik and some of the islands
  • Santorini (I’ve been to Rhodes, Corfu and Kos and loved them all!)
  • more places on our doorstep in France and Spain e.g. Valencia
  • Italy – Venice, the lakes, Sorrento
  • The Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • the whole of South America!
  • New Zealand especially the South island
  • India especially Kerala and Varanisi
  • Miami
  • San Francisco and Las Vegas
  • the Norwegian fjords

And anywhere else we end up 🙂

So there we have – I have lots of lasting memories from around the World – but lots more to create, now with a family in tow! I’ll leave you with one of my favourite ever quotes from Mark Twain…

‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover’

Read more of my travel posts here

This post is an entry for the #Flying100 Family Holiday Challenge, celebrating how flying allows us to make memories and ‘be there’, in association with #Flying100. Find out more at http://www.flying100years.com/

 

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Competition Entry: #GreatBritishHome

I didn’t plan to enter many competitions on my blog but when I saw the Victoria Plumb #GreatBritishHome competition, I couldn’t resist as I love John Lewis so wanted to be in with a chance to win vouchers!

So I took the beautiful-looking quiz and I was pretty surprised when it said I am Mrs Glamorous and my style is most like Sam Faiers from TOWIE…

‘Everything about you screams glamour; you always look photo-ready, whether you are working out, shopping in designer boutiques or snuggled up at home in your designer onesie. You crave home comforts that make a statement – a faux fur blanket, embellished cushions and lots of crushed velvet. You use neutral shades mixed with metallic. Pride of place are family portraits, kitchen gadgets and the keys to your Range Rover.’

About 99% of this is not me at all – the only bits I can relate to are snuggling up in a onesie (non-designer), loving faux fur blankets and family portraits!

So what does the Great British Home mean to me?
Comfort, functionality, security, relaxation, lived-in, low-maintenance….

My ideal home would have….

  • lots of natural light
  • some period features – I love old fireplaces, parquet flooring and curtain rails etc
  • house plants and family/holiday photos
  • a large kitchen/diner with an island in the middle that became the heart of the home (I’m imagining lots of wood)… this would open out on to…
  • another room in terms of a large garden with plenty of room for Bean and the cats to play in…teeming with pretty plants and shrubs… maybe a blossom tree… and plenty of nice-smelling, bee-friendly flowers like Lavender…
  • a living room with comfy sofas and an open fire – the perfect place to snuggle up with wine and a movie in the winter
  • bedrooms with large, comfy beds and calm, relaxing décor
  • hallways/landing with large windows, I love those ones where you can sit on the windowsill and watch the world going by
  • a large bathroom with a huge bath… maybe free-standing? maybe Jacuzzi-style?… and a powerful power shower
  • a magic room which all the mess and clutter lives in and gets sorted out every few months…. DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR! 😉
  • a happy family
  • friendly, caring neighbours
  • happy cats

What does the Great British Home mean to you and What’s your Celeb home style?!

This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you