2015 has been an exhausting year! I packed in 9 countries and I added a three new countries to my portfolio, Poland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. As the busiest travelling year of my life I can honestly say there have been some great memories made and some serious life goals achieved this year. As I look back over the year, I have had some of the best moments of my life where I can honestly say I was truly at my happiest.
But with great moments comes bad moments too. A concoction of theft,
injury injuries, near death experiences and pain has made 2015 a year of learning more about myself then any other year. I feel my patience, strength and belief in myself was really tested but I am glad to say that non of my injuries or problems were long lasting and I have thankfully made it my 25th year with no real dramas!
So what were my best and worst moments of 2015? Well let me begin with the best moments!
Best Moments of 2015! 🙂
Hanging out with the best group of bloggers I know celebrating the coolest of festivals!
February saw the introduction of 6 magnificent people entering my life. On a press trip with Germany Tourist Board to celebrate Fasnacht, I met 6 people that individually taught me serious lessons in blogging, photography, life and friendship. The five days I spent hanging out with these awesome people in the coldest and snowiest parts of the Black Forest were some of my fondest memories of 2015.
Visiting Vienna for the first time and spending time with a dear friend!
Remember I said before that I met 6 awesome people? Elena from CreativeElena is one of them and she invited me on a trip to visit Vienna, a city she knows very well (being from Krems) and a city I dreamed of visiting! Delicious Austrian cuisine, new friends and a fantastic weekend was has. I managed to see parts of the city I probably would never had seen if it wasn’t for Elena and it marked the beginning of my love affair with the city!
Attending my first TBEX conference, meeting new people and learning!
April brought a whole new group of experiences including attending my first ever TBEX conference in Lloret del Mar in Costa Brava. This three day travel conference taught me more blogging knowledge then I had ever learnt before, introduced me to some of the industry’s best bloggers and to top it off, I spent almost two weeks in a part of Spain I had never visited before completely solo, the first time in over 2 years!
My first ever hot air balloon ride over Vic in Catalonia.
I am a girl that is not afraid of heights, which is probably a good thing since I was given the opportunity to take my first ever hot air balloon ride over the Catalonian countryside. Flying over the town of Vic I could see all the way to the ocean and to the Pyrenees! It was an experience I will never ever forget, nor will I forget the burning sensation on the top of my head from the gas blower above!
First holiday with my parents in a decade!
As a 25th Wedding Anniversary gift to my parents, we took them to Cinque Terre and Tuscany to retrace the steps of my father when he was a young 10 year old scout. Having visited as a boy, my father had been wanting to return to the region and to Bocca de Magra for years and finally in June of this year we spent 5 beautiful days exploring the region and ticking off some Bucket List items for us all!
Completing my 800+ km journey across Spain on the Camino de Santiago
By far the biggest achievement of this year and probably my life to date was completing the 800+ km journey by foot on the Camino de Santiago. I remember being a tearful and nervous wreck as I headed through the security gates of Prague’s airport, setting off on the biggest, longest solo journey of my life, completely unsure of whether I’d be strong enough to complete such an epic walk. But on the 23rd August after 29 days of tough walking, I walked into Santiago de Compostela feeling the most relived, happiest and proudest I have ever felt. When I look back on it I still feel a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.
I began a new career challenge!
In early November I entered a new chapter of my travel career with agreeing to work for Go Real Europe, an independent tour operator based in Prague as Marketing and PR Director, beginning my role with a two week orientation trip around Central Europe, revisiting my new found love Vienna, a new favorite of mine Salzburg, revisiting Budapest and finally starting my adventures of Poland in Krakow. The role is set to keep me incredibly busy for 2016 and I am sure you’ll see me visiting plenty of new places too!
Worst Moments of 2015! 🙁
Falling off a segway and ending up in hospital!
During my 5 day post TBEX trip, I took a Segway tour through El Montseny National Park. Unfortunately it ended in disaster when I crashed, coming off the Segway at 12 kilometers per hour. Not only did I suffer concussion, but I also took a trip to hospital to check over my hand and my head to ensure no serious damage was done. This was the first of several trips to a hospital for 2015…
Our near death experience in the French Riviera
As lovers of motorcycles and travelling around Europe, we are well aware of the risk we take every time we ride our Harley Davidson. During our 2000 km journey from Barcelona up through the French Riviera back to Prague we encountered the worst near death experience while riding our motorcycle to date. Shaken up a little I am surprised I agreed to get back on the bike the following day as we continued our journey back up through Europe. Needless to say it has definitely made me more adamant to teach others to look out for motorcyclists on the road. Remember – Take longer to look for bikes!
My little stumble(s) on the Camino
A day in the life of this Wanderluster is never boring! During my epic Camino journey I took 3 hospital trips! First I fell due to a weak ankle and subsequently landed face first into a dirt track, piercing my lip, cutting my legs and hands and breaking a small bone in my thumb. Second trip was to check out my swollen ankles (they were ridiculously big) and I found out I had severe tendinitis and the third to bandage my hand back up having had another small fall…oops! Luckily neither injuries resulted in me having to stop my Camino and I managed to still walk 800+ km even though some days were so painful all I could do was count my steps and pray my ankle wouldn’t give way again.
Finally…my stolen phone!
One rather painful (and not a physical pain) lesson this year was on my first day on my orientation trip around Central Europe for my new role. While on my way to the bus station in Prague, some un-thoughtful thief dipped into my pocket and stole my mobile phone. While some may argue it is just a possession, the amount of travel pictures, precious family captures, notes and irreplaceable contacts I lost broke my heart. The valuable lesson I learnt was to back up everything as often as you get the chance. Unfortunately for me, everything on my mobile has been lost and I will never get those pictures, contacts or notes back.
So what were your best and worst travel moments of 2015?