Last week I covered everything I’ve shopped this past year, so today let’s take a look at my Travel Bucket List for 2019. If any of you had told me that in fact my list was modest, to say the least, I would’ve shook my head and looked at you pityingly. And I would’ve been extremely wrong doing so!
This year has provided me with a surprise, after surprise, after surprise, after surprise, and the amount of travel I ended up doing this year was one surprise I could not have predicted even in my wildest dreams.
I’ve basically traveled every single month this year. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Let’s first take a look at how I expected to get along.
My Travel Bucket List 2019 (as I expected)
So, I had a very modest plan for travels this year: I wanted to stay in Europe for many reasons. Fear of flying and low financial situation were chief among them. And to be honest, I had started my year with adventures to Hawaii and New York, so I think my over-the-bond travels were sufficiently executed.
Here’s how I did:
The first point on my list was focused on local travel. I’ve lived in Estonia for 3 years but have somehow managed to avoid visiting ANY other areas in the country, other than the capital I live in.
Thank goodness for a brother who loves a good road trip, so when they came to visit one Summer weekend they prompted me to embark on a local adventure. And what an adventure it was! Even in the smallest country you can find truly extraordinary places.
Finally. FINALLY! I’ve never been to Italy but it’s always been a dream of mine (obviously, as I’m an advocate for pizza and literally live on pasta). Ever since I found out that we have straight flights to Milan, it’s been haunting me day and night.
And then, on one Skype call to my best friend in Slovakia, we threw this idea into the air. And within 12 hours we both had flights to Milan! It was just an extended weekend though, but I am beyond thrilled that I can finally check this off my list.
That doesn’t mean, though, that I wouldn’t bounce for the chance to go back to Italy TOMORROW!
Living in Slovakia was perhaps the best and the loveliest introduction to Eastern European countries and people. I got to travel around a lot (because you can just drive across any border and money isn’t an obstacle there), and I am forever in love with that side of our dear continent.
When we add my undying love for castles and the stories they hold, Romania was an obvious addition to my travel bucket list. And I have to say that, despite many good opportunities, not having traveled there this year is a big disappointment to me.
Here we come to the fact why I tend to avoid making bucket lists: it pisses me off when I can’t tick off all the points… And that feeling of disappointment isn’t made any better when we move on to my last point on my travel bucket list:
I love an extraordinary travel destination, that wouldn’t even cross most people’s minds. The Balkans is full of smaller and bigger countries that are still rather unknown and unexplored by the tourist masses, and those are the countries I wanna visit NOW! Before they are ‘found’.
Macedonia came to be on my bucket list because they started organizing straight flights from my home town in Finland to Skopje. Small city surrounded by incredible nature and mountains, what’s not to like!
But it was not to be, not this year. Hopefully soon!
My Actual Travel Bucket List 2019
So, even though I only completed 50% of my travel bucket list, I did travel elsewhere 3 times more than I could’ve expected. I published the said travel bucket list in March, so in addition to Hawaii and NY, I had managed to visit London as well. So, here’s what happened from March onwards:
I had resigned from my job at the bank and my then boyfriend was in need of a vacation, so we started searching for places that already had warm weather but were a short flight away. Greece was a good contender but we ended up with Lisbon.
Which was a brilliant idea, because it was much warmer there than in Greece that week! In addition to incredible food and all the exercise in the very hilly city, the most amazing adventure was the mountain city of Sintra just 20 minutes away from Lisbon. If you like a fairy tale castle, this is your place!
This couldn’t have been a more enjoyable addition to my travel list: I used to live in Scotland and I literally left my heart there. Somehow, though, I managed to avoid Edinburgh the whole year I was in Aberdeen. So it was about time to go for a visit!
And the perfect opportunity arose via my beautiful Grow & Glow community and the Scottish Bloggers event. I booked couple extra days for myself there, and I spent it doing what you literally can’t do in Estonia: going on quality Tinder dates. Emphasis on the word ‘quality’.
A little more local travel, again prompted by someone else but me. A friend of mine moved away from Estonia and we wanted to have a farewell girls’ weekend in the spa town, Pärnu, just 2 hour’s drive away from Tallinn.
We got extremely lucky with the most amazing weather, brilliant AirBnB and most amazing company: 2 cats that we adopted for the weekend we spent there.
As I mentioned, I love Eastern European countries. So, when my colleague suggested, out of the blue, that we should book a holiday to Ukraine, I was completely in. It had all the hallmarks I ever required: it was extraordinary, it was surprising, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew the culture well enough.
I cannot recommend Odessa enough! It’s everything you don’t think Ukraine is: modern, beautiful, sunny, busy, and absolutely charming. I have never encountered such exquisite architecture anywhere and the beach clubs are everything you need for relaxing 100 per cent. YOU MUST GO!
London, Brighton and Oxford(?), England
Funnily enough, I am on this very trip right this moment. It’s another trip initiated by my membership in the Grow & Glow blogging community, and always as agreeable as can be. Having lived in London as well, I’d never say ‘no’ for an opportunity to go back.
Again, I booked a little bit longer a trip than just the G&G Christmas party on Saturday, and my reasons for that were very simple: I wanted to be out of Estonia as long as possible, and I wanted to be able to visit my old hoods in Brighton (yes, I lived there as well).
In addition, I’d like to visit some place in England I haven’t visited yet, and Oxford sure sounds lovely. But I’ll have to see if I have time for that. For now, I’m enjoying myself a hundred per cent being back in London, wandering around Shepherd’s Bush and Hammersmith reminiscing the old times.
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It’s amazing how life often seems to have other plans for you than what you initially even thought possible. And I love it!
I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings my way in terms of traveling, hopefully even more unexpected adventures.
How did your year look like travel-wise? Did you get to travel much? Where have you been to? ♥
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