#Take12Trips: 12 months of travel and adventure!
The #Take12Trips challenge was started by Clare Farrell of Need Another Holiday last year and I decided to join the #Take12Trips challenge in October 2013. The idea behind the challenge was to encourage those involved to travel more frequently, taking at least one trip per month. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to travel far; the whole point is to bring more adventure and fun into your life. So how did I do?
I flew to Dublin, Ireland for 4 nights, to attend TBEX, a travel blogging conference. This was my first visit to Ireland so I made sure I squeezed in a little time to explore Dublin from my fantastic base in Smithfield Square, at the brilliant Generator Hostel.
I spent 6 nights in London, England to attend World Travel Market for the first time. I stayed at the lovely Palmer’s Lodge Swiss Cottage and spent the week networking, learning, making new friends and catching up with old ones!
Manchester, England was my first #Take12Trips destination for December; I met up with other northern-based bloggers for a day exploring the wonderful Christmas Markets.
Christmas was spent in York, England with family.
2014 started with heartbreaking news as my parents had to re-home our very much-loved Labradoodle, Alfie; so I returned to York to say goodbye. Let’s just say it was complicated; no fault and there have been a lot of tears. There still are… Alfie was re-homed responsibly via the RSPCA; we know he has gone to an animal lover, which gives me some comfort.
I needed a distraction and some inspiration so I took a trip to the Times Destination Travel Show in Manchester.
I took a trip Up North to Newcastle-Gateshead for 3 nights to attend the second Traverse travel blogging conference, catch up with blogger friends and explore more of these great northern cities. I had an excellent Indian food experience at Angeethi.
London was my next destination for a couple of nights; it was primarily a work trip to attend a workshop but as always, I combined it with an opportunity to see a travel buddy and wander around the capital.
I didn’t travel far in April; I had a few days off work around the Easter break and took the opportunity to make chocolate eggs at home for family before visiting them in York.
All my trips were within Yorkshire during May; my home county. I went with a friend to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which is a wonderful outdoor open space; a little oasis of calm just a short drive from city-life in Leeds.
My nephew George also came to visit and we took a trip to the National Media Museum in Bradford and to Tropical World in Leeds. Of course you don’t need a small person to come along and enjoy either of these places – I love going to see the meerkats in Tropical World with big people too! 😀
I bought a GoPro in May and decided to test it out on a sunny day, so I took a road trip to the Yorkshire coast to Scarborough. I still haven’t finished editing that video!
Every June I meet up with fellow alumni, lecturers and current students from my MSc degree programme. We alternate locations between England and the European Continent, which is where most of the community are based. This month our weekend event took place in Sheffield, England. We held a one-day conference and spent the rest of the time on informal activities, which involved exploring the host city and drinking beer. Although I recall this time around, there were a few too many tequila shots too!
Later in the month I went with my parents to Manchester to walk down those famous Cobbles on the Coronation Street Tour.
I also squeezed in a trip to York to catch up with a travel buddy who was visiting from London.
July was another busy month of travel. The Tour de France came to Yorkshire so I went over to York to watch the Tour de Yorkshire with my dad. I even managed to get myself on national TV, as I had a great spot at the side of the road, right next to the cyclists.
For a birthday treat I flew to Dublin to meet up with an old friend from Taiwan. We spent a good few days exploring Dublin, we visited the Guinness Storehouse and went to make a wish and to arrange for a fairy to come live with my little niece, Freya. Freya now has her Irish Fairy Door in her bedroom and her fairy Holly has moved in! We also travelled to Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway with Wild Rover Tours, courtesy of Generator Dublin; that was such a fantastic day!
Towards the end of July I was supposed to go Back to the Future as a Hill Valley High resident at a Secret Cinema event in London. Due to Secret Cinema not being ready on time, the event was cancelled and I lost some money on the tickets. I was so disappointed that I wasn’t going to get to participate or wear my 50s Lindy Bop dress that I bought specially. I already had a hotel booked too (which I would have lost also), so we decided to go to London anyway and I used my free stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Tower of London. I luckily won that last year at a blogger networking event, Traverse Mingle. So in the end we had a fun couple of days exploring London and we found the not-so-secret, secret location for Hill Valley and managed to see some of the set. We also enjoyed some of those Doubletree by Hilton warm cookies – those alone are worth a stay at the Doubletree!
August was the travel highlight of my year, a whole month away! I flew to Vancouver, Canada for 3 nights before flying up to Anchorage, Alaska to meet a travel buddy and join a 19-day tour with Grand American Adventures; Alaska, Yukon and Arctic Circle! That really was a camping trip of a lifetime and a dream come true to see so many grizzly bears in the wild! I saw lots more wildlife too – and travelled with some fabulous people. Following the road trip, I spent a few extra days in Anchorage before flying back home after another quick visit to Vancouver.
My travel highlight for September involved a weekend trip to London. I along with a couple of friends, backed a special project on Kickstarter. We backed Zach Braff’s new indie movie, Wish I Was Here and we went to London for a special backers’ premier, hosted by Zach Braff himself.
The #Take12Trips challenge has certainly motivated me to travel more regularly this year and even when funds have been low, I’ve still succeeded in finding something to do because, adventure does not have to cost the earth.
Beyond the #Take12Trips challenge
Since I completed the 12-month challenge I’ve continued to travel somewhere each month. In October I flew to Athens, Greece for 4 nights (for TBEX blogging conference) and in November I returned to London again for World Travel Market. I don’t yet have any immediate future travel plans but I have a nice break coming up over the holidays, so I’m sure I’ll squeeze in some sort of mini adventure – or two! 🙂
To see how the Holiday Addict, Clare Farrell did with her own #Take12Trips challenge, head on over to Need Another Holiday to see more examples of how you can have a full-time job and still make time to travel often.
Did you participant in the #Take12Trips challenge? Or has this inspired you to travel more? I’d love to hear!