2015 was a good year. On New Years Day I was still recovering from the 10 hour flight back from Johannesburg, so although that trip was technically in 2014, it felt like last year.The first half of the year was spent working and studying until I graduated from University in June and moved from Bath back home to Warrington. There I spent a couple of weeks until jetting off on my first solo trip to the USA to stay with a friend in Cape Cod.In September I started a part time job in admin to save up for more travelling experiences. In November I took a trip to Reykjavik in Iceland. So overall, two trips abroad isn’t a fantastic number, but it was enough to convince my facebook friends that I was jet-setting at least a little.2016 is going to be different. This year is the year of travelling. In February I have booked a trip to Riga and in March, Copenhagen. The rest of the year is still undecided with Poland and Thailand looking like strong contenders.
I’m still working part time and this year I’m in the process of doing a TEFL course so I can hopefully teach abroad in September. I’m also attempting to learn my second language, Russian.
Here’s my wish list of places I’d love to visit in 2016:
Riga and Šiauliai. Riga was the capital of culture of 2014 and is on my list in 2016. Latvia is a country that hasn’t taken off on the tourist board yet and that’s a shame. It’s cheap, it’s European and it’s got enough mystery to intrigue me for my first trip of the year. Siauliai is in Lithuania and although I’d definitely love another trip to Lithuania in the future, I can’t pass up an opportunity to see the Hill of Crosses as a day trip from Riga.Copenhagen. From what I’ve heard, Copenhagen is the hipper, edgier version of Amsterdam that has a Scandinavian feel with European prices. That, combined with the overall coolness (literally and metaphorically), I’m excited for my three-day trip in March.Stockholm. In 2015 I became interested in all things Scandinavian, minimalism and Nordic designs. There’s no place quite like Stockholm to truly experience all of these things. Trust me on this, Stockholm is going to be 2016’s Budapest. You heard it here first.Moscow and St Petersburg. Where better to practice my Russian than the country’s capital and largest city? Although Russia has never been the coolest, hippest country, there’s still something to be said about it, and I have a thing for the Russian Orthodox churches.Kiev and Prypyat. The Ukraine has been on my list for some time. I realise it isn’t the most conventional choice. Kiev is the country’s capital and is both beautiful and unexpected, whereas Prypyat receives lots of questions like, ‘why would anyone ever want to go there?’. Perhaps it’s because I’m obsessed with dark tourism and abandoned places, or maybe I want to freak people out when I tell them where I’m going. Either way, the Ukraine is definitely on my list for 2016, or at least sometime after.Thailand. Everyone and their uncles are going to Thailand these days. The vegans are flocking for the fruit festivals and the graduates are flocking for the parties and to “find themselves”. I hate to be a stereotype but I’m going too. Although, I’ll be the weirdo handing out leaflets about the cruelty behind elephant rides and actively trying to avoid running into Freelee and Durian Rider for fear I’ll give them a heated piece of my mind.Olso and Longyearbyen. Norway is one of my true loves at the moment and I’ve never even been there. There’s something about Norway that I’m obsessed with. It could be the Nordic interiors or the Scandinavian architecture or the fjords. It’s probably the fjords. Longyearbyen is the world’s most northern town in Svalbard and the perfect place to see the midnight sun and polar bears. I hope to visit in the summer because there’s no way I’d survive an Arctic winter.Warsaw and Kraków. If you can tell by the theme of this list, my favourite kinds of countries are weird, ex-soviet states and Scandinavia. Poland and Thailand are wild cards, influenced heavily by where my friends are going. However, I fell in love with the post card pictures of Warsaw at Christmas time and decided I couldn’t not go.