This time last year, I wrote about the best experiences of 2014. It’s a yearly round up that helps to remind me that we don’t tend to remember the objects or things we accrue, but the moments that make us smile.
Below are my top 15 experiences of 2015. As a repeat of last year: Happy New Year! And as cliches as New Years may be, I hope everyone finds that inner spark that makes you do or achieve what you dream to do.
In 6 days time, I will hit my 2 year work anniversary at Exodus Travels. Upon leaving university, I had dungeon-like visions of what a “desk job” would mean to me.
I appreciate that I have found a company I am truly passionate about. 2015 marks a promotion from spreadsheet support girl to executive, a yearly holiday (round 2!) with colleagues whom I can genuinely call my best friends and the start of a new relationship. I’ve well and truly dug a nest here.
2) Reaching the top of Kilimanjaro 5895M, 6th March 2015
A trek to the rooftop of Africa! A unforgettable experience up the Lemosho Route. My longest life record without a shower, tears on summit day and a trek I always dreamed to do. You can read more about my experience on Kilimanjaro here
3) Phuket with Parents
It was 7 years since my last visit to Thailand! I spent 3 weeks in Phuket where I was able to finally see where my parents retired to. A sunny Christmas with island hopping, lots of seafood and my first family holiday together in years.
4) Desert Trekking in Jordan
Two birds with one stone here. I’d never been to a desert before and Jordan was #1 on my list of a places to go. I spent 3 days wild camping in Wadi Rum with the nicest Exodus group ever. Jordan was my 2nd educational (work trip) with Exodus.
5) Winning a £200 Travel Writing Competition – Daily Telegraph
This was the very first time I was published in a National Newspaper. I was shocked when I heard back from Daily Telegraph and I felt so genuinely happy that my personal ramblings won a travel writing competition (2 passions in one!). A online link to the article is available here
6) UK Weekend Road trips
Home is where the heart is! A chocolate factory weekend in Birmingham, caving in Cheddar, cycling in New Forest, coasteering in Dorset, Halloween in Dartmoor, the Beatles in Liverpool and Alpacas in Kent. Lots of weekend escapes from London and a wonderful re-energiser.
7) Sisterly Scotland
I entered a Facebook Competition on whim (just a comment on a status!) and I luckily managed to win a adventure weekend away with via Ferrata, fun yakking and canyoning with Vertical Descents. Squeeze in Ben Nevis and an overnight coach to Scotland and a sisterly weekend in Scotland ensues. You can read more about my trips to Scotland here
8) Trekking near Mont Blanc
I luckily got to go on the trip Mont Blanc Highlights as my third Educational trip with work. I added on a few extra days after the trip with a city break to Geneva, spent a day on one of the steepest cable cars in the world and took the chance to go glacier trekking after my trip.
9) Mystery Dining!
2015 represents the rekindling of an old student role I used to do – Mystery Dining in restaurants! I love eating out, yet it normally ends up being one of the most expensive things to do in London regularly.
I eventually reached ‘Platinum’ status and I completed over 10 restaurant visits to places I wouldn’t conventionally try (Jewish street food, quirky cinemas and expensive breakfast places). A great opportunity to treat a friend with a meal out, albeit with a long-ish report to complete after.
10) My First Microadventure
I spent a September weekend camping out solo without a tent. I’m a big fan of Alistair Humphreys and the concept of ‘Microadventures’. He describes how adventure is on our door step and that the idea that getting out into the wild, if only for one night, is enjoyable, invigorating and important.
You can read about my first solo sleep out experience here
11) Dabbling in Guitar
I’d never played a musical instrument before and I figured that it’s never too late to try. I brought a guitar due to my secret passion for Taylor Swift and as a tactical instrument that doesn’t require too much music reading. I spent quite a few evenings at guitar lessons near work and on a cheap Groupon Guitar course. A great weeknight pass time is YouTube Videos + guitar on lap!
12) Reverse Bungee Jumping
A sensation that can only be described as how Superman must feel like shooting off the ground to fly. I went to Bray Lake with my adrenaline buddy in crime (Quyny), where we were attached to a crane by the water and released into the air. I spent the afternoon learning to paddleboard for the first time. You can read about my experience here.
13) North Downs Way Summer Walking Weekends
I love National Trails! A series of lovely walks that are signposted, long distance and picturesque. I’ve completed half of the the 150 miles of the North Downs Way, most of the trail being within easy reach from London. An easy way to escape the city whenever the sun comes out.
14) Crazy about Copenhagen
“In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.“. I loved the vibe in Copenhagen! An old college friend + £35 Ryanair flights = a city break to remember.
15) Last but not least! Love
I tried online dating only once, only to realise I’m too shy, socially awkward and anxious to actually enjoy the experience of it. 2015 is the year I met Alex, a guy who genuinely warms my heart. I look forward to making memories together.
I hope everyone has a amazing 2016 filled with adventure, love and friendship. Remember that it’s exhausting to be angry and draining to be sad yet happiness feels timeless. Take each day within your stride and remember that: