About this time last year, I wrote about my top experiences for 2015 and 2014 . It’s a great way of reflecting and appreciating the last twelve months. It’s a gentle reminder of how the best things are not the objects we accrue, but the moments.
Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is healthy, successful and prosperous for everyone I know and love.
It will be my 3 year Anniversary at Exodus Travels on 9th January 2017. Starting off as my first ‘official’ job, I’ve made lifelong friends here, went to France, Italy and Portugal through work trips and was given the chance to try out a Sales role in Dec 2016.
2) Winter Mountaineering
I put in an application to try Winter Mountaineering in Scotland with Jonathan Conville Trust. The course is run by a charity and subsidised for anyone under 30. It’s a brilliant experience where I learnt the basics such as crampon + ice axe use, navigation and snow-profiling.
3) Solo Backpacking in Costa Rica
I tried for a late flight seat 3 days before departure and managed to get return flights to Costa Rica for £275! Costa Rica was one of the best trips I’ve ever done and the first time I went solo backpacking. I squeezed in canyoning, trekking up volcanoes and kayaking through rainforests in 2 weeks.
4) Zip-lining in Central America
Ziplining through a cloud rainforest in Monteverde, on the longest zipwire in Central America, the closest feeling to flying!
5) Golf Buggies of Gothenburg
My bestest buddy of 10 years + city break, round 4! We hijacked a golf buggy, ate meatballs, shared a bed and dodged every tram fare going.
6) Cycle Austria
Alex and I cycled 300km from Germany to Austria past rolling hills, vineyards and crumbling castles. A brilliant experience following the watercourse of The Danube.
7) Madeira Weekend
My first Sales Weekend with Exodus! We tobogganed off a mountain, ate endless 5 course meals, embarked on sheer cliff-side walks and admired the views of Funchal from atop a cable car.
8) Via Ferrata
I was shaking with fear, but I loved it! You are essentially tied to a mountain via a harness. If you fall, you still fall 4M before the harness catches you. A real step up from scrambling/trekking.
9) Trekking the Southern Alps
This was my 5th Educational with work, where I spent a week trekking in the Queyras, climbing up 3,000m peaks. An article I wrote is here, I nearly kidnapped the marmot below.
10) Laugavegur Trek, Iceland
Often described as the most beautiful trekking route in the world. We lugged 15kg backpacks for 5 days, nearly died in a storm and crossed glacial rivers so cold that it felt like a thousand needles with each step. A once in a life-time trek! Read about the experience here.
11) Madness in Macedonia
Book an apartment for £5 pppn, meet up with some crazy motorbike blokes, hitch a ride and a book “the time of your life” with Zoran. Crazy, fun, unpredictable and cheap as chips, Macedonia!
12) Travel Writing Competition Prize
I luckily won a Bradt Travel Writing competition, my entry is here. Our prize was a weekend break at Wheeldon Cottages, a free Autumn getaway!
13) UK Breaks
Caravans in Somerset, Sir Fettis of Edinburgh, fried creme eggs in York, Coast + Castles in Somerset, Pony biking in New Forest and Roald Dahl of Cardiff. The UK is amazing for varied weekend breaks, just a train or bus ride away.
14) Bothy Scotland
Bothy = free accommodation in disused huts! An overnight sleeper train to Aviemore, home-made feasts via a camping stove, paddleboarding, drinking pure water from mountain sources and being blown away in 100mph gusts of wind. Scotland in a nutshell.
15) Racket Sports
Took up a womens beginners’ squash course. Had a few sessions of Tennis at Grafton Tennis Academy every week. All new sports to me, but all great fun!
16) Alex B
Best until last, he makes me the happiest person in the world.
I’ve never really made New Years Resolutions, as I never saw the point of it. Each day is a new day, let’s make the next 365 days of 2017 a great one!