A Year Well Traveled
How is it the last week of 2015 already?? I swear it was August just last week...
The week between Christmas Day and January 1st is the perfect time of the year to kick back, munch on leftovers and reflect on the past year. 2015 was definitely a year of surprises and new beginnings, but more importantly, it was a year where I got to explore incredible places and make new friendships all over the globe.
So although right now I'm back home enjoying the holidays with my family and friends, I wanted to recap this year here, and send out a huge thank you to you. Yes, you! Thanks to your support and interest in this little space on the internet, I was able to do so much this year. So here's to another year of adventures and friendships - I hope you'll join along too!
Stop #1: Istanbul & Bursa, Turkey
Stop #2: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam. How can I even begin to describe Amsterdam? This city is beautiful (understatement), the culture and lifestyle is incredible, the people relaxed and open minded. My boyfriend and I fell head over heels in love with Amsterdam, and the surrounding neighbourhoods - Keukenhof and Zaanse Schans. If you're picking a destination for 2016, do not, I repeat, do not miss out on Amsterdam, especially in the spring.
Stop #3: Ios, Greece
This was by far the most unexpected trip this year. Travel Massive's unconference sounded so appealing that I just couldn't miss out, so a few emails and calls later, I had booked my flights and ferries, and jetted off to one of the most underestimated Greek islands - Ios. Gorgeous beaches, stunning landscapes, great parties and mouthwatering food - need I say more?
Stop #4: Nicosia, Cyprus
The historico-political geek in me adored this trip. Nicosia is the world's last divided capital, with a guarded wall dividing the Cypriot from the occupied Turkish zone. It's incredibly interesting to witness and experience the difference in the lifestyles of the two zones, just a few metres apart but so diverse. Despite its history, the city has a young feel to it, with a lot of non-mainstream options for its visitors.
I visited Cyprus as part of an exchange, and I couldn't have done it a better way - I met a group of people so diverse and interesting - these things always make a trip that more special. I can't wait to meet everyone again somewhere in the world :)
Stop #5: Thrace Region, Turkey
Can you tell I adore Turkey? This time round, I was able to visit the Thrace region, which is on the European side of Turkey and borders Greece and Bulgaria. It's a little known spot by adventurers, which is a pity, but a plus for me, as I got to visit most places in relative peace. I've yet to write more about the stunning cities I visited, so look out for those in the coming weeks! Until then, enjoy my Wine Route posts (glass of wine in hand optional) :)
Stop #6: Turin, Italy
Ending the year with a visit to Turin was one of my best decisions *claps on shoulder*. Compared to its stunning neighbouring cities, Turin is sometimes overlooked, but you'd be mistaken if you think this city has nothing to offer. Although busy and having an industrial past, Turin is surprisingly green and very modern, and with cheap flights taking you there on the regular, I know I'll be popping over again soon. Again, look out for more articles on the city in the coming weeks!
Phew! Looking back, it's actually been quite a great year. It's times like these that allow me to actually appreciate my fortune - I know that traveling isn't always an option for everyone, and I'm extremely grateful for being able to make time for doing what I love most in between studying and working. It's not always easy, but for me, seeing more of this world of ours is always worth it.
Until next year!