We’re now a week or so into 2018, and I’m raring to go! This time last year I was waiting for surgery and unable to make any concrete plans. This year, I promise you will be different.
Here’s a quick month by month recap of my 2017.
On January 22nd, this website was hacked, and I was unable to log in. After hours on the phone to my web host and being told it would cost $1000’s to restore, all of my posts going back to 2013 were lost. I now know I wasn’t given the best advice by the web host, and it would’ve been possible to get access to the backup files. You live and learn!
In October 2016, I injured my left knee during a ju-jitsu class. As a result of this, I was waiting for an operation to graft a new anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to replace the one that I tore. So that my knee was a strong as possible for the operation, I was having twice-weekly physiotherapy sessions at the hospital. My operation was scheduled for February.
I didn’t have any real ‘travel’ plans for February because I was supposed to be having ACL reconstruction surgery. The operation ended up getting delayed due to a long waiting list and a backlog of non-urgent operations caused by the added pressure of winter illnesses and NHS staff strikes.
I continued with the physiotherapy to keep my knee as strong as possible.
March was spent waiting for surgery, and continuing with the physiotherapy.
Finally, 6 months after I injured my knee I was given a date for the operation.
11th April – would be surgery day!
This month saw my first (and second) international trips of the year. Due to having a recent knee operation, I was told not to fly long-haul for 12 weeks because of the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
A short 1-hour flight and a weekend in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, to see an Iron Maiden concert
was just what the doctor ordered. Surprisingly, whilst England was having typical British weather (cloudy and rainy), I spent Sunday in Howth, Republic of Ireland, basking in glorious sunshine.
#Travel photo of the day 84. I spent the weekend in the Republic of Ireland 🇮🇪 This is a photo of Howth harbour. Howth is a small costal village on the east coast. It's a 25 minute ride on the DART from Dublin. If you want to a day away from the city and you're lucky enough to have decent weather, Howth is the place to go!
A few days after I returned from Ireland, I travelled to Bucharest, Romania as part of the #experienceBucharest press trip.
Ironically, I had planned to go to Romania anyway in October 2016, but couldn’t because of my knee injury.
June, July and August
During the summer months, I was mainly in Yorkshire, England. Having physiotherapy 3 times a week, left little time for travel further afield. I spent as much time as I could outside, and went camping many times.
Wooo! I was finally discharged from physiotherapy, which was fantastic as I’d planned a trip over to Germany. I spent a few days in Berlin, and in Szczecin, Poland. Thanks to VisitBerlin for the complimentary Welcome Cards. It was my first time back in Germany since 1994!
October and November
I headed back to Romania as part of the #ExperienceRomania press trip. Along with about 50 other bloggers, vloggers and influencers, we spent 2 weeks exploring the north and eastern part of the country. Romania is relatively undiscovered on the traveller trail and has a huge potential. There are many more posts on the country to come, so stay tuned!
The month of December was spent seriously thinking about what I want to do in the future, and if in fact, it’s worth continuing this blog. I have almost 4 years of posts to rewrite as well as content from this year. My passions for travel and learning about the world, its people, cultures and nature are as strong as ever, so, YES I will continue.
Many of you will know I'm not a festive person 🎅🔫🤣🤣. I spent Christmas day in sunny Scarborough. It's a tradition on Boxing day (26th Dec) to take a dip in the chilly North Sea… As I wasn't going to be at the coast then I went for a swim on Christmas day! Don't let the photos fool you… It was bloody freezing ❄❄ The air temperature was about 9°c (which is actually fairly mild for the time of year). The sea temperature was about 7 or 8°c…
Goals and plans for 2018
- To grow this blog. This means posting regularly and creating detailed but engaging content.
- To be more active on social media.
- To stay injury free!
- To achieve the grade of 2nd Dan in jujitsu.
- Travel plans confirmed so far include trips to Macedonia, USA and to Cuba. I’m hoping to attend the Traverse conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Tbex in Ostrava, Czech Republic. I’d also like to go back again to Romania.
Flights taken: 8.
Distance travelled from one destination to another: (does not include any travel within England):
- 7577.92 miles or 12194.66 kilometres. In terms of distance travelled, 2017 was the worst year!
Countries visited: (not including England).
- The Republic of Ireland
- Romania (twice)
Romania was the only new country I visited in 2017.
Capital cities visited: 4
Most Northern place visited:
- Newcastle, England.
Most Southern place visited:
- Bucharest, Romania.
- Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
- Sarata-Monteoru, Romania.
Live football matches seen: 0 *must change this in the coming year*
Football stadiums visited: 0
Oceans, seas, rivers and lakes that I’ve got wet in:
- North Sea
Live bands seen this year:
- Alice Cooper
- Foo Fighters
- Iron Maiden
- The Mission
- The Tubes
Best food eaten:
- Too many to choose from. Borscht, in Szczecin, Poland. Most of the food I ate during the #ExperienceRomania trip.
Worst food eaten:
Boiled eggs stuffed with mushroom.
Best place visited:
- Zărnești, Romania – specifically Libearty Brown Bear Sanctuary.
Finally, Instagram have allowed me back into my account after roughly 2 weeks! Anyway, here's this week's #wildlifewednesday 📸 Photo taken at @libearty_bear_sanctuary as part my recent trip to Romania with #ExperienceRomania 🇷🇴 Out of the many places we visited during the trip, this was probably my favourite. 🐻 The bears at the sanctuary have been rescued from circuses, from being caged in inhumane conditions outside restaurants, petrol stations and zoos where they were used to attract customers. The sanctuary has been credited by National Geographic has one of the most ethical sanctuaries in the world. Here, the bears climb trees, swim in the pools and forage on the vegetation. For many of them, having been caught from the wild as cubs, this is a new and stimulating experience.
Worst place visited:
- I can’t think of a place I visited this year that I didn’t like.
- As of today (9th January 2017), there are more than 2550 of you on my Facebook page, 11400 of you following us on Twitter.
- On Instagram, I have more than 10700 followers.
A belated Happy New Year, and I wish you the best of health and safe travels for 2018.