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A look back on 2017

I can’t believe we are at the end of 2017. I’m sure everyone says this but I feel like this year has flown by. As is tradition on this blog, at the end of the year I like to look back at the places I visited and things I achieved throughout the year. So let’s take a little trip down memory lane…

The annual ski trip

In February we travelled to Val d’Isere for our traditional birthday ski trip. It was my first time visiting this resort and it has become one of my firm favourites in Europe. We are in the midst of planning our 2018 ski trip now. I’m not sure where we’ll end up this time but I’m looking forward to hitting the slopes again soon.

The big UK road trip

In April we set off on a big road trip around the UK, passing through Wales, Scotland and England. I got to do a lot of castle hunting on this trip and ticked off a few bucket list places including Alnwick Castle and Caernarfon Castle. This trip reaffirmed my desire to explore more of the north of the UK so hopefully I will get the chance to do that in 2018.

A week in Italy

In July I finally visited Cinque Terre, a place I’d been longing to visit for years! Being peak season the towns were swarming with tourists but it was every bit as beautiful as it appears in photographs and I enjoyed my time there immensely.

I also spent a few days in Genoa. This city is the perfect entry point if you’re looking to travel to Cinque Terre but it’s also a worthy destination in it’s own right. There are some beautiful palaces and museums to explore and it’s a lot less touristy than some of the other big Italian cities.

Staycationing

In January we travelled to Bristol for the weekend, and popped over to nearby Tyntesfield before heading home. We also spent the August Bank Holiday weekend in Cambridgeshire, fitting in visits to the Wimpole Estate and Elton Hall.

Staying at a genuine French chateau in Bordeaux’s wine country

In October we spent a few days in Saint-Émilion and Bordeaux. We stayed at the incredible Château Hôtel Grand Barrail, a 19th century château just outside Saint-Émilion. I still have a couple more blog posts to write about our time in Bordeaux so stay tuned for those in the coming weeks.

Day tripping

I packed in a lot of day trips this year, taking full advantage of my HHA and National Trust memberships. Some of the highlights were visiting Hever Castle, Castle Farm lavender fields, Strawberry Hill House, and Syon House.

London life

In-between travels I got to do some pretty awesome things in London this year. I went inside the Freemasons’ Hall for the first time, watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with a live orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, took a ride on the Mail Rail, had a peek inside the Crossness Pumping Station, saw the Painted Hall ceiling up-close, and explored some amazing buildings during Open House weekend.

Personal achievements

Two months ago I started a new job and I’m so happy with how it’s worked out. Changing jobs when you’re on a Tier 2 sponsorship visa is a difficult undertaking but it has been totally worth it. I work for a fantastic company that values and invests in it’s employees, and I’m part of a wonderful team who are a pleasure to work with. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring in my career.

Most popular blog post

I like to look back at my blog stats to see which posts have been the most popular. In 2017, my post on what to expect at your UK Premium Service visa appointment had the most views by far.

Most popular instagram

I wasn’t surprised to see that my most-liked Instagram post this year was from my trip to Cinque Terre. In fact, four photos from my Italy trip made it into my Instagram best nine.

And that’s a wrap on 2017! Thanks for following along with me, I hope you all have had a fantastic year.

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