My Travel Diary (1998-2009)

21 Apr 2020

I've been so so fortunate that I was raised in a family that valued travel and really valued getting cultural experiences while travelling and not just going away in the summer to get some sun but to actually get away to experience new parts of the world in a real and positive way. This is definitely where my love of travelling and exploring has stemmed from and to this day I'll always choose to explore a city rather than lie on a beach (not that there's anything against that by the way, you do you). It makes me sad that for the first time ever in my life I won't be going on a trip this year because of the coronavirus pandemic so I thought I'd use this time to take a trip down memory lane and share briefly about everywhere I've ticked off the travel bucket list during my first ten years on earth starting right at the very beginning up until 2009 (I'll continue from 2010 onwards in a later post). I had so much fun going through old photo albums and reminiscing with my family about this so I hope it brings you joy too!


My very first trip before I can even remember was to Zurich in Switzerland, the actual first trip was probably actually to Donegal but that's nowhere near as exciting! As I say I don't remember a single thing about this trip but if anyone asks I can always say I've been to Switzerland and I even have the photos to prove it! (We also went to the Lake District this year, what can I say I was a well-travelled baby)


This was the last trip that we went on before my sister was born and it was the first of many many trips for me to The Netherlands. My family treat the Netherlands the same way that normal British families treat Spain. We go there a lot. I think it spawns from my Dad living there and loving it so much we were forced into loving it too! We also paid a visit to my Mum's family in Scotland because we always stop off there on our route to get the ferry to Rotterdam. We also went again to our caravan in Donegal which is where we spent most Easters or half-term holidays throughout our childhood.


And it's off to The Netherlands again (this will be a recurring theme) but this time there was four of us. We went to an area called Zandvoort which is right by the sea and it's a popular beach resort in the Netherlands. (We actually tried to go back the last time that we were there but it was so crowded we couldn't get parked anywhere)


Ah 2001, the first time I ever set foot in Denmark which to date is still my absolute favourite place I've ever been. I obviously don't really remember this trip all too well bar the nice video footage we have of me being wildly unable to drive a car in Legoland (which I still can't do to this day, start as you mean to go on I guess). I call this series of photos: 'Alice being obsessed with Denmark since June 2001'.

We also went over to Birmingham briefly to visit some family in 2001 and paid a visit to the Ragdoll Shop and Cadbury's Factory which as a 3-year-old were very very exciting.


Guess where we went in 2002, yep, back to our beloved Netherlands. I've honestly lost track of what we did on each different visit. I think we've been 7 times in total throughout the years.


We took a trip to Yorkshire in 2003. I think this is possibly the first holiday that I can actually remember being on. I remember going to a theme park and a farm and even finding a street in York called Mad-Alice Lane which my Dad insisted we take a picture with!

We also took strip to Scotland this year again to visit my Mums family and stopped off in Alnwick to visit the castle. Apparently, I really liked castles as a child. 


My eldest cousin got married in 2004 so while my cousins from Scotland were over for the wedding we all took a trip down to Cork for a big family holiday. I remember going on this trip and I remember the place where we stayed but I remember very little else. The next couple of years I couldn't find any photos from which for my sake is probably a good thing because I was starting to get to that awkward age.


In 2005 we took a trip to London at Easter for my mum's 40th birthday. This was my first ever time in London and actually the only time for another 10 years. We went to see Mary Poppins in the west end which really sparked my love of theatre. We also did lots of typical touristy things including going on the London Eye but my biggest thing was that I desperately wanted to visit the Sylvanian Families shop which was an experience!  

We also went back to the Netherlands again and you really don't need to see any more photos from there right? This was the year we went to Spiel Stad Oranje which still somehow has a vivid place in my memory.


This year we took another break from our European adventures and headed to Aberdeen to visit our family who live over there. We visit Scotland a lot but this was our first (and currently only) trip to Aberdeen.


You guessed it, back to the Netherlands, but this time we went with our family in Scotland (the ones we visited last year and the ones who came to Cork with us in 2004) and my Netherlands trips really all blend into one after a while. (Fun fact I filled out a map of places I've been around the world and I've been to so many places in the Netherlands that I count as a local so that's a thing)


This was potentially my favourite year of trips ever! To start we headed to Paris for Easter to go to Disneyland as well as having a day to explore the city which was just divine. I desperately need to go back to Disneyland as well because I feel like I'd enjoy it so much more as an adult than I did as a child. I also did not appreciate Paris nearly enough for its beauty. My favourite thing about this trip was actually when we were in Paris we ordered hot dogs at a restaurant and they came with cheese on them and we actually cried we were so upset about it but right now I can think of nothing better than a hotdog with cheese. It's funny how things change!

In 2008 we also went on the best holiday ever, my sister agrees, it was to Denmark. It was just the loveliest time. We flew to Billund and then spent some time in Blavand and Esbjerg in the western part of the country and it was really just a bloody lovely trip. We did so many lovely local things and stayed in the loveliest little house. We also saw Mamma Mia in the cinema on this trip which was obviously a highlight! Happiest in Denmark since 2001.


We took a trip to Austria during half-term in February to Salzburg. We mainly went for the Sound of Music Tour but we also got to explore some of the surrounding area and even got a cablecar up the Untersberg mountain.

2009 also led us to Manchester where we went to visit some family and got to experience the wonders of Blackpool. The lasting memory from this trip, however, was when we ate dinner at Frankie and Benny's at 8.30pm!!! 11 year old me could not believe we were eating dinner so late it blew my mind!

We also took a trip to Wicklow where my Dad had gotten loan of a caravan for the week in return for preaching at a church so that was also a fun adventure but perhaps the most fun adventure of 2009 was my primary school leavers trip to wales! This was my first proper time away without my parents so it was very exciting even though it wasn't really that far away it was nice to have on least hoorah with my friends before we left for secondary school and we got to go on a ferry.

Well, that was a journey! Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 coming soon! What did you think? what was your favourite trip that you took at a child? Let me know in the comments below!

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