My Travel Diary (2010-2020)

26 Apr 2020

We're back for another look at my travel history, If you missed the last one you can find it here. This is where things start to get interesting as this is around the time when I started to take my own photos so you'll see the photo quality start to increase as we work our way through the 2010s of travel.


In the summer of 2010 we went to Italy. We flew to Bologna and then stayed in the hills of Tuscany for a week before moving to a hotel in Bologna city itself. It was around this time that I got my first digital camera after having point and shoot disposables for all of our childhood holidays so it's this point that I started to take holiday photos for myself and the inner travel blogger in me came out! I did a post where I edited all of my photos from this Italy trip in the same style that I edit now (You can check it out here). We visited so many cities on this trip. We hit: Pisa, Venice, Florence, Verona, Bologna, Ferrara and Lucca along with some others.


We only managed to make it to Donegal this summer but in September I went on an exchange with school to Lippstadt in Germany and we headed into Cologne for the day as well as doing lots of other fun things and also attending some classes in the german school (these photos are also in the above post). I stayed with a German family and then a few months later she came back to stay with me!


One more trip to the Netherlands for good measure. This one however I do remember. We stayed in a campsite beside a theme park called Duinreil which we had exclusive access to every morning before it was open to the public. This was such fun trip because I could literally go on rollercoasters whenever I wanted which is always something that I want to do when I'm away because we don't really have any theme parks in Northern Ireland. The photos here are from the cheese market in Gouda and our trip to Kinderdijk, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site full of windmills.


This year we went to Norfolk and we stayed in a little beach town called California nearby to Great Yarmouth. There was also a massive heatwave while we were there so you could barely tell the difference between California, Norfolk and California, USA.

On route to Norfolk we stopped off in Birmingham for a few days and also paid a visit to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour because Harry Potter obsessed me just HAD to go (and I would 100% go back!)


In July we headed to Malta, this is where my parents went on their honeymoon and it was their first time back. I'd say this was probably our first and only beach holiday to date so we got to do some sightseeing but we also got to go snorkelling which was great fun! I was supposed to be going back to Malta this summer with my friends but unfortunately, Coronavirus had other plans!

We also headed to Scotland for a few days, my mum was taking my Grannie to see the Tattoo and we headed into Edinburgh for the day to explore. The fringe festival was on at the time so the city was bustling with people. This was also the first time I had Gregg's which was an experience.


This is the only year in my life that we haven't gone on a family holiday. we attended a conference in Sligo and that's become a thing we do every year and my sister and I also attended our church youth camp but no trip abroad was quite sad 


What a year 2016 was for me. I did my A Levels and then mid a-levels decided that it would be a good idea to fly to London for a concert! Why my parents okayed that I'll never know but it was such a fun time with some friends that I've met online and solidified my love for London and I started going once a year for the next few years.

This was also the year of the trip that changed my life, nothing dramatic happened, I just went to Copenhagen for the first time. There are truly no words to express how much I adore the city of Copenhagen. You think I'm joking but I actually remember distinctly the second I stepped off the plane at Copenhagen airport falling in love. This trip holds such a special place in my heart and I want to go back as often as I can because there's still so much of it left to explore. I even still listen to the podcast from the church we attended when we were there. I'll do a full travel guide one day but for now, just know that it is and will forever be my favourite place on Earth. 

On this trip we also drove into Malmö in Sweden. This was my first time in Sweden and as a Eurovision fan this was BIG. We actually heard Eurovision songs on the radio and I was shook. We explored the surrounding areas of Lund, and Ystad and I loved Sweden but I just love Denmark more.


This was an exciting year because it was my first time ever leaving Europe as we embarked on our first trip to the United States! But first I went on. my first ever solo trip to London which was actually super enjoyable. I had a great time exploring places by myself and it was definitely a fun experience. It also led to one of the strangest but most incredible days of my life but that's a whole other story.

Heading stateside for the first time was very exciting, it was my first time flying long-haul, my first time needing a visa and my first time with in-flight entertainment! We flew from Dublin to Boston and then made the drive to a little Airbnb on Cape Cod, during this portion of the trip we explored all the sites around the cape, and also took some day trips to Boston and to Providence in Rhode Island.

After a week at the cape, we headed south to New York City! I think I'd dreamed of visiting New York for my entire life so actually finally setting foot in the place that I'd only ever seen on tv and in movies was very surreal. We had a heatwave when we were there so it was actually very uncomfortable and unenjoyable to do anything major so I would love to go back again some time when it isn't as hot (fun fact, this is also the last time that I set foot in a gym).

I also paid 2 trips to Glasgow this year to visit my friend who was at uni there one in January and one in November. We explored the city itself and then took a trip to Loch Lomond which was absolutely breathtaking but also absolutely FREEZING!


This was truly my wildest travel year to date! The first trip of the year was in May when my cousin and I took a mini-break to Portugal to attend a semi-final of Eurovision. We flew into Faro and spent the morning there before getting a train to Lisbon where we attended Eurovision and spent the night then spent the morning exploring Lisbon before heading back to Faro and boarding our flight home. Exhausting but very very worth it!

We then went on a family trip in late July early August time back to our beloved Netherlands. We stayed in a little farmhouse hotel right by a little village in the North Brabant area and it was delightful. We were near the Belgian border so we managed to take a few trips into Belgium to visit Ghent and Antwerp as well as paying visits to bigger Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam. This was actually our first time ever in Belgium which for the amount of times we've been to the Netherlands is staggering!

Fast forward to the first week of September and we arrive at the wildest travel week of my life. I went on 6 flights in one week and I don't know how I was still alive by the end! Sunday morning I flew to London for another concert but I only spent the day there and flew back that night.

Then the following morning I started my internship which meant I needed to fly to Bradford for induction. (I was based in Belfast but the company headquarters are in Bradford so I made a few trips there between 2018 and 2019). I stayed in Bradford until Tuesday and then flew back home.

Wednesday morning I got a bus down to Dublin and we went on a big family girls trip to Copenhagen. I wasn't even the driving force behind this trip but I was more than happy to oblige because any excuse to visit Copenhagen is an excuse I'm going to take! I loved this trip a lot and it really just solidified my love for this city. We flew back home on Saturday. 

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I was back on a plane again on my way to Backburn for a work conference which also happened to be my first time flying out of Manchester airport and honestly, I never want that experience again.


Obviously my first trip of the year was back to Bradford for work things but the most exciting work trip was our retreat to the Lake District where we stayed in a lovely house in the Hampshire countryside overlooking Morecambe Bay which was just a lovely time

We go to Sligo every summer for New Wine Ireland's summer conference which I guess technically counts as a trip abroad  since we crossed the border and I just wanted an excuse to use this photo again

We went on a family holiday to Naples at the end of July and this one I did a MASSIVE write up on so if you want to check out all the details of that trip you can check it here

I also took my first ever trip to Africa this year. I went to Rwanda with Africa New Life to visit the girl that we've been sponsoring for the last ten years and it was lovely. This involved my longest flight ever of 8 hours (Two hours longer than my New York/Boston flights). I also got to go on a safari which was incredibly exciting! Again there's a full write up of that trip here!


And so that brings us up to today after visiting the grand total of 15 countries: UK, Ireland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Denmark, France, Austria, Italy, Germany, Malta, Sweden, USA, Portugal, Belgium and Rwanda. I hope you enjoyed this journey with me! Obviously a lot of these more recent trips I have a lot more memories about so if you want an in-depth post about any of those trips let me know! Where is your favourite place that you've ever been and where are you dying to get to once we're able to travel again?

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