I sit and write this in Bariloche, the Argentine Lake District, a place I didn’t even dream I would be at the end of 2017. I love going back over my photos and remembering all the small details and moments from the year, from catching up with a long lost friend, to the delicate autumn leaves and the first frost of winter.
In 2017, after juggling running a small business, working part time and being actively involved in two community volunteering placements, my blog and travelling had fallen by the way side.
I vowed, in the warm glow of the mediocre club in the French Alps on New Years Eve last year, that this would be my year of adventure.
And I kept that promise to myself. Here is how it unfolded.
January to April
Meribel, French Alps
2017 ended in the French Alps, in a bar in Meribel with a whisky in each hand (the family I looked after Christmas week, whilst a little hard work, had tipped me handsomely and I was celebrating!) and no clue on what the future would bring, apart from the fact I was working in the mountains until April.
After a tough start, I found my stride running a chalet again and we were lucky to have consistently good snow for most of the season – from picnics on the piste in February, to a music festival at the legendary apres bar Ronnies in March to swapping my snowboard boots for hiking boots in April among the spring flowers, I was lucky enough to have an amazing start to 2018.
Blogs Posts I wrote
A winter season in the French Alps: the first 6 weeks
A winter season in the French Alps: January and February
A winter season in the French Alps: March and April
Cornwall – North Devon
After riding back from the French Alps in the work van with B, I had a week at home before repacking to move down to North Devon for the summer.
The week coincided with my birthday, and B surprised me with a trip down to the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall where we had enjoyed two days hiking the coast path, ice cream treats and exploring little Cornish villages. It was exactly what we needed after the chaos of the Alps.
On our way back up to North Devon, we stopped off to see B’s friends in Falmouth and had a sweet afternoon exploring Tehidy Woods, in full swing of the bluebell season.
Whilst between job interviews, I took the time to explore as much of the North Devon coast as possible on week long bus ticket taking in Croyde, Ilfracombe, Hartland and Clovelly.
Blog Posts I wrote
Off the beaten track in Cornwall: A birthday weekend on the Lizard Peninsula
Tehidy Wood in Bluebell Season
June – August
With a job secured, it was full steam ahead at work for the summer season, packing in the hours to save for the next big trip. World Cup fever gripped the country (and me!) and I reflected on my experiences of past World Cups and where in the world I had watched England rise and fall (see below).
Summer evenings were spent blissfully down the beach, one evening I was still in the sea at 9pm! Despite the long hours we carved out time for a magic date night with Sri Lankan curry on Barricane beach and a trip to Croyde to see the sunset on midsummers eve plus a spontaneous overnight camping trip to Exmoor National Park. In August I also squeezed in a blustery trip to Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, continuing my love for random islands.
Blog Posts I wrote
9 inspiring podcasts for travel bloggers
A Midsummer Feast: Barricane Beach Cafe, North Devon
My Life in Word Cups: from days classroom to Copacabana Beach
6 points to consider before applying to do a ski season
A summer microadventure in Exmoor National Park
September – October
Isles of Scilly – North Devon
I booked a weeks holiday in September and had intended to tour around Cornwall by bus, but my dad rang me up the week before and asked if I fancied a trip to the Isles of Scilly?
I jumped at the chance! I’ve had my eye on the islands for a while, but even getting out to the islands by ferry was £100 return, so cost had always put me off. Dad found a brand new hostel that opened in the summer and we spent 3 incredible days touring 5 islands in the archipelago from the quirky, hippy Bryher to the polished botanic gardens on Tresco. I’ve got a few more posts on the islands to finish in my drafts folder next year!
In October, my mum and her partner came down to Devon to see me and we ventured to off the beaten track corners – from learning how glass is handmade at Dartington, to exploring the outdoor sculpture park at Broomhill and a stunning afternoon at Arlington Court, a National Trust property set in a large estate awash with autumn colours.
Blog Posts I wrote
A summer in North Devon: my 10 favourite places
On the places that made me: Ardent, the French Alps
In the windswept Bristol Channel: my day in Lundy Island
How to get to the Isles of Scilly: on board the Scillionian III
On the places that made me: Glencoe, Scottish Highlands
Isles of Scilly on a budget: a night at Longstone Lodge Hostel
North Devon – Nottingham
The first two weeks of my November were my last in North Devon and had a number of those simple memories I mentioned – taking a flask of hot chocolate down to the beach on the first frosty morning, wrapping up for Bonfire night with sandwiches and brownies whilst sitting on the quay admiring the fireworks and finally a roadtrip back up to the Midlands calling in on friends in the Forest of Dean and Worcestershire.
I got my early festive fix visiting the Christmas markets and twinkling lights of Nottingham and Liverpool and shopped for all the last minute kit for our trip to South America.
We made our way down to London two days before we flew to Buenos Aires for B’s birthday, checking out a friends house boat in Richmond and sampling the amazing bao buns in Fitzrovia before our flight on the 30th.
Blog I wrote
A day trip to Clovelly, North Devon
The Independent gift guide for thoughtful travel lovers
Argentina – Chile
December began somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean with 4 days of eating all the dulche de leche and exploring Buenos Aires before flying down to the very tip of Argentina, Ushuaia for hiking in Tierra Del Fuego, before hopping over to Chile to undertake a 5 day hike (the famous W trek) in Patagonia. I struggled both mentally and physically on the trek, but still managed to complete it, one of my proudest achievements of the year.
From Puerto Natales, we switched back into Argentina and visited the breathtaking Perito Moreno glacier and spent a magically Christmas hiking around the mountains in El Chalten, sharing Christmas dinner with global friends from our hostel.
December ended with a 24 hour bus journey up to Bariloche where we hired a car for 2 days to drive the 7 Lakes road and dip into the many craft beer breweries in the area.
I’m looking forward to writing about these places in 2019 – more of which below….
Blog Posts I wrote
My Big Winter Plans: the plan for Argentina and Chile
Plans for 2019
I am seeing in 2019 in Bariloche, before heading north to Mendoza on the 2nd (for some serious wine tasting!) and back into Chile for most of January. We’ve actually changed our plans slightly, as Norwegian offered as a full refund on our flight back to the UK from Buenos Aires as they had altered the flight times.
After consideration, we decided instead of looping back round into Argentina after Chile, we will instead head north into Peru and managed to get a slightly cheaper flight out of Lima, via Miami – winner! I’ll be back in the UK mid Feb and just booked to go to KeyFrame run by Traverse in Hamburg, Germany – a conference and workshop on making video where I hope to develop my travel videographer skills.
Beyond that, I have no concrete plans for the year – there is a change of city on the horizon, possibly north of the border but at the moment plans are a little vague. Adventures are likely to be UK or Europe based, as the budget has been pushed out in South America!
I hope this post finds you well and you enjoy seeing in 2019 where ever you are in the world!
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