Bear with me now, ever heard of doing the ‘peaks and troughs’ of your day, trip or year? Maybe it’s just us, but after our first Glastonbury trip – we decided to recap the highs and lows of our trip. It’s quite fun to do, and especially when you’re doing it at the end of the year it can put things really into perspective.
I wanted to do this for my past year of travel as it really has been an incredible year for me, with some bumps along the way! So without further ado, read on for my peaks and troughs of each of my 2017 trips…
Peak: Erm we were on the other side of the world? Going to Australia was one of my biggest accomplishments of this year. It’s the ultimate holiday to go on – you literally can’t get anywhere further away (okay scratch that – New Zealand). But still, I’m so glad I went and experienced the land down under, and that we fit so much into our time there. If I had to pick an absolute peak of the trip it was actually getting up (even for a split second) on the surfboard. For someone who can be a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to extreme sports I was really proud of myself for actually giving it a go, and I wrote more about the experience here.
If I were to pick peak #2 it would be spotting the sea turtle when we went out on the Great Barrier Reef on a catamaran. And peak #3 would be meeting my new koala bff.
Trough: SUNBURN. Oh God, the sunburn. I burnt my hands so badly a cashier stopped me – horrified – to check everything was okay. They went purple. Since this trip I’ve noticed that my hands go darker than the rest of my body when it tans, so I’m concerned there’s a lil’ bit of sun damage there, but if you’re mole-y like me, make sure to keep an eye on them and get them checked annually!
ANYWAY, I also burnt my scalp so badly (in the THREE hours I was surfing) that it looked like I had really bad dandruff when I came home. Yup, real sexy.
My advice for not being a complete idiot like myself? Wear suncream (obviously), but make sure you’ve reached everywhere on your body. Even if you don’t feel like you need it, do it just in case. Always wear a hat if you burn easily on your scalp, and if you can’t (i.e if you’re surfing) maybe look into applying some SPF to your hairline. Even if you look like a lil bit of an idiot at the time, trust me, you’ll look even worse when it starts to flake if you get burnt…
Highs: Literal highs were reached on this trip, as we climbed Arthur’s Seat. Albeit I was woefully unprepared (read the Lows section below) but I’m so glad we did it. It took us a long time, but the feeling of getting to the top was great – and windy. What I love even more about our trip was the gorgeous painting of Arthur’s Seat my boyfriend bought me for my birthday from a shop in Edinburgh, that is now hanging proudly in our living room so I get to see every day!
Low: YEP, with great highs come some lows. When we climbed Arthur’s Seat we really didn’t look up how to do so, and ended up going the long way round. And trust me, you really don’t want to accidentally go the wrong way round. We had a great time in all, but nothing worse in coming back down the hill past tons of tourists following the signs – to a much shorter route. Lesson learnt – keep your eyes peeled for signs, and maybe look the route up beforehand – and I don’t just mean on Google maps!
Peak: River cruise. I wouldn’t normally put myself down for a tourist river cruise on a holiday, but as it was my birthday, and the weather was particularly good, and you could get wine on board, we decided to do it. I really enjoyed it and the tour guide was great – but you didn’t necessarily have to pay attention to the whole thing. It was a nice, budget way to spend a few hours on the water with a few drinks on my birthday, and I absolutely loved it. If you’re going to Berlin in the summer I reckon it would be a lot more fun in much warmer weather!
Troughs: School trips. I should have known really, considering the first time I went to Berlin (and my first time on a plane!) was a school trip there. But it was full of schoolchildren. Usually you can avoid them, as luckily they’re not usually hanging out at the river-side pubs and bars. However you can run into them in the museums, and whereas it wasn’t too much of an issue in most the worst was the DDR museum. It was a great museum, and the interactive aspects were so interesting – but we were there at the same time as a class-full of teenagers, they were everywhere.
I would suggest going in term time as that might help, but even then it’s hard to avoid a school trip here and there. There’s nothing to do other than to grin and bear it and queue behind them all – but if you really can’t stand gaggles of school children, maybe steer clear!
Highs: As with every year at Glastonbury, I genuinely can’t pick my absolutely favourite moment. This year was my 5th – and as there isn’t a festival in 2018 – it was bittersweet. I loved it all – from the big stage performers, to the little acoustic sets, to just sitting around with my friends at our tent, drinking and being stupid. I absolutely loved this year and I genuinely hope I can go back in 2019.
Lows: Getting robbed. Yep. Never mentioned that properly on here but enough time has passed for me now to mention it and not have my blood boil immediately. But my friend and I were robbed at Glastonbury whilst we slept in our tent.
When I get over the invasion of privacy and also the anger that I genuinely believe whoever robbed us wasn’t in need of that money (you seriously can’t get in unless you have £200+ to spare so you’re hardly needy) I have to also acknowledge that things could have been worse. They didn’t steal my phone, or my bank cards or my car keys – several things that would’ve cost more money to replace! He stole cash from me, which – yes – was my own – hard earned cash – but it could have been worse.
To avoid any other ugly situations like this happening at festivals always keep your belongings close to you. When you’re out try and wear a bum bag or use any pockets that are close to your body. When you go to sleep in your tent keep all valuables in your pillow case. Even if it’s next to your body it’s not enough – keep your wits about you!
Highs: Hiring our own boat. YEP I’m pretty sure you knew I was going to go there, because I can’t stop banging on about it. But I genuinely can’t think of a better day we’ve ever had on any previous trips to Greece. We hadn’t properly planned everything, but a bit of googling and a trip down the road to the nearby resort confirmed that we could have a small boat to ourself for the day, and not for a too expensive price. We filled up on a supermarket picnic – tzatziki, hummus, pitta, crisps and – of course – a pack of Mythos. Our day trip involved a journey up to the Blue Caves before mooring up next to a little private beach to ourselves.
Lows: This is a bit of a non-low but looking back on it now I wish I’d have known about the option to hire our own boat before we went on the giant tour boat to the Shipwreck cove. We still had a great time on the shipwreck cove boat but the experience on our own little boat was so much better, and I’d have rather done that twice in a row than gone on the larger boat.
Oh and on the tourist boat there was a particularly unfortunate moment where the boat captain accused me of flooding the toilet in front of the back end of the boat which was FUN. Nothing like being told off for a blocked toilet that had nothing to do with you and then not being able to escape from everyone staring at you! Also – if you’re on a boat and you block the toilet, SHAME ON YOU. But seriously, it wasn’t me…
Peaks: Brooklyn Bridge at Sunrise. I’m so so glad we decided to beat jet lag and head out so early in the morning to walk down the centre of Manhattan to Brooklyn Bridge. We didn’t managed to catch the sunrise on the bridge, but the city looked beautiful as the sun was coming up on the way there. By the time we made our way to the Bridge the sun was still coming up, and we had the bridge almost to ourselves – with only the occasional cyclist and commuter. The pictures we took that morning are my favourite from the trip – it really was magic hour.
Troughs: The weather. It was pristine for the first day, but just when we wanted it to be clear skies – our booking for a night at the top of the Rockefeller centre at Bar Sixty Five it’s suddenly 0% visibility… What are the chances.
Unfortunately it was our last night so we couldn’t rearrange, but we still went in and enjoyed the gorgeous cocktails to toast our holiday in New York.
And that’s a wrap for 2017’s travels! I hope you enjoyed my round up there of the highs and lows of each journey – the low points aren’t often shown on social media accounts, so it’s good to get it out here – and now with some distance have a laugh!
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you have any suggestions of where to go in 2018 please comment down below. In the meantime check out my Instagram for future travel updates!