So 2017 will go down as the year I began seeing new countries. All my life, I had only ever been to the United States (where I grew up and my parents live) and the Republic of Ireland (where my parents are from and I now live). I know that I should’ve taken advantage of living in Europe way sooner! In fairness, I have been all around Ireland. There are only a few counties left to check off my Irish bucket list! When I first moved over I basically had day trips planned for every weekend and I had fun little adventures wherever I went by myself or with university friends. But I became so comfortable in Ireland I never went anywhere else, besides home to Boston.
This year was very good to me. I visited so many incredible places, ate amazing food and best of all met a whole new group of friends! Before 2017, I had never crossed the border and visited Northern Ireland. After a handful of trips, I was living there in the summer time! I fell in love with Belfast (and a guy from Derry..haha). 2017 was one for the books as they say.
I’ll go in chronological order, trip by trip, including my favorite photo from my stay there and my favorite activity. There were some more local trips within Ireland (like Cork, Galway, Mayo, Derry, Donegal and Down) but I’ll stick to new countries for this post! All trip titles below have the link to the original blog posts where I discuss them in more depth.
Manchester, UK: August 2017
A quick 40 minute plane ride from Belfast and I was in the industrial city of Manchester! I liked that it was a quick escape. However, it’s not really a holiday spot. It’s more of a place you go to visit someone, which was the intention of the trip. But nevertheless, it was still fun. My favorite part was the Manchester Art Gallery with a new friend I made from an old friend or the rooftop bar pictured…Don’t be fooled by the cute appearance of my cocktail, I can’t recall what was in it but I couldn’t finish it!
The winner of 2017….
France: August 2017
Out of all the gorgeous places, I think rural France was the best. Not only was it warm, it was super beautiful. The fresh loaves of bread and local cheese were SO, so divine. And the villa I stayed in was set in a rural area outside a very small village that I may never be able to pronounce but really loved.
The light show shown above was projected onto a gothic cathedral and captivated quite the crowd. So fab! I found a video someone took and uploaded to YouTube of another light show in the same place right here.
Amsterdam, Netherlands: November 2017
Amsterdam was a cool touristy spot and the architecture was super pretty. I was surprised at how different I thought it would be. One of the best parts of traveling is configuring a new perspective on a place.
Heineken Factory is well worth a visit, regardless of whether you enjoy Heineken beer. There were so many photo ops and I loved that you could roam about on your own.
Boston & Cape Cod, MA: December 2017
There’s not much to say besides how great it is to be home for the holidays! Obviously the best part is reuniting with friends and spending time with loved ones. The snow is great as well and you can’t beat being near the ocean! I was also home two other times this year when I had time off from university in March and June. In March I was home for about a week and in June I stayed the whole month. One of my close friends from uni came over to see America. Showing her around Massachusetts made me appreciate where I’m from even more!
What a year! I traveled and learned quite a bit. It really does open up your eyes! I’m ready for 2018. I’m sure it will be packed with plenty of fun places to see. After my January exams, a few of us are headed to Madrid for a weekend which should be brilliant. And hopefully a little warmer… If you have suggestions give me a direct message or comment on Instagram.
Where are you planning on going in 2018?
Happy New Year!
(Photos of me taken by Abby Hanson at ‘The Knob’ at Quisset Harbor in Falmouth, MA)