Paris with someone you love
As cliche as it sounds, the city of Love has a reputation for a reason. I’ve been to Paris three times with different people, single and in relationships. I absolutely suggest you see Paris regardless of who you are/aren’t with but my favourite trip (so far) would be Valentines Day in Paris with my boyfriend at the time. There wasn’t as much commercialism around the day as there is in other cities, and romantic cruises and walks had more meaning.
If you’re struggling to get through the sappy, you might want to turn back now.
Something that terrifies you
Whether it’s skydiving, an extreme sport or being alone; do something that will scare you. Once you get through it you will feel accomplished and ready for the next challenge. For me, the first part of my Iceland trip was that, where I was solo and challenging a completely new country, four wheel driving up mountains and snorkelling in 2 degree water. I had many freak outs but I still see that as one of my favourite trips so far.
The Northern Lights
This is one of those other-worldly experiences that everyone should experience. It’s more than just a colourful sky, it’s a magical event and it also requires so many components to go one particular way for you to see it. So if you do, you should feel something special. This was one of my first bucket list moments on my first solo trip abroad and made every sacrifice I’d made worth it.
This might seem trivial to those in the Northern hemisphere, but down under our Christmas’ consist of bbq’s and swimming, even though most of our favourite Christmas movies are set in the snow. Having a white Christmas and wearing a festive jumper for the first time is truly magical, regardless of your age. My two white Christmas’ (so far) have been my favourite yet, with me in full festive mode from December 1st.
Sunrise hot air balloons
Whilst I recommend the Cappadocia sunrise hot air balloon rides 1000%, anywhere at this time of day will blow you away. You’ll not only have the best view in town, but you’ll be able to have a peaceful morning that you’ll never forget.
‘Cotton Castle’ as it translates doesn’t look real from the pictures. And an isolated picture would not make you think it was in southern Turkey. If you’re planning a Turkish getaway, this is a must see; another one of Earths rare wonders.
Pride parades are for celebrating and continuing to fight for acceptance, inclusion and rights of people of all gender identities and sexualities. Regardless of your gender identity or sexuality, these parades celebrate love and can turn even miserable Londoners into one big welcoming family. While it’s not a ‘tourist attraction’ and should never be treated as just a novelty, if you’re visiting a city during their pride celebrations, this will an opportunity to see the best of their community. Get involved with your work, local clubs, volunteer or watch from the streets.
Everyone has their favourite spot in Italy and this is mine. Think pesto, gelato by the coastline, hiking trails for those who want to be rewarded with views for the pain, colourful villages and lovely Italians! Grab some food, unplug yourself and find a rock by the coastline.
As a kid in a classroom it didn’t interest me very much, but standing at 5’10 next to giant creations made before modern technology is truly breathtaking. Come for the pyramids, stay for the Egyptian food.
Christmas and New Years Eve in New York
I can’t say I did, or wanted to spend the last day of the year standing in -14 degrees being miserable so I happily watched the ball drop from my cosy airbnb. But having said that, the atmosphere and decorations around this time are something else. It’s busy but people are cheery (probably because all the cranky New Yorkers have left and have been replaced with tourists) and the city is alive with things to do and decorations to visit. Pro tip: if you want the best photo of the ball after it’s dropped with the new year sign, go to Times Square on the 1st of January.
Airbnb in your dream city
This is the way to get the real short term living experience in a city you’ve always dreamt about. My city was New York, a city i knew through all of my favourite movies, tv shows and musicals; so I knew I wanted to spend my first visit as local (but central) as I could. I stayed in an apartment in Harlem, a block away from a subway station that took me straight Downtown. If you want to get away from the other tourists and see what it’s like for everyday residents, this is it.
Twelve Apostles and the Great Ocean Road
Whether you enjoy spending hours on the coastal processes that created and are destroying this landform (like me) or not, taking a trip for a day or two down the Great Ocean Road will be one of your highlights of Australia. In low seasons the towns are peaceful, the beaches can be mostly yours and the views are as exceptional as always.
East Coast Australia road trip
Driving up the East Coast from Sydney to Queensland as a kid is one of my favourite childhood memories. Now as an adult, the idea of getting a car, some friends and some tunes and seeing the best of my home is the next step. You can start further south of Melbourne, stopping by the Mornington Peninsula, small country towns before hitting the east coast. From there, wherever you are, you’re going to find views and small lookouts or landmarks to stop at. For my next trip I’m hoping to go further north than I have to finally see the Great Barrier Reef.
Hogmanay in Edinburgh
One of the largest (if not the largest) New Years Eve celebrations in the world, Hogmanay is a party with people from all over the world. The festival kicks off the night before with a torchlight procession where you can walk behind vikings with your own flame all around Edinburgh. Then there’s the big street party followed by fireworks and finally some entertainment on the 1st of January at Looney Dook swim; a sure way to cure any hangovers that you’ll be suffering. If you’re a solo traveller and aren’t sure about making friends in a hostel, there are plenty of tours that take care of that for you and include accommodation . I went with Contiki and found it so easy to make friends.