2018 in Review: My Top Five Travel Highlights

In recent years I’ve started the new year with a round-up of some of my favourite trips from the year just gone by and this one will be no exception! Although nothing will probably ever come close to my 2014 year in review (a whole year of backpacking to choose from!), there’s still been plenty of highlights to choose from.

Without further ado, here are my top five travel highlights of 2018!

5. Running my first half marathon

Ok, so it might not necessarily be ‘travel’ related as such, but it involved going to another city and doing something blog-worthy, so it counts!

I’m enjoying it more than it looks like I am.

One random day in February 2018, I decided to run a half marathon in order to raise money for Brain Tumour Research – a charity very close to my heart. Fast forward a few months, with a few hundred quid of sponsorship behind me, there I was on a start line on a warm May day in Vitoria-Gasteiz. My only goal? Finish in under two hours. Let’s just say I didn’t disappoint myself.

You can find my sponsor page here – feel free to donate as little or as much as you can!

4. Revisiting my old stomping ground: Tokyo

I’ve always had trouble drawing a line under things, and Tokyo was obviously no exception. When I made the decision to go and visit family in Australia over the summer there was only one place I wanted to break up the journey back.

Worth the journey alone.

There was very little in the way of sightseeing; just catch ups with old friends and excellent food, as ever. Exactly how I wanted it. Oh, and the small issue of a business class flight on the way home shouldn’t go without mention either!

3. A food-filled stop in Jakarta

If the journey back from Australia was about revisiting old places, the journey out there was very much about discovery. Again, the idea of a flight all the way to Australia without stopping somewhere on the way filled me with dread, so a short break in Jakarta transpired!

My standard position for my entire time in Jakarta.

I’d heard there wasn’t a great deal to do in the city, but there was plenty for one full day. Naturally, the day was very much planned around my stomach so I spent most of my time trying delicacies such as massive meatballs and even cobra! Not even a confrontation with a conman could give me a bad impression of the city. Great times.

2. A first time trip to Germany

I’d not long been back in Durango when faced with a four day weekend; it’s a tough life, eh? A quick look on Skyscanner later and I was in the process of booking flights to tick another country off my list.

Need I say more?

The plan was a three night trip to Dusseldorf and Cologne before spending the final night in Leverkusen watching Bayer take on Hoffenheim. Naturally the plan shifted a little bit and I even managed to squeeze a fourth city in when I spontaneously ended up in Krefeld watching ice hockey! Great food, great beer and great people: what more can you ask for?

1. Lollapalooza Paris

It was always going to be this one, wasn’t it? A full weekend in Paris with one of your best mates watching some of your favourite bands in the world. How could this not have been number one?

The beginning of an epic weekend.

Everything was perfect: the weather, the music, the setting, the laughs – everything. When you’ve got Kasabian and Depeche Mode playing one day and Stereophonics and Noel Gallagher the next, how can you possibly go wrong?

It wasn’t all music though! Naturally there was questionable food (for some) involved and plenty of beers too. Can I do it all again?

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