At the beginning of 2016, I set myself the goal of visiting five new countries, which I did! It’s been a hell of a year, but I am so grateful to be able to have travelled to so many places last year.

Okay, technically I DID actually visit eight countries, but because Jordan was my second home, I didn’t count that as a new place. In the future, I hope to do a #ThrowbackTravel series, as I didn’t get to blog anything from my travels this year and I would like to write about the most memorable moments from each trip.

Ireland

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I went to Dublin on a Lacrosse tour, which was a lot of fun. There was a fair amount of walking and pub-crawling involved. I loved the city, it was beautiful.

Jordan

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I’ve visited Jordan a few times last year, because my family lived there until September 2016.  It was so, so sad to be leaving as I grew to love the country a lot and the friendly people there. I long for the days of being back in beautiful Amman.

Germany

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It was my fourth (or fifth?) time in Germany and once more, I went to visit my cousin Nilufar. I also saw another cousin called Camilla, that I haven’t seen for almost twelve years! We chilled in Berlin for a couple of days, as well as going to Hamburg for a day.

Hungary

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It was my second time in Budapest and this time round, I definetely appreciated it more. It is such a beautiful city, it’s cheap and there is so much to do! I really enjoyed riding around in a five-man bike in the little island park on the Danube.

Denmark

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Straight after Budapest, I went to Copenhagen. My friends and I stayed in the nicest Ai b’n’b and visited all the sights. I loved how chilled Copenhagen was, the people were very sweet and the best part about it was that I knew a lot about the art during and after The Danish Golden Age. I definetely plan on going back again.

Ukraine

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This was a spontaneous trip with my mum. She had a conference in Kiev, so I decided to join her. I was only there for two nights, but we saw all the main churches and monuments. I was astonished by the beauty of the city, it’s truly a wonderful place.

Italy

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The term abroad in Italy was one of the best trips of my life, if you know me, it’s all I’ve spoken about. This picture is of the Vatican City. For more about my term abroad, click here.

Kazakhstan

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I’m currently typing from Almaty, in Kazakhstan, because that’s where my family have moved. I haven’t seen much of the city so far as it is so snowy. I’ve been to a few restaurants and a shopping centre and was absolutely shocked at how much effort everyone makes with their appearance here! I felt so out of place when I went shopping with my parents. The weirdest thing about it, is how close to home it is.

Before we went to Bestival in September last year, Elsa and I got the incredible chance to explore Western-super-Mare and Bristol because Carly lives in Somerset. IMG_0198 I have never seen anything like the beach at Western-super-Mare. The sand has the consistency of mud and the tide stretches a very long way back, which caused the tiny pools of water to reflect the clear blue sky.IMG_0232 These mudflats are actually quite dangerous to walk in, it was very tricky to get unstuck from the mud, so we walked in the drier bits. Next time, I would definitely take a run in such a beautiful setting.IMG_0258 Carly’s parents were extremely generous to grab us tickets to Banksy’s Dismaland. It certainly wasn’t as depressing as I expected it to be! The staff were very miserable and kept scaring everyone though.IMG_0263Everywhere you looked there was art that conveyed pretty powerful messages. There was a gallery that had artworks from amazing international artists and from home. A few of Damien Hurt’s pieces were there, but I am still quite unsure how I feel about those…IMG_0294This was the most intricate model village I have ever seen. It is titled “Aftermath Dislocation” and was made by artist Jimmy Cauty and his team.  It portrays a “new Bedford” where the police have taken over and all the buildings are run down, quite an eery atmosphere now that I remember it.IMG_0272This was another piece that captured my eye. I think the artist here tried to show how little fresh vegetables there are in ready made meals, or maybe it was a cool way to make plant pots. Whatever the concept behind the art was, it was effective.IMG_0297Whilst taking a needed break, we watched a few unique short films. All of them interesting and quite disturbing in their own way.IMG_0310We walked into a tent that contained posters and banners used in past protests. The whole night was a great adventure and made me aware of some issues I wasn’t familiar with before.IMG_0341The following day, we went to Bristol to do pre-festival shopping and this is where I took the cutest pic of the girls ever. I bought the most amazing shorts in American Apparel as they fit so well and didn’t make me look like I was about to burst in them! We also grabbed a few bits of essential camping gear at Sports Direct.IMG_0353Elsa has a friend who is studying in Bristol, so she met up with her for lunch and left Carly and I to do our own thing for a couple of hours. We had some incredible food at Fuego. IMG_0356The Nachos came topped with some guac, lettuce, salsa, jalapeños, refried beans and cheese. So filling and delicious.IMG_0358I wasn’t feeling too hungry, so for a main I got a small portion of chicken quesadillas. Again, this dish packed a lot of flavour.IMG_0364

After lunch, we took a stroll around the docks of Bristol. It was a warm and sunny day and I was left with a pleasant impression of the city. The people here were friendly, there were a lot of interesting places to explore and I certainly would love to come here again.

IMG_0374So this post is 3 months late? … Oops. Sorry, university happened! I have so many blog posts lined up that I drafted a long time ago, and I guess that I just haven’t had the chance to post them yet. This one is about my second visit to Bestival from September. The amazing thing about this certain festival is the time of the year that it is held. You don’t get that whole ‘I’m waaay too old to be here’ feeling like you would at most popular festivals in England because none of the young people that go to school are there.IMG_0381Our Bestival experience was off to an eventful start when Lily realised that she left her ticket at home… Many panic calls to her family and ticketmaster later, she managed to sort the issue out as soon as we got there.IMG_0396The journey there wasn’t too bad but the wait for the bus was. Trying to be in that sweet distance from the main arena where we’re not too close and not too far, we camped on the edge of Red. Apparently setting up right outside Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey was not a smart move. They would start blasting out music at about 8am when we got back to our tents merely a few hours before.IMG_0431This was taken at Gabrielle Aplin, precisely when my camera ran out of battery. I stupidly forgot to turn it off before taking this photo and unfortunately I was not able to capture much more from the weekend. Here I am wearing the make up that I got done at the Rimmel make-over booth on day 3! I was actually featured on Elle website as well (lol).IMG_0400To sum it up, it was amazing. Although I was the person that kept comparing it to ‘last year’, it was a totally different experience. I went to see different acts and actually explore the whole arena as well. The Enchanted Forest was totally captivating in the evenings and the speeches from Bestiversity never seemed to disappoint. I got to try a few bugs in the Science Tent and totally had a moment of regret because I didn’t study Biology further than GCSE. The most memorable moment was on the last night when the heavens decided to open. Elsa’s tent got completely flooded and she had to take refuge with me and Carly. The heavy rain started when were we literally at the furthest point possible from out tents. We all dried ourselves with tissues because we were all absolutely soaking. The morning was definetely not any better as it was mud galore. But would I do it all over again if I had the chance to? Absolutely.