11 Highlights from 11 Years of Travel Blogging
I may have announced that I’m quitting travel blogging, but this doesn’t mean I’m quitting travel blogging because I hate it! How to strip like a teenager.
I loved travel blogging, but I didn’t want to stay in the same job and felt ready to change and try something new, like most people can’t stay in the same job for 11 years. I did.
I’ve really enjoyed travel blogging, so today I’m going to bask in my last travel blog hurray. These are his 11 highlights from my travel blogging career and his 11 people who helped make them happen.
Travelling around Australia in a campervan
Because this was a dream come true and remains the most exciting, carefree, and memorable time of my life. Sam and I drove the whole Australian coast in an old VW Transporter. Explore this vast country at a leisurely pace, stopping to fish or hike, swim on deserted beaches, camp in quaint small towns, learn about Australian culture and discover the far corners of the country. It was incredible to see the differences between them.
Thank you Sam. Because without him this wouldn’t have been possible and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend so much time in a small van with someone else!
Read more: Living in a camper for a year with a boy!
It was such a shame that TrekAmerica closed its doors. Because his 3 week trip with TrekAmerica was one of my best trips with him. We went to LA, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite, San Francisco, and drove along the Pacific Coast. There were so many dreamy moments packed into one trip.
We would like to express our gratitude to Virgin Holidays. Sam and I actually went on this trip because we won a vacation to Miami at a Virgin Girlfriend Holidays press conference and tagged her TrekAmerica trip to that Miami trip. I don’t know if I would have been able to afford the Trek America trip if the flights weren’t free. (I was able to get a press discount, but it was still a hefty price!)
It was a cold and rainy night in London, so there weren’t many people at Virgin’s press event. I arrived so late that I must have looked like a wild animal when I burst through the door, soaking wet, with shaggy hair dripping and mascara smeared. I was disappointed to see that no one I knew was at the event, so I was already cursing myself for even bothering to go to the event when I could have watched Breaking Bad at home!
Once inside, I was given a glass of Champer and asked to write my name on a piece of paper and put it in the hat because they were about to draw a winner for Miami Holiday. I didn’t even know there was a prize, but I put my name in the hat and sure enough, two minutes later the room was silent and the drawing was ready. My name was on the top of the hat, and lo and behold, my name was chosen first and I won a luxury vacation to Miami! I downed my champagne, chatted a bit with some other members of the media, got my ticket, and headed out. I’m so glad I made the effort to go to the event!
Moral of the story – Say yes to everything because you never know what’s going to happen!
Read more: I’ve written a lot about TrekAmerica. Check out all my Trek blogs here.
I’ve been to Iceland twice and loved this amazing country, so I’m going to sneakily include both trips here. When I first visited Iceland, I realized that I love nature and the outdoors. Iceland is such a magnificent country, every place feels like a scene from a movie. In fact, there are many spots that have been used as filming locations for famous movies and dramas!
From hiking on glaciers to road trips in search of waterfalls, visiting geysers and wild beaches, spending a night in a lonely lighthouse surrounded by puffins, taking in vast views on a helicopter ride, soaking in geothermal pools and exploring the land between the tectonic plates. Enjoy snorkeling in the freezing water. Oh, it’s even more amazing when you list it like this!
I love you, Iceland.
Thank you Vega for being a great guide during my second trip to Iceland.
Read more: Check out all our Icelandic blogs here
One of my favorite trips in recent years was a press trip to Finnish Lapland. This was truly a dreamy winter trip. We rode reindeer, visited a Christmassy elf village, went skiing, visited a hidden coffee shop in the mountains with just a coffee pot and a fire, and walked through a snow-covered forest. We rode fat tire bikes, relaxed at the spa, and soaked in ice water. And the food. Ah, food!
Thank you to Vicky Flip Flop for being my wonderful roommate during this trip.
Read more: An incredible arctic adventure in Finnish Lapland
Shark cage diving in South Africa
One of my first epic reporting trips was to South Africa. I had many “pinched” moments here. Because I couldn’t believe I was invited here!
One of the highlights of the trip was shark cage diving, which I 100% would not have done if I had arranged the trip myself. I mean, who would voluntarily go into the water with a great white shark when the shark is throwing mulch into the water to pull it as close as possible!?
But it was actually surprising, exhilarating and interesting. They do a lot of work to educate people about sharks and stop shark hunting.
Thank you to the wonderful Daniela Marchesi who served as the PR for that trip and taught me so much about the press trip. A few years later we had a lunch date and she told me I should start a lifestyle blog. Because there are more possibilities and it is easier to adapt it to your life. I finally decided to take her advice!
Read more: Shark cage diving in South Africa
A summer of glamping
It was last year, so some of you may remember it. I got pregnant with Alba in the summer of 2019, so I stopped traveling in May. I was worried that I wouldn’t have much to do over the summer, but I ended up working on one of my favorite collaborations of hers to date. It was a Dacia car and I was given a Dacia Duster for the summer and told to take three trips with it. I decided to take her 3 glamping vacation and had the best adventure. I think everyone expects my highlight trips to be luxurious and exotic, but these three glamping trips with him were amazing and very memorable.
My first glamping trip was in a bell tent.
The second was ultra-luxe glamping in a luxury cabin at the North Star Club in Yorkshire
The third was the geodome at Camp Catur in Yorkshire
This highlight isn’t the trip, but the biggest highlight any travel blogger could hope for: my own luggage coverage. The Travel Hack Pro Cabin Case and Travel Hack Backpack are my favorites and I’m so proud of them!
Thank you to CabinMax, especially Sean who is an absolute genius when it comes to luggage design.
The Blogger Course Weekenders
Two of my favorite trips of all time are two weekend city breaks I took with members of my e-course, The Blogger Course.
I worked with WowTrip to arrange for about 20 members of my course to travel for a “surprise weekend”. And to my surprise, I had no idea where I was going. The anticipation of not knowing where we were going was so much fun, but it was great to go with a group of like-minded women who shared a passion for blogging and photography. The first trip we went to Brussels and the second we went to Cologne, but the destination didn’t matter, we just had fun being together.
Thank you to WowTrip and all the amazing course members who participated!
Read more: What is Blogger Course Weekender?
Our trip to the Maldives was a dream come true and one of the vacations of a lifetime. Every waking moment was like being inside the pages of a travel brochure, a dream come true in every sense of the word.
Let’s express our gratitude to George, who was just 9 months old at the time and was absolutely adorable. He was the only baby on the island and charmed everyone on the island. He was very well behaved and we were so proud to have our little baby together. I was also really happy that I was able to blog about visiting the Maldives with a baby and feel like I was able to help a lot of people who are panicking that it’s not a good idea is!
Read more: All posts from the Maldives, including our engagement story that happened there (I wrote quite a lot!
On the surface, my trip to Budapest with El Croft was like any other city vacation, but for me it was so much more. We had the best time! Budapest is such a beautiful city and Elle is the best person to travel with. She is very organized and planned our itinerary perfectly while we found lovely accommodations.
We went to Budapest at a time when Elle and I were on a lot of press trips and were feeling a bit burnt out and pressured in terms of “creating content.” I hate the word content creation. This word makes me think of simply lining up a bunch of pictures and words to check off some checkboxes for the gist. So our trip to Budapest was a welcome relief, and also an opportunity to write and photograph, not because we have an obligation, but simply because we love blogging.
I would like to thank Elle Croft for always being my best travel companion.
Read more: Lots of blog posts from Budapest.
A family trip to Dubai
And finally, my 11th highlight is an unexpected one: a family trip to Dubai. I didn’t expect to love Dubai as much as I did, but it was a great winter vacation with the kids. What made this special was that we worked with Emirates Holidays to create a video that showcases what it’s like to visit Dubai as a family. We often had a film crew with us (which was a little awkward, especially when traveling with a toddler), so we got VIP treatment everywhere we went. It was like being a celebrity! We stayed in a suite at Atlantis The Palm, which was probably bigger than our house at the time, so we were able to enter the attraction either before it opened or after it closed.
Read more: 8-day itinerary for a family trip to Dubai
So there you have it, 11 amazing highlights from my travel blogging career. When I started writing this article, I realized that he could actually easily write an article about 111 highlights. But…well…it’s 8pm on a Tuesday night and Bake Him’s off is about to start, so no one has time for that!