This year has flown by. It’s been crazy, exhausting and eye-opening, but it’s not over yet. Going into this year, my main goal was to travel as much as possible and that is exactly what I have been doing. Luckily, I was able to arrange my school schedule so I have long weekends, which has allowed me to make quite a few weekend trips. As you may recall, I started this year having visited 14 countries, now that number is at 32. So this is where this year has taken me:
Iceland: I did a three-day stopover here when flying to Europe. It’s one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen. 100% lives up to the hype.
The Netherlands: My mom and I visited Amsterdam and stayed with family in the countryside before she dropped me off in Brussels.
London: I visited my childhood friend, Noah who is doing exchange at University of Essex. He is one of my best friends and being able to do most of our travelling together has made every trip even more memorable.
Munich: OKTOBERFEST. SO MUCH FUN.
Slovakia: I went and visited more family. It was my first time here and it was so nice to meet new family members and see where my grandparents grew up.
Luxembourg: It is a three-hour train ride from Brussels, so my friends and I made this into a day trip!
Poland (Warsaw & Krakow), Budapest, Vienna & Berlin: During a week long break my friends and I did a trip here. Poland and Hungary are so inexpensive it’s amazing and Vienna is probably the most beautiful city I have ever seen.
Morocco (!!): This was one of my more extravagant and interesting trips. A Brazilian friend of mine recommended a tour company for Noah and I, so we booked it in English. But to our surprise, as soon as the vans doors shut on the first day, our tour guide started speaking in Spanish… So our tour through the desert was completely in Spanish. Thankfully, some Mexicans on our tour were able to translate and help us out. Spanish tour aside, it was still one of my most memorable trips of the year.
Paris: Yes, Paris is always a good idea. I’ve been multiple times now.
Strasbourg, France & Cologne, Germany: I did a mini Christmas market tour here before returning to Canada for three weeks. I highly recommend gluhwein (mulled wine).
Italy (Milan, Alps, Florence, Padua, Venice): After exams, I used my time off to go and snowboard in the Alps, explore new places and indulge in Italian food.
Malmo, Copenhagen and Amsterdam: My two best friends came and visited me in Europe! It was really nice to explore new places with them because that is basically how we all met!
Ireland: Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day was absolutely crazy. We also did a tour to the cliffs of Moher, two days after St. Patrick’s, which gave us a much-needed day to recover.
Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Seville) & Portugal (Albufiera, Lagos, Lisbon): I travelled here on my two-week Easter break. It was amazing to travel to warm locations, because Brussels rains 300 days a year… Spain is incredible; I think my favourite city was Granada. It’s small and sits in a valley, looking up at Alhambra Palace with snow capped mountains in the background. If you plan on visiting Granada anytime soon, I highly recommend seeing the Alhambra but buy tickets in advance! I had to wake up at 5 a.m. to line up for a chance to get a ticket… But it was worth it!
And of course Portugal is Breathtaking! I spent a week in the Algarve and I have to say, I think this region has some of the nicest beaches in Europe.
I feel so fortunate to be able to travel as much as I have. These months have been unforgettable and I can’t wait to cross off the remaining countries on my list before I return home! Talk to you soon!