Happy New Year!
Matt and I rang in the new year with a few of our very good friends in a huge club in Kentish Town. They had two DJ groups, Guilty Pleasures and Ultimate Power, who as you might have guessed played the songs you love to hate and power ballads from the 80s and 90s. It was amazing.
This year will be a busy one for us. We plan on visiting 7 new countries and ticking a potential 13 items off our 100 Things List. In addition to all that, we also get to plan and save for our wedding!
We’ve been asked how we can afford to do all this travel and the answer is pretty simple – we make it a priority. Matt is an accountant, so you know we’ve got an amazing budget spreadsheet to keep us on track. Our income and expenses are meticulously tracked and allocated into different accounts/savings/categories to make sure we are never living outside our means (if you want to get really technical, 19% of our income goes into the Travel Fund).
We’ll be spending a long weekend in Belgium in a few weeks. First, we’ll spend a couple days in Brugge before heading down to where Carrie lives to spend some more time with her.
Month off – hoping to sort the big wedding To Dos like pick a date and country/location to have it. There’s also a wedding expo on here in London that we’re hoping to go to. Even though our wedding will be very small and laid back, it’ll be nice to get some ideas for it. A guy Matt works with recommended going as he and his fiancée ended up getting a really good deal on their wedding rings at one of these events. We’re always keen on a good deal!
Even though I’m an Irish citizen (with a passport to prove it) I have never been to Ireland. So we thought it would be fitting that my first time there would be for St Patty’s Day in Dublin! We’ll take in the St Patty’s day Parade, go on a tour of the Guinness factory and hopefully catch up with a few friends.
A couple weeks later is Easter weekend and with 2 days of public holidays we knew we had to plan a trip somewhere. We had a few options on the go – training through the Swiss Alps, Vienna (Austria), Prague (Czech Republic). Matt was working from home on Friday when his systems crashed so he used the time to look into booking one of those options for us. He called me at work to let me know the details on flights to Prague and even though they were a bit expensive we had pretty much decided to go for it.
About 15 minutes later I got an email from Matt containing our booking confirmation:
“So a little different than we talked about but we’re going to Denmark! And Malmo in Sweden is a short train ride or car ride too so Sweden too! (at least for a day trip)”
At no point was Denmark ever talked about but flights to Copenhagen were cheap and we’ll be able to get to 2 new countries!
Long weekend in Paris – we’ve been to Paris before but only in transit so we haven’t done any of the touristy things. We’ll also get to tick off ‘have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower’ off our list (hopefully the weather’s good for us!).
There’s a long weekend at the beginning of May and while we want to go away, we aren’t sure where yet – tossing up between Glasgow/Berlin/Netherlands or somewhere else we haven’t considered yet.
At the end of May we’ll be going on a 9 day Nile tour with our friends, Cath and Jono. I’m incredibly excited about this trip as I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids and float down the Nile. I am a little concerned about the recent protests etc in Cairo but feel a lot better going with a tour group.
June or July
We’re tossing up which month we’ll do one of these trips in. Matt’s birthday is in June so it would be nice to go away for that but July has better weather: Slovenia to see Lake Bled etc or Portugal (Lisbon&Sintra).
Trip to Spain – starting in Barcelona for 2 days before travelling down to Valencia for the Tomatina Festival. We’ll finish the week by partying and lying on the beach in Ibiza.
Sailing around Croatia in a 9 person yacht for a week and hopefully making a short side trip to the Plitvice lakes beforehand. We managed to book out the entire boat with all our friends so needless to say, I’m most excited for this trip!
October, November, and December
Unfortunately, we would’ve used most of our leave (and travel budget) by this point which means we won’t be able to escape London much in the winter. We may try to go to a nearby country for the Christmas Markets though (Germany or Austria being the most likely). These months will also probably be full on with wedding planning.
So that’s the general outlook for our year ahead! If you have any tips on the places we’re going, we’d love to hear them.