A review of 2022 (via 10 countries)

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas. I had a lovely time with family, food and too much Prosecco and am now enjoying a bit of down time before New Year.

At the end of 2021, my year in review was all about travelling in England during the pandemic and visiting 12 English counties in 12 months. 2021 was also an awful year with my near death experience so I was determined to make 2022 a year of fun! I normally set my goals on New Year’s Eve but last year I was in hospital on NYE, finishing off what I can only describe as a year to be forgotten. So I didn’t set any goals, just said f*ck it, I’m going to say yes to everything and live the life I’m lucky to still have.

So, 2022. How did we do?


Country 1 – The UK

Of course I spent a lot of time in the UK this year. I’ve found true joy in discovering my home over recent years. In March, we had a lovely break to London exploring the Bloomsbury area including The British Museum. At Easter, we had a weekend away in Staffordshire at The Tawny Hotel, enjoying a walk in The Peak District. I had solo trips to Windsor, and then to York in May, visiting Whitby, Rievaulx, Ripon and Thornton-Le-Dale.

Yorkshire

In June, we had a weekend trip to Canterbury and in July we had a weekend in the sea side city of Brighton. In the autumn I visited Sandringham, Oxburgh Hall and Audley End, spent a weekend in Dedham Vale, and was treated like royalty for a weekend at Cliveden House. I also took a trip to Matlock with my parents for a weekend of walking, and finished off the year with a festive visit to Wimpole. I’m truly honoured to be able to showcase England on this blog and have loved sharing more of it with you.

Oxburgh Hall

Also in the UK this year lots away from travel happened. I invested more time in the people I love, making plans and taking trips with them. My younger cousin had his first baby, three of my best friends also had babies and I was with my amazing group of girlfriends all together in the same country at the same time for the first time in 9 years!

Aunty Hannah duties


Country 2 – Denmark

Rolling back to the first overseas trip of 2022, I headed to Copenhagen for my birthday in February, and stayed at Nimb Hotel. A lot of healing happened on this trip and it will forever have a special place in my heart. We laughed, we cried, we ate some amazing food, we saw the Queen of Denmark and had a Royal Palace to ourselves. It was perfect (apart from the taxi ride which cost us nearly Β£300 – I still haven’t let it go).

In the Royal Palace


Country 3, 4 and 5 – Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

What. A. Trip. This was probably the highlight of my year. May saw my first 2 week break in years, and I found it informative and restorative as we drove from Vilnius to Riga to Tallinn. On the way we visited fairytale castles in Trakai, Kaunas and Cesis, unique spots like the Hill of Crosses, beautiful nature in Lahemaa and explored Soviet history in Patarei. The Baltics were beautiful and if you’re looking for an underrated destination in Europe – there’s none more so than these stunning countries.

Visiting these countries was also a reminder of the horrors of the Ukraine war and a reinforcement of knowing how lucky I am to live in a country which hasn’t known a war on its soil since the 1700s . That is a true privilege none of us should take for granted.

Lithuania
Estonia


Country 6 – France

In July, we headed to Carcassonne in France with my parents for their wedding anniversary. We watched the famous fireworks, took a day trip to Narbonne, did one of my favourite hikes ever to explore Lastours Castle and of course drank wine and ate too much cheese! Going away with my parents is special as I know I won’t be able to forever so I treasure our adventures.

Perfect Carcassonne


Country 7 – Portugal

All of my close friends I used to go away with have babies now and aren’t in a position to travel on a whim. But I am, and I’m grateful for that. A last minute decision to head to Porto for the weekend was impulsive and exhausting – with an 11.30pm Friday night flight out and a 10am Sunday return I had a day exploring this wonderful city. I was a little delicate (the port really is so good) but the sun was gorgeous and the food delicious. It was so freeing to be able to be so impulsive.

Pretty Porto


Country 8 – Turkey

Mr Travelling Han (MTH) travels a lot with work and this comes with pros and cons. On the positive side I quite enjoy being on my own and when I don’t want to be – off I jaunt to meet him for the weekend. Turkey was one such weekend. I fell in love with how beautiful Istanbul is, enjoying ancient palaces, incredible food and too much wine. It was chaotic and a completely different culture to that here in England – I love that travel can expose us to completely new things and broaden our understanding of the world.

Iconic Istanbul


Country 9 – Romania

A last minute addition to the travel itinerary, again MTH was here already and I tagged along for the weekend to meet him in Bucharest. At this point of the year I was really struggling at work as I’m working on a huge global project with a lot of pressure so the weekend here was restorative. I learnt all about the Communist regime and pressures still facing the country and loved exploring this unique city. Travel is always a great way to find perspective and I definitely went home feeling more balanced.

Traditional Romanian houses


Country 10 – Costa Rica

Wow. A rival to the Baltics, this trip was one of my favourite trips of all time. We visited Costa Rica and explored stunning jungles, strolled glorious beaches, walked with sloths, had spider monkeys playing above our heads and to top it all off we even climbed a volcano in Arenal National Park. A truly special country which filled me with pure happiness (and lots of cocktails), finishing off my year of travel in style.

Volcano Magic


In summary, 2022 was pretty damn awesome. It was restorative, peaceful, calming and a year where I finally felt myself again after years of IVF and hormone treatment. I’ve long learned that it’s good to talk. But honestly, sometimes it’s not. It’s not good to talk if you’re talking to the wrong person, it’s not good to talk if the other person isn’t able to listen, or if you’re not listening either. It’s only good to talk if both of you are able to come to the conversation with honest words and listening ears. Otherwise there’s no point talking at all.

This year I’ve tried to do that – I’ve worked on my own journey of healing after a difficult time, talking when I’ve needed to the right people but more importantly I’ve worked on opening my ears to listen. I’ve invested my time in the people I care about, and had some absolutely wonderful adventures along the way. It’s so nice to be back travelling again, so nice to be making happy memories regularly, and so nice to be alive to enjoy it all.

Let’s hope 2023 is just as amazing. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful festive season – Happy New Year everyone.

43 Comments

  1. You certainly had an incredible year of travel! Especially with what happened in 2021, it made you realize just how short life is and how important it is to live it out as much as possible…and you certainly did this year! Very glad you got to explore Romania and Turkey, two of my favorite countries I’ve visited, and it’s great you also got to explore more close to home in the UK. I just dipped my toes back into international trip this year, and I hope for more adventures in 2023! Take care, Han. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Rebecca, and yes totally – it’s so important to do things while you can as you just never know what’s going to happen! I absolutely loved Romania, it massively exceeded my expectations. You’ve had some amazing adventures this year too, and I definitely think Argentina is more than just dipping a toe – I can’t wait to follow along on more of your adventures in 2023 πŸ™‚

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  2. You have had quite a journey, both physically and emotionally in the past year. Thank you for sharing your adventures and struggles. It sounds like you have a strong support system, which makes a big difference. I wish all the best for you, Hannah, and you loved ones, in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like you made the most of 2022 and being able to travel outside of the UK. We’re actually thinking about visiting Costa Rica next year. Glad to hear that you’re feeling like yourself again. Wishing you many more adventures and memories in 2023. Take care. Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh for sure, it’s been such a great year being able to get out and about again. Ahh I hope you do, it’s an incredible country (my posts are coming soon…probably Feb time if you want to find out more). Thanks so much for reading and following along Linda, here’s to lots more adventures for us both in 2023 πŸ™‚

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  4. I’m so pleased you managed to turn the corner Hannah and bounce back to your old self through all these fantastic overseas holidays and UK short breaks. I think I’ve enjoyed reading all about them just as much as you have being on them! Wishing you much happiness and good health for 2023. M x

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  5. What an incredible year of travel for you! I have really loved following along on your adventures and can’t wait to see where you take us in the new year. I love that you have looked at your year with such a thoughtful and intentional perspective and that you have found such healing. Wishing you all the best in the new year! πŸ™‚

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  6. I am glad to see you had an amazing year regards travelling and I am glad to hear that you are feeling like yourself again. I very much enjoyed following your travel adventures and look forward to more of them. I am a firm believer in not putting good life on hold. People get in their mind that they’ll work a job they hate, and make a bunch of money and only then will they work on being happy and fulfilling whatever dreams they have. While it does delay gratification – which can help in certain situations – it takes those examples to the extreme. It creates a false hope that change is around the corner when in reality you’re running in circles. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

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    1. Thanks so much Aiva, I really appreciate your kind words and support. It’s been a great year, and I’m all for doing things while I can – you just never know what’s going to happen. Thanks for following along, and here’s to a new year of adventures for both of us πŸ™‚ (If your new arrival hasn’t arrived yet then I have everything crossed for you that it all goes smoothly). Hannah xx

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  7. Wow what an amazing year of travel not only in your own country but also abroad! The personal journeys are definitely worth investing in and are more important in the long run…so glad you made time for that as well! Isn’t Costa Rica fantastic? Such a beautiful country in such a small space. Wishing you a wonderful 2023!

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  8. I loved that, Han. Not only the wonderful photos and intelligent enthusiasm for all that you did and saw, but also the little insightful remarks you make. So many travel blogs are bland and characterless; yours isn’t. I wish you nothing but joy for 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so kind of you to say Mike, thank you so much for your readership and support. And same to you and your loved ones as well – Happy 2023 and here’s to lots more adventures πŸ˜‰

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  9. Ten countries…so many amazing places you’ve seen, and shared! Lovely photography, historical records, travel and lodging information, anecdotal experiences, cultural exposure and education – wow!!! You’ve certainly set the bar high for other world travelers, and the wonderful adventures you’ve documented have been a joy to follow! Thanks for sharing, Hannah, and best wishes to you and yours for 2023 πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you so much Phil, and as always I appreciate your kind words and continued readership. There will be lots more adventures to come in 2023 and I look forward to sharing them all πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful New Year – best wishes to you and your family too πŸ™‚

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  10. Looks like your own travel year wasn’t too shabby, Hannah. 10 countries is an impressive haul, sometimes I wonder if Sladja and I should spend so much time in each place. We ain’t getting any younger, ha ha. There was much to absorb here, some familiar, some not. I do love the idea of Lithuania, Latvia and Romania. And then Costa Rica, which looks marvellous through your lens, as part of an extended South America trip we truly have to do one day. You did so well I think to bounce back from your awful year in 2021 to really grab life by the horns. “It’s Good to talk, but only sometimes”. Wise words, somebody should have told Maureen Lipman that back in the day.

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    1. I like that you spend proper time in a place and get to know it; I wish our jobs enabled to do that but we have to settle for short hops all over the place. I felt like 2022 was definitely a restorative year for me, and I’m so grateful to have had these adventures. A south american extended adventure is on our list too, though I need to learn some Spanish first πŸ™‚ Too many places to visit aren’t there! Haa, that made me laugh – casting me back to 80s BT adverts πŸ™‚

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  11. Overall a good travelling year I would say Hannah πŸ™‚. It was great to read about your UK visits – there was always a mix between beautiful walks and luxurious accommodation! And of your abroad trips, I really enjoyed your visits to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia … oh, and Porto was probably the prettiest of them all! I’m really looking forward to your new destination in 2023 πŸ₯‚.

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