2016 In Review: The Destinations of the Year

December 30, 2016

Destinations of the Year

If you look at the internet memes, it appears that 2016 has been far from the best year and it should hurry up and be over before any other catastrophic event makes itself known. On a personal level though, 2016 has been a pretty sweet one for me. I’ve achieved quite a personal goals, and some professional ones too. I’ve moved to a new country (again) and finally made inroads on learning a new language. I got engaged (gulp), and of course I’ve travelled.

In 2015 I went to a grand total of ZERO new countries. Although I did some awesome things in Australia where I spent most of my time, like driving from Perth to the Gold Coast and learning to dive on the Great Barrier Reef. 2016 wasn’t another box ticking year either, but more one for slow travel and exploring places more deeply, and making a new home for myself in Spain.

So what were the destinations of 2016? Here goes:

Scotland

I rang in the New Year in Edinburgh, Scotland, at one of the biggest New Years Eve celebrations in the world. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is a huge street party and concert, not to mention all the events in the days before and after.

But my time in Edinburgh was just a stopover on the way to moving it Spain. It wasn’t until this summer that I finally got to indulge myself by spending a decent length of time in one of my favourite cities in the world. It wasn’t exactly a restful summer though! Between trips to Sweden, Spain and Montenegro I reminded myself of all the things Edinburgh has to offer, and threw myself into festival mode during August.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Posts from Scotland:

Hello Edinburgh, My Old Friend

Essential Sights on a Quick Visit to Edinburgh

A Unique View of Edinburgh with Rabbie’s City Tours

Why Edinburgh’s Festivals Have to Be on Your Bucket List

A Quick Guide to Edinburgh’s Festivals in August

North Berwick – The Perfect Day Trip From Edinburgh

The Stories of Glen Coe, Scotland

Ultimate Guide to the Top Free & Not so Free Things to Do in Edinburgh

Why Edinburgh’s Festivals Have to Be on Your Bucket List

Spain

If you’d asked me a couple of years ago if I could see myself living in Spain in the future I would have said “sure, why not?”, but I wouldn’t have really thought it would happen. It definitely wasn’t amongst the places I thought I’d be headed! But sometimes, opportunities seem to fall into place and we have to grab them with both hands. Moving to Spain this year gave me the chance to be back in Europe where I wanted to be, teach English which I had always wanted to try, and learn another language, which I’d been attempting alone for years but always being distracted from actually doing.

Spain has been both more challenging and far better than I could have hoped. After moving abroad several times before I knew about the highs and lows of expat life, but I forgot how extreme they can be. Spain definitely threw me for a loop at first, mostly due to the language barrier. I am FAR from fluent in Spanish now, but Spain really does feel like a slice of home.

Almeria, Spain

Posts from Spain

How I Moved to Spain to Teach English

Did I Make a Mistake Moving to Spain?

From Almería to Cádiz Carnival

Las Alpujarras: Walking from Pampaneira to Búbion

Graffiti in Granada: The Backstreet Art Gallery of Spain

Discovering Nearby Places: One Day in Nerja, Spain

Frigiliana: Expectations of a Day Trip in Malaga

Top 10 Things to Do in Almería City, Spain

My 5 Best Places to Eat in Almería, Spain

Visiting Los Refugios de Guerra Civil, Almería, Spain

Andalucias Secret: The Beaches of Cabo de Gata

Did I Miss the Point in Barcelona?

Top 5 Places to Visit Outside Almería

12 Things I’ve Learned From Living in Spain

Things I Didn’t Expect About Teaching English in Spain

Can You Really Learn a Language by Moving Abroad?

7 Facts That Will Make You Want To Visit Almería, Spain

Visiting Autumn in Madrid & Falling in Love With Travel Again

3 Great Day Trips From Madrid

The Enchantment of Visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Sweden

I’d been to Sweden once before and I usually like to explore new places as much as possible, but after starting my blog in 2015 I really wanted to go to a blogging conference this year. TBEX fit since it was during the summer, and attending was once of the best things I’ve done! All work related conferences should be this fun. As part of TBEX I ended up being able to take a tour to a place in the far north of Sweden called Luleå. I’ll let the posts speak for themselves…

Midnight Sun Lulea Sweden

Posts From Sweden

Visiting the Stockholm Archipelago

An Introductory Guide to Visiting Stockholm

The Luleå Way: Stories From Swedish Lapland

14 Reasons to Visit Luleå in Summer

Denmark

At the end of my Swedish summer trip I made a brief trip to Copenhagen. I’m seriously terrible at only going to one place per trip! It was enough of a taste to entice me to keep it on the list of places to visit again soon. Although it is most definitely not cheap!

Copenhagen One Day Budget 24 Hours

Posts from Denmark

The Best of Copenhagen in One Day (Plus Budget Tips)

Montenegro

For no reason whatsoever I have this burning desire to explore more of the Balkans. After visiting Croatia two years ago I just knew there was so much more I wanted to see. So when EB and I were planning a summer trip guess where I convinced him we should go…

Montenegro was actually even better than I had hoped though. I won’t be surprised one bit if it really explodes on the tourism level over the next few years. It seems I only wrote one post at the time, but there are definitely more in the works!

Guide to Visiting Kotor Montenegro

Posts from Montenegro

A Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Kotor, Montenegro

Croatia

Like most places, it was far cheaper for us to fly from Edinburgh to Dubrovnik in Croatia then directly to Montenegro. There are private shuttles or buses between Dubrovnik and Kotor, and many of the other beachside places so it’s well worth checking it out as a cheaper way to get to Montenegro! It also meant we had a little time to see Dubrovnik too. (Did I mention I can never just go to one place?)

One Day in Dubrovnik Croatia Plus Budget Tips

Posts from Croatia

The Best of One Day in Dubrovnik (Plus Budget Tips)

Portugal

And as a surprise end to the year, I’m writing this from Portugal! You can find out the full reason why in the Stories Behind the Instagram Photos, but basically I thought I’d be in Scotland at the moment, and I’m not. Instead I’m on a last minute trip seeing Lagos, Lisbon and Porto. So far I have to say Portugal is pretty awesome, and I’m excited to see how Lisbon does New Year’s Eve tomorrow night. After that I’ll have some posts on the way about my 40th country! Suffice to say, you should come here.

So…

That my friends, is a wrap on 2016. For me, it’s been a great one. If this year hasn’t been the best for you then I hope that you can look back and find something to redeem it, or look forward to the next year on a positive note.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one”

Brad Paisley

Sonja x

P.S. Check out the Travel Tales section for less destination based stuff from this year!

How was your year? Did you visit any new places?

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6 Comments

  • Reply Ben Zabulis December 31, 2016 at 11:42 am

    A great list Sonja, happy New Year and happy travels !

    • Reply Migrating Miss December 31, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks Ben, Happy New Year and travels to you too!

  • Reply Chiera December 31, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Wow! What a year! Love a wee spontaneous trip – I’ve heard Portugal is beautiful! Here’s to an even better 2017!!

    • Reply Migrating Miss December 31, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      It has been amazing, I’ve been so lucky! Loving Portugal so much so far, and still a few more days here so can’t wait to see even more.

  • Reply Cassandra January 8, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    These are some amazing accomplishments!! (: I remember talking randomly about our blog goals through fb messenger, your blog has really taken off and I definitely turn to your content for inspiration! I also always recommend your blog to my friends from home, if they’re asking me about moving abroad haha and mention the expat series for inspiration. Keep going with it, Sonja!!

    • Reply Migrating Miss January 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you!!! Me too! I love your international couple series so much! Aww thanks for recommending it!! I’m hoping to ramp things up even more this year!

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