It’s that time of year to reflect on the past 12 months and celebrate what we’ve achieved, what we’re grateful for and what we’ve learned. This is a list counting down my top 10 adventures of 2018, a year that catapulted me out of my comfort zone into a life in London and on long haul trips.
10. Exploring The Elan Valley, Wales
The scenic landscape of Mid Wales is somewhere I’ve not seen much of until August when Ty Morgans asked if I’d like to review their hotel in Rhayader, the gateway to The Elan Valley. On this trip with Kacie from The Rare Welsh Bit I toured the six Victorian dams which are ridiculously impressive to stand on top of.
9. Taking #TimeForWiltshire
I’ve got a tonne of reasons why Wiltshire is one of my favourite counties in England so it’s been a pleasure to work with Visit Wiltshire throughout 2018. My highlights include canoeing and cycling along the Kennet and Avon canal (from the beautiful Bradford-on-Avon) and exploring the vast Salisbury Plains in a land rover.
8. Holidaying in Walt Disney World, Florida
The annual family holiday this year was to Walt Disney World, a place we’ve been to several times before but absolutely love. The weather this May was not in our favour but we still got to do everything we wanted (again and again and again…) over the three weeks.
7. Photographing Shirley Heights, Antigua
My top collaboration this year was with Viking Cruises who invited me to explore the West Indies with my best friend Hannah from Miss Nicklin – how could I say no? Antigua was one of our ports of call with an unmissable visit to Shirley Heights.
6. Having a Viking experience in Flam, Norway
In September I cruised to The Norwegian Fjords for the first time onboard P&O Britannia and took over their Instagram. The highlight of my excursion in Flam was the coach journey itself, particularly the memorable (and hair raising) descent along Norway’s steepest road.
5. Kayaking in St. Thomas, USVI
The best excursion of my Viking Cruises trip was on the US Virgin Island of St. Thomas where we kayaked around a natural lagoon to Cas Cay (a wildlife sanctuary) which we then hiked across and snorkelled around.
4. Staying at Casa del Monte, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
This amazing hidden gem in the old quarter of Palma de Mallorca is owned by a local family. I felt like I was staying in a palace or museum as it was so quiet and full of precious antiques. I adore this city and was really pleased to return this year for a city break.
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My first trip to Norway onboard @pandocruises Britannia has been nothing but incredible — even the weather. If you ever visit Olden, don’t miss the Briksdal Glacier, the landscape from every angle is breathtaking 😱. . . #mynorway #loves_norway #visitnorway #norwayinanutshell #norway2day #norwaynature #fjordnorway #dreamchasersnorway #fjordsofnorway #norwegianfjords #britannia #pandocruises #pocruises #briksdalglacier #olden #thisisthelife #wonderful_places #lpfanphoto #thebestofnorway #awesomenorway
3. Hiking to Briksdal Glacier, Olden, Norway
Wow, wow, wow…. words fail me but I hope my photos of this excursion says enough! Briksdal Glacier simply took my breath away and I was so glad I made the last minute decision on the day to take a coach trip there.
2. Staying at The Colony Club, Barbados
It was a bewildering experience to escape the snowy weather in Wales for the tropical beaches of Barbados back in March. My Viking Cruises trip began at the luxurious Colony Club and I remembering looking out to the sea I just crossed and feeling so proud of what I’ve achieved both personally and professionally to get me to that point.
1. Working in London with Blogosphere
As if my trip to The Caribbean couldn’t get any sweeter, I relaxed on my bed (probably digesting lunch or contemplating dinner) and opened up my emails to find I’d been offered the job of content creator for Blogosphere in London. Fast forward 9 months and I look to 2019 with a lot of enthusiasm for the plans we’ve been working on. I’m lucky to be part of a brilliant, forward thinking team who of course embrace and encourage Explore With Ed every step of the way.
What’s coming up in 2019?
I’ve got two projects for my blog that I’m going to keep under wraps until the new year – how exciting! I’m staying in Aberystwyth in January and attending the christening of MSC Bellissima in Southampton in March. I’ll then be cruising around Spain with P&O Cruises, sailing around Italy with Royal Caribbean and visiting 7 countries in Northern Europe onboard Sapphire Princess.
There’ll no doubt be a few shorter trips in the UK and Europe so I’d love for you to explore with me on your preferred social media platform (linked below) and share your highlights and plans for 2019.
A big thank you everyone who’s made 2018 so special and I’m wishing you all a very happy and adventurous new year.