2018 was an absolute whirlwind from start to finish. It was my most travel year yet, which had me visiting a total of TEN new countries and three that I’ve already been to! Keep reading for a fun journey through what has probably been the best year of my life.
January
The first month of the year brought me to Sweden and Denmark–also my first trip with a significant other. These two countries were beautiful and so much fun, but so expensive. Our flights were relatively inexpensive (~$350 RT, including Stockholm-Copenhagen leg) which was convenient and slightly deceiving. Once there, we paid an arm and a leg for pretty much everything, which was painful but we had a blast nonetheless.
Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden
Rosenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark
Total Countries: 2 (Sweden and Denmark)
New Countries: 2
March-May
Probably the best two months of my life, and most definitely of this year. I spent 2 months backpacking through central Europe, and I’m not even quite sure how to put it into words. I found adventure, I found sadness, and most importantly I found myself. I’ll always cherish the times and experiences that I had there, from the Bone Church at Kutna Hora to seeing the Hungarian Parliament at night from the water, to the Auschwitz memorial site. I learned so much along the way and it just made my thirst for knowledge and adventure even stronger. I started in Prague, then to Bratislava, then to the city that stole my heart and took my breath away-Budapest. It was physically painful to make myself leave to make the most of the time I had left in my trip. Krakow didn’t disappoint whatsoever, as it’s such an underrated city and not packed full of tourists! Plus Polish food is to die for. I finished up in Berlin, a city I expected to hate but was pleasantly shocked by how much I enjoyed it. It certainly helped that I was able to meet up with Zoe (whom I had met and become close with in Budapest) and we spent our few days exploring together and savouring my last moments of pure freedom. 

Danube Champagne Cruise with #Budabestie, Budapest, Hungary
Total Countries: 7 (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Poland, and Germany)
New Countries: 6

October
October is a great time to travel, I’ve found. By that time, most tourists are at home working or in school, so there’s definitely some fresh air to breathe in certain cities. October brought me over the northern border of the US to Canada, where I visited my friend Zoe, whom I had met while backpacking in Budapest earlier in the year. I spent a long weekend exploring her city of Ottawa and enjoying the hospitality of our neighbor to the north. Kyle and I also took a long weekend trip to Northern Ireland/UK and Ireland, where we visited Belfast and Dublin and had a blast exploring the pub scene in Belfast!
Old Bushmills Distillery, Bushmills, Northern Ireland, UK

Total Countries: 3 (Canada, UK, Ireland)
New Countries: 1
December
What a way to end the year! I went to Amsterdam for a long weekend with my best friend and we had an absolute blast. It was her first time out of the country, which made it even more special (plus, she was great to travel with for a newbie!!). There was lots of tequila, space cakes, and aimlessly wandering trying to find food she was able to eat, which made our adventure all the more fun. Sometimes not traveling alone isn’t so bad!
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Red Light District, Amsterdam


Total Countries: 1 (Netherlands)
New Countries: 1

Throughout 2018, I managed to take 15 flights (and missed a couple on purpose) and traveled over 40,000 miles over twelve months-not including monthly drives to Buffalo, which is nearly 600 miles round trip! I’ve lived, I’ve learned, and I’ve grown over the past twelve months. The next year isn’t looking too exciting with only one trip planned and only enough vacation time for one more, but my hopes are high for 2020. Happy New Year, and I’ll see everyone on the next adventure.

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