I’ve never really been a big risk taker in life, in fact I have always played it safe, perhaps even a little boring. After years of battling anxiety, I woke up one day and decided I wasn’t going to let it beat me anymore. I went to work just like every other day, except something inside me had changed and I could feel it. That was the day that it all changed. I started my shift just like any other but by the time I had finished, I had made the most impulsive move in my entire life. My friend was due to visit Berlin for a long weekend for her birthday with some friends and less than 12 hours before she was due to leave, I had booked my flights, flung a change of clothes in a bag and we were off. It was one of the best holidays I have been on and started my love affair with the incredible city of Berlin. That trip I got bitten by the travel bug hard and since then I haven’t looked back.
At the start of the year I noticed many people taking part in a visiting 12 places in 12 months challenge. Now unfortunately this year my finances don’t allow me to attempt anything close to this but after talking the idea through with Gavin, I had decided I wanted to do something fairly similar. That’s when I stumbled across the 30 countries before 30 challenge. This was perfect for me, and followed a more suitable and affordable time frame for my lifestyle. With 10 countries already ticked off, and another 3 already booked in for this year, it seems quite an achievable goal. With just under 4 years until the big 3-0 I definitely think this is obtainable. So with that said, let the journey commence.
🇬🇧 United Kingdom [1/30] Although I’m not totally sure that this counts I still wanted to include it because I think it often gets overlooked. I’ve made it my mission to explore more of the UK on the weekends where I can’t afford a trip abroad.
🇫🇷 France [2/30] For my 5th birthday my mum took me to Disneyland Paris for my first ever holiday and since then I’ve been back four times. Gavin has never visited Disneyland so this is high up on our places to re-visit, as well as a weekend away in the city of love.
🇺🇸 USA [3/30] I’ve actually been lucky enough to visit the States twice now: first to visit Disneyland Florida back when I was 12 and more recently to visit New York to celebrate my graduation. New York City is the most magical place I have ever visited, and I would 100% say this is somewhere everyone needs to visit before they die.
🇪🇦 Spain [4/30] I’ve been to Spain on several occasions now: from relaxing in Menorca with the family, to partying the night away in Ibiza with one of my best friends. It’s a place that holds so many memories for me and somewhere I could visit again and again.
🇬🇷 Greece [5/30] In 2009 I went on my first holiday without my parents to Crete, it was so much fun that I ended up spending just under two months out there working but mainly partying. Now that I’m a bit older I’d love to go back and explore more of this picturesque country, plus I’m pretty sure visiting Santorini is on everyone’s bucket list.
🇩🇪 Germany [6/30] Its safe to say I left a piece of my heart in Berlin the first time I went. I’ve now visited three times with a fourth visit in the pipeline and I just can’t get enough. Its a place where I feel most at home and I could up-stick and relocate without any hesitation.
🇭🇺 Hungary [7/30] Hungary was never high up on my list of places to visit, then I stumbled across a super cheap deal and we headed to Budapest for a long weekend last Summer. It is so underrated, there is so much beauty and culture, plus you can pick up a glass of wine in most places for less than a £1!!
🇮🇹 Italy [8/30] Last year me and Gavin went inter-railing around Italy for 10 days. We flew into Naples and out of Venice and visited some places that had been on my bucket list since I was a child. Each city we visited was equally as beautiful as the last full of good food, good company and beautiful scenic views.
🇩🇰 Denmark [9/30] Scandinavia has always fascinated me so when we picked up cheap flights to Copenhagen in the Ryanair Christmas sale I was ecstatic. The city is full of charm with it its own unique character and typically Danish twists. Everyone should embrace the Danish art of hygge (pronounced hue-guh).
🇨🇿 Czech Republic [10/30] Prague came recommended to us after how much we loved Berlin and Budapest. I took Gavin here for his birthday this year and although the weather was a bit grey and dreary, it is a relaxed city full of beautiful architecture, history and authentic charm.
This year we already have trips booked to Poland, Belgium and Amsterdam so that’s another 3 to tick off the list! Other countries that I want to visit during this challenge include:
This isn’t an extensive list of everywhere on my bucket list and I am sure this will change depending on prices and my mood at the time. In the meantime check out my top tips for city breaks to see how I manage to get some of the best deals when booking my city breaks.