About a week ago, without much notice or fanfare, One Trip at a Time turned two years old. What? How did that happen? Some days it seems like such a short time ago that L and I had returned from our trip to Normandy and Ypres on which I had thrown out the idea of starting a blog to record our travels. And now, here we are, many trips and two years later, and we’ve just returned again from another great Spring Break trip, this time to Ireland.
As a little anniversary ‘gift’ to my blog I decided it was time for a bit of a facelift. A fresh new look if you will. It’s still a work in progress as I change everything over to the new theme, but I really like how the changes are coming along. New year, new look. Let’s bring this blog into 2016!
And what a great year 2016 is shaping up to be. Let’s take a look at the progress I’ve made so far with all those crazy travel goals I set back in January.
Continue working towards my Lifetime Travel Goals that I have set for myself.
Right out of the chute I’ve already visited one new country and it was awesome! If I could sum Ireland up in three things I’d say- rocks, sheep, and the most friendly people you’ll ever meet. You won’t have to wait long to start getting some glimpses into our trip either as I’m already working on our trip summary and then will jump into some of the posts. But don’t worry if you were still looking forward to hearing more about our Western Front trip, I’ll be going back and forth between several trips and destinations now. Shaking it up a little around here now. Crazy eh? :-)
New Countries Visited in 2016:
- Ireland (March)
I’m quite surprised Ireland, for as much history and culture that it has, doesn’t actually have more UNESCO sites. In Ireland there are currently two, and then one more in Northern Ireland. When we originally started planning this trip we thought we’d do Northern Ireland too but realized there was just so much we wanted to see we’d have to split it into at least two trips.
For this trip we visited Brú na Bóinne. We likely would have tried to see the other other UNESCO site, Skellig Michael, but unfortunately it isn’t available to visit this time of year. Although Ireland only has a couple of sites on the list now they do have several on their tentative list so we also made it a point to check that list out to see if there were things that piqued our interest- and there were several. Four more in fact. So one day, years from now, I may get to add them to my list of UNESCO sites visited if they are officially added.
UNESCO Sites Visited in 2016:
I originally thought Edinburgh Castle would be on the list for 2015 but as we actually visited it on January 1st it kicks off my list of landmarks for 2016 instead. And guess what! We were actually their FIRST visitors for 2016 and they shook our hands, welcomed us in, and gave us a little gift of a Scotland calendar and a box of shortbread. How neat is that? Not going to lie, I was pretty excited by it all. We were almost like celebrities as staff around the castle said “Oh you’re our first visitors of the year. Welcome!” Plus, it is a pretty neat castle to visit and they have scrumptious scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam. Yum!
Landmarks visited in 2016:
- Edinburgh Castle (January)
To prepare for our trip to Ireland I decided an audio book seemed like just the right thing to keep me entertained on my way back and forth to work, and give me a little introduction to the country. What Matters Most was a great book and did the trick, in addition to getting me reading some fiction again as I really make an effort towards achieving this goal in 2016. The Cliffs of Moher played an important part in the book, but I must say I was a bit disappointed when we arrived and they didn’t really look like I had imagined from the story. I definitely couldn’t see how the main characters had found such a secluded spot for their romantic moment- they were obviously on a different part of the cliffs than the very tourist filled part we visited!
Books read in 2016 towards goal:
- What Matters Most by Luanne Rice (Ireland)
Well we haven’t done very well on this one I’m afraid. In three months the only foreign food we’ve made was sausage and mash. Granted it was quite tasty and will likely become a more regular meal for us, so that’s a good thing. Up this month though- we must make the Indian food that’s had the ingredients sitting in the pantry for a few weeks. I bet it’ll be delicious.
Mission Travel Stuff Organization
Well I’d love to say that all my photos are organized and I have found THE system to end all systems to organize them- but I haven’t. In fact I haven’t even finished backing up my latest photos from Ireland and Scotland. Shame on me. I’d be crushed if I lost them. Must get on that ASAP. And then work on all the organizing too.
Organize Travel Paraphernalia
And in this category I’m even less organized than the photos. :-( Right now I still have boxes and bags of stuff. So.Much.Stuff. I really just can’t decide how far I want to go with it. Do I just save everything in a bag together per trip, or really go all out and organize it into some sort of scrapbook? Decisions. Decisions. Maybe by next goal check in I’ll have come up with a plan.
Cross one adventure item and one location off my life bucket list
It was when I was looking for this list today to see if I can cross anything off that I realized just how disorganized all my travel paraphernalia is. And I didn’t find this list. Well not the paper copy anyway. Thankfully I had the forethought before losing it to type it all up in OneNote so I checked if I could cross anything off yet- nope! And it’s not looking good for this year really- well at least not the ‘adventure item’. I guess that’s why these are goals though eh? To stretch and make me work a little. Maybe I’ll surprise myself in the end.
Create an online travel course
Finally another goal that I have made some progress on. I worked on this on the plane on the way home from Scotland at the beginning of the year and actually have a pretty decent outline written. Now to get to work on each of the modules. I had originally thought I’d try to do this in 12 weeks- now I’m thinking I’ll need a wee bit more time than that. :-)
How about you? Did you set any travel goals this year? How are they coming along?
To read more about my 2016 travel goals and progress made, please feel free to check out these posts: