Getting Lost in 2017

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


Last week I found myself stood in the Post Office for what felt like the thousandth time, clutching onto my fifth attempt at a passport form, and third set of photos, pretty much certain that the universe was conspiring against me, sentencing me to a lifetime in England. Someone somewhere did not want me to leave this country, what other reason would there be for the endless complications that I had encountered throughout the whole application process.

From idiotically forgetting my Mum is recently remarried and has a new surname, to the then second correctly completed form going missing (with my birth certificate) then having an out-of-date countersignature, the new photos being taken wrong, and the new, new photos being signed wrong and about a million other stupid things in-between, I finally posted that shit off last week, and was delighted to receive a text message this morning from Her Majesty's Passport Office notifying me that they have received my application and I can expect my passport within 3-6 weeks.

The reason behind this almighty ruckus that has come with attempting to get a passport (apart from the fact I'm a scatty mare) is it's my first ever one. I'm twenty-three years old in March and I have never left the country - shall we just ignore the laughable irony of the fact I work in a travel agency?

I know that I won't feel 100% at peace until the damn thing is in my hand, but at least things are finally moving forward, and I've already got plenty of plans for 2017.

Some are booked, some are in the pipeline, but I am determined to make sure they all happen.

One of my main aspirations for a long time has been to get into travel writing, so these little adventures are going to, hopefully, provide me with a great opportunity to build up some experience in that field - exciting! I thought I would share a few of my plans for getting lost in 2017...

AMSTERDAM TO GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS.
At the end of April, I will be traveling to Amsterdam with my sister, her best friend, and her best friend's boyfriend. It's a destination that everyone has assured me is perfect for my first time out of England - especially in terms of experiencing flying for the first time - I'm sure even I can manage to snap myself out of an anxiety attack for the sake of an hour up in the air, and if not, I'm certain there's plenty of things that will help me relax when my feet are back on the ground - if you know what I mean.

My sister has promised to take me to the Kattencafe, Amsterdam's first cat cafe which opened in April 2015 - coffee, cake, and cats... Not sure life actually gets any better than that. We're also in discussions about going on a cheese tasting tour, visiting the Van Gogh museum, and wandering through the red light district - where my sister has threatened to leave me if I irritate her too much...

We'll also be heading to Groningen for a night to stay with one of my sister's friends and have a last-night party! I am very much looking forward to experiencing my first hangover flight (not!)

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK.
Another one of my sister's ideas that I've just invited myself along to (sorry mate) I think we'll probably end up doing this with the same friends as Amsterdam, which will be amazing. I've already told her that we absolutely must take some time to go to the Zoological Museum, they've got some amazing exhibitions going on throughout the year, including 'Precious Things' which features Denmark's massive new dinosaur, 17-metre long Diplodocus 'Misty' - EXCITING.

I imagine we'll spend a lot of time just wandering around, seeing where the days take us, eating way too much food and drinking far too much coffee - it will be amazing!

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND. 
When I told my Mum how much I want to visit Iceland, she gave me a look as if I had just told her I was intending to drop everything and join the circus. I do suppose the idea of 'holidaying' to any destination that has the word 'ice' in the title may prompt some sort of confused response, but it's somewhere that has always fascinated me, and where I have always wanted to visit.

July and August are supposedly the best months to visit Reykjavik, the country's capital city, so I'm getting my pennies together and aiming for then. I have asked my sister how she feels about coming with me on this trip, but I'm thinking this may be my first experience traveling on my own.

One of my ultimate dreams is to see my favourite animal, the Humpback Whale, in its natural environment, so I will absolutely be budgeting to travel to an area that offers Whale watching tours. Other recommendations have been to experience the view from the Hallgrímskirkja church, visit the Blue Lagoon, go on a Golden Circle tour, and keep an eye open for The Northern Lights.

ITALY.

My beautiful best friend Tara and I have known each other since we were thirteen years old. We met through MSN when we were at school (retro!) and have been the most amazing friends ever since, despite the fact we've only actually met in person about four or five times. After having a little chat a few weeks ago, we decided it's about time we went on holiday together, and so are in discussion about Interrailing through Italy for a week, soaking up the sun, culture and, most importantly, good food and wine.

We will, of course, make the effort to visit places like Pisa, Rome, Venice, but I think we'll be happy to just see where our journey takes us without too much planning. We're both very spiritual people and this seems like a great opportunity to do a bit of soul-searching, and just see where we end up.

PARIS.

As I mentioned previously, I am twenty-three in March, and my passport should arrive just after my birthday and if it does, my best friend Leanne and I have made plans to spend a couple of nights in Paris for a short, girly weekend. Now, I could list to you the amount of beautiful, cultural experiences that I am looking forward to being part of on this trip, however, if you knew me and my best friend, you would settle with the fact we will more than likely be viewing Paris from the inside of a wine bar - although I'm sure we'll find time to do all those little touristy things, get a couple of selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower and whatnot!

So, there are some of my plans for 2017, if I find myself with enough time (and money) then I'll try and squeeze a few other trips in as well, perhaps Bruges at Christmas, or attempt to get to Munich for Oktoberfest! We shall see.

If there's something you think I should definitely do/see in one of these destinations, pleeeeease let me know! 

Elly xo

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