We’re not going abroad this summer but I won’t dwell on that too much. I consider myself lucky to have already spent a bit of time in some beautiful countries. I absolutely love to travel and even though there are still a ton of destinations I intend to visit; I do still appreciate the places I’ve already seen. Every city has their own unique quirks and personality as well as typical tourist attractions which, combined, make them so much fun to explore.
I thought I’d briefly summarise my experiences in five different cities — to note the random things that have stuck with me to this day. If you’d like to share your own memories of places you’ve been to; I’d love to read about them in the comment section below!
When: Spring 2005
Why: School tour
What I remember: Cobblestone streets; elaborate fountains; an elevator in the Colosseum; giant pizzas & numerous street vendors.
Standout moment: Hanging out on the Spanish Steps at the Piazza di Spagna — it was warm and noisy and crowded but everyone was in good spirits and it was kind of wonderful.
When: Summer 2008
Why: Au Pair Work
What I remember: Oyster cards; eating in Chinatown; shopping in Camden Market; the premiere of Mamma Mia in Leicester Square and always having something to do.
Standout moment: Coming out of the tube station on to Oxford Street for the first time.
When: Winter 2011
Why: Lovely boyfriend whisked me away for my birthday!
What I remember: Window shopping on the Champs Elysées; late night crêpes; incredible specialist shops ; fairy lights all the way down our hotel’s street and thinking I was going to freeze to death (it was January and I had literally never been so cold in all my life).
Standout moment: A bartender bringing us behind the bar and giving us free shots because we were Irish — well, it would have been rude to refuse!
When: Summer 2011
Why: Au Pair Work
What I remember: Using a church steeple to navigate my way around, markets; canals; out-of-this-world chocolate and a museum that seemed more like someone’s house.
Standout moment: Reaching the top of the Belfry Tower after climbing a narrow winding stairway consisting of 366 steps to get there!
When: Autumn 2013
Why: Holiday to celebrate my boyfriend’s 25th birthday
What I remember: Long streets, white ships at the harbour; streams of motorbikes; blue skies and passing a beautiful Spanish bride in the most stunning gown (I wanted to take a picture of her but my bf said it would be weird…).
Standout moment: Getting in to the Sagrada Familia after queueing for nearly an hour in the heat— it was worth the wait.