Each year I put together an Annual Review to reflect on what has happened over the past year and share future plans for Travel Dave.
Another year has passed and Travel Dave enters its 9th year in the blogosphere, It’s weird to look back all the way to 2005 when I started and to think where Travel Dave has come since then. Next year will be great to kick start a 10th anniversary year, but until then I will review what has been 2013 which has brought me to a whopping 9 countries!
Starting in Sweden
Nothing kicks off a new year like a Nordic celebration and my good friend Fredric was kind enough to host me at his place for the fireworks and fun. I still have a love for Snow around this time of year, it just adds that extra kind of magical feel and makes everything festive. I later returned to Stockholm in the Summer to explore the city and I Still have a desire to move to the city one day in the future to open project, coffee shop/Hostel (still never left the back of my mind). After living a year in Finland, the North of Europe has always remained a part of me and for sure is something I would like to return to in later years.
Life in Holland continues
I’ve now become a custom to living in The Netherlands, as I still continue to work on my Masters here at Tilburg University. I aim to finish what I set out to complete this summer and until then I have enjoyed calling this wonderful place home. Sure, it rains a lot and you have to cycle everywhere to get to places but I’ve rather enjoyed it over the years and not looking at moving any time soon. I think Holland is that type of place that welcomes you and gives you no desire to leave, it sort of sucks you in and keeps you here with its yummy fried snacks and great nightlife. Well, for now I’m happy to call it home.
Ski Trip to Risoul
I couldn’t say no to a cheap student ski trip, so I found myself skiing on the Piste’s of the Risoul! It was a hell of a trip and looks like I will be repeating this trip in 2014, if I can pull together the funds and keep up to date with my studies. It’s hard to keep me off the slopes when it’s a possible option.
A project that has been in the making ever since I had the crazy idea to write a book many years ago. 2013 would see me finally being able to sit down, buckle up and get around to finishing said project. It was a insane moment uploading the book to the Amazing Kindle market and having a box of books arrive at my doorstep. It’s just the pure joy of seeing your book on a bookshelf in a bookshop along with all the other incredible authors out there and thinking that was one hell of a mountain but i accomplished it. To anyone planning on writing a book I can only say it’s not as easy as the idea itself, but a real achievement to finish it up and get it published.
A trip which I haven’t experienced in a long time, which is a family holiday and one I very much enjoyed. I hadn’t been with my family on a holiday for many years and it was such a nice alternative to kick back with the family by the pool and have a good catch up, lovely.
2013 would see me step up to join my local Tilburg I*ESN (International Erasmus Student Network) board as the Event Manager. For the second half of the year I have had the fun job of looking after all International students here in Tilburg, making sure there is some sort of Event programs in the form of Partys and International trips. It’s been a lot of fun helping students integrate into Tilburg, just like I did and it’s allowed me to go on a lot of fun trips around Europe in the process.
I found myself lucky enough to be invited over to Italy by our I*ESN partnership city, Sienna. I have to admit I had never heard of the place until we discovered that we could go over and visit them and we thought to ourselves why not! It ended up being one of the best decisions of 2013, the city is incredible to visit and a lovely hidden gem of Italy. Apart from the great parties and eating out we went on a wine tour, which was a great experience to try in Italy and with all the great drinking and eating, Italy is such an incredible destination to get lost in and explore.
Every beer lovers dream and this year I was allowed to finally make it a reality. It’s been on my bucket list the moment I first heard about it and it met all of my expectations. Just the idea of standing in a massive beer hall with a litre of beer and looking over all the leiderhosens and people singing it really was an incredible experience. Plus, I managed to meet up with one of my old exchange buddies Markus, which had been on table for way too long and was great meeting up in his home city.
Brussels & Paris.
I’ve been to both of these cities before, but never in my teens, so armed with a week off I though why not explore. Brussels is very beautiful and with lots of great beer to try and chocolate to enjoy, it’s a great place to visit for a day. Paris I had a mix bag of opinions before I arrived, but I really enjoyed it’s old Parisian feel. This trip I also managed to visit Disneyland Paris with a couple of friends, which meant that I have been now been to every Disneyland in the world! (Hong Kong, Paris, Orlando, California and Tokyo) I’m not even a massive Disney fan, just happened to be close by and thought why not visit! Well, there you go, something else to add to my list of lifetime achievements (Well until Shanghai opens :P).
Prague, Czech Republic
2013 would bring me to visit Prague for the third time and it’s a destination that keeps on getting better and better. I was expecting prices to go up a little since my last visit, but beer is still cheap here and one of high quality. Enjoyed exploring the bars and making the most out of its incredible nightlife. Prague still is an fantastic city to get lost in with its great history and top bars.
Morocco brings along a Travel Dave first, First time in to set foot in Africa! I went along for a Surf Trip just outside of Agadir (blog coming soon) which was a great experience and also managed to check out the markets of Marakesch on the way there which was a market to remember. Very impressed with my travels to Morocco and I have to admit it was on the books for a long time so happy I could finally visit.
To end of the travel year I managed to squeeze in a day visit to Bruges to visit its Christmas markets before I went home to London for the festive season. Belgium is a real joy to travel around and Bruges has a wonderful city square to explore during the winter with its ice rinks and many Christmas markets scattered around the city.
Well That Wraps up travel Dave in 2013, I Have lots of projects and destinations in mind for 2014 and looking forward to sharing them with you in the close future. Wishing you all many happy travels in 2014!