My travel highlights from 2012

I’m always telling people that I wish I had the time and money to travel more. I moan that I haven’t seen enough of the world and there’s so much I want to see and do. It wasn’t until I started thinking about the highlights from my year that I realised I need to quit my moaning because I had a pretty sweet year.

It also made me realise how much you can travel in just one year while also having a full time job.

The year began with some new year’s resolutions where I set myself a challenge to stick to the top 10 resolutions that people set themselves in the UK. I have to be honest that some were a bit of a cop out. ‘Spend more time with friends’ and ‘Enjoy life more’ aren’t real resolutions but I can happily say I stuck to a lot of them.

My New Year’s Resolutions: I’m doing them all!

Here are just some of the things I got up to in 2012


In January I went snowboarding to Andorra. I admitted before I went that I was terrified but I eventually found that I got into the swing of things.

My Travel Confession: I’m Terrified of Snowboarding

My Top Tips: Learning to Snowboard


In February I headed to Moscow for a very chilly long weekend. It was unlike any place I’ve ever been before and the whole city looked magical with a dusting of snow.

A Weekend in Moscow


In March I went to Boutique Bootcamp where I was kicked into shape for an intense weekend of training. Much to my surprise, I absolutely loved my time there and came home feeling fit, energised and ready to tackle the world.

A weekend at Boutique Bootcamp


I headed to Amsterdam in April on a blogger’s challenge to explore the city in just a day. We took the ferry on Friday night and returned on Sunday morning. I had a great time exploring but still want to head back and see more of the city.

Photo Essay: A Day in Amsterdam

Sex and Drugs in Amsterdam

I also headed to Umbria in Italy in April for a travel bloggers conference.

A Photo Essay from Umbria


In July I went to Ghent for the weekend. It was such an action packed weekend that I felt like I was away for weeks and I’d now definitely recommend the city for anyone who wants to get away for a few days.

The highlight from my trip was staying in a hotel room that was built around the train station clock tower. The room was incredible and had amazing views over the city but, best of all, there was a giant clock right in the middle!

Staying in the Gent Clock Tower Hotel


I’d finally finished my exams by August so had a little more free time to explore London and the surrounding area. One of my favourite exhibitions from the summer was Mr Brainwash who experiments with street art. I also headed to Kent for a ‘Literatour’.

A Weekend in Kent

God Save the People: Mr Brainwash Art Exhibition

I also went to Portugal in August and spent some time exploring the gorgeous city of Porto and the surrounding countryside.

A Photo Essay from Porto


In September I went to the stunning city of Girona for another travel blogger conference.


I went on an Intrepid trip to Morocco in November and had an awesome time.

A photo journey through Morocco


And finally, I’ve just returned from snowy Canada! I was there for 10 days for a work social media conference and a spot of snowboarding. If you’d like to see some photos, check out my Instagram feed.


2013 already promises to be a busy year. I’m going to South Africa for a week in January and I’m planning a trip to India in March. I’ll then be heading to Malaysia in July and I’m hoping to squeeze a trip to New York in there somewhere.

So how has your year been and what have you got planned for 2013?




Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of the best holidays. Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!


  • December 22, 2012

    So jealous that you got to Moscow. Definitely would want to visit Pushkin Cafe for some luxury (I don’t think I ‘d of made a very good communist…)

  • December 22, 2012

    Hahaha yes indeed you should quit your moaning! 😛
    Sweet year indeed!

    My 2013 is still all over the place but looks like NZ and oz to start followed by an epic 4month surf trip through Sri Lanka. Philippines and indo 🙂

  • December 23, 2012

    Sounds like an incredible year! I agree that it can be easy to look at all the travel you’re not doing, rather than focusing on all the great experiences you’ve had! Looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2013!

  • December 26, 2012

    Hey, awesome website, sounds like you had quite the year! Hope you have a great time in South Africa, I’ve always wanted to go to there 🙂
    I just started a blog myself which is about travel and combining it with some science, etc. Any suggestions for starting up a blog from one travel blogger to another? Thanks!

  • December 31, 2012

    here’s to a year well spent, and an even better year to come!

  • January 2, 2013

    It looks like you had quite the year! Morroco is a place that I would love to visit. India/Rajasthan will be an incredible experience; all your senses will be on overload. Enjoy!

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    January 2, 2013
  • January 3, 2013

    That’s a great list of experiences. What a year!! And well done on keeping last year’s resolutions. I can’t even remember what I said I’d do!

  • January 3, 2013

    Sounds like you had great year but i would love to know which destination was not forgettable for you.

  • January 5, 2013

    Great post – I’d love to visit Moscow, but I’m a bit daunted by how complicated getting a visa seems, especially seeing as I’d only want to go for a few days.
    Where abouts in India are you planning on going?

      • January 20, 2013

        Yeah I’d heard about the visa exemptions in 2014 – as it’s not that far away I’ll probably wait it out and go then.

        I haven’t been to India, but I’m thinking of going to Mumbai and Goa for a few weeks in October, though they’ve just put up visa prices which is a bit annoying. Looking forward to seeing what you think of it. Are you going alone?

  • January 14, 2013

    Impressive list of visits Monica, wish you all the best in your trips in 2013!

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    January 14, 2013
  • March 9, 2013

    Looks like a great list! Sometimes I wish I lived in Europe so I could have better access to all these fun destinations without having to fly 12 hours to get there first. Usually I’m too exhausted and don’t have the time to spend a month wandering the continent.


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