A pattern seems to be emerging from year to year in terms of travel for me, and it is that it continues to surprise me! I thought after an epic year of travel in 2018 I would have to buckle down and take a back seat in 2019 and honestly I feel like it was my busiest year to date!
Having ended 2018 in a high with my trip to South Africa I had nothing on the cards for the beginning of 2019. All of a sudden in the space of three weeks I visited Chicago, London and Malaga. April I went on a trip to Iceland, I visited Malta on a girls trip in May and Lisbon for my second time with my family in June. September was the big month for my boyfriend and I as we took two weeks to travel through Greece, Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia by car. I then went to Amsterdam for a festival in October, Philadelphia for a group holiday in November and lastly Switzerland and Italy for a long weekend in December. It really was such a whirlwind of a year!
I really loved all of these destinations for different reasons and they ranged from very hot to very cold making them all very unique! But as always there are places that you will enjoy more than others. Out of everywhere I was blessed to visit this year, here are my top three!
This might come as a surprise to some people as they would struggle to locate North Macedonia on a map but my god, was it amazing! It had everything that you would want from a holiday destination, I genuinely could not fault it. The capital city Skopje is modern, clean and really cheap to go around. Heading from the city to Lake Ohrid we got to stop at the most beautiful place Matka Canyon only 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of the city life! Lake Ohrid was the cherry on top of the cake for me. Great food, laid back vibe, crystal clear water and once again – so cheap! Unfortunately Dublin does not do direct flights to here so you can either opt to visit a neighboring country first or stop over in London as they do direct flights to Skopje.
For the second year in a row, Switzerland makes it onto my list! (is that cheating?!). Last year I listed Lucerne as one of the best places I had been but this year is slightly more broad as we travelled to a few destinations in the country. I had been the year previous during a blistering heatwave and got to swim in lakes every day and take in the views as far as the eye could see. This time around, I went during heavy snowfall and instead of enjoying 30 degree heat at the top of mountains I was experiencing temperatures of minus 16! None the less, it was such an amazing experience and the country is just beyond beautiful. One thing I can say about it that it certainly doesn’t share with North Macedonia is it is not cheap! Aside from this, it is still worth the trip. If you are looking for a luxurious trip with breathtaking alpine views at every turn then this is no doubt the country for you.
I went on a girls trip and just LOVED Malta so much. I was expecting probably more sleeping in & pool swimming but this wasn’t the case as the country just had too much to offer for us to stay sitting around all day! It’s so easy to get around by public transport, the weather is great and the people are beyond lovely! I can’t pick out a single negative experience I had on this whole trip (minus one pretty bad hangover.. but that wasn’t Maltas fault!). It’s an all rounder for me to be honest in terms of sun holidays and I would recommend pretty much anyone to go here as it has something for everyone. I loved it so much I would be happy to return here again, and again which isn’t a usual one for me.
These were my top destinations of 2019 although I did really enjoy everywhere I went. I got to spend so much time with the people I love this year from my parents and siblings right down to some of my best friends and boyfriend. Not only were the places I visited so lovely, but I was blessed to have such amazing company at every stop also! 2019 is also the first time in three years that Ireland didn’t make the cut unfortunately so the goal for 2020 is definitely to broaden my horizon in my own country again.
With a few trips already planned for this year I am really excited for 2020 and I hope that my round up for next year is just as surprising and delightful.
Where was your favourite place to travel in 2019?