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2019 My Year of ‘Discovery’

So 2019, I went on 21 Trips…..traveled to 14 different countries, 5 of which I had never been to before AND I did all this, whilst going through a divorce.

Freedom of speech is the most incredible gift but the freedom of silence has it’s own power.

I chose not to speak about my break up last year out of respect for myself and for Mems but as someone who does share their life online, 15 months post-break up here I am. It’s not relevant to my blog in any way but it did shape the memories I made this year, the milestones I reached as a woman and the stability and security of my career.

So gliding straight past that (new to some of you) news, this year was a toughie on an emotional level but it also opened up a whole new level of adventure for me. Not only was I discovering the world, I was also discovering myself all over again!

Here’s a breakdown of the year in order……….

Meribel

My first trip of the year was on the slopes and what a way to start! Talk about forgetting all your problems as soon as you ‘click-in’ it was JUST what the doctor ordered!

I traveled to Meribel with Ski total and made some bad ass friends in the process, Sophie from Sophie’s Suitcase and Macca from An Adventurous World. I learned to ski just two years ago so I’m still very much a beginner but I loved everything about being back in the mountains. This trip was especially exciting as for the first time, I experienced the true chaos and brilliance of Apres-Ski!

Read The BlogPost here.

Miami & The Keys

I started this year single, I had been for a few months prior but starting a brand new year as a Miss after being Mrs for 7 hit me like a tonne of bricks, it was my decision to leave my marriage but it doesn’t make it any easier to cope with! I have the world’s BEST friends but adapting to day-to-day life alone wasn’t easy. It was, however, this trip to Miami that I had an emotional epiphany, I was gonna be ‘Just Fine’.

It was probably the most monumental trip of my life actually as it was entirely independent. Though I was travelling out to Miami to visit a couple of close friends I flew out solo. I then hired a beast of a car and drove ‘all by myself’ for the whole week. It seems like a small achievement to most I’m sure but I had never driven such a huge car on my own. I had to familiarize myself with the vehicle, drive the ‘wrong’ side on the 8 lane roads and navigate directions alone. This was a really daunting experience for me. I remember arriving at my friends house, fresh into the country and fresh into a divorce, bursting into tears. They were a mix of emotions though. I was going to be OK, I had made it. From that day on I have never depended on a single soul to help me through any situation, financially or physically and although this is all new to me, I’m surprising myself and getting on JUST FINE!

Read The BlogPost here.

Ozen by Atmopshere, The Maldives

My next trip was to fulfill a dream of a friend of mine who has been by my side cheering along for every dream of my own.

I took Aimee to the Maldives. We swam with wild dolphins, ate dinner under-the-ocean and shisha’d through the sunsets, it was our very own little freindmoon and an experience we’ll always cherish.

Read The BlogPost here. Watch the Youtube Video here.

Koh Lipe & A Return to Phuket

Continuing with the break-up escapes I headed to Thailand with a girlfriend going through a very similar situation. Our travel agenda was to simply relax on the beach, get pampered with massages and snorkel daily so there was no better place for us than the cheap and especially cheerful, Thailand!

As we are both regular travelers we decided to venture a little further out and made the extended trip to Koh Lipe. This was a GREAT move, the island was stunning with bountiful coral reefs, relaxed hostel style accommodation and £4 1hr massages!

Read The BlogPost here. Watch the Youtube Video here.

Trentino

My first trip to Italy in 2019 was an exciting one career-wise, I was invited to my first ever Traverse event, a global conference held every year for travel content creators to gather as a community and learn more about the trade. I was asked to speak at the event and guided a seminar on ‘How to talk on Camera’. It was a really rewarding and informative experience and the destination of Trento was a stunning background for the trip.

Komodo, Indonesia

After Italy I flew straight to Indonesia for a true ‘Trip of a Lifetime’. At this point of the year I’d met someone new………….it was very early days (still is!) but he was travelling in Asia at the time and I had no work commitments so we decided to meet up in Indonesia. We then traveled to Labuan Bajo and set off on a three day boat tour of Komodo national park. I didn’t share too much of this trip for tactful reasons on my social media but I did manage to make a video of our experience whilst there and I’ll be sharing it soon, it was one of the most incredible weeks!

I have so much content to share from here, it really was a magical week, from our stay on the Pirate island to wandering on the Pink sandy beach I will be recommending this adventure to everyone!!

Mykonos

After the whirlwind wonder of Komodo I headed off to Mykonos for my friends hen do, the sassiest most stylish chick I know, of course, decided on the famously exclusive and affluent isle for her pre-nuptial naughties!

I flew out earlier than most of the girls to enjoy the island for a few days before the carnage and when my girls all arrived we had the best few days at the swanky beach bars by day and cheesy evening hang outs by night 😉

The bride, Rossella is a beautiful friend of mine whom I made 10 years ago when I joined the Pineapple Cheerleaders Squad upon moving to London. Along with Rossella I have a handful of best friends from that dance team and luckily three of them also made it out to the hen. It was such a fun few days and though I’d be lying if I said being on a hen do fresh out of a marriage break up wasn’t extremely hard, I’d do it all over again to see my girl dancing on a table wearing a willy necklace!

Read The BlogPost here.

Ischia, Sorrento & Positano – Italy

After the hen do came the wedding! Rossella was married in Ischia Italy and it was probably THE best wedding I have ever been to.

After the insane few days in Ischia my bestie Emma and I decided to stay in Italy for the week and travel on to Sorrento and Positano. Two places that were at the top of Emma’s travel bucket list and locations I already knew and adored. Though we were only there for a couple of days we had the best time taking in all of the stunning pastel scenery and eating alllllllllllll the pizza.

Read The BlogPost here. Watch the Youtube Video here.

Disneyland Paris

Hands down, my best trip of the year was to the Jungle Festival at Disneyland Paris. Taking with me my fellow Disney fanatic Aimee, we were invited to the opening of the Lion King and Jungle Festival with a small group of journalists during the crazy European heatwave.

We spent the days hugging the characters and fast tracking through all the rides and the evenings were an extravaganza of their own. With private parties, themed meals and on both nights of our stay, the park was officially open for the media only, we basically had every ride to oursleves. It was my childhood dream come true! I even wore ‘8 years old’ Tee……MEGA.

Read The BlogPost here. Watch the Youtube Video here.

St Regis Maldives

Having the opportunities to team up with such amazing brands around the world is something I never take for granted, it spurs me on to type until 2am, risk not being able to make up my rent and constantly live out of a suitcase! Since I started C&C it’s always been a dream of mine to share my adventures with the ones I love, so this year I was able to tick off a huge work wish, to take my mummy to The Maldives!

Mamma C is currently fighting the son of a bitch that is terminal cancer so to be able to still travel with me is the biggest blessing. We enjoyed a whole week of uninterrupted bliss in our own private haven at St Regis Maldives.

Read The BlogPost here. Watch the Youtube Video here.

Azerbaijan

This year I continued to grace the screens of Travel XP, filming a TV show in Azerbaijan. A brand new country and culture for me to discover all the while working 2,080,678 hr days with a camera by my side 😉 It was grueling experience but as with most things, so worth it!

I learned so much patience on this trip and appreciation for all of the life luxuries I have at home. I didn’t sit on a real toilet for 5 days, was nearly blown off a cliff by the winds, was spat on by a horse and nearly froze to death in a highland village. I hope some of you have already had the chance to watch it all on screen……I never get to see my shows but I can imagine this being quite hilarious to watch back!

Azerbaijan was a stunning country with every type of terrain and climate, the people there had hearts full of gold and every couple of hours drive we felt like there was a brand new world to discover!

Miami

Return of the Chak! Now that I know Miami so well it’s become a second home. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful friend out there who is also a content creator so I returned to the sunshine county to shoot a couple of campaigns together and catch up after missing each other terribly through the summer!

The weather was gorgeous and we spent most days chilling at Soho House with a book and our cams……….place your bets now for how soon I’ll be back!

Lustica Bay, Montenegro

Another brand new country for me to discover in 2019 was Montenegro. Having been to Croatia in 2018 I knew the beauty of the Balkans but my gosh did Montenegro take my breath away!

I was invited to a beautiful new development called Lustica Bay with some fellow female travel bloggers and the company matched the amazing scenery beautifully. If you haven’t already been to Montenegro I would suggest adding it to your list ASAP!

Read The BlogPost here. Watch the Youtube Video here.

St Andrews, Scotland

When the cold weather started to creep in I ventured up to St Andrews for a short but sweet stay at Fairmont St Andrews. The weekend really took me by surprise and I will always remember it so fondly.

It was a small group of journalists and I, we ate some incredible food, drank amazing wine, witnessed the most stunning sunsets and even cheered our way through clay shooting. I loved every minute.

Read The BlogPost here. Watch the Youtube Video here.

Seychelles, Four Seasons

Every year I set myself a goal location to travel to and last year that goal was to get to The Seychelles. For me, when I think of The Seychelles I immediatley assosiate the Four Seasons brand and after a month or so of planning, one of my most dreamy collaborations took place.

Taking Aimee along with me once again we stayed at both of the prestigious paradise resorts and spent a week pinching ourselves! The room at The Four Seasons Mahe especially took our breath away and the sunsets at Desroches island…..my oh my! It’s a dream location and The Four Seasons pulls out all of the stops to showcase the stunning scenery with every excellence!

Read The BlogPost here. Watch the Youtube Video here.

Munich, Germany

So as mentioned I didn’t really want to share the details of my personal life too much but this round-up post will act as my single transitional piece to ‘fill you all in’………my now boyfriend though he lives and works in London, is from Munich. Together we traveled to his ‘home’ city in December to see his friends and family before the festivities of Christmas and New Year. We weren’t blessed with good weather during our stay so I didn’t see the pretty city in all it’s glory but the trip itself was super fun and I can’t wait to go back soon.

Read The BlogPost here.

Disneyworld Orlando

Oh and then, I accidentally on purpose ended up back at DISNEY!!!!!

How is this real life please?! I was invited to the grand reveal and opening of the Star Wars ‘Rise of Resistance’ ride in Disneyworld Florida which, was absolutely awesome.

We then spent a few days in the park with a VIP guide. We had access to everywhere and anywhere and this was the first time I ever stepped outside of Magic Kingdom within Disneyworld. I discovered the magic of Animal Kingdom and the wonder of Epcot. It was especially wonderful to see the park fully dressed up for Christmas 😀

Watch the Youtube Video here.

Antigua

Immediatley after Florida (I’m talking from one physical plane to another!) I flew back West to Antigua. Touching down in Antigua marked my…….drum-roll please………60th country!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was once again a journalist press trip and we stayed on the beautiful island as a sandwich stopgap between travelling to Anguilla. I’m due to return to Antigua this year in March so more on her beauty then 😉

Anguilla

Step aside all other destination discoveries of 2019, Anguilla takes the phenomonal lead of excellence. Taking me completely by surprise I have never known beauty like this exists in real life.

As someone who specializes in luxury and has been to some of the world’s best honeymoon locations and resorts. There is NOWHERE quite like Anguilla. The beaches have been voted best in the world and it is easy to see why. I will be writing so much more about this paradise and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Arnie, I’m going to have to steal your line here, without a hesitation or doubt……’I’ll be Back!’

Watch the Youtube Video here.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Lastly, we traveled to Edinburgh for Christmas. For as long as I can remember I’ve always favored being away from home at Christmas, I love being somewhere new to celebrate and when I was discussing Christmas this year it was actually my man who suggested Edinburgh. I was sold with ‘there’s a Christmas market’ and so we booked 😀

We were so incredibly lucky with the weather, with glorious sunshine on Christmas day we hiked to the top of Holyrood Park for an amazing view of the city. below. We even made it down to the coast to fulfill my 6 year tradition of being by the sea at Christmas 😀 It was a truly special few days and an amazing way to round off another amazing globe-trotting year!

Signing out of the year, I’m healthy, happy and guys……I’ve now been to 60 countries!

Personal tragedies and triumphs aside I’ll forever be grateful to you, you reading this blog post right now. It was tapping away at this very screen that got me here but without any external support or following I couldn’t have even dreamed I’d be able to go through such a devastating journey and turn it into a revitalizing one.

Thank-you,

Sabrina x

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