Once again we’ve blinked and the new year is here. It’s been a whirlwind year for me in every sense but when it comes to travel I’ve had another amazing year of incredible experiences and world-wide adventures. I spent time in 24 different countries and ticked a few things off my near completed bucket list.

As a nod to the year we’re sending off I’ve narrowed my best experiences down to just 18, it wasn’t easy but here goes!

1. Hot Air Balloon ride, Capadoccia

There’s few ways to top the wonder of flying high amongst hundreds of baskets in the sky whilst looking over the most surreal scene below. For my birthday this year I spent a few days in the mirage-like village of Capadoccia in Turkey, it was a seriously special trip with so many ‘pinch me’ moments but the most mesmerising and incredible of all was taking a trip in a hot air balloon at sunrise. There really is no sight quite like it, it was simply breathtaking and a moment I’ll remember vividly forever.

Read the Full Blogpost here

2. Seeing a wild black bear on Vancouver Island

West Canada was the one place I promised myself at the end of last year that I would visit this year. Canada is one of my favourite countries and the wildlife scene on the West Coast has always appealed to me both on land and at sea. I planned a road trip with my friends for 10 days and it we had the most amazing time driving through the snow-capped scenery, camping some nights, luxing it up in hotels on others. The highlight of it all though was seeing wild black bears along the way, living free in their natural environment. I’ve always wanted to see a bear in the wild and we were so lucky enough to see four of them during our travels, this sighting in the photos above was just next to where we had camped the night before!

3. Blue Lagoon in Iceland

A destination that had always been at the top of my bucket list was Iceland and this year I ventured there during the dreamy dark days of winter touring the South of the island with my girl Inge. The trip exceeded all my expectations, Iceland is such a stunning country and despite not being able to feel my toes for 90% of the trip it was one of this year’s favourites and swimming in the Blue Lagoon was the true highlight. It was crowded but magical all the same, the water feels silky smooth and the contrast between the warmth of the lagoon and the freezing cold air is sensational.

Read the full Blogpost here

4. Staying in a room with no fourth wall, St Lucia

Arguably one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in was Jade Mountain in St Lucia. The rooms are world renowned for not having a fourth wall and the entire property is built on a coastal hillside meaning that all rooms have a completely open-air view of the Caribbean ocean. The Sanctuaries are so spectacular that we didn’t ever want to leave (especially as they offer 24 hour butler service!) but travelling with my like-minded adventurous Mamma we went on a few boat trips to enjoy the island and every time we set to sail we saw whales and dolphins, the whole week was amazing and I am so grateful that I got to take my mum to such a wonderful place.

Read the full blogpost here.

5. Staying in a bubble hotel, Petra

Another bucket list tick this year for me was travelling to the ancient city of Petra. Mr C completely surprised me for our anniversary by booking the trip last minute and he couldn’t have done a better job when it came to choosing the hotel. He wasn’t aware of it at the time but he had booked us in to be one of the first couples to spend a night under the stars at the brand new Petra Bubble Luxotel. Our stay was nothing short of magical, the unique rooms are perfect for the location they are based in, we spent the evenings sleeping under a blanket of stars and the mornings waking up to a sky full of pink over the vast expanse of untouched land.

Read the full blogpost here.

6. Highest bungee jump in Europe, Innsbruck

Something I had NO idea I’d be doing this year is jumping off a 200m bridge with just a cable attached to my ankles. I didn’t even know I’d be travelling to Austria for that matter! Whilst filming with Travel XP for the City Break show in Innsbruck I was unknowingly signed up for a bungee, the tallest one in Europe in fact. Finding out the day before I was a little nervous for the next day but nothing could have prepared me for the fear of the physical jump! I’m an adrenaline junkie by nature but the unnatural nature of jumping headfirst off a shaky structure freaked me! After 20 minutes of going back and forth with my production team I took the leap screaming and luckily, just seconds into the jump I was loving it! I had to jump twice for filming and then I asked to go a third time for fun 😉 As well as experiencing a new country I faced a fear I never even knew I had!

7. Scuba Diving in a grotto in Pisa

One of the coolest things I’ve ever done, let alone this year, was diving underneath the city in Italy. I spent a few nights at hotel Grotta Giusiti near Pisa which is famous for it’s on-site thermal caves and it’s the only place in the world that you can scuba dive beneath an entire city. After a studious and thorough lesson (on top of my advanced PADI cert) I submerged into a completely unknown world of stalactites and stalagmites and climbed, jumped and waded my way through the underground maze of warm water. It was like being transported to a whole other planet and even though the logic of being 20 metres beneath the ground in restricting areas could have freaked me I was pulling myself through tighter and tighter spaces with the biggest grin on my face. I struggle to put the experience into words but I did video the whole dive, you can watch it here.

Read the full blogpost here.

8. Filming with Travel XP in Cyprus

This year I started a new presenter job as a Travel XP Anchor and filming in Cyprus was my first show working for the channel. I flew out within 4 hours of booking the gig and having only ever hosted in the entertainment industry I didn’t know what to expect. As soon as we started filming on the first day I knew that I was home being back in front of the camera. The 14 days I spent there taught me so much about the country of Cyprus and the interestingly rich history and culture but it also taught me so much about my trade as a presenter and most of all, it taught me patience I never even knew I had!

9. Watching the Fireworks at DisneyLand Paris

A trip that literally bought tears of happiness to my eyes this year! My bestie Aimee and I spent a few days in Paris this summer and as we’re both disney fanatics we spent a day at the famous theme park. I’ve been to disney a number of times and always love being there but I had never before stayed in the park after the rides were closed. BIG MISTAKE. It turns out the best thing about the Disney Park is the magical firework display that happens every evening. We watched the sky fill with colour whilst all our favourite disney songs blasted through the park speakers and it was honestly one of the most emotional scenes I’ve ever witnessed. I cried when Frozen’s ‘let it go’ kicked in and I’m not ashamed to admit to it!

10. Spending a week without any electricity or signal in The Philippines

I started this year as I ended that last one, on board a simple, wooden boat in the middle of the ocean, camping on the beach every night and spending my days in the sea. I had no phone signal, no electricity (therefore limited time with a camera in my hand) and I absolutely loved the ultimate ‘switch off’. Being without a shower, a toilet and limited food supplies was definitely testing but the experience of being in places that were simply unreachable any other way was totally worth the matted hair and body odour! I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Read the full blogpost here.

11. Floating in the Dead Sea, Jordan

A short but sweet addition to my top 18 experiences was floating in the dead sea in Jordan. I knew the logic of the salt rich waters and I’d seen pictures of bobbing bodies but nothing can prepare you for the actual reality of floating in the dead sea itself. You literally wade in and lay down and just ‘be’, it’s so surreal!

Read the full blogpost here.

12. Hiring a boat on the Liguria Coast

A short but sweet summer trip this year was to the Liguria coast of Italy. I was in town for a friend’s wedding and whilst staying in the beautiful town of Rapallo four of us hired a small boat to explore the pastel coast. It was such an amazing day out on the water both the sea and the pretty coloured buildings seen from shore were stunning. 

Read the full blogpost here.

13. Quad Biking in Skiathos, Greece

I went on holiday fully on my own this year and it was such an amazing life-changing experience but half way through my escape my gorgeous friend Eloise came out to join me. We hired a quad bike for the time we were there and one day as the sun was going down we headed out to chase the glow finding so many gorgeous look-outs and private beaches along the way. I love riding quads in Greece, it’s one of my favourite things to do and having my friend with me and the amazing scenery by our sides was such a special afternoon.

Read the full blogpost here.

14. Star Gazing in Joshua Tree National Park, California

I travelled to Palm Springs for the first time this year and LOVED it, whilst we were there we hired a car and drove to Joshua Tree National Park for the sunset and late night star gazing. We must have witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen fading into darkness over the cactus garden in the park and then after driving to get our usual American Road Trip snacks (Cheetos and Dr Pepper) we headed back into the park to see the most incredible sky full of stars. It was such a fun trip as a whole but the night’s sky that day in the national park really did seal it as one of my top experiences this year.

Read the full blogpost here.

15. Skiing on a Glacier in Gstaad, Switzerland

I learnt to ski at the end of 2017 and when I was invited on a press trip to Switzerland I was so excited to get my skis back on! I didn’t know much about the location before heading out but it turned out to be one of my all time favourite winter destinations. The town itself is just the place to be and be seen with stunning luxury hotels and world renowned restaurants and the chocolate box style streets steal your heart with just one wander down them. The best thing about Gstaad though is the huge glacier (3000). Not only can you ski down the glistening expanse of powder white snow there’s cliff’s edge restaurant which serves the most amazing fondu and hearty soups for passers by. The views are insane from the top and it’s somewhere I’ve recommend the most for people who ask me ‘Where next?’ this year. A place to add to your winter bucket list for sure!

Read the full blogpost here.

16. Wake Up Call Festival, Barcelona

One of the funnest trips I went on this year was when Eloise and I attended the Wake Up Call Festival with the W Hotel in Barcelona. The entire resort turns into a music festival for 2 nights with live DJ sets and pool parties for a full 48 hours straight. The atmosphere was incredible and all the while we had every comfort of the luxury W Hotel. I’ll definitely be back for next year’s antics!

Read the full blogpost here.

17. Wandering the Old Town in Dubrovnik

Another bucket list destination tick for me was Dubrovnik in Croatia. I fell head over heels in love with the old town, the entire area within the walls looks like a set from a movie scene and I walked around with wide eyes and an even wider smile for the duration of my time inside them. The town is a UNESCO world heritage site and I hope that it starts to have visitor regulations soon as it was definitely far too crowded for the space but completely stunning all the same.

Read the full blogpost here.

18. Canoeing on Emerald Lake, Canada

As mentioned previously travelling to Western Canada was my one ‘Must-do’ trip on 2018 and we did so much within our 10 day road trip out there but canoeing in the Emerald lake steals my last top spot for this year’s experiences. The water is mesmerisingly serene and it’s a colour that you can only assume is edited before seeing it in real life for yourself. Rowing with two of my best friends made a special experience even more incredible.

There’s so many other amazing experiences I’ve had this year from falling in love with St Kitts to spending Christmas with my family in Marbella, driving through the Wadi Rum desert and the inflatable aqua park in Dubai, the list could go on and on. I’ve been blessed with another amazing year of travel opportunities and firsts and I’ll be forever grateful that my job leads me where it does.

As for 2019? I am trying to slow down my travel to focus on more long-term projects in London but that being said I know already that I’m heading to Meribel Skiing in January, The Maldives in March & The Amalfi Coast in Italy in June. Every year I set a travel destination goal, just as with Western Canada for 2018. This year rather than a destination I’m setting a goal to learn Spanish so my travel plans will be heavily focused on where I can practice 😉

Sabrina x

1 Comment

Write A Comment