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Here come the twenty-twenties!

Phew, another year over and even more impressively another decade that has passed by. My oh my! Is it getting clichéd to say that time is flying by? Because damn it is!

2019 has been a big year for me with many changes in my personal life, the biggest one being moving into my first own home and getting myself a cute little kitten to fill that home. While nothing that big is in the forecast for 2020, the coming year will also be filled with some big challenges.  And traveling of course. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t find a way to get my ass abroad despite what life is throwing at me.

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But first – as usual – a little throwback to the past year. When I look back at 2019, it has once again been a travel-filled year, despite the fact that I didn’t think I’d be able to go abroad a lot. The move into my first own home back in April was such a big deal that I didn’t think I’d have the time and the budget to get a lot of traveling done. But apparently it’s impossible to keep me within the borders of Belgium as I got out four times the past year.

In the beginning of February I spontaneously booked myself a trip to Barcelona, to join a friend while she was visiting her boyfriend who lives there. February is my travel month after all and I couldn’t just let my strike of many years pass. Especially not when the flight prices were incredibly cheap and I’d have some amazing company to tag along with. It had been almost a decade ago that I visited this city, so it was truly amazing to revisit some of the places I went to back then. And getting some sun in February also felt really nice. I’ll never forget the overwhelming feeling of joy I had when I was walking along the Passeig Maritim on the day I arrived. Another reminder that I should never doubt about whether or not I should go on a trip. It just makes me so incredibly happy.

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After Barcelona, another citytrip was on the agenda. The last day of May and the first of June I could be found in UK’s capital; London. “We better go once more before Brexit” we thought (Ha!). It was a ladiestrip with my very best girls, so there was a lot of shopping and lots of good food involved. But I of course couldn’t stop myself to get some sights checked off as well. I headed to Shoreditch area for the first time and fell in love with a new part of London. London never disappoints!

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And then came the big trip; a roadtrip through Norway. This trip is the only one that was already forecast at the end of 2018 and I’m tremendously happy that it actually happened. Norway, and more specifically the Fjords, had been on my bucketlist for many years so that made this whole trip extra special. As of now I’m still finishing the last posts on this trip, so soon that will be over as well. It were an amazing two weeks traveling through some of nature’s most beautiful landscapes, with two hikes that will stay with me forever: Trolltunga and Romsdalseggen.

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End of October; another trip to London! Considering the Brits kept postponing Brexit, I of course had to go back once more, right? Just to be sure? No, it was a total coincidence that I visited London once more last year. I’m a big fan of Claire Foy and Matt Smith (from the Netflix series The Crown Season 1 & 2) and they were doing a play together in London that I just had to see. So I booked my Eurostar to London and decided to stay a few extra days because as I mentioned before; London never disappoints. And it didn’t. I had another four fantastic days in UK’s capital.

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So as you can see, 2019 has been nothing but amazing. So many fond memories! But for 2020 I have some amazing things on the agenda already as well.

First of all I got a trip to Vienna as a birthday gift from my boyfriend (yup, he scored big time there!) so end of January we’re heading to Austria for three – hopefully not too cold – days among imposing palaces and baroque streetscapes.

Next on the agenda is the trip that will take up most of my time the next few months. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been selected to participate in a Olympic triathlon in Lisbon on May 23nd. This will be one of the biggest challenges of my life which will require a lot of intensive training, but I’ve got a great coach and the most amazing group of people to accompany me on this journey. After the triathlon itself, I’ve made sure that I could stay in Lisbon for a couple more day to rewind from the past couple of months and see the city’s highlights once more. I’ve already been to Lisbon, but that was back in 2013 so I’m eager to see this ciy again.

And then in September of this year, one of my best friends is getting married in the South of France. Lucky me has been invited to the party and while I’m there I’d like to add some extra days to that trip as well to see a bit of the area. I’ve not yet worked out where exactly I’ll be staying, but I feel like it’d be a waste to just go that far for only a couple of days.

Voila, those are the things that are set in stone as of today. Before I got the news that I was selected for the triathlon in Lisbon, the plan was to go to Australia end of 2020, but with all those training sessions I probably won’t be able to keep my extra job and save enough money to be able to do the trip as I would like to. So that’s postponed for now. Hopefully 2021.

I’m pretty sure that another trip will sneaks its way into my year as most of these are just short trips and I will still have a lot of days off work at my disposal. I still haven’t figured out where I will be heading, but it’ll have to be a cheaper destination than Australia. I’d love to visit a South-American country or India but those are just some first ideas. The only way to find out where I will end up, is of course to keep following this blog. I’m also nearing my 200th post, so I’m pretty damn excited about the coming year. It’ll be a big one, no matter what.

I hope you all had an amazing 2019 and will have an even more amazing first  year of the new decade. Here’s to 2020 and all the great times ahead! Cheers!

♡ Ellen

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