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2021: My Year in Travel

2021: My Year in Travel

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2021 was a strange year. I envisioned that 2021 would be the year that the world returned to normal – but we all know how that went!

Despite the aftershocks of Covid19, I still had a pretty active year travel-wise, even squeezing in a few international trips between restrictions.

I enjoy writing these summaries – not only because I have a terrible memory and the old version of myself will thank me for the memories one day – but also because I always surprise myself with how much I’ve accomplished each year.

I also enjoy planning the next year out in terms of travel, so I’m also letting you in on my travel plans for 2022 too!

>> Read my past travel summaries here

Life changes

I bought my dream home

The biggest news of 2021 was that the Haggis and I bought our first house together!

Previously we lived in a 1-bedroom terraced house, and after spending a lot of time stuck indoors during lockdowns, we decided we needed to increase our space – and quickly.

We moved into our three-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow in July. Angus now has a backyard, I have my own private office, and we have a spare room for family to stay in when they visit!

I definitely manifested our new house. In 2020, I set myself the goal that we would be living in a new house the following summer. I did lots of work around my money blocks, visualised living in our new house every day, and the Haggis and I worked damn hard to make it happen. I even started looking at houses eight months before we could afford to buy – I wanted to let the universe know I was ready for a new home.

When we were ready to buy, I understood the market so well that we knew exactly what to bid. There were 8 other bids on our house, and we got it!

I’m sharing our renovation journey on my new Instagram account @myscottishbungalow

I started a new job

After surviving a year of being self-employed, my work (and savings) finally ran out. I now work as a Brand Consultant for a motorhome company here in Scotland.

I’m lucky to find a job in travel close to my home, and it’s nice to have job security. My blog is still my passion, and it’s a shame I don’t have as much time to dedicate to it, however, I’m going to try and fit more time in for blog post writing in 2022.

Where I travelled in 2021

2021 was like a seesaw, but I was lucky that when restrictions were eased I was able to do a bit of travel. Here’s where I went:

New Zealand

I celebrated the start of 2021 in New Zealand with my family and friends. The Haggis and I had an incredible start to the year, going out with my Dad and cousin on his boat for a couple of days. We explored the bays around the Coromandel Peninsula, caught some fresh snapper for dinner, and went swimming!

Being able to spend quality time with my family after such a tumultuous year was the best thing ever.

Blog posts about New Zealand:

travelling new zealand as a solo female
Looking out to Hahei Beach in the Coromandel

Singapore

Something that happened that was completely unplanned was a three-week visit to Singapore! While we were in New Zealand, Singapore shut the border to the UK. This meant that Craig’s work couldn’t send anyone to Singapore to complete a job they had lined up – so Craig was asked to take a detour back to Scotland!

He said ”not without my wife” – he really is the best.

So while he flew drones all day, I explored Singapore. We stayed at the amazing 5-star hotel Mandarin Orchard Singapore, which was located on Orchard Road, one of the main shopping areas.

We sipped cocktails on top of Marina Sands Hotel, had a Singapore sling in Raffles, spent a day at Universal Studios, filled our tummies at Hawker Centers, and explored Chinatown during the Chinese New Year.

Singapore is an amazing place – I highly recommend booking a stopover here!

universal studios singapore

A motorhome trip to Aviemore

I went on my first motorhome adventure with The Haggis and Angus to Glenmore, near Aviemore in June. We stayed at the local campsite and slept in the woodland near Loch Morlich.

We hiked Meall a’ Bhuachaille – which was Angus’s very first Corbett! We were there for two nights but I wish we could have stayed longer. It was a fun experience travelling in a motorhome in Scotland!

Blog posts about motorhomes:

A magical island visit to Islay

At the end of June, I went on my first blog campaign of the year to Islay. I travelled with Kay, who runs The Chaotic Scot travel blog.

By this time of the year, I was starting to feel a bit run down, but Islay reignited my love for Scotland. Or maybe it was the copious amounts of whisky I drank?

Either way, Islay is an AMAZING island. It’s known as the ‘Queen of the Hebrides’, and is home to nine whisky distilleries, including some of Scotland’s oldest.

Blog posts about Islay:

sitting in the bunnahabhain chair in islay, scotland
Hanging out at Bunnahabhain Distillery

Riding the Jacobite Steam Train

In October, we took a family trip to Fort William to ride the Jacobite Steam Train!

It was also Craig’s granny’s 90th birthday. We celebrated with dinner at Browns Restaurant at the Nevis Bank Inn (the food was SUPERB – it’s definitely my favourite restaurant in Fort William now).

Blog posts about this experience:

selfie with the jacobite steam train in mallaig
Our adventure on the Jacobite Steam Train

Soaking up the sunshine in Lanzarote

In November, we went on another family trip, but this time to somewhere a little warmer! Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands owned by the Spanish, and is located west of the African coast.

The average temperature was between 20-22 degrees during the day – which was a welcome change to baltic Scotland!

For once, I didn’t take my camera with me, and I turned blogging mode off. We didn’t rush around trying to tick everything off a bucket list, instead we slept in, lay by the pool, swam in the sea, drank cocktails, and ate lots of food. It was bliss. We all need holidays where we switch off and do nothing!

I saved the highlights of our trip to my Instagram profile, so go check it out!

Weekend trips around Scotland

I also had lots of mini-trips around Scotland, including visits to:

  • Linlithgow (we walked around the loch)
  • Blackness
  • South Queensferry
  • Edinburgh (for Afternoon Tea at The Dome and the Christmas Markets)
  • New Lanark (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Dumfries (weekend away for a friend’s birthday)

I’ve almost explored everything in my local area of West Lothian, and in 2022 I really want to explore more of Argyll and Lochaber.

exploring blackness in scotland
Posing for a family photo in Blackness

Where I’m travelling in 2022

We’re spending Hogmanay (New Year) at home, but we are planning a weekend away to Argyll in January. I had a taste of this wonderful area when I went to Islay, so I’m excited to return! This time we’ll be staying on the mainland.

In March, I have a mini blog campaign lined up and I’ll be heading to Loch Lomond for a dog-friendly holiday.

In April (if we’re permitted) the Haggis and I are going to Spain for a friend’s wedding!

During summer I hope to visit the Isle of Gigha. My ancestors on my grandfather’s side were from there, and I’ve been researching this island quite a bit. There is a lot of history here – so I’m excited to explore it!

I’ve left the rest of the year open because I do enjoy a bit of spontaneity. I’m also looking for some more blog campaigns in Scotland, so if you or anyone you know would like me to visit and review your destination or business, get in touch with me at yvette@wayfaringkiwi.com

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a happy Hogmanay!

What was your highlight of 2021? Did you travel anywhere?

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