Looking back on 2013 and forward to 2014

I don’t believe in the whole New Year’s resolutions thing or in making the next year better than the last.  I believe in making the most of every day, not every year.  But I would be lying if I said that 2013 wasn’t a fantastic year.

PicMonkey Collage

I began last year with the idea of doing something different at least once every month, whether that was visiting a new place, trying a new food, or doing a new activity.  I did so many things I’d never done before such as the Harry Potter Studio Tour where I knocked on No. 4 Privet Drive and tried some yummy butterbeer; climbed the O2 where you can see the whole of London from the top; watched When Harry Met Sally at an open air cinema on a warm Summer evening; and walked down the red carpet at my first travel events.  I tried some new classes such as Krav Maga and yoga, and I started a permanent volunteer position at London Zoo.  I travelled to some fantastic new countries including Poland, Tunisia and India, all of which brought more opportunities to visit new places, the highlights being the stunning Taj Mahal in India, a Roman amphitheatre in Tunisia and Auschwitz in Poland.  And of course, new countries always come with trying the delicious local delicacies.

All of these adventures mean that not only did I have a super busy year, it was also an extremely fun one.  You can read more on my Do Something Different post here.

Trying new things and visiting new places can sometimes be a little scary as it takes you out of your comfort zone, but that is what makes life exciting, and I’ve absolutely loved all of my adventures and am certainly planning on doing some of them again this year.


One of the main things I did in 2013 was starting this blog.  It’s something I should have done a long time ago when I jetted off on my first round the world trip but I never got around to it.  So, 5 years later, I have a lot to talk about!  Even though I’ve never been a writer and did everything possible to get out of writing essays in school, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing, and sharing my stories and photos with you all and the support that I’ve received from a lot of people has been amazing.  The other bonus of starting my blog, as well as becoming more involved in the travel community on Twitter, is that I’ve been able to meet some great people, some of who have become brilliant friends.

While I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions for 2014, I do intend on continuing my Do Something Different adventures.  I already have some super exciting things planned, as well as a few more in the pipeline:

  • Climb the Inca Trail up to Machu Picchu – planned for June so I best start doing some sort of exercise in preparation!
  • Watch a World Cup match in Brazil – got tickets for Spain v Chile and, while I’m not a football fan, I’m told this is a pretty good match?!
  • Afternoon tea, preferably one with copious amounts of cake and champagne 😉
  • Do some walks in England, both as preparation for the Inca Trail and to see more of my home country
  • Visit Edinburgh and Dublin for the first time even though I’ve lived in London my whole life
  • Take a trip to Stonehenge
  • See the animals at Paradise Wildlife Park
  • Visit the London Dungeons or London Bridge Experience and try not to be as big a wuss as I was last time I went (granted I was only about 10 but hiding in my grandad’s coat the entire time means I didn’t actually see anything!)
  • A girly theatre trip in the West End to see Dirty Dancing
  • Find some yoga classes for me and hubbers – I’m not as flexible as I used to be and Alex finds it difficult to even cross his legs!
  • My not so little sister has just turned 18 so I want to take her and my cousins to a club, like an older sister/cousin should do 😉
  • If I don’t manage to make it back to Africa this year, at least have some sort of plan to get there in the near future
  • Make enough money to be able to never work again and travel the world indefinitely

Okay, I know the last one is a little farfetched, but I can dream right?  These are MY bucket list items after all so I’m allowed to put whatever I want on there!

Even though Alex will almost certainly tell me that this list is perfectly enough to last for the whole year, I know and he knows, and I’m sure you all know, that it will never be enough and I will always be adding more adventures to it, and more than likely dragging him along with me.  We’re only a week into the new year and I’m already nagging him as to where we can go next!

So, while I might have a brilliant year planned, it’s not this year I’m looking forward to, or even this month.  This week has enough excitement alone and I’m thoroughly looking forward to every single one this year!

Have you got any exciting adventures planned for 2014?  What else should I add to my list?

11 thoughts on “Looking back on 2013 and forward to 2014

  1. Kasha says:

    I love this! I love your ‘do something different’ approach to 2013, and I can’t wait to read about your adventures for the upcoming year.

    I remember first coming across your blog on Twitter, and I absolutely fell in love your stories about Africa. We soon connected at Travel Massive, and I could have never imagined just how lovely you were in person. At the risk of overkill, meeting you and becoming genuine friends was one of my favourite 2013 London moments 🙂

    Here’s to many more happy times – and happy adventures!

    • Ayla says:

      Awwww I love you Kasha! You are seriously so lovely and the travel events wouldn’t be the same without you. Glad we have our love of Africa to bond over 🙂

  2. Traveling Ashley says:

    I love your list! I can’t wait to read all about the Inca Trail. Also, I always put “make enough money to never work again and travel indefinitely” on my New Years resolutions list every single year! Haha

    • Ayla says:

      Haha it’s the best New Years resolution anyone could possibly have! Here’s hoping it happens – otherwise I’m still counting on you to pay for my trip to North Korea 😉

  3. Bemused Backpacker says:

    I’m so with you on that last one! Haha! Definately plan to get back to S.America at some point this year, so maybe Ill see you there too!

    And I think you are so right with not believing in resolutions and trying to live life differently too. Too many people give up on resolutions by the end of January!

    Happy 2014, I hope it’s a great year for you!

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