Goodbye 2016 .. You've been ..
Goodbye 2016. You've been a year filled with highs, lows and everything in between. Our family lost a loved one which sent ripples of grief through us all. It's been a tough year but all was not lost. We've got our memories and she'll always remain in our hearts, forever!
It's weird but when I look back at 2016, the normal day to day things disappear.
I don't remember the bad times or the family arguments, the boring school runs or the mundane day to day stuff that we do on repeat. All those things don't really matter.
What I remember most is the wonderful trips we took, the family holidays and the exciting adventures we went on. It's these memories that stick in my mind making 2016 overall, a pretty amazing year for us. In 2016 I decided that material things didn't matter so much and decided to save more and spend more on travel and I'm so glad that I did. It was definatley the right choice because now that we've almost reached the end of the year and I look back, it's those journeys that we went on that I remember most. Those wonderful journeys.
In April we went on our first whole family adventure abroad to Lanzarote. Two of the kids loved flying whilst I was a little more cautious and din't enjoy it quite so much as them. We had 7 whole days of sunshine and fun as a family. We visited lots of cool places and hung around by the pool most days. We tried lots of new foods and laughed out loud a lot. We set sail on a boat trip adventure and even sailed the open seas of a canoe built for two. It was our first taste of family fun abroad and only made us want more. It was truly wonderful.
In August we went to Blackpool for a weekend to do as many of the Merlin Annual Pass attractions as we could. It was a pretty busy weekend but it was so much fun. It rained most of the weekend but that was OK as we were inside most of the time anyway. We visited the Sea Life Centre and took hundreds of pictures in Madame Tussaud's with our favourite wax work characters. We entered the Dungeons and went through a terrifyingly scary afternoon of torture (of me), stories of the past and screaming children (that would be my daughter).
It's these times that I will always remember, the little things in life that money can't buy.
Later in August we hired a beautiful cottage over looking the sea in Newgale, Pembrokeshire. This year we decided to swap the noise of the arcades and the business of the usual family holiday parks for something a little more private and quieter. It was the best decision we made as our week away was wonderful. We kept it simple with visits to the beach every day and BBQ dinners outside at night. We took drives out to find more adventures and just that we did. We bounced around for a while hour in an old air hanger which is now a trampoline park. We checked out a local farm and woodlands where we got to ride go karts and have lots of simple fun together. It was so lovely to see the children all playing together so well. Yes we had a few minor arguments but nothing major. It was lovely to enjoy a much more laid back holiday where we could just go at our own pace and speed.
There's lots of other little trips that I haven't mentioned like our weekend in The Forest Of Dean where we joined Granny and Grampy on one of their breaks. Our day trips out to Lego Land and Warwick Castle and not to mention all the theme park visits to Drayton Manor.
Overall I think my children have a had a pretty good year for travel and adventures. I just hope that when they grow up, they'll remember some of these good times and love travelling just as much as I do. There's so much to see in this world - I wanna see it all!
Last but not least I squeezed in one last Winter holiday just for the adults. The kids stayed with Granny and went to school everyday as normal as I wouldn't want them to miss that. I headed off to Cape Verdi with Daddy and 2 friends. All that Winter sun and those never ending white sandy beaches. I was in pure holiday heaven! I try to go somewhere different every time I get the chance to go on holiday as life's too short not to try and see it all. I'm glad we chose Cape Verdi as it's such a beautiful place. It's an Island of beautiful beaches, friendly people and Sun, Sea and Sand. If you're looking for more, then it's not for you.
I for one, was more than happy to just relax, eat, drink and be merry. The food was amazing and the drinks were pretty good too. The pools (all 6 of them) were refreshing and the beach was just, well, out of this world. The crazy waves were big enough to keep me out of the water but that was OK as the pool was much safer and cooler for me. We did leave the resort a few times to enjoy a Champagne adults only Catamaran trip which was ace and we hired Quad bikes for a whole 24 hours to enjoy the sites of the Island by ourselves. This was something I'd never done before but have to say it was pretty awesome and definatley something I won't be forgetting any times soon. Cape Verdi was amazing and sure gave me the taste of wanting more. Next time I'm thinking Jamaica or Morocco maybe. Who knows.
Looking back at our year of travel makes me smile and feel grateful. I've been to some amazing places and made some special memories with all of the people in my life that I love the most. So when I look at shoes that I don't need or the newest gadgets out that we just won't use. I won't be spending my money on those, no not me. I'll be saving for our next adventure and looking forward to creating even more memories like the ones we made this year. 2016 has a been good to us (mostly) but I have a feeling 2017 is going to be even better! Our year is going to be what we make it be and we've decided to make it great!
Where have you travelled to in 2016? I'd love to hear all about it.