My Scratch Off Travel Map

 

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This is my scratch travel map. Whenever I come home from a trip to a country I’ve never been before, I scratch it off. One day I’d love to see all the gold removed to reveal a map full of colour; full of memories, photos and videos from the experiences. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ll ever get close to that. One trip at a time!

The first place I visited outside of the UK, much like many British people my age, was Spain. I don’t remember my first visit to Spain, I must have been pretty young – in fact I can’t remember a lot of trips to Spain, it was a family favourite place to go. I do, however remember a trip to Salou, with the family and then again with Tasha. We visited Barcelona on both occasions and I’d love to go back.

A younger me also visited Amsterdam in Netherlands on a cruise from Newcastle and Berlin in Germany.

I visited Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland too. Although I’ve accidentally scratched Wales off, I haven’t actually been. I’ll probably use that as an excuse to go sometime and truly complete the UK tour!

One country I’d always wanted to visit – because the food is simply amazing – is Italy, I went to Milan last year to see Expo and have a brief tour around the city. Fortunately, the food did not disappoint. Rome is the next Italian city I’d like to travel to and hopefully stop off in Pisa and Venice along the way.

This year we went to Malta at the start of the summer. We’d already planned and booked our trip to Iceland, which was in September, and decided we wanted a little bit of sun. Malta is a fantastic place to visit because of how simple it is for someone from the UK. One bus ticket is all you need in Malta, it will get you anywhere you want to go. If you buy a 7 day bus pass, provided you plan (or do a quick google maps search), you can organise visits to anywhere on the Island. The plug sockets in Malta are the British standard 3 pin ones, which is an added bonus. Malta is an affordable holiday and requires minimal planning.

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I visited Turkey last year, we went with a group a friends and it was fantastic. We managed to get a very affordable holiday package to Marmaris and we had a great time. The excursions are awesome, very inexpensive and a lot even come with a provided lunch. We went scuba diving, visited Turtle Bay, rode quad bikes, and even went on a day trip to the Greek island of Rhodes.

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I’ve been to USA three times. All three of those visits have been to the same place, Orlando Florida. Don’t get me wrong Universal Studios is awesome, but I think the minor problem with my scratch map is highlighted here. USA is HUGE. To scratch off the entire country based on three visits to the same state doesn’t do justice to all the wonderful and totally different places there are in the US. The map’s a bit too small, and my scratching skills perhaps too imprecise to scratch off specific states/cities I’ve been. I’d love to visit New York and California, too. The same goes for most the countries I’ve been to, but the map’s a little bit of fun; and gives a taster to where I have been.

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By far the biggest culture shock I’ve ever encountered was when i visited Thailand. I really feel like going somewhere so different to where you’re from is a huge learning experience. It’s a real eye opener to the world beyond home. When we went to Thailand we stayed with friends who live there and they did a great job of looking after us and letting us experience what there life is like in Thailand. I think my drive to travel really began with my trip to Thailand. As great as the trip was we didn’t plan and because of that we wasted some of our days – which is why I want to go back to see Phuket and maybe travel to Vietnam and Cambodia while there.

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My most recent trip was to Iceland. It’s the first trip I’ve made a video for, check it out here. Iceland was great, but we were disappointed we didn’t get to see the Northern lights; our search goes on! In Iceland we snorkelled between tectonic plates, visited the blue lagoon, rafted and travelled the south coast passing volcanos and a glacier lagoon. The only downside to Iceland is the price of everything. Food is very expensive! We hope to go back in the winter and see it covered in a layer of snow and, with any luck, see the Norther lights!

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Hope you like’d my first blog post. Please check out my Iceland video, like and share! 🙂

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