So in true reminiscing spirit, I have rounded up my favourite photos from the past year and taken a little trip down memory lane, for now that will have to do. (Did I mention I only got back from Spain six days ago? Tragic, I know).
1. Visa granted, university place secured at Plattsburgh State University New York, USA, I single handedly took the 18 hour total journey to my new home for the next four months as a journalism student. I arrived in Plattsburgh, NY in August 2010.
[This photo was taken in Fall where the colours of the leaves were just beautiful. From the oranges and browns, to purples and reds. The best bit was definitely playing in them.]
2. Although enrolled as a student at SUNY Plattsburgh, between the classes and endless amount of assignments, the uni was for some of the time a mere base for my adventures. Just a short ferry trip from northern New York state brought me to Burlington, Vermont. As part of the New England region of the States, traditionally it had to rain. I felt right at home.
[This was taken not long after my arrival in the States and Vermont was the first trip taken just a couple of weeks into my stay]
3. I have heard the rumours about the Big Apple; once you take a bite, you're hooked. Well, true this may be. For my 20th birthday I stylishly took the Greyhound bus to New York City and spent three nights in a 5th Ave hotel, perfect. My friends and I saw all of the main sights, went to a show on Broadway (Chicago if you're interested) and shopped till we literally dropped - in Central Park. Soon after we took the trecherous seven hour Greyhound trip back to base. Totally worth it though, this was definitely a highlight.
[The Statue of Liberty. As for the pose, I dare you to not do it.]
4. A stamped passport and an even worse (the worst) Greyhound bus journey later, we landed in Toronto, Canada. The vast new-age city, home to the CN tower and various Baton Rouge joints. The best bit about Toronto was being able to legally consume alcohol and go clubbing.
5. Of course, there was another rather significant factor about this city, Niagara Falls is practically on its doorstep (if you're talking in Canadian geography terms, in British geography terms it is a good hour and a half away).
[The pic doesn't really do it justice, but Niagara Falls is nothing less of spectacular.]
6. The Canadian border got another visit for American Thanksgiving in November 2010 as I travelled to part of the Quebec province to Montreal. With its huge underground shopping centres, which span most of the underground city, and the unmistakable French culture, Montreal felt just like Europe. What's a couple thousand miles between continents anyway?
[Legally drinking in Montreal, Canada, it was a tough time.]
7. A swift move back to the UK via US airways and a jovial Christmas celebration later, next on the agenda was Edinburgh, Scotland for its famous New Year celebrations. A little closer to home and amongst my oldest friends, I brought in 2010 with a far from sober bang. I can't wait to go back for 2011.
[Wrapped up warm and partying on Prince's Street; the best way to bring in the New Year.]
8. Edinburgh for New Year, Paris for Easter. Tourism went cosmopolitan as I Easy-Jetted my way to gay Paris (said with fake French accent, obviously). My legs and camera got a work-out as I powered my way through the stunning attractions on offer, sampling some fine cuisine along the way (no snails for me though).
[This is one of many, many snaps of the infamous Eiffel tower. The symbol of France itself, I stumbled across it after clambering up from the Metro station. So worth the climb.]
9. Penultimately, my latest adventures have taken me to Spain, Barcelona to be exact. Another beautiful city complete with beautiful sights and beautiful beaches. At mid-30 degree temperatures, the sunshine provided the perfect backdrop to Gaudi's creations, the vast marina and the impressive man-made beaches. Air conditioning in the hotel would have been nice, though.
[My best friends and I above the city surrounded by Gaudi's great designs in Park Guell.]
10. Finally and not exactly the most elegant of ways to conclude a year of travels is the Benicassim music festival in Benicassim, Spain. Following on from our stay in Barcelona we swapped a non-airconditioned hotel for an even less air-conditioned tent. I loved every minute of it. Cue more post-holiday depression.
[Litres of beer, tents, communal cold showers, porta loos and sweaty crowds, I wouldn't have had it any other way.]
So a year later and thinking ahead to this time next year, I will be (hopefully) jetting off to the West coast of America for the ultimate two month long road trip. For now, I am going to live for the moment, starting with a camping trip this weekend and a weeny trip to Belgium at the end of August.
So long, farewell, adios and au revoir.