Travel Inspiration

I can’t be the only one who has spent the past few days, weeks even, staring out of the window at the pelting rain and the fading light and wishing myself away to somewhere far-flung and fabulous, can I? I think a switch hits in nearly every Irish brain come January 1st that causes every waking thought to be consumed with the idea of that oh so elusive, oh so far away promise of “a holiday”. I’m finding myself increasingly distracted by sun, sea, sand and in some cases ice (see below!) every time I click onto Pinterest and I’m now in the rather spoiled position of having to narrow down my holiday destination list – woe is me! If you are in a similar predicament or just want to indulge in an few minutes of escapism, then this is the post for you – although to warn you, it will only serve to add to your rampant wanderlust! Sorry about that…

Santorini

Santorini, Greece - Travel InspirationPhoto Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Initial research has concluded that basically this place is beautifully idyllic… and a big ‘ol pain in the butt to get to from Ireland, with no direct flights to this picturesque Greek island. Just looking at it though, I think any bad thoughts or ills caused by a stressful journey would soon be forgotten when you are surrounded by fragrant bougainvillea, sipping on wine and eating feta by the sea (cheese is generally a major factor in my decision making…). The sheer vibrancy of this place fills me with joy, I really don’t think the word “pretty” covers it! All I know is I could happily fill my time swimming, relaxing and exploring Santorini for a week or two. Oh and a gaff here wouldn’t hurt either…

Italy

Rome, Italy - Travel Inspiration

Travel Inspiration: The Amalfi Coast, ItalyPhoto 1 Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5   Photo 2 Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

More specifically Rome and the Amalfi Coast. Having done this exact trip around seven years ago as part of  a school trip, I have a hankering to go back and experience it for real and to it’s fullest, with no pesky teachers watching my every move! Looking back, I also realise how moany teenagers can be – all we wanted was to hightail it out of every tour, and dodge anything with the slightest hint of history or culture, to gossip, take selfies and eat pringles! Well, not this time – give me all the history and fresh mozzarella I can shake a stick at (again, the cheese…). The idea of a holiday with time for both sightseeing and relaxing by the sea really appeals to me. Combining the fascinating history of ancient Rome and the breathtaking beauty of the Amalfi Coast would be a near on perfect holiday in my opinion. In fact the thoughts of Amafi’s golden beaches, azure sea, rocky coves and brightly coloured villas cut into the hills are enough to make me book a flight here and now… eh, Ciao!!

Iceland

Iceland - Travel InspirationPhoto Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

My indecisive nature has me torn: on the one hand I’d love a bit of sun in my life for a week or two, but on the other – Iceland looks bloody amazing, no other way of putting it! I’m a total nerd when it comes to volcanoes and geology, finding it completely fascinating ever since I was kid. Even if it’s not this year, I know I will definitely make it to Iceland one day, even if I have to make it my life’s mission! It’s utterly diverse beauty, seems almost otherworldly and extra points for the high chance of experiencing the Aurora Borealis – another of my biggest ambitions is to someday see the Northern Lights and Iceland doesn’t seem like half-bad place to do so!

I realise that Iceland has the polar opposite (quite literally) temperature to any of my other top picks, but I think that would be more than worth it when getting to see glaciers, ice caves, geysers, waterfalls and wildlife, all in the one trip! But, if the budget could could stretch, the Icelandair Hotels look like pretty darn groovy places to warm up… and if that’s not enough, there’s always the option of un-bundling from your layers and going for a dip in the Blue Lagoon – well, if it’s good enough for Beyonce!

California

San Francisco - Travel InspirationCalifornia, Big Sur and LA - Travel InspirationPhoto 1 Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,Photo 2 Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Since visiting Las Vegas last year, the western coast of America is cemented on my “to-visit” list. Maybe that’s down to the fact I never managed to procure myself some In N’ Out Burger, but that is neither here nor there… This time, I want a little sea with my sun and am being drawn to the idea of road trippin’ along the west, taking in  the sights and sounds of uber trendy San Franciso, not to mention the history of Alcatraz while we’re there, exploring a redwood forest or two, maybe a glass of wine in Napa Valley and then heading along the Pacific Coast to the parks and vistas of Big Sur – a drive that looks to be the most stunning one imaginable – and with kooky gems like The Madonna Inn along the way, I reckon a trip like this would be a whooole lot different than the usual villa in Spain!

I’d go out with a bang then and end the trip in LA – because really, you can’t not! And sure, if we need to make a burger stop or two along the way, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing either. I recently came across The American Road Trip Company which is pricey but looks to take all the hassle out of planning your own American dream, tailor making packages to suit your budget and timeframe. This is obviously more of a “blow the savings” kind of trip than a casual last minute booking, but the more I research the possibilities of having a West Coast adventure (and the more pictures I see on Pinterest…*sigh*), the more I want to finally open up that Credit Union account and forgo new lipstick and boots for a while….

Also, now I have the theme tune to the OC stuck in my mind, dammit… Califooorniaaaa…

Croatia

Croatia - Travel Inspiration

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

I hate this phrase but I really do think Croatia is “having a bit of a moment” (ugh). From what I can see, and have heard from friends, this title is rightly deserved for it’s stunning Adriatic coastlines and unspoilt beauty. In particular, the island of Hvar is popping up more and more on blogs and in travel guides, and again, I can see why.  Old school, flower lined streets, with more than a hint of Italian flavour, this place has retained it’s history and charm. Hvar provides the perfect base to explore the neighbouring islands of Croatia, or if you fancy just staying put, Hvar itself has the perfect mix of beautiful landscapes, with lavender fields, pine forests and picturesque beaches, along with buzzing towns and a burgeoning music festival scene (with my favourite gals, Haim, playing at the FOR festival last year!). Definitely one to visit in the near future methinks!

I’d love to hear if anyone has mad a visit to any of the above, and what you though or indeed, if anyone can recommend anywhere else that’s a definite must see, let me know below in the comments!

Until next time! xx

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4 thoughts on “Travel Inspiration

  1. Ah we have all the same places we want to go!! I’m actually going to Sorrento in Summer and I can’t wait! I’ve not been to Santorini for the same reason as you… so damn hard to get to but I’ve been to Crete twice and its lovely too. I think any of the Greek Islands are. Also Cavtat near Dubrovnik in Croatia is beautiful and just outside of the hustle and bustle!

    Laura | laurakathren.blogspot.co.uk

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