So, er… That first comeback didn’t go so well did it! It’s only been another three odd months like. Oops…
What happened? Well to be honest I’m not gonna go full confessional on why – my last proper post did that perfectly well – because there’s actually not really any need. I mean there hasn’t even been any overly dramatic reasons for my absence. Unfortunately I just had to concentrate on other projects for longer than I expected, meaning once again this little baby of mine was the thing to suffer. And I really have missed it!
Shameless self promo alert – one of those aforementioned projects I’ve been working on for the last few months has been my brand new, shiny, sparkling graphic design portfolio! Why not have a browse at carlforbes.co.uk – I’m on the look out for freelance work and new opportunities (hint hint).
Back on topic… I’d also been stuck in a bit of a writing rut as I just hadn’t been travelling anywhere near as much I had hoped this year – and I guess it’s hard to keep writing when you feel like a bit of a “travel” fraud to be honest. Thankfully I’ve now managed to clock up a few adventures – despite having to cancel ANOTHER one recently due to food poisoning – and the writing tank has been truly refilled. I’ve also, despite my radio silence, still been nominated by various other bloggers when it’s come to chain posts going around, which has been really ace and pleasing to know I haven’t been forgotten, and has given me good motivation to get back to the site. So, here’s a brief taster of what has been happening in these barren, post-less months:
April – Barcelona, Spain
Oh, that old chestnut…
I did reveal this one previously of course in my first “comeback” post back in May. As mentioned however, it wasn’t the best of trips as I ended up bailing after a few days due to getting ill, and as such headed home before the second part of what was supposed to be an Easter double header trip – thus my random Barcelona to Stockholm adventure went temporarily unfulfilled.
With illness being the overriding memory of that (brief) adventure I had to really rack my brains for anything positive that I actually did do on that latest Barcelona excursion of mine. Thankfully I had managed to get out and explore the city in a couple of ways differently to how I had previously managed, both via two wheels and tours. I did also manage to go watch the “other” Barcelona team – football hipster like…
Now I just need to get back there and stop “going home ill” from being my last existing memory of my favourite city.
June – Stockholm, Sweden
I don’t like to be beaten however, so six weeks down the line I did get myself to Sweden for the very first time. Hooray!
With my rearranged plans only giving me four days rather than the six I would have had at Easter I concentrated solely on Stockholm and dropped my originally planned Uppsala excursion – probably the correct choice as I was definitely kept busy.
It was a slightly strange trip as, despite Sweden being the number one destination I had planned to hit this year, I never really knew what my reasons for that were. My only ties to the country being an uncle that lives down in rural Smäland in the south. As such it was very much a case of me showing up, wandering, photographing and forming an opinion based on a completely clean slate prior to landing.
I definitely enjoyed my time in Stockholm though – and seriously lucked out with the weather – but don’t expect me to say much positive about the prices! Whoa!
Oh and I also had my first experience of sleeping in an airport. Interesting!
August – London, England
Now this doesn’t seem very foreign…
For me and the lovely lady’s anniversary we took the chance to hit up London for a long weekend – meaning I finally got the chance to try and enjoy a full few days in the big smoke, compared to my usual flying visits for around eight hours at a time. With us landing an awesome train & hotel deal – helped by my £50 voucher I won in an Instagram photo contest – we also managed to do it all on a fairly decent budget. Bonus!
Oh there was one big expense however, which just happened to be the main reason for our journey – my first London theatre experience! I’ll wait to reveal which show we plumped for, but it’s safe to say I was seriously impressed. With Chelcie being a big fan of the theatre she was rather relieved that I did thoroughly enjoy the show too, and it’s definitely something I could see ourselves enjoying again in the future.
Aside from that we also managed to scope out several parts of London we hadn’t managed to stop by previously. Certain markets were unsurprisingly highlights, whilst I yet again ended up at Covent Garden. Why do I always end up at Covent Garden every time I go to London?! I don’t get it.
Depending on events over the next few months I may end up seeing a lot more of London too…
September – Lisbon/Sintra/Cabo da Roca – Portugal
My most recent adventure (as of last week) saw me finally get to check out Spain’s Iberian neighbour that I’d long neglected.
It couldn’t have been better timing for a getaway and once again I lucked out with the weather – I really have had a great run with that on recent adventures!
Once again I left for Lisbon having not really read up on much about it, so as to keep it an adventure as much as possible. Throwing myself into as many activities as possible with the awesome hostel I stayed at meant I had a really great experience of the city, as I ate so damn well, saw several amazing viewpoints over Lisbon and experienced the best social vibe I’ve found in a hostel since probably my Valencia trip, over three years ago.
I also took the chance to take a roadtrip out to UNESCO heritage site Sintra and the most westerly point of mainland Europe – Cabo da Roca. That makes it the furthest west I’ve ever been for now! Oh and I even got to catch up with a friend from back home who just happened to be on the same flight home as me – small world!
So it’s definitely safe to say Lisbon has been the highlight of my year so far!
After a bit of a sudden – but not all that disappointing – change of circumstances recently I’ve suddenly got a fairly open road ahead of me, meaning it’s looking like the change I’d been craving will now have to happen. And that’s quite exciting.
There’s also serious potential now for several more adventures on the horizon. Indeed, I’m in major planning mode right now, and the combination of that with my small backlog of trips from this year means I’m back on the blogging game now – and this time it’s gonna stick.
I’ve already made some adjustments to the menu, layout and social media icons for ease of use, although I’m still planning a complete re-design once time allows. But for now, time to just get writing!
What plans do you have for the rest of 2014?