The highlight of our trip to Scotland was definitely our time on Isle of Skye. All of the other places we visited (Edinburgh, Glencoe/Fort William) were amazing, but Isle of Skye was utterly breathtaking!
We spent three full days driving all around the island, hiking as much as we could, and taking in the sheer beauty of Scotland’s nature. We saw waterfalls, cliffs, flora and fauna, a plethora of sheep, and even the occasional highland cow! There were unlimited views and minimal people, especially compared to some of our other European ventures. The Scottish people were INCREDIBLY kind and overall, I really have nothing but good things to say about the entire adventure. I’m so grateful for the opportunity for visit such a magical place!
Needless to say, 2018 was a HUGE year for us that was full of exciting change! The moment that topped it all off was our move overseas from Virginia to Sicily, Italy in February. So much has happened over the last 12 months, I thought it would be fun to relive the best of 2018!
I really loved going back through all of my photographs from this year and reliving so many memories! So, without further ado, here is a recap of my 2018 including some of my favorite memories:
The Best of 2018
My life has changed in so many ways over this past year, reflecting back on it all is really actually quite surreal. I think my biggest takeaway from this past year is that you never know where life is going to take you. As a person who was extremely “type-A” for so long, stepping back and allowing life to take over a little bit has helped me to realize that sometimes the best things that happen to us are the unplanned ones. I’ve also developed an even greater sense of YOLO (you only live once, right?!), that I’m a little bit overwhelmed with the fact that I will never get to see or do all the things I want to. So, for 2019, I aim to be more present in everyday life; to enjoy the little moments just as much as the big ones!
Sometimes I’m able to find flights that have long layovers in places I really want to go. Originally, Jordan and I planned to take a 10-day vacation to London, Edinburgh, and Dublin this summer, but because of my illness, we ( I ) decided less time away from home was necessary. Consequently, we augmented the vacation to an Ireland road trip for which I have zero regrets. Our experience in Ireland was absolutely amazing, but I also really, really wanted to experience London. Hence, I figured out a way to secure a long layover in the city on the way over. With a long layover booked, I then asked myself: “What does one do with less than 24 hours in London??” I’m sure there are a lot of options, but I’m pretty happy with how we spent our day.
This was our first time to London, so I wanted to see everything! But of course, there wasn’t time for that. So, we decided to book one tour and then buy tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus to get in as much sightseeing as possible.
Our first stop of the morning was Buckingham Palace. I’m not a big follower (or fan) of celebrities, but I do have a special appreciation for the British royal family. Buckingham Palace is where the Queen of England normally lives and it isn’t always open for visitors. So, when I heard the palace was open for tours while we were there, I signed us up! The tour covered the staterooms and featured a display of art selected by the Prince and Patron. The palace was GRAND. It was soooooo crazy to stand in the rooms seen in photos on the news and realize how insanely ornate they actually were. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed. But I’m mentioning it here because it was absolutely worth the visit – even if you don’t care about the Royal Family.
Pounds, Backside of Buckingham Palace, The BEST Mint CChip!
After our visit to the palace concluded, we did a little shopping at Harrods (or gawking – same thing) before finding the on the hop-on, hop-off bus.
There is a large selection on hop-on hop-off busses in London, but we went with The Original Tour. We actually booked the tour tickets from the comfort of our beds the night prior. So, it was quite convenient. The buses were a decent way to see all of the “sights” without having to figure out public transportation. We also got to ride on the top, which made for great views and personal excitement!
We spent the remainder of the day hopping-on and hopping-off and here are some of the sights we were able to visit:
Marble Arch, Queen Elizabeth Gate, The Shakespeare
London Eye, Palace of Westminster, Westminster Bridge, The Shard
Tower of London, Tower Bridge, River Thames, Trafalgar Square
So, was less than 24 hours in London enough? Enough to make me want to come back for more! That’s for sure!
If you have any suggestions for “must sees/dos” in London, please leave your suggestions in the comments. I can’t wait to return!