What were our highlights this year?
Wow. What another amazing year it’s been for us at A Brit and a Broad! With the three of us often at different places all over the world at any given time, it’s safe to say we’ve done a lot this year, both collectively and individually too.
As a group, our major highlight was shooting a new four-part mini-series in Sicily – more on that from Brianna – but it was so great getting the team back together in a place none of us had been to before. With a big focus on food, we ate everything we came across, and it turned out to be an amazing two weeks.
Our year really did have everything. As always, a couple of lows, but they were far outweighed by the sheer number of highs, and we managed to pack in a whole heap of travelling which makes us extremely happy. So, going back to the beginning of the year, here are just some our highlights from each of us. This is our round up of 2015:
Another 365 days go by in a blink. In the highlight reel of life, what does yours project? I can imagine tons of things; be it spending time with family, or learning something new, or even going on a trip abroad. All of them are equal if you see them as an important thing in your life.
I hate talking about myself but I think 2015 was a successful year for me. I projected a lot of travel, and it came in strides. I often start my year visualizing places I’d like to go and keeping them in mind on a daily basis, and gradually things start to happen.
Starting with a trip to Mexico for a good friend’s wedding, then off to South Sudan and Cameroon with a humanitarian organization (the Obakki Foundation), across Canada and back in the summer for a TV Series: The Next Course with David Hawksworth, and of course, Italy with our newest episodes of A Brit and a Broad.
It’s been a year of constant learning and renewal, but also a first hand indication that humanity is alive and well – don’t trust everything you see on the news. And if there’s anything that I’ve learned while doing A Brit and a Broad it’s that traveling is the way to feel life on your fingertips. Photos, video and writing can only take you so far, but when you touch the ground, smell the air and connect with people abroad that’s when you really have a deep understanding of how big the world is. It’s an exciting place. Get out there and see it for yourself.
2015 brought me to a lot of new places. I really felt like I was on the road half of the year, which I loved! It also made me really appreciate home.
Sicily, Italy – September
Sicily was an absolute dream of a trip. The place itself is gorgeous and getting to spend a few weeks soaking up the sun and adventuring with two of my favourite people, doing exactly what we love, was probably one of the best experiences of my life.
Not to mention, the food was life changing. The buffalo mozzarella? Please. In fact, that may have actually been better than spending the time with Brian and Macca. (Just kidding! Or am I…?)
Byron Bay, Australia – October
I also got to visit Australia for the first time on a little pop over for a few weeks. I got to travel with my best friend, which was a bonus.
We were in Byron Bay and it really made realize how used to the beach lifestyle I could get. I might just move there for a while… and I didn’t even see any giant spiders, which was a plus!
New York City, USA – March
My favourite trip this year, however, had to be visiting New York City for the first time. Not only did I visit for the first time, I went with my mom, my sister and my brother in law. My mom isn’t much of a traveller so it meant a lot for me to go there with her.
Last year I asked her, “If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?” When my mom (an island girl who lives in the forest and doesn’t really even like to visit Vancouver) said, “I think I’d like to go to New York City!” I was surprised and I was excited.
So, I set out to make that happen in 2015. She applied to get a passport (her first!), we booked the tickets and it all came together in March. We made it happen. We got to see Alan Cumming sing ‘Willkommen’ on Broadway, we spent the day in Central Park and we took the Staten Island Ferry to see the tiny, little Statue of Liberty in the distance.
Getting lost, and then found again, on the subway with my mom is one of my favourite travel memories to date. Our New York trip was the best of both worlds – bringing home on the road with me, and it’s one I’ll never forget.
North and South Carolina, USA – April
In April, two of my oldest and best friends got married in Charleston in South Carolina, and it turned out to be one of the major highlights of the year.
Initially, five of us flew to Ashville in North Carolina where we got a feel for the hugely hipster town, knocking back Old Fashioneds like there was a national shortage and chowing down on more than one skinny hot dog. Also, a couple of us may have gotten some fresh ink while we were there, you know, to fit in and all that.
While in Ashville, we got to explore the Great Smoky Mountains, seeing some of the true beauty of the States before driving down to Charleston where we met up with everyone else for the wedding.
Graham and Dee got married in an old Plantation just on the outskirts of Charleston, and you couldn’t ask for a more stunning setting. It was such a small intimate wedding with only the closest friends and family being there, and because of that it was so special. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!
Utrecht, the Netherlands – June
In June I flew out to Utrecht to meet up with one of my favourite travel buddies, Lisanne, who I met in Colombia last year.
Despite only being two hours away, it had been nearly 15 years since I was last in the Netherlands, so I was excited to see more of the country that wasn’t just Amsterdam.
While we were there, we did all the touristy things in the city like climbing to the top of Dom Tower, eating bitterballen in the town square and cycling out to Rhijnouwen, but Lisanne also took me to the historic heartland of the Hague and we also ended up spending a day on the beach in Scheveningen. Who would’ve thought the Netherlands would have such beautful beaches!
Estonia – August
In August I travelled to Estonia, a country I’d been meaning to visit for a while.
I got a real taste for Eastern Europe last year, but I was always curious about Estonia, a country that seems to go somewhat unnoticed.
One of the things about Estonia is its incredibly unique. There aren’t many places that can boast of 1,500 islands, 1,400 kilometres of coastline, and yet with nearly 50% of the entire country covered in forest.
Add in the fact that there’s only a population of 1.3 million people (making it one of the least densely populated countries in all of Europe), it means you’ve practically got the place to yourself.
I spent a little over a week driving around the countryside, hiking, eating (the food is amazing in Estonia, a real gastronomers paradise), and of course drinking, and I have to admit I fell in love with the country somewhat; it’s definitely a place I will be going back to, that’s for sure.