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Looking Back on 2019

Travel After 5_Looking Back on 2019_cover

Happy New Year!!! ????

Kicking off the 2020 posts, I'm looking back on 2019 and all the trips I managed to pull off. If I can do it, you can do it too!

Looking back on WINTER 2019

As always, winter is a difficult time for me. Coming from a (too) hot hometown, I still struggle with the European winters. That translates into very few trips. However, in 2019 I finally did what I had been wanting for a long time: New Year's Eve in Rio followed by a 2-weeks vacation! ????

For the last 5 years straight I had been welcoming the new years in Europe. But it's impossible not to feel underwhelmed. I have tried London, Paris, Vienna, Milan, Prague; nothing gets close to the energy and positivity in the air you'll experience in Rio.

This is not surprising, though, as a big part of it is the weather. In the Southern Hemisphere, it's summer, and we really make a big deal out of the whole "new year, new life" mantra, even if it won't last past January. ????

Read more about New Year's Eve in Rio: Traditions & Superstitions.

On the way back, my connecting flight through Amsterdam was canceled and I had some hours to kill. Cue in an unexpected quick stop by the center.

Travel After 5_Balance 2019_Amsterdam_Amstel

Singelgracht by Max Euweplein

It was mostly a little bit of walking and a nice lunch instead of the airport options. There's not a single selfie though. Coming from an overnight flight and back to the cold = foul mood.

Read here how to arrive and get around Amsterdam.

Then over January and February, a couple of visits to Milan and Turin for medical reasons. Here's a 'thank you!' to my sister, who went around Turin and got some great pictures while I was convalescing.

Milan is a great base to explore Northern Italy, with cheap flights arriving from all over Europe. Read here how to navigate Milan, where to eat like a local and what to do if you have just one weekend. Day-trips from here include Lake Como and Lake Garda. Finally, here's how to navigate Turin.

Looking Back on SPRING 2019

Now here is the real start of the year! ????

Kicking off the spring with a quick trip to London to meet one of my best friends ⁠from Rio.

Buckingham Palace, London

Remake of a pic my sister and I took 10 years ago

Read more: How to arrive and get around London and where to sleep in 3 different areas ⁠— Piccadilly/Leicester Square, South Kensington/Earl's Court, and Paddington.

Two weekends later was Easter, which I spent in a surprisingly sunny and warm Budapest.

Hősök Tere (Heroes' Square), Budapest

Hősök Tere (Heroes' Square) @ Budapest

Read more: Arriving & Getting Around Budapest, how to cover All The Must-See Spots in One Day and a hotel recommendation.

Then another couple of visits to Milan, where food is always the highlight...

Find here some Great Places To Eat Like a Local in Milan.

Next, in June, I went on the first beach weekend of the year. No sightseeing, purely relaxing with my history books and eating delicious Greek food at the Athens Riviera.

Yabanaki Beach Club, Varkiza, Greece

Yabanaki Beach Club @ Varkiza

Read here how to pull off a Weekend at the Athens Riviera (Varkiza) and how to arrive and get around Athens itself.

Looking Back on SUMMER 2019

Starting the season, another beach weekend. This time at the small seaside town of Albisola, Liguria, on the Italian Riviera.

Continuing with July, we took a break from the heat and drove up to the mountains of the Aosta Valley. Starting with a hearty meal at the Slow Food Guide recommended Trattoria Omens at Verrès, followed by a little sightseeing in neighboring Fénis.

Fénis Castle, Aosta Valley, Italy

14th century Fénis Castle @ Aosta Valley

With the arrival of a friend from Rio to spend her month-long vacation with us, the weekend trips intensified ????

Starting with a day-trip to Venice...

Canal Grande, Venice

Canal Grande @ Venice

Then a 100th time in Milan for me, but first time for our guest 😉

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, Italy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II @ Milan

Followed by a day-trip to the lake...

Read here how you can enjoy a day-trip to Lake Como.

Then on to London...

Tower of London, London

Tower of London and Tower Bridge

Then, as July turned into August, a weekend at the French Riviera to celebrate my mom's birthday ????

Nice, France

Cadran Solaire (Sundial) @ Nice

Read more: Weekend in Nice and a day-trip to Cannes.

And finally, wrapping up the summer rounds, Budapest for the 100th time, but first for our guest 😉

Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő, Budapest

Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő (Thermal Bath) @ Budapest

Looking Back on AUTUMN 2019

As always, time to start slowing down again... only a Milan weekend to take advantage of the #IoVadoAlMuseo initiative.

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale @ Milano

I will soon write a post dedicated to it, but in sum, state museums all over Italy are open for free (a few with reduced prices) on the first Sundays of the month, until March 2020. Find here the map showing all participating museums in Milan and also the official link for all of Italy.

Surviving WINTER 2019 ????

Although I love Christmas markets and all the lights and decorations... it's too freaking cold for me to enjoy doing anything outside. So until springtime with its warmer temperatures comes, I barely travel.

New Year's Eve is my favorite holiday and I still struggle to conciliate it with the freezing temps. But this year I, unfortunately, couldn't escape to the tropics lol... Oh well.

Let's just countdown to springtime, shall we? ????

Closing 2019 with New Year's celebrations in Munich will be not so shabby and a good cap for a year when I did a lot of what I love most. Travels with friends, family, and solo, it's been an amazing year.

Cheers to a travelful 2020!

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What about you? How has your 2019 been? Are you planning a special trip/destination for 2020? Let me know in the comments.

See also:

How to Travel More in 2020

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