I can’t believe this year has come to an end. The last 12 months have been some of the most exciting, insightful and influential of my life (so far) and this is due to the fact that last January I decided to take a leap of faith and finally travel for an extended period of time.…solo. 

Prior to this year I had been fortunate enough to travel a fair amount. I was born and lived in Italy until the age of 12, I had been on holidays and taken short breaks to several European countries like Norway, Croatia, France, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Greece, Spain, France and I even had the chance to venture out further afield doing a 3 week road trip of the East Coast in North America followed by spending one of my University semesters studying and living in North Carolina. 

Travel is something I have always enjoyed, I have always been curious of discovering new places, people and cultures but before this year, it was something I had viewed and reserved as the annual ‘get-away’ with family and friends. Travelling the world alone especially as a female always seemed like a daunting and impossible task to me. My desire to set off on a trip of a lifetime ‘ Eat, Pray, Love’ style was always crippled by my fear of the unknown and of all the ‘scary’ and ‘dangerous’ things that I may encounter. 

Year after year I subdued the voice at the back of my mind which urged me to have courage and follow my dreams. I was doing pretty well, coming up with perfectly reasonable excuses as to why I couldn’t make it happen - no money, no one to go with, no experience, no plan for when I came back…until I came across Travel Bloggers and Vloggers, sharing their travel stories and advice with the world.

The more I watched, read and followed the more the idea of travelling became less like an unrealistic fantasy and more like an achievable goal. Slowly but surely I started to plan, I started to save, I started to take action on all the things which would allow me to make my dream come true -I saved as much as I could, gave my notice in at work ( this was the most daunting part for me), found a new tenant for my rented flat, applied for my Australian working holiday visa, booked my one way flight, told family and friends, got all the necessities, packed and before I knew it, it was time for me to start my adventure. 

Below I have shared with you the 12 most amazing experiences I had in 2016. This isn’t an attempt at bragging but my way of showing you that if travelling is something you want to do it doesn't have to remain a dream. If you are reading this whilst trying to find the confidence and courage to make it happen then let me tell you something, there is nothing special about me, I wasn’t born with special ‘Traveller Talents’ or with a lot of money, most of the time I haven’t got a clue what I am doing until I have actually done it - so if I can do it YOU.CAN.DO.IT.TOO. 

Stop holding yourself back, making excuses and focusing on the problems and instead start finding the solutions. 

So without further ado here are my 2016 highlights, I hope these will give you a little inspiration to go and experience more of the world! 

1. Skydiving 

2. Bungee Jumping

3. Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef & becoming a certified advanced diver 

4. Visiting white haven beach in the Whitsundays 

5. Working and living in Cairns, Australia 

6. Finding Love

7. Watching sunsets in Bali

8. Playing with monkeys

9. Getting to dress up in typical Balinese clothes 

10. Going to hobbiton 

11. Hiking a Glacier

12. meeting amazing people from all over the world

It was hard to narrow down all the great things that I have had the opportunity to experience this year, I can only hope that 2017 will be just as good if not better!

For more practical travel tips and advice make sure to subscribe to the Blog, here is where I share all of the knowledge I pick up along the way. 

If you would like more inspiration, encouragement and support then make sure to follow me on social media…My aim for 2017 is to grow this blog into a big and beautiful community of female travellers who can encourage and empower each other…so don’t be shy and come and say hello, I love hearing from you guys! :) 

Happy New Year and most of all Happy Travels in 2017!!

V x