It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of life’s ups and downs. But, when things get too heavy, it’s important to reconnect with the parts of life we love the most; the parts that make like worth living. For some that’s hiking, fishing, going out with friends. For me, the thing that I love most in life is travel. So, to beat back from of that winter gloom, here’s a look back at some of my favorite moments and journeys.
Hever Castle, England, UK
I have been incredibly blessed to travel to some truly special places in my life. Number one on my list? None other than Hever Castle in Kent, England.
For those in the know, this is the childhood (and sometimes grown up) home of Anne Boleyn. Anne is one of the most infamous women in history, and was the 2nd wife of the even more infamous King Henry VIII of England. (You know, the one with all the wives).
Hever Castle wasn’t just special because of it stunningly beautiful location in the English countryside. Anne Boleyn holds a very special place in my heart, and the entire experience was the inspiration that led me to write my upcoming novel: The Pieces In-Between: A Novel of Anne Boleyn.
This trip, from our stay in the lovely Leicester Arms Hotel to our encounters with the lovely castle stewards, was undeniably special from beginning to end and is one that I will cherish forever.
If you have a passion for history (or just love a world-class garden) then plan your trip to Hever Castle today. Seriously, it’s the best day you can have out in England.
Seattle / Port Townsend, Washington State
It’s been a few years since I flew into the wacky and wonderful Seattle and made my way up to Port Townsend. But sill it is a trip that sticks into my memory. No matter how much time passes, I cannot stop pouring my praise over that single trip to the beautiful state of Washington.
Washington’s natural beauty is breathtaking. There wasn’t a drive that didn’t have you looking out of a window at some new picturesque vista. More than once I had to beg my poor beleaguered drivers to pull over so I could make some new Instagram memory (I think I even took my shoes off and put my toes in a roadside lake once…).
There was nothing about Seattle that wasn’t completely fall-in-loveable with. I ventured into the first Starbucks, watched the fish get slung in Pike’s Place Market and even got to watch the sun set over the incomparable Puget Sound from a boat.
Port Townsend was my former vegan-self’s dream.
The slogan of the town was something like “If you’re here, you’re weird”. The town was stacked to the rafters with mindful, conscientious, new-age personalities. Each person we met seemed to brim with a strange positivity that was uplifting and inspirational all at once. Every restaurant had vegan options, many were completely veg.
There was so much more. Washington is a truly special place. Perfect for those who love to experience nature as a fundamental part of their life. 10 / 10. Plan your trip.
I mean…come on. What more really needs to be said about this one?
I’ve been fortunate enough to call this city home, but it still deserves a mention as one of my favorite journeys. The city is not only visually stunning but is absolutely CHOKED with history. There isn’t a street in this ancient stone city that doesn’t have a story.
To make it even better the city is one of the warmest and most welcoming cities I have ever visited in my life.
As a girl from the relative country, cities can often be too overwhelming. Edinburgh however, while a capital city with all the benefits therein entitled, has the feeling of a sleepy hamlet. There is just enough foot traffic (and real traffic) to remind you that you aren’t in Kansas anymore, but it’s nothing on the manic scale of London or New York or Los Angeles.
I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking for me.
Sure, my list is a little one-sided (UK heavy, much?), but you can’t deny London.
I have been fortunate enough to visit this city twice and it gets better each time. While it is not a place I think I would want to call home, personally, you cannot deny the sheer history, culture and importance of London.
Everywhere you step — there’s a history. Modern, glistening skyscrapers stand side-by-side with leaning plastered buildings more than 500 years old. Castles give way to parking lots and parks, cabs ramble down streets past pubs where our most beloved authors sat and wrote and drank.
While in London, I didn’t get to see everything I wanted, but I did get to see the Tower of London and Tower Bridge (NOT London Bridge…Tower Bridge…) as well as the Museum of Natural History, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace.
Many of you will be familiar with the Tower of London (it is one of the most famous tourism sites in the world, after all) and its long and bloody history. My particular interest in it stemmed from — you guessed it — Anne Boleyn. If you’re ever going to be in London I highly recommend this trip at least once!
Life is all about experiences. It’s important for us to feel our lives with as many happy experiences as possible. When we are feeling blue or are down in times of trouble, its good to have those memories to lean on. They motivate us and inspire us to make time for the things that make us happy. So wherever your joy is, remember and go and find it again!
What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken? Share your stories in the replies below for a chance to be featured next week!