Wow, it’s been a bumper year for So She Travelled in 2017!
Tallying it up, I’ve done 20 separate trips in 2017, travelling to 14 new countries and bringing my total to 81… not bad going!
On these travels, I visited a maximum of 3 countries consecutively. I will be the first to admit that scheduling these trips around work and life, and each other, was not always straightforward, or without blood, sweat and tears!
What I have learned is how much I can achieve when I really want to make travel possible, how much I can fit into one day (those of you who watch my Instagram stories or spend 24 hours with me know exactly how much that is!) and how to balance itineraries so there’s some roughing it and some luxury, some conservative countries then some liberal ones, to ensure I don’t get fatigued from any one kind of outlook or scenario.
I’ve learned so much about how to plan travel to get the best prices, travel deals and off-the-beaten-track experiences this year, which I will certainly share with you on So She Travelled. There’s a lot to discover about organising your own holidays and it can be off-putting to experiment and risk failing. But it needn’t be!
Below is the chronological list of where I travelled to in 2017 with the UK trips at the end. I don’t know how I’m going to top this list in 2018!
My next trip starts on 6th January so watch this space…
So She Travelled: Trips Of 2017
India – Mumbai, Andaman Islands, Agra, Delhi, Rajasthan
Italy – Milan
Italy – Ravenna, Rimini
Kazakhstan – Almaty
Poland – Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz-Birkenau
Italy – Venice
Vietnam – Northern Vietnam
Thailand – Phuket, Similan Islands
USA – Miami
UK Trips – Rochester, Dorset, Devon, Birmingham, Brighton, Margate
What I Learned This Year Via Travelling
Such a wonderful melting pot of cultures, communities and natural beauty and I’d do it all again! Travel is never predictable, which is why I like it. In my trips, there have been rainstorms and sunshine, laughter and loneliness, wonder and awe, oppression and suffering, joy and sorrow.
The positives have always outweighed the negatives, by a huge margin, but that doesn’t mean I’ll paint a rosy picture without the ugly stuff in it. Those things give the shadow and depth to my experience of travelling – and my pictures! Those things I didn’t like seeing are also the things that motivated me to make changes in life.
Ultimately, when I travel I want to embrace that being human includes our flaws. We’re not angels or devils, pure or evil; most of us are just doing our best to be a better human, wherever we live. That’s what I saw a lot of this year:- people seeing where we’ve gone wrong with the planet, educating themselves through travel and then trying to make things better.
The online social communities we’re all a part of have had a huge impact on us becoming actively engaged in society and seeing a bigger, connected picture. Where in 2016 we were being told that the internet had turned us into a virtual breed of zombie monitor lizards, in 2017 we’ve monitored what’s on the other side of the world, gone to take a look ourselves and got involved in a whole myriad of positive projects and networks, locally and globally.
We’re no longer accepting the X, Y and Z generation put-downs because we’re busy making a difference in whatever way we can. We’re also taking responsibility for checking ourselves as we go, seeking criticism and new perspectives that will shape us, hopefully, for the better. That’s what I’m leaving this year with – a new found respect for the fact that my participation on platforms such as Instagram has enabled me to access millions (billions?!) of people doing positive things for our planet and its people, and to take heart and inspiration from that for how to improve myself. Whether it be my travel footprint, lightweight packing, conservation projects I visit and support, charities I shoot for, the time I donate and information I offer to other travellers – all of these things in my life have undergone radical improvements this year. Not every year is going to be as jam-packed with travel as this one (!), but I fully intend to keep being inspired by online friends as well as real-world friends – and to keep making those two things overlap on the regular.
Thanks for coming along in the first year of So She Travelled. Do message me the destinations you want to know about and send the travel and photography questions you want honest answers to! Disclaimer: I do see the glass of life as half full, and rather fabulously crafted. I make no apologies for either. 😉
So She Travelled 2017 – Phone Photo Gallery
Can you tell the destination by the picture?
Frances Draskau – Founder, Photographer & Traveller at SoSheTravelled.com