On 1st January 2012, I wrote a post with a confession - I'm not very well travelled. But I vowed to change that, and The Year of Travel was born. I decided to make a conscious effort to travel more, see the places I'd always dreamed about, and maybe try to achieve that thing regular travellers always rave about - broadened horizons.
So... did it work?
Central Park, NYC
In a word - yes!
Elysées Regencia Hotel, Paris
My first trip of 2012 was with Cointreau, to Paris, in April. I've been to Paris a few times before but it's a city I'll never tire of - the buildings, the food, the culture. It rained the entire time I was there, but that just added to the general Parisian moodiness. It's a wonderful place to feel stylish and sophisticated!
Read more about my Paris trip.
View from the John Hancock Observatory, Chicago
The second (and biggest) trip of 2012 was the Great American Roadtrip, and the first stop was Chicago. What a city! When we visited back in May, Rob's sister Jen was living in the city and so we had our own personal tour guide. She showed us the Windy City at its very best and we had a magical few days living like real locals.
Read more about my Chicago trip, and see what I wore.
View from the Top of the Rock, New York City
The next stop on our American road trip was New York. Safe to say I was beyond excited as we descended into JFK... I'd been imagining that moment for more than 10 years. Our 5 days in the city were spectacular, and Rob and I felt completely head-over-heels for NYC. So much so, we've been planning our next trip ever since!
Find more details from our NYC trip, see my second hand shopping tips and take a look at what I wore.
Sunset over the lake in Augusta, Maine
Before we headed back to the UK, we made a final stop in Maine. In sharp contrast to our city living, Maine was laidback and peaceful, with breathtaking views around every corner. We stayed with Rob's family who were fantastic hosts - the delicious food, natural beauty and relaxing pace made it the perfect place to end our 2-week trip.
Find out more about Maine, and see what I wore.
Deckchairs on the beach in Brighton
After the excitement of America, a summer in the UK seemed dull in comparison. But part of my resolution for The Year of Travel was to see more of my home country as well as the rest of the world - there are so many fantastic places within easy reach. One of those places is Brighton, which I visited in June.
I loved Brighton's quintessential seaside feel and cool, quirky culture - it was the perfect place to rediscover the beauty of Britain. Check out the details of my trip in this post.
Bunting in Newmarket
A wet, grey and cold summer followed, but on a hot August day, Rob and I found ourselves sipping Pimm's on a sun-drenched terrace in Newmarket. The plan was to explore Cambridge but due to a broken-down car, we stayed closer to our hotel - Bedford Lodge.
A glorious weekend enjoying some time away from the internet in a beautiful part of the country. Read all about it in this post.
View across the Hudson River, New York
In September, I was back on a plane on NYC! I was thrilled to go to my favourite city twice in one year, this time with a client for New York Fashion Week. It was an insane few days, leaving me exhausted but elated.
See more photos from my second New York trip.
Rolling hills near Bainbridge, Yorkshire Dales
In October, my family and I celebrated my grandma's 75th birthday with a stay in the Yorkshire Dales. We rented a huge cottage to house us all and ate, drank and were merry.
I've lived in Yorkshire all my life but sometimes forget just how stunning this county is. This trip was a good reminder! Take a look at more photos from The Dales.
I knew I could squeeze one more trip into The Year of Travel, and what a trip it was. Rob and I chose Edinburgh as the place to celebrate my birthday and see in the new year at the Hogmanay street party. It was a wonderful way to round off an amazing 12 months and I'm absolutely desperate to get back up there - the atmosphere, the buildings, the food!
There's more from Edinburgh here and here.
So that was it - The Year of Travel. I think I did pretty well, don't you? My horizons are most definitely broadened (along with my hips) and I've added a million memories and even more photos to my travel stash. Here's to 2013 - The Year of Even More Travel, hopefully!
Did you visit anywhere new in 2012?