Five Favourite Places I’ve Visited (So Far!)

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It’s no secret that travelling is my favourite thing to do. At any given time I normally have a trip coming up to forward to. It’s become a bit of a running joke at work that the moment I’m back from a trip everyone starts asking “Go on then, when’s the next one?” It’s a reputation that I quite enjoy having.

I decided to write a list of the five top places I’ve visited so far. I have no doubt within the next few years this will change as I tick off more places on my travel bucket list but as of right now, in April 2019, these are my five favourite places I’ve visited.

5. Crete, Greece

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It’s rare for me and my three best friends to hit lucky with the weather when we travel. On our first trip abroad to Paris I don’t think it stopped raining all week. We booked Greece for the end of April 2018 and everyone warned us it wouldn’t be as warm as we thought and we should just pack our normal clothes. Turns out they were wrong, it was boiling in Crete for the entirety of our visit which definitely helped the overall experience of the holiday.

I’ve written a bit about Crete in other posts but for this holiday we realised there was no public transport so we hired a car and once Jess got the hang of driving on the other side of the car and road we were cruising through Crete without a care in the world. Everything was perfect – the weather, the scenery, and the absolute bangers we were listening to.

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The country itself was just beautiful and the people were so lovely. Every time we went out for dinner we were given something for free at the end of it which although was a bit hit and miss was still an added bonus. My favourite was when we had dinner at the place overlooking the lake because we got a plate of fruit afterwards which was lush.

I wish we’d had a bit longer to spend there exploring the island but we had to face reality and come home after three nights but overall, I wouldn’t have changed anything about our trip to Crete. It was pretty much perfect, even the little squabbles with my friends and the plain bizarre moments – even when the car started rolling backwards down that steep hill! I had an amazing trip and would love to return to either Crete or any part of Greece one day.

4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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The first time me and my friends ever caught a flight together was for Amsterdam. It’s crazy now ‘cos we’ve caught so many flights together that I don’t even think twice now, I’m like ‘yep we’re back at the airport again’ but at the time it was crazy! I mentioned Paris was our first trip but due to money we’d had to catch a coach. Now we’d all sort of settled into full-time work we could finally afford to fly and it was so much better than a 12 hour bus journey.

The trip itself wasn’t perfect although it did have a lot of fun moments, what I loved was just the city. It had such a calm vibe, you always seemed to be near water and it definitely helped that for once the sun was shining during our trip. Amsterdam was beautiful and I’ve love to explore more parts of the Netherlands.

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There were some things we didn’t get to see like ‘Anne Frank’s House’ and other stuff which make me want to return. Even revisiting parts we already saw would be interesting. I do need to go back to Amsterdam one day because I’ve started collecting snow globes for every country I visit and Amsterdam is currently the only one I’m missing. Obviously that’s not the only reason I’d go back, I just loved the place so much!

3. Seoul, South Korea

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When I was about seventeen or eighteen I started listening to more K-Pop which admittedly is what got me interested in South Korea. I remember when I was nineteen I received a message off Becca saying ‘Hollie if you ever go to South Korea I want to go too’. At the time I thought it was impossible and assumed we never would. Last year we went.

We were going to Japan and spending the majority of our time there but decided to slot in a few nights in South Korea before we came home. I’m so glad we did because it was such an amazing experience and we packed in a lot for the few days we were there.

I’ve said this for everywhere so far but I’d love to go back and explore more of South Korea, especially Busan but I don’t think I’d have the confidence to go on my own. As I mentioned in my ‘Asia Travel Fails’ post, Google Maps doesn’t work properly in South Korea – instead of giving you precise directions it will show the distance in a straight line ignoring things like roads and buildings. This meant South Korea was difficult to navigate but Jess managed it and we got to see a lot of amazing things.

I’d love to go back and do a ton more stuff so we’ll see if that ever happens!

2. New York, USA

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For my 21st birthday I had originally asked my Mom to fund my flights to Japan but then realised I could probably do that myself with my tax return money so I decided to ask for something else instead. My Mom had previously visited New York with her uni friend Sue and had loved it. When I asked her she initially said it would be wasted on me since I’m scared of lifts so suggested we went somewhere else instead. I was so desperate to go that I finally worked up the nerve to get in the lift at my work and overcame my fear – in the long run it has really helped and made life 1000 times more convenient.

Anyway, about ten days after my birthday the two of us jetted off to New York together. It was my first time in America and also my first time going on holiday outside of Europe. I was excited but to be honest when I first arrived I felt very overwhelmed and wasn’t sure if I liked it. We left our hotel to find somewhere for dinner at about 5:30PM so of course the streets were packed with people as it was the rush hour and I was exhausted from the flight so I wasn’t sure. However the next day, after an early night, was a lot better.

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The only downside I can think of is that I ended up getting really bad blisters so by the last day of the trip I was limping everywhere but other than that it was amazing. We did all the typical tourist things like going up the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Centre, our hotel was literally right round the corner from Times Square. When my Mom had been she hadn’t found time to see a Broadway show but as a massive theatre fan I insisted we had to. I chose Anastasia as that’s not performing in the UK at the moment and I couldn’t have asked for a better first Broadway show experience. We had our own box and the show itself was amazing.

It’s on my bucket list to visit America with my friends one day and it’d be cool for us to go to New York but it was very expensive! I think I only had the amazing experience I had because my Mom was with me. Our hotel was literally perfect, there was a view of the empire state building from our window. One of my favourite places I’ve visited!

1. Tokyo, Japan

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I could’ve also put Osaka and Kyoto on this list as I loved them as well but decided to stick with Tokyo so that the list wasn’t just full of my one trip to Asia! To be honest I don’t think I’ll ever love somewhere as much as I loved Tokyo, it was the perfect city for me as it had a bit of everything – the traditional side with museums, shrines and temples whilst also having the fun side with Disneyland, arcades and whacky themed cafes.

I can’t remember when I first realised I wanted to visit Japan but it had been several years. I remember talking about it with Jess in college, watching Dan and Phil’s vlog with such jealousy and thinking about how I’d most likely never be able to afford to go. Thankfully due to tax returns and two other friends who wanted to go/could afford to, the flights were booked and before we knew it we were off!

If I could return to any trip I’ve ever been on it would definitely be Japan, any moment would be fine with me but my favourite to return to would definitely be watching the electric parade at Disneyland at the end of a fun day. I think that’s probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.

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I’ve made up my mind that I want to return to Japan in 2022 but we’ll have to see as there are lots of places in the world I want to tick off but I did really love Japan. I’d like to return to Tokyo, see a new part of Japan and then maybe catch a plane to somewhere nearby? I’m not sure, we’ll have to see!

So there we go, that’s my list of my five favourite places I’ve visited so far. Feel free to leave a comment with your favourites!

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Top 3 Favourite Memories from Amsterdam

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I mentioned a couple of times that Amsterdam wasn’t the greatest holiday me and my friends have ever been on but recently I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic for Amsterdam. It was our first time going somewhere together on a plane and I remember that there were some good times on that trip. Also the country itself is beautiful, the weather was amazing and everything was so sunny. So I thought that like my Paris post [x] I’d write a list of my three favourite memories from when we visited Amsterdam.

Vondelpark

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Becca mentioned Vondelpark in her top three places to visit in Amsterdam [x] – and it is truly lovely. We were lucky enough to go to Amsterdam during some amazing weather so our visit to the park was a good. The sun was shining and sitting in that park with my friends made me feel so happy. It was just such a chill place to sit. I don’t even think we stayed for a long time or explored the park as much as we could’ve but whenever I look at photos from us sitting in the park I feel really happy.

To be honest I can’t even remember a specific memory, like I remember sitting in the park and talking to my friends but I can’t remember what we talked about or anything like that. I’m pretty sure Becca skyped her Mom but that’s about all I remember. I just remember definitely feeling happy and feeling super chill.

Becca and the Bird

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God, she’s gonna kill me for writing about this but it was actually one of my highlights. I love the river in Amsterdam like how you always seem to be near water, it makes me feel so chill. So around lunch time on our first full day in Amsterdam me and my friends sat down by the river to eat some chips we’d bought from a stand. I was laughing already ‘cos Hirst had brought her chips over, stood on my map and then slipped onto her ass making my map go into the river. Hirst nearly went in with it but managed to save herself in time. My poor map was forever gone though.

We finished our chips but it was so nice sitting by the river in the sunshine and Becca said what I was feeling “I’m so content with life right now.” She said. Then literally less than two seconds later she said “I’ve just been shat on by a bird.”

I kind of thought she was joking but when I turned to look at her it was true. A bird had pooed on her head which I thought was absolutely hilarious, as did everyone else. Becca thought it was a bit funny too but obviously she had bird poo on her head so she didn’t find it quite as funny as everyone else. Jess got her a tissue and we wiped it out for her but she could still feel it. I just cannot believe that moments after talking about how content with life she was she got pooed on.

Meeting 24K

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So I’ve definitely talked about this in previous posts but guess what, I’m talking about it again. Me, Becca and Jess had all gone to see 24K in London a couple of months beforehand and we’d agreed after the concert that if we got the opportunity we’d see them again and we’d meet them. After booking our trip to Amsterdam it was agreed that just me and Becca would go and see them live because Jess changed her mind and Hirst has never liked K-Pop anyway.

I don’t think we have ever been so nervous in our entire lives than we were heading to this concert. Becca was stressing ‘cos before we left I decided to grab some food (we were at that concert for hours and I needed some energy!) so she was worried we’d be late. By the time we said goodbye to Jess and Hirst and got on the tram I was starting to get stressed too because I was suddenly so terrified at the thought of meeting 24K. I remember the two of us having some chewing gum and trying to keep calm until we got off the tram.

It felt like a lifetime until we found the venue, it was through like a shopping centre which I knew at the time would close and make it difficult to find our way back but I didn’t care I was too busy worrying about meeting 24K. Before we went Becca had accidentally bought the wrong ticket type but we had emails from Kinetic Vibe saying we could swap the tickets so when we did this we got our wristbands and for some reason some of the other fans were really mad at us for already having our wristbands? It was a long story and we didn’t have time to explain it!

Eventually we got into the venue but even inside there was a long wait until 24K were on stage. Me and Becca were right at the back of the venue so we were some of the last to meet them and we spent that entire time scheming up a plan. Our bias’ Cory and Kisu were stood next to each other so we knew if we managed to get into the right spot in the queue we’d be able to crouch in front of them for the photo.

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Basically you go up in groups of ten, touch each member’s hands and say ‘hi’ then go back around and crouch in front of them for the group photo. We were with a group of girls who seemed nice enough but we could hear them whispering to each other about how they wanted to dab in one of the photos. Listen, I didn’t spend all that money to get to Amsterdam to hide my face in my damn arm and I remember saying to Becca “If they ask us to do dab, we’ll say no.” They did ask us to dab, to which our fake asses were like “Yeah, yeah, we’ll dab.” Even though we knew it was a 100% lie.

Eventually after a ton of stressing it was our turn to go up, me and Becca had found the perfect spot in the queue and up we went. The hi-touch lasts like literally a second per member but those seven seconds were amazing. I made eye contact with every member, from what I understand from Becca she made eye contact with everyone up until Hui and then didn’t look them in the eye? We walked back round and they snapped the first photo. We’d been talking about each of us doing a heart with Cory and Kisu and I did look up at them but then completely lost my confidence and was like ‘well never mind’ so I went for a peace sign instead.

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Remember that actually meeting them was probably like 30 seconds long – we have a 8 minute long video of the two of us after the concert talking about meeting them. My favourite had to be Becca going on about how she grabbed Hui’s hands and shook them and apparently he looked at her like she’d just ruined his life.

I hope 24K come back to Europe soon because I wanna meet them with Becca again, it was so funny and it was one of the best nights ever.

So there are my top three favourite memories from Amsterdam, I’m sorry for anyone who read this hoping for some cute, artsy stories of my mine and my friends amazing time in Amsterdam. You got Becca being pooed on and then me fangirling about 24K. Sorry!

Travel Fails!

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I love travelling so much, especially with my three best friends but it’s safe to say that something goes wrong on pretty much every trip we go on. So I thought I’d write a quick post about some of the things that have gone wrong on our trips because although they weren’t fun at the time they do make good stories now!

Paris

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Our first trip abroad was to Paris so that we could go to K-Con Paris (except for Hirst who just wanted to come to Paris) – the concert tickets weren’t released until a month before we’d need to leave so we rushed to book everything in time. Unfortunately everywhere we looked plane tickets were quite high so in the end we ended up booking a coach which was extremely cheap and would get us to and from Paris!

The coach on the way to Paris wasn’t too bad; it was an overnight trip so it wasn’t the worst – however there were a number of delays, the biggest one being when we reached the ferry. The captain wouldn’t let us on the 11:30PM one (which our driver was pissed about) so we had to wait for the 12:50AM ferry. This wasn’t too fun but we didn’t have any commitments in Paris to worry too much about so the delay wasn’t the worst thing ever.

However, the journey back was Hell. We had to get up at stupid o’clock the morning after the concert (I blame Jess for insisting we watch the concert videos before we went to sleep, I knew it was a bad idea) so we were all extremely tired and during the journey back we realised the only food we’d thought to bring with us were three mars bars and a box of maltesers. Hirst and Jess had woken up so late they hadn’t been able to get breakfast and for some reason we’d left the boxes of cereal on the side instead of bringing them with us. I shared out the mars bars (poor Becca didn’t get one), Jess shared out the maltesers and that was that… All of us were looking forward to getting on the ferry as there was a proper café so we could get a proper meal. We were all disappointed to discover we were actually going on the euro tunnel and not the ferry. We wouldn’t be getting a meal.

Luckily the driver did pull into a service station when we got into England so we finally managed to get something to eat but I just cannot believe our stupidity? Bloody three mars bars and a box of maltesers for a nine hour journey? Hirst had about 999 kinder Buenos but they were in her suitcase in the hold area of the coach so they were no good.

We had more delays on the way back meaning we missed our coach from Victoria that would’ve taken us back to Wolverhampton so we could catch the last train home. Instead we had to book a different coach which took us to Heathrow where we had to catch another coach to get back to Birmingham International. Luckily Hirst’s Mum came to pick us up as there weren’t any trains running by this point and I don’t think I’ve ever been so relieved to see her to be honest. It took us about eighteen hours to get home. Eighteen hours from bloody France to England. It’s less than an hour on the plane.

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Unfortunately that wasn’t the only bad luck we had in Paris. I wasn’t impressed with the hotel we’d stayed in so when we got home I decided to write a quick review on tripadvisor because I love writing reviews. Because we’d booked everything in such a hurry we hadn’t bothered reading the reviews of the hotel beforehand so I was pretty horrified to read so many reviews of people claiming their rooms had been broken into whilst they were asleep and their possessions stolen.

I popped up to my friends to tell them and they recalled the moment we’d checked in the man at reception had fished out a key at random from a basket and given it to us. We are 100% certain that the keys open every hotel room as most of the other reviewers believed too. We were very lucky not to have our room broken into – when we went to K-Con Paris we left Hirst in the hotel room by herself. I dread to think what could’ve happened.

Also the room next to ours had suffered a fire the week before and the whole corridor stank. For our first trip abroad together it wasn’t a very comforting hotel.

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We did have a lot of fun sightseeing but disaster struck even then. This one is down to my own stupidity and awkwardness more than anything else. When we visited the Eiffel Tower I somehow got split up from my friends so Hirst and Becca were walking at the front together, Jess was off to the left and I was off to the right when some lady with a clipboard approached me. Now I hate being mean to people so I smiled and listened to what she had to say and signed her clipboard for her charity. I tried to ignore the part about a ‘donation’ but she pointed at it so I fished in my purse and gave her five euros which I had thought was pretty generous.

Now some lady had also been talking to Jess, had taken her five euros and walked off but for some reason came over to me and said “Actually it’s five for the disabled and five for the orphans.” Hang on, what kind of bullshit charity collects for both the disabled and the orphans? But I was confused and still trying to be nice so I also handed her a ten euro note and then she stuck her bloody finger in my purse and was like “Give us that twenty” so by this point I was like um no, I asked for my five euro note back and let them walk off with the ten. I was salty for the rest of the day. I hope they were happy with that ten euros, I truly do.

I also got called ‘Lady Gaga’ because of my outfit by some random man selling mini Eiffel Towers – I didn’t have the best time at the Eiffel Tower to be truthful.

Amsterdam

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After the hotel disaster in Paris we decided to do more research for our trip to Amsterdam. This time we used airbnb and found what we thought was a nice apartment. It looked cosy, convenient and for some reason we were all really excited at the thought of looking after this man’s cats. We messaged him and he agreed we could stay there. Our accommodation was sorted and we were free to enjoy the trip!

We flew there on Hirst’s birthday – it wasn’t great timing but me and Becca really wanted to see 24K so we couldn’t go at any other time. When we reached the apartment I did start to feel bad because Hirst looked like she was going to have a break down. Although the apartment was a good size it was a bit grubby and filled with weird stuff. While most of it was interesting I did have to remove a creepy mask from mine and Hirst’s bedroom (and placed it in a room designed for a child that our host just hadn’t mentioned at all) and Becca came into our room with a jar she’d found which said ‘Every Artist is a Cannibal’. There were teeth in the jar.

It wasn’t too bad but it was bad enough for Hirst and Becca to say that next time we’d just pay the difference and stay in a decent hotel. However apartments are convenient because you can cook your own food etc. Or so we thought.

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The next day after a long day of sight-seeing we came back to the apartment really hungry so we decided to make some of the food we’d bought earlier. Me, Hirst and Jess were going to have microwavable burgers and I’m pretty sure our vegetarian friend Becca was going to have microwavable pancakes. Luckily for me and Becca we offered to wash up while Hirst and Jess ‘cooked’ the food so we escaped the horror of what they found.

Bear in mind his kitchen was already the grubbiest room in the apartment like we’d had to lay down towels in his fridge so that our food didn’t touch his dirty fridge but again it wasn’t too bad at this point. Until Hirst found a plate in the microwave with another plate on top. She brought it down, took the plate off and discovered the mouldiest plate of food she had ever seen in her life. It must’ve been there months. I’m pretty sure Hirst actually vomited and both of them lost their appetite.

We decided to text our host, who had told us he was only 15 minutes away if we needed him so we decided to ask him to come and clean up his grubby food and maybe give his microwave a wipe while he was at it – you know, if he felt generous. He replied to tell us he was in Belgium and that he didn’t see what the problem was.

In the end we sat in mine and Hirst’s room making sandwiches whilst we made an official complaint to airbnb. We packed our bags in case he came back and kicked us out of his apartment. Luckily he didn’t kick us out and we could finish our holiday – we just couldn’t make any of the food we’d bought now and had to eat out for every meal because his kitchen was so rank that we couldn’t use it.

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When we went back to his airbnb page we realised that although all the English reviews were positive, which were the ones we’d read before booking, all the foreign ones we now translated said the general hygiene wasn’t great. I guess we just can’t win.

Luxembourg

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Luckily our accommodation in Luxembourg on Jess’ birthday was a lot nicer. Which was just as well as from the moment we made it to Luxembourg the four of us were absolutely exhausted. That morning Hirst’s Mom had driven us to the airport at 4AM so we could make our flight on time. Therefore I’d been up since 3AM, I’m pretty sure the others had been up even earlier so by midday I was ready to drop.

We did our best. We walked around sightseeing as much as possible before the four of us flopped onto a tour bus to look at what we could do the next day. I was sat by Becca and the music played through the headphones between information was making me even sleepier. Not as much as Becca though who genuinely fell asleep several times. In the end we had to mess around on Snapchat to keep ourselves awake.

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We were in the hotel by about 5PM and in bed by about 9:30PM. We completely underestimated how tired we’d be – even the next day after a long sleep I was still exhausted.

Another slight fail we had while we were there was that we kept entering tourist attractions and not realising what they were. We took a photo outside of what we thought was a famous art museum – it was an opera house. We went to the bock but didn’t realise we were there so left. We visited the palace and thought it was a parliament building so we didn’t appreciate it at all. We kept doing it everywhere we went – I apologise to everyone in Luxembourg, we’re such idiots.

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Lithuania

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The biggest disaster in Lithuania had to be Jess getting sick. We all completely blame Becca. The same week we went to Lithuania Becca had just decided to become a vegan. I imagine eating out in England would be hard enough for a vegan but it was much worse abroad. So on Saturday night after Becca had barely eaten anything all day we went to a vegan restaurant where she could take her pick from the menu. I’d never heard of anything on the menu and they didn’t have the random thing I ordered so I ended up going for pumpkin ravioli because Jess and Becca had gone for it.

I remember taking the first bite and telling my friends “actually its bearable” which was a big deal for me as I’m a fussy eater. However, by the third mouthful I’d completely changed my mind. I tried to eat it as quickly as possible but I just couldn’t do it so I ended up leaving a lot. Becca ate most of hers but Jess completely finished her plate. That night she was up and down all night vomiting. I was dead to the world as was Hirst so luckily Becca got up to take care of her.

First thing in the morning we left Jess in the room whilst the rest of us headed to the nearest convenience store (a fifteen minute walk away and up a bloody hill, of course) to get her a good stock of water, dry food and a teddy to cheer her up. We brought them to her and then headed back out for a day of sightseeing. We all felt pretty bad about leaving her.

We followed Jess’ itinerary that she’d printed beforehand and went to a park that was about a forty minute bus ride away. After all the walking we’d done the day before none of us particularly minded being on the bus for forty minutes. However we paid to enter the park where we spent maybe an hour before realising we could either get the bus in ten minutes time or wait two hours for the next bus. If we waited two hours we’d miss our reservation at the cat café so we had to sprint back to catch the bus back into town.

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Once back we realised we had a bit of time to kill before our cat café reservation so we went to a museum that was free with our pass thing we’d bought the day before just to kill some time. To be honest we always go to museums but most of the time we end up a bit bored.

So we went to this museum, I think it was the ‘National Museum of Lithuania’ or something like that and it all started out pretty well. Then when we got to one section we noticed this lady was following us and we were like ‘oh okay’ but she was trying to be subtle about it and she really wasn’t? Eventually we decided we’d had enough and headed off and she glared at us as we left! So we kind of laughed it off but when we got down to the reception area there was a long corridor full of exhibits and there were like four staff members in this long line and I kid you not they were all giving us the most foul looks ever.

Neither of us really knew why but we quietly left the museum and had a bit of a laugh about it outside because we honestly hadn’t done anything wrong. We’d had a bit of a giggle but we were quiet and we didn’t touch anything. I told Hirst and Becca I wanted to take a Polaroid of them in front of the museum and as I went to do it I noticed two of the staff members standing in the doorway of the entrance, still glaring at us! They’d been quite nice to us when we’d walked in, I honestly have no idea what changed and how every single one of them hated us for the same reason?

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The staff at the cat café were lovely and we had the best time ever anyway.

So there are our trip fails so far! I imagine we’ll go on plenty more trips so before long we’ll have way more trip fails and I’ll be sure to share them with you guys. Please feel free to comment your own travel fails, I’d love to hear them!

Favourite Memories from 2017

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I originally wrote a sort of ‘thank you’ note for 2017 but it was lame so instead I decided to write about my highlights from 2017. I’m sure I’ll accidentally miss some stuff out but here are my current favourites!

21st Birthday

On 30th September 2017 I turned 21 and I had a really nice day. I didn’t do anything particularly special because the weekend before I’d been to London and the weekend after I was going to Luxembourg so I had a pretty chill day. My friends came over to give me my presents (which they nailed by the way) and then they gave me my cake. I know I’ve already posted a photo of it but it was the funniest thing ever and I wasn’t expecting it.

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We went for a meal, went bowling and then played in the arcade and I had a ton of fun. Then in the evening I went out for a meal with my family. So nothing too special but I had a really nice, chill day and I enjoyed every second of it so thank you to everyone who made my birthday so good.

Birthday Trip to London

I mentioned I was in London the weekend before my birthday and that was a trip I had been planning for absolutely months. I love going to see shows so I decided to book a weekend in London where I saw five shows. It took months of planning, I started booking the theatre tickets in like February and planned everything to the last detail. I got myself first class tickets for the train and booked a slightly more expensive hotel than my usual budget hotels. And honestly, I had the best time ever.

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I watched ‘Annie’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Dream Girls’, ‘School of Rock’ and ‘The Comedy About A Bank Robbery’ and they were all brilliant. The hotel I stayed at was hub by Premier Inn London Westminster Abbey and I honestly can’t recommend it enough, the bed was so comfy, I had the best few nights sleep ever and the shower was brilliant. I was so sad when that weekend end because I’d honestly had the best time ever, I love going to London so much.

Luxembourg for Jess’ 21st Birthday

I also mentioned I was in Luxembourg the weekend after my birthday. Two of my best friends Becca and Jess have very close birthdays to me – Jess was born a week after and Becca is two days after Jess’ birthday. For my 20th birthday the girls made a big fuss of me – they told me they were too busy to hang out and then surprised me with a trip to Harry Potter studios (which we vlogged – [x]) so this year we decided to make a big fuss of Jess.

You have no idea how hard it was for me, Becca and Hirst to plan something – planning this nearly ruined our friendship! After many fall-outs, arguments and failed attempts to sort something we eventually booked flights to Luxembourg. It had reached that point where we were so happy to agree on something that we were all a bit giddy, I for one was peeing myself with laughter because I’d never even heard of Luxembourg. We also vlogged this trip and I recommend watching part one just for the reveal when we tell Jess we’re going away for her birthday because it was flawless, we will never top that in our lives [x].

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We were only there one night and we were exhausted for most of it since we had to catch the plane at stupid o’clock in the morning but it’s a beautiful country and I had a brilliant time. I hope Jess enjoyed her birthday because I know I did.

Meeting 24K in Amsterdam

I would’ve put just ‘Amsterdam’ in general but to be honest it wasn’t the best trip ever. I went with Hirst, Becca and Jess and we were all low-key mad at each other the entire time and I had a really crap time on the last night we were there to the point where I sat in the room I shared with Hirst by myself and cried. However Amsterdam is a lovely place and there were some good highlights from the trip – my favourite being meeting 24K for the first time.

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We only went to Amsterdam so me and Becca could see 24K, that was the only reason the trip was planned. We bought VIP tickets and on the day we were both extremely nervous. Becca is probably my favourite person to go to concerts with because she freaks out just as much as I do and she always makes me laugh so much, therefore keeping me that little bit calmer. Now we had to go up in queues to do the hi-touch then we’d go back round to do the photograph. Me and Becca realised Cory and Kisu were stood next to each other and they’re our biases so we plotted and schemed in the hopes we could be in front of them.

24K Meet and Greet

We were both like “Let’s ask to do a heart” and I did look up to ask but then I was like ‘um nope’ and didn’t because I was too nervous. Bear in mind the meet and greet lasts like a minute, if that, but me and Becca talked about it for ages after the concert had ended. 24K were all really nice and we had the best time ever to be honest. I hope 24K come back soon because Becca didn’t come to the fan meet with me and I wanna meet them again with her. We saw 24K for the first time in January and after that we became absolute trash.

Block B

Speaking of fun concerts with Becca we both went to see Block B in London back in March and although the tickets cost an absolute fortune it was worth it. We had one of the most basic ticket types but it didn’t matter, I couldn’t have afforded those fancy VIP tickets we’d already spent £100 each on ours. Also the venue was not great, I’m just gonna put it out there I feel like MyMusicTaste book the weirdest and most random venues like can you maybe do some research beforehand? Like I appreciate that you bring these groups to Europe but like…

Anyway, I’m getting off topic! The concert was amazing, Block B were so lit but the highlight had to be during the encore. Me and Becca had been given some signs to wave so we did – now at every concert we go to me and Becca always try to get a wave off one of the members. So one member, I didn’t know his name at the time, looked in our direction so I started waving and Becca did too AND HE WAVED BACK. It was quite funny ‘cos for me it was like time had stopped so I kept waving but Becca freaked out, grabbed my shoulders and was going “Hollie! Hollie!” whilst he was still looking and waving at us. The moment he walked off I turned to Becca in a daze and went “So which one was that?” It was Kyung who’s now my bias.

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I thought I was happy about the wave but it was nothing compared to Becca’s excitement. One thing that Becca hates is dabbing but that night she was so happy that when I asked her to dab she immediately did it. She also fangirled so hard she fell off the bed. What an amazing night.

Lithuania

On Becca’s birthday we were given a joint birthday present from Jess and Hirst – they were surprising us with a trip abroad but we weren’t allowed to know until we got to the airport because we hadn’t let Jess know before we got to the airport either. I was very nervous about getting on a plane again especially as everyone was being vague about the flight time but I knew it’d be worth it to have a good time with my friends. And we did have a good time, it’s one of my favourite trips I’ve been on.

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What I love about my friends is they can make me excited to go somewhere I’ve never expressed an interest in before. Like when I was a teenager I wasn’t that fussed about exploring Europe, I wanted to go somewhere further away but now I’ll happily go anywhere and be really hyped about it. So when we got to the airport and I found out it was Lithuania I was excited – even though I’d never heard of it before.

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We had a brilliant time, my favourites included the Museum of Illusions and the cat café. Unfortunately Jess got extremely sick on the Sunday (we all blame the pumpkin ravioli, thanks a lot vegan Becca) so she couldn’t come out but other than that we had a good time. Although I’d never heard of it or considered going before Lithuania is actually one of my favourite places I’ve ever been to and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

Tulley’s Farm

Becca had been on about us going to Tulley’s for a couple of years but we’d never really gotten round to doing it. This year she pushed for us to go so in the end me, Becca and Jess booked the tickets, booked train tickets and a hotel and before we knew it we were off.

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I kind of booked this without really thinking about it and when I got there I was a little worried about what to expect but it was so funny. I already wrote a really detailed post on this [x] so if you want more info give that a read but it was so fun, I had a great time and I’d love to go again this year assuming the three of us aren’t too broke after our trip to Japan and South Korea.

New York

I finally went outside of Europe! My entire life I have only ever been to a different country within Europe but finally at 21 years old I went outside of Europe. Me and my Mum went to New York as my 21st birthday present and we had a brilliant time. My Mum had already been to New York once but she was happy to do all the tourist stuff with me all over again. I also finally saw my first Broadway show which was Anastasia and I loved every minute of it.

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Big shout out to my Mom for what was the best birthday present ever and for just genuinely being the best Mom in the world. My highlights from the trip were seeing Anastasia, proper American pancakes, top of the Rockefeller Centre and Times Square. It was an amazing trip and I’d love to visit more parts of America in the future.

24K London Fan Meet

We all knew this was gonna be on here, let’s be real. This was my favourite moment from 2017. In fact it’s probably my favourite moment from my entire life. Those 3 minutes were truly amazing to be honest. I wrote a whole post about it here [x] in way more detail than anyone has ever asked for but I’m gonna talk about it some more because nothing better will ever happen to me in my entire life.

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I’m still in shock to be completely honest like if there wasn’t photo evidence I might’ve thought I’d made the entire thing up. A girl that went to the fan meet recorded the audio (I don’t wanna get her in trouble cos like I dunno if she was allowed) and very kindly posted it in the 24K group I’m a part of. Whenever I’m feeling down I listen to the audio and play the part where they call me on stage again. I’m not over it and I doubt I ever will be to be perfectly honest. If by some miracle 24K are reading this (which they’re not) thanks so much for everything – it was the best night of my life and I’ll never forget it. Thank you.

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So there you go, my favourite memories from 2017! I’m going to post what I’m looking forward to in 2018 soon and I’m sure 2018 will be just as good of a year as 2017. Massive shout-out to everyone who helped me have such a fab year, especially to Hirst, Becca, Jess J and my Mum. You guys are the best, I don’t know what I’d do without you.