It’s a wonderful time to be alive! 2020 not only brings us a New Year, but a new decade too! Which is oddly unsettling and pretty darn exciting too. But before I get too ahead of myself, a nice little piece of reflection goes a long way.

Just when I feel like I’ve achieved nothing all year and I’m a boring person who never does anything cool, I think it’s important to look back and see where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. Give it a try yourself!

In case you missed last year’s list, it’s here, and if you’ll allow me to be so indulgent again this year… here’s where we’ve been in 2019.

My favourite destination this year was probably Italy, specifically Umbria. I’d felt like my dreams had literally come true (and so early on, on our year-long trip abroad.)

Let’s get into it!

January

freshwater beach
Staycation made easy with this as your backyard…

A slow start to the year, we spent our weekends in Freshwater, Sydney (where we normally live) soaking up our beachside apartment as much as possible, in preparation for what was to come.

February

Rock pool South Australia
Rock pool in South Australia

Regular readers of @avaycay will be tired of hearing about my birthday tradition. But for those of you who are new, here’s my one sentence spiel about it: Every year I try to visit somewhere new in Australia. Pretty simple. This was my sixth year carrying on the tradition, which brought us to South Australia. I feel very proud to say that I’ve now visited all eight states and territories! During our time, we fell in love with the Yorke Peninsula and the Barossa Valley.

March

March noted the achievement of my first half-marathon in Orange, which completely took me by surprise (by how picturesque it was) and a work trip to Mt Kosciuszko, my second out of four attempted summit’s of Australia’s tallest mountain at 2,228m.

April

From up above, Coolangatta QLD

Moo’s niece sure was growing quickly, we fled to Northern NSW to the vivacious Tweed Heads, where we spent the weekend talking about surfing, sipping good coffee and being persuaded to live the dream up north by Moo’s sister and brother in law.

May

Acropolis, Athens Greece

This marks the beginning of our year-long adventure, where we started out in Greece. You can of course read a more detailed synopsis of our year abroad here.

June

Lake Bled, Slovenia

From Greece, I flew to Budapest and started walking from Hungary, through Croatia, Slovenia and eventually to Italy. Visiting Zagreb and Lake Bled in Slovenia were serious highlights. In Italy, we squeezed in a lot by visiting, Umbia, Pisa, San Gimignano, Lucca, Florence, Tuscany, Rome and one heaving Amalfi Coast. On reflection, it was perhaps a little too much.

July

Tuscany, Italy

We managed to explore more of the south of Italy, including Procida, Sicily and the Aeolian Islands. We flew to the UK twice for two separate, yet tremendously fun weddings.

August

Cape Town, South Africa

All of a sudden we were back in the southern hemisphere, this time in South Africa. We were fortunate to have friends based in Stellenbosch, I’m forever grateful to them for showing us around, making us feel welcome and helping us understand the way of life in South Africa. We also managed to visit Cape Town, Franschhoek and Paternoster.

September

Zebra, Gondwana Game Reserve

Our adventures continued in South Africa, including a mini-safari, a wonderful drive along the Garden Route (highlight: Jeffrey’s Bay) before spending a month pet-sitting in the glorious Plettenberg Bay.

October

sunset, Jericoacoara

October brought us some warmer climate as we flew west again, this time all the way west to Brazil. São Paulo completely took us by surprise, but Northern Brazil really filled our adventurous needs as we kite-surfed and surfed all month long.

November

Paraty, Brazil

After an expensive flight alteration, we ended up down in Rio de Janeiro three weeks earlier than planned. Wetter than we’d expected yes, but it did enable us to see and taste a lot more variety of what Brazil had to offer like: Ilha Grande, Paraty, Petrópolis and Rio de Janeiro itself, as well as sample a lot of cachaça.

December

Christ the Redeemer

The beginning of December had us finally meeting Christo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Not to brag, but this is the fifth one I’ve seen (actually you know what, f&ck it! I will brag, it’s my blog!!) Before our extensive journey to the small island in the Caribbean, Barbados, where we are now, pet-sitting for a month. One of the most vivid places we’ve ever been, no seriously.

Lastly, I wanted to thank you SO much for reading this and any previous post’s from 2016 to now, I hope you’re enjoying my continued rambling. It’s never easy to be vulnerable and post week after week – but I’m enjoying it and hope you are too.

From here, I wish you a very Happy New Year! May you travel ethically, eat well and adventure more.

Until next year xo

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