Chinatown Montreal

As I sit here munching on chocolate coins left over from Christmas stockings I look back on my year in travel.

I saw in the beginning of 2015 with my boyfriend and my sister in the beautiful Barcelona. Like everything in this city New Year’s Eve or ‘Noche Vieja’ as they call it in Spanish is celebrated in a big way, not just with fireworks, but light shows and fountains, and people dancing inside a giant iron man.

By February I’d had enough of winter so jetted off to the Canary Islands, – Gran Canaria to be precise – for a relaxing spa break. I was there to review of few of the island’s best hotels, as well as write about the Canary Islands as a new spa break destination for Our Man on the Ground travel website. Here my days were filled with hot stone massages, thalassotherapy pools and sunning myself in the open air. I also got the chance to explore the historic capital of Las Palmas.

Gran Canaria

With the arrival of spring came new opportunity – to research and write part of the new Fodor’s guide to Cuba, so I left for Havana to begin work right away. My time here was spent seeking out the city’s best paladares, visiting the top hotels, meeting the locals who had turned their homes into places for tourists to stay and searching out the best local places for live music. Luckily, I also had to research the beaches to the East of the city, so my last few days were slightly less hectic.

Havana, Cuba

I spent most of April holed up in my office writing and rewriting my chapter for the guidebook to get it perfect. There was no stopping for weekends, Easter or even my birthday – apart from a lovely dinner out to celebrate.

Time for travel again and this time it was to visit family in Florida and watch proudly as my little brother graduated from high school. Visiting nature reserves, quiet beaches and cool arty towns

Florida, dolphin

May turned June and summer was beginning to arrive in New York, so I headed to the Big Apple to reacquaint myself with this most famous of cities. The first few days were spent reviewing some hotels and restaurants in Manhattan for Our Man on the Ground again, as well as visiting its most famous sights – Central Park, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. The next few days were more about getting off the beaten track in Brooklyn, mooching around bars in Greenpoint, checking out the artistic talent in Bushwick and eating in trendy restaurants in Williamsburg.

New York graffiti

The month when most people start to travel is the month that I slowed down and stayed at home. This was my time to catch up with some work and do a bit of DIY around the apartment.

Late summer was a time for reconnecting with old friends with a trip to Montreal in Canada. One of my best friends was getting married so I combined the trip, doing a bit of research around Montreal’s famous old port and Chinatown, whilst joining in the festivities with her and her family.

Vieux Port Montreal

Back to Barcelona once again for their annual Festes de la Mercè with all its colourful light and sound installations, concerts, food and innovative performances.

Another quiet month on the travel front, October was spent at home getting on with work and writing up some of my travels from the year.

I hadn’t planning on travelling much this winter, but with a surprise trip to Athens on the cards, I couldn’t resist. This was my first time in Greece and I was here to write about the country’s cuisine, dine in some of its best Michelin-starred restaurants and even learn how to cook some of it myself.

dolmades, Greece

I spent Christmas with family in North Norfolk, wondering around idyllic coastal villages in the rain and playing games in front of an open fire. And the best Christmas present? Fodor’s Cuba guide and my chapter on Havana was finally published!

Fodor's Cuba