Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well.
And, it got me curious. I absolutely adore travelling and exploring the world, and since my 20th birthday is all but 2 days away, I wondered if I’d made the ’20 before 20′ cut. Turns out, I landed on exactly 20! I’ve made it my mission now to reach 30 before 30.
Just a note – this post is not intended to boast or brag one bit – it’s just a light-hearted write up about the 20 countries I’ve been lucky enough to visit, chit-chattin’ about some of my highlights and most memorable moments from each one. Oh, and in alphabetical order, of course. Enjoy the read.
1 Antigua & Barbuda 🇦🇬
I visited Antigua with my parents a few years ago, and, like everywhere in the Caribbean, it’s just beautiful – crystal clear, turquoise seas and bright white sands. It’s the perfect beach holiday destination.
My highlight was probably the fact that our villa had a golf buggy to help us get about, and my Dad spent the entire week pretending to crash it, shouting ‘it’s out of control!’ and racing Grannies around the resort. He’s 50, by the way, not 14.
2 Barbados 🇧🇧
Another simply amazing Caribbean country, which I’m desperate to return to – I went when I was really young, so probably didn’t appreciate it as much as I would now!
My parents got married here – solely for the reason our hotel was offering free weddings. Romance at it’s best!
3 Belgium 🇧🇪
I went on a History trip with my school when I was around 14, and Belgium was one of the destinations. We got to experience a really, really interesting and emotional tour around some of Belgium’s biggest WW1+2 graveyards and Battlefields.
In Brussels city in the evening, all I remember is going to a Belgian chocolate shop where I *feel* the owner may had taken advantage of the fact that we were all children, and tried to entice everyone into his ‘great bargain deals’ where a bar of chocolate equated to about 20 euros.
4 Canada 🇨🇦
I paid a visit to Canada last June, as loads of my family live there and my cousin was getting married!
We spent time in Vancouver, Kelowna and Whistler to name a few – if you’d like to see a bit more about what we did, you can read all about that here.
5 Croatia 🇭🇷
Well – my experience in Croatia was… memorable. We stayed in Dubrovnik, which was such a cool, medieval walled city; the perfect place to just wander and take it all in.
Perhaps not the best destination for a beach holiday, but, it is an interesting place regardless – full of character.
Great nightlife, too… just don’t do what I did on my first ever ‘clubbing experience’ and down about 5 vodka shots in an hour, then subsequently hang out the window during the taxi ride home retching and gagging with an angry Croatian taxi driver screaming profanities – not ideal, is it?
6 Cuba 🇨🇺
Ah, I’d love to go back to Cuba. I was young when I went, and all I remember is A) the incredible beaches and B) the fact that pizza and ice cream was readily available on tap – the important stuff for a pot-bellied kiddo like myself.
7 Cyprus 🇨🇾
I’d been to South Cyprus a couple of times when I was younger – again, not really old enough to appreciate anything apart from meaningless things like how wild the Kids Club was, or how great the ice creams were. Although, I know it’s a fab holiday destination judging by the pictures, and I’d like to go back one day!
8 Egypt 🇪🇬
One memory that really stands out from our holiday to Egpyt was the beautiful Red Sea. Absolutely amazing – we went on these things which are SO HARD to describe, but I’m gonna try my best *oh god*.
So: imagine a sort of slow jet-ski, but instead of sitting on it, you lie on it face down and it has a glass bottom you can look through and stare at all the coral and fish and natural beauty. Yeah, I have absolutely no clue what they actually are, but you get my drift. I hope.
9 France 🇫🇷
When I was younger, my family rented a houseboat on a French river which was very memorable. The main thing I remember was being an absolute rebel not wearing a life jacket for the entire week and literally scaling the side of the boat much to my Mum’s horror.
10 Germany 🇩🇪
I’ve been to Germany once, visiting my family in Frankfurt. Not much to say, apart from the city had a bloody good sweet and chocolate shop selection… priorities. I’d like to visit Berlin one day, although I do hear such mixed things about it. Have you been to Berlin? What did you think of it?
11 Greece 🇬🇷
All the fun, heat, and memories, but perhaps not the authenticity or culture I would really love to experience, as I love everything Greek.
I actually went for a job ages ago in a Greek food van and the owner wasn’t too impressed at my Greek adventures in ‘Zakynthos and Corfu’ – a.k.a. getting smashed on the strip. Oh dear.
12 Hungary 🇭🇺
My boyfriend and I went to Budapest back in November to celebrate our 2-year anniversary. Such a lovely city, and SO BLOODY CHEAP. Check out my linked blog post for tonnes of ideas of where to eat and drink and what to see!
13 Ireland 🇮🇪
I visited Cork a while back as my Dad was looking to buy some more greyhounds, and basically got to spend the entire time crying in happiness with tiny puppies all over my lap for 2 days. It was pure heaven.
14 Italy 🇮🇹
I have to say, I think Italy is just one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Namely, the Amalfi Coast – if you’ve never been, make it your mission to go. The scenery is so stunning, you feel like you’ve stepped straight into a painting. Plus, THE FOOD. No words!
15 Netherlands 🇳🇱
Good old ‘Dam. A short 45 minute flight from the UK, it’s the ideal city break filled with yummy food, endless attractions to see and those lovely, funny tasting cakes. You can read up about my 2 visits here and here if you like.
16 Norway 🇳🇴
I went to Norway around this time 1 year ago to visit my cousin who plays ice hockey there in a city called Stavanger. You can read all about that trip here. I’d really like to go back to Norway (not just because I have a new baby cousin on the way) but also to do a hike to see the fjords!
17 Saint Lucia 🇱🇨
Ahh, beautiful St.Lucia, a Caribbean gem. Shame, as when I went, I got severely sunburnt on the very first day, and spent the rest of the trip moody AF (sorry parents), chest on fire and unable to wear any clothes bar 1 t-shirt as it hurt too much. RT if u cri everytime.
18 Spain 🇪🇸
The Balearics, the Canaries… all classic holiday destinations, aren’t they? My most memorable trips to Spain were probably A) my first ever girls holiday to Beni (best week of my life) and when my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Barcelona for my 18th birthday, which we embarked on literally 2 years ago today. The only issue was that we began our trip the morning after my 18th birthday party… oh dear.
19 Turkey 🇹🇷
My favourite part of our Turkey holiday was that there were kittens… everywhere. Not just one or two – there were hundreds and hundreds (no, you’re exaggerating) of baby kitties everywhere, which was an absolute dream.
Obvs, the ‘no feeding’ signs were conveniently ignored, and I spent the week discreetly packing ham into my bag *vom* at the breakfast buffet to feed them throughout the day. I bet the hotel staff loved me, and I bet my bag smelt lush.
Okay, this last one might be a bit of a cheat considering I literally live in the UK, but it counts… right?
I actually did think Gibraltar counted as it’s own country, but I was wrong. Let’s just appreciate this picture of an ape up on the Rock Of Gibraltar, okay?
So, there we have it! I’ve officially visited 20 countries before the ripe old age of 20 *woop woop*. Reckon I can make 30 before 30? Ready, set, go…
Love, Dayna x