The Take 12 Trips challenge 2015

It was cutting it fine, frankly. But with three (count em) days left before the end of 2015, I’ve finally managed a brand new December day out with Minnie to tick off the last month of the Take 12 Trips challenge.

Section of a globe as I look back on 12 months of travel

It’s the second time I’ve taken – and completed – the challenge, and this year we really stepped up the pace, with a grand total of around 30 trips and days out this year.

A few were repeats, mostly London-based after an incredibly stressful and hectic end to the year meant we didn’t venture too far, but this year has packed in the Caribbean, the USA and the coast of Africa among others. So where did I get to in 2015?

Off to a good start with my New Year’s Resolutions by both getting on the tube and exploring some of London – a trip to the Natural History Museum and a wintery walk at Ham House.

Heading overseas… just about, to the Isle of Wight (including the first of now many videos) where castle fever was started, followed by a trip to Warwick Castle and another London jaunt: the science museum.

A day out in Oxford, seeing yet more dinosaurs and enjoying the Spring at Harcourt Arboretum, along with our regular haunt of Kew Gardens to find Shaun the Sheep and otters at the London Wetland Centre.

Overseas for real! Our first big holiday of the year, to Gran Canaria for rum, camels and cave restaurants (plus beach). Then tracking Superworm at Wendover Woods.

A couple of staycations – to the New Forest via Peppa Pig World, then down to lovely Cornwall for vikings and giant octopus. Hit by an online scam (where thankfully we just about reclaimed the money we’d lost), weekend three was abruptly cancelled. But there was another trip to Kew.

Another trip down the M3 for me, this time to Devon via Stourhead National Trust, and searing temperatures at the Hampton Court Flower Show – all while (finally) launching the MummyTravels Facebook page.

Halfway through the year, so another overseas trip to Amsterdam where we proved city breaks are definitely for families too – and a spot of reflection as Minnie turned three, and we had a bonus celebration at Mottisfont in the sunshine plus those otters again at the London WWT.

Two staycations again this month. First, the gloriously stunning Isles of Scilly which totally won me over in our short stay at Tregarthen’s Hotel. Then up to Yorkshire, whether we found witches and some unexpected adrenaline thrills at Nostell Priory.

Florida! But not the bit you might think – a last-minute trip to the Gulf Coast, which was as laid-back as I needed (barring the jetlag). In between, a peek behind the scenes of the London Transport Museum’s Acton Depot and a much more glamorous day on board Royal Princess.

More sunshine! We were off to Antigua as part of the #eliteislandfamilies blogathon – a lot more to come on that in the next week or so. Just enough time to catch my breath (and get over more jetlag) and then my second child-free weekend away with one of my oldest friends, to the gorgeous Slovenian capital Ljubljana. We’re already plotting 2016’s trip. And I realised I had now visited 60 countries

I hadn’t known at the time, but Ljubljana was my last overseas trip – instead, all my energy (and money) has been focused on sorting out a house move. In between, I launched a new travel linky City Tripping with Wandermum (back next week, if you’re wondering what happened this morning) and squeezed in a couple of local(ish) trips: Osterley Park, Chiswick HouseKew Gardens (again) and Dover Castle.

Another visit to the Natural History Museum – I can barely believe it’s almost a year since the last trip… or how different a visit it is 11 months on. If Minnie got her heart racing by seeing the T-Rex, I got a similar effect at the brand new Battersea Park Go Ape. And last but not least, a new Julia Donaldson trail – this time, Stick Man, back at Wendover Woods. Full review to come! (In 2016)

I am so pleased at how much we’ve managed to do, at home and abroad (thanks as ever to Clare at Need Another Holiday for coming up with the challenge.) I am also not surprised I’m ending 2015 feeling a bit worn out. My cure? Another trip, obviously… I have big plans for 2016 but to kickstart the New Year, I’m heading to the seaside, to Brighton.

I haven’t decided whether to try the challenge again next year as we’ll have our own new challenge of school, but at least January will start us as I hope to go on.


Globe image courtesy of Pixabay. All other images copyright MummyTravels

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