The stories behind the 2016 photos

I’ve taken so many trips in 2016, that I’ve actually lost count (sorry!). I clocked in 4 new countries, and a good few new cities and towns. This post is dedicated, not to the photos that got the most likes, but those that served as my best 2016 stories and memories…



For a capital city, I always feel like my home town doesn’t have the same volume of cool new architecture that some bigger places have to offer. The structures around the newer parliament buildings are still up for debate, but I always think they look pretty cool. I  also wrote my first post about the city this year, highlighting some of the a more alternative tourist attractions in Edinburgh.



I climbed the mountainous sand dunes in Huacachina bare foot, sun low in the sky, to catch a glimpse of the famous sand dunes sunsets. As I sat at the top, right near the end of one of the peaks, I watched this stray dog trot up the same route I had taken (with a lot more ease). He hit the peak, passing all the other tourists, and made his way right over to me, before plonking himself down for sunset. I loved having my little companion to take in the view. Right after the last beam of light vanished, he picked himself up and trotted back down the dune, never looking back.

Machu Pichu


This place was number one on my travel list since I was 7 years old. We had the most perfect clear day for it, and when I hit the top I cried. A guide told us that day, that the National site was soon to restrict visitors to time slots. I’m delighted I got to go before any restrictions were in place. I don’t think anywhere will ever beat Machu Pichu for me.



Budapest was full of beautiful building, old and new, but the Art Museum seemed to have missed the main tourist spot radar. I found a picture of its interiors on Pinterest, sourced it on a map, and took the tube down to check it out for myself. The place was deserted, and I was lucky enough to have it (almost) to myself to take this picture.



Its hard to make a row of big stones look beautiful, but the Holocaust Memorial, in Berlin, has a hauntingly fragile feel to it. Arranged at different heights amongst the square, the 2711 stones sit above an underground ‘place of information’, holding the names of approximately 3 million victims of the Holocaust.



My travels have allowed me to meet people that I would just never have come across, had I not left home. One of my favourite people of the year was Ted. Ted had his own crystal stall in Amsterdam’s Noodermarket. He had once been the mayor of his town in Pennsylvania; population 350, for 12 years. He talked to me for ages about the stones I was buying, pointing out different values from his information book.



I dragged my friend around the whole of Copenhagen city centre (10 miles in total) during one day, hunting down sites I wanted to snap. At each point we reached, the amazing thing that I wanted to see really wasn’t that spectacular. My mirror house had once been an art installation, but was now a toilet in a kids play park. The photo was perfect, but reminds me of how much running around we did, and the silliness of it all.



Amsterdam runs its own gay pride parade down the canal every year, but this year it was also home to Euro pride. The place was swarming with people out enjoying the weather and the party. I caught this shot on the bridge, just as the sun was going down, and loved how well it portrayed the happy, relaxed feel of the day.



I never thought I’d beat the beauty of the beaches in Bali, but the Americas are slowly stealing Indonesia’s crown (for me). Our perfect little Tulum beach hut sat only 10 meters or so from the deserted stretch of beach. It was so easy to roll out of bed and onto the beach in my pj’s, just in time to stretch whilst the sun came up. The colours in the sky would remind me of that bit in Forrest Gump, where he says he couldn’t figure out where the sky ended and heaven began.

Travel writer, marketing adviser and blogger based in Edinburgh, with a focus on budget and vegan travel. 39 countries to date, with extensive knowledge of travel within Asia, particularly within Thailand.

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