After having to cancel the weeklong trip we were planning to take to Ireland for New Year's 2022 due to the Omicron variant, we were so excited to finally make our way to Dublin this August for a long-overdue weekend getaway in Ireland. The trip was made even better because we went with one of Andy's friends from high school, who planned the majority of the (flawless) weekend for us—and I must say, it was really nice to just be along for the ride for once.
One of the downsides of living abroad is that we have inevitably had to miss lots of big moments for our friends and family back home, including several weddings that we would have normally attended. On the flip side, it is much easier for us to go to destination weddings in places like the French Riveria, which is how we ended up spending the first weekend in July in the Côte d'Azur celebrating the wedding of one of my favorite colleagues. It truly couldn't have been a more idyllic experience.
After several fun-but-exhausting weekends in a row spent hosting friends and family in London, we were excited to get back on the road (in the air?) with a quick trip to Berlin. Andy hadn't been to Germany before and I had only been to Munich, so we were both really looking forward to finally exploring such a legendary city. Everything about our weekend getaway in Berlin was honestly perfect, and I'm already looking forward to planning our next German adventure.
Spain had been on the top of our travel list since we moved to London, but there were SO many Spanish cities and towns we wanted to visit that we could never seem to make a decision on where to start. Our one-year anniversary felt like the perfect opportunity to take enough time off to go to multiple cities on the same trip. We spent a few days in Madrid at the beginning and end of our trip and then spent the rest of our time in Andalusia. We absolutely loved every place we visited and could have spent much more time in each city.
My new year's resolution for 2022 was to visit 10 new countries this year, which meant that we needed to get a little more creative with our weekend trips. With this in mind, we booked a quick trip to Luxembourg City, the elegant capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Although Andy was skeptical about heading to yet another place we hardly knew anything about, we had an absolutely lovely weekend in one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe.
Now that we are approaching our 1-year mark in London, I (finally) feel like I can share a comprehensive guide to what to eat, drink, see, and do in one of the largest and most iconic cities in the world. Sharing recommendations for London is challenging not just because there is SO much history and culture to explore, but also because the city is geographically very spread out. This can make it a bit harder to see everything, so I also have a few tips for getting around.
After hosting our first visitor of the year in London, the three of us headed to Prague for the long weekend over the Easter holidays. Prague had been on our shortlist for a while and we had a fantastic weekend exploring the rich history of the city and its beautiful architecture -- and drinking plenty of Czech beer. The city is also famous for its Easter markets, which made the whole city feel like a celebration.
Portugal's second city is brimming with cobblestone streets, flower-potted balconies, and buildings covered in azuelos, the typically blue-and-white-painted ceramic tilework for which Portugal is famous. The atmosphere is extremely laid-back, the residents couldn't have been friendlier, and it was almost absurdly affordable -- we truly couldn't find anything to not love about Porto.
Between getting married, moving to the UK, visiting 8 countries, and celebrating plenty of professional accomplishments, 2021 was, without a doubt, the craziest and busiest year of our lives. We decided pretty early on that we wanted to stay in London for the holidays so that we could finally take a moment to relax, as well as experience the magic of London at Christmas.
A variety of factors suddenly left us with several weekends in a row with nothing planned. We rectified the situation by booking a last-minute trip to Cardiff, the capital of Wales, which is only ~2.5 hours away from London by train. I knew almost nothing about Cardiff (or Wales, for that matter), but some light research suggested that it was a nice place to visit at Christmastime.