Farewell 2017, an ode to the memories made

We’re especially thankful to you, our readers, for following our adventures on the blog and on social media. Your love and support is what keeps us going and growing. That’s why our first toast is one to you!

Another year (almost) gone by. Time to reminisce about the family travel memories we made. What better way to start this post than with a round-up of the trips we made.

The absolute highlight of this trip was our Rolling Geek tour of the Three Cities. We enjoyed exploring the narrow streets and had so much fun as a family. The only thing I regret is not having taken more pictures… I was just too busy living the moment!

Grand Harbour views over Three Cities Malta

If you haven’t been there, then this destination should definitely be on your 2018 list. Great climate, lovely people, stunning nature, authentic cities and lots of high-end accommodations. The perfect mix for a relaxing holiday. The yacht charter along the rocky coastline was truly memorable.

Profile of a man looking over a deserted beach along the stunning coastline of the Algarve in Portugal from a boat

It took us way too long to visit to CosmopoliDad Fatih’s family in Turkey. We’ve been together for 17 years and this was the first time we made the trip: shame on us. Then again, it was great that we could make it with the girls. How heart-warming it was to see how family members came from all over the country to spend some time with us. And in between visits, we got to enjoy the city of Eskişehir and its historic Odunpazarı district.

Two sisters giggling while exploring the Abaci Konak hotel in colorful Odunpazarı, the historic district of Turkish Eskişehir

A week after our Turkish adventure, we had an extended weekend of quality time with my side of the family. The setting was beautiful Luxemburg. The Parc Merveilleux was a great find for the girls and the pristine nature of the Mullerthal brought all of us in adventure mode. Family moments such as these make for great memories.

Two girls posing with two giant wooden statues of a queen and king in Parc Merveilleux in Luxemburg

This was probably the most relaxing one of out of our 2017 vacations. We stayed at the most gorgeous family-friendly luxury resort where we got a taste of la dolce vita. And it tasted like… gelato! 🙂 We had some tasting sessions in the city of Bologna during our exploration of the city. How could we not?

Two girls following a white chalk line on the Piazza Santo Stefano in vibrant Bologna

Jade’s first mother-daughter trip took us to Amsterdam. We booked late to made sure we had the weather on our side and that strategy paid off. For Jade, the highlight was the Ferris wheel and for me it was the open boat canal cruise at sunset. Although the true gift was spending time together, just the two of us.

Back of a little girl with a big hair knot on an open canal boat looking at the boat behind her while it makes its way through one of the bridges in Amsterdam

This was our first all-sponsored trip so that alone makes it memorable. But the best thing of this invitation is that we got to discover a stunning island that would otherwise never appear on your radar. We feel very lucky to have discovered this gem. There’s even a fair chance we’ll return to Texel for a summer break.

Twee kleine meiden op een heuvel in het Nationaal Park Duinen van Texel, wijzend naar de zee en met een mooi wolkenspel op de achtergrond

Farewell 2017, marking a new professional milestone

On a more personal note, 2017 has been a year of professional reorientation. Taking a year off from my halftime job as an International Student Adviser, the plan was to launch a career as a freelance conversion optimizer and keep the blog as a hobby. But that didn’t work out quite that well… My blogging fever took over and left no room to freelance. It left no room for, well, anything really. I missed my social life and realized I needed both that and more structure to thrive. So, last month I decided to go back to my old position and combine that with the blog. Working in higher education, it still allows me plenty of vacation days.

Now, I believe that, once a decision is being made, life has its way of showing if that was the right one or the wrong one. Or maybe I’m just looking for signs? Anyway, this one was difficult to miss. My replacement’s contract was only ending next August so I would wait until September to go back to work. But by a twist of faith, about one week after I decided to resume work, I was informed that the same replacement had found another job and that I could come back in January. How’s that for a sign?

Farewell 2017, a special thank you from the girls

I asked the girls if they wanted to share their best memories of the year, in travel and in general. Alegra knew straight up what to mention: Her highlight travel-wise was getting to know all these new Turkish family members. On a personal level, she’s enjoying her first steps in programming. She proudly earned her first semester certificate last week. Yay! Alegra’s also very happy she finally learned how to swim this year (she overcame her fear of water).

Jade had a hard time choosing between the trip to Portugal and the family weekend in Luxemburg. She seemed relieved to learn that she didn’t have to choose at all. Apart from our travels, she’s really enjoying the music lessons (flute) she started to take this year and is determined to keep on practicing as well as she has in 2017.

Two sisters relaxing and smiling in a wicker chair

Farewell 2017, it’s time to write the next chapters of this blog

A re-launch ahead for me but that doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on the blog. Au contraire! It’s my intent (or maybe the word ‘resolution’ is a better fit this time of the year) to keep those posts coming. And then some!

So, you can expect more travel inspiration, more tips & tricks and a whole lot more of… me. The whole opening up to the world thing didn’t come all that natural to me at first. I am, however, starting to feel more comfortable in doing so and plan on letting that shine through in future posts. I do hope you find that a good thing. If not, feel free to let me know. 🙂

Colourful fireworks to say farewell 2017

Farewell 2017, Aloha 2018

Although I’m a notorious planner, I try to let travel find to us. By that I mean letting it depend on the weather and on the latest travel deals. That seems to work well for us, at least for the smaller trips.

What we did plan is our big trip of 2018 to one of our dream destinations: Hawaii. We’ll visit the islands Oahu, Maui & The Big Island over a period of 3 weeks. Now that the flights and accommodation have been booked, we can start focusing on the sightseeing aspect. And that involves a lot of planning, especially since we prefer to skip the overpriced mass-excursions. The plan is to explore as much as possible on our own. Just the way we like it.

CosmopoliClan Christmas portrait to farewell 2017

How do you look back to 2017? And what are your plans for 2018, travel or otherwise? Let us know in the comments below. Whatever 2018 has got in store for you, we wish you a fabulous year from the bottom of our heart!

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