With a new year comes new plans, new goals and new opportunities. At paraphernalia.co, it’ll be all that and more. I have some exciting projects and a host of planned adventures in 2018. As the new year looms, I wanted to take a moment to appreciate the amazing year I’ve had and reflect on my 2017 travel.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you guys for following my journey. I feel incredibly fortunate and will always appreciate your support. Thank you! ♥♥♥
The year opened experiencing First Nation’s cuisine at Salmon ‘n’ Bannock Restaurant and exploring Stanley Park, both in Vancouver. A walking tour of Hong Kong’s K-Town had me missing our years in China and Mathallen in Oslo kept the wolf from the door with its amazing variety of deliciousness.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I received not one, but two awards for paraphernalia.co. The Versatile Blogger and Liebster Awards were presented by my peers and I was both thrilled and humbled.
My friend Lori, took me to the delightful Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Montville in March while the newly opened Dubai Opera showed one of my faves, La Boheme. It was a chilly unplanned visit to the Netherlands, but who’s going to pass up a surprise weekend in Amsterdam?
Adelaide is my hometown and I try to get there twice a year to see my family. It was perfect weather so I spent a day at the Botanical Gardens and organised a pile of friends to ride around the city on “Handlebar”, a 16 seat cycling bar.
Some firsts happened for me in May too. My first visit to Hatta, UAE, my first hotel review and my first interview, an exclusive with the winner of the Middle East Bar Manager of the Year award. I was also delighted to become a regular contributor to Travel Pass Magazine.
Our first “Fine Dining for Less” feature hit in June with a contribution from Cape Town blogger, Nadine at Living It Up CT. A drive into the desert produced an article on a roadside market and a small hiatus hit in June.
A fantastic opportunity to board Indochina Junk’s, Dragon Pearl for a 3-day/ 2-night cruise was a major highlight in August. Raffles Hotel d’Angkor provided much to review in Phnom Penh and we were fortunate to learn about Friends International, a non-profit organisation educating kids and young adults in desperate need.
Our Fine Dining for Less feature continued and special guest travel hacker, Shaun Clark, gave us an intro into Travelling Like A Rockstar, generously offering paraphernalians a significant discount to his online hacking course.
Dubai’s purpose-built water theatre opened in September with a stunning performance, La Perle by dragone and I did a round-up of Dubai’s Fine Dining for Less opportunities. A visit to Hoi An Ancient Town and a review of Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa completed September.
Sihanoukville, Cambodia, and Kerala, India, filled October. It was my first India experience and I loved it. Walking Fort Kochi, reviewing the Waterfront Granary Hotel, cruising Kerala’s backwaters in a rice barge houseboat and wining and dining at Malabar House, all wonderful experiences.
Paarl Spice Route Destination had us journeying through a one-stop-shop of beer, wine, spices, charcuterie and gin. Amari Phuket Resort hosted me for a few nights and deserved my 5-star review. Then back to Adelaide for my dear mum’s 80th birthday and just in time for the first of many to come, Adelaide’s Urban Wine Walk.
Brendan from White Houseboats made me an offer I couldn’t refuse which saw my family and I on a luxury houseboat for 7 days on the Murray River. The husband and I then road tripped the coast road from Adelaide to Melbourne (you’ll read all about that in January).
Our last hotel review for the year was published last week introducing the Tolarno Hotel in St Kilda.
I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting these locations as much as I have and I’m looking forward to bringing you more in 2018. Have a safe and fun-filled new year celebration and may 2018 be your happiest, healthiest and most gratifying yet.
I’ll see you in January with more #eat #drink #explore #shop & #stay suggestions from around the world. Until then paraphernalians, do the things you love….
Happy New Year!!
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Thank you for your support as always!