As the year is coming to an end, one of my rituals is to look back and to reflect on the past 12 months, the good and the bad. To refine my goals and to set new ones for the next 12 months to come.
This has been my busiest year yet in terms of travel and although many magically assume that being a travel blogger is an easy job, sorry to disappoint you but no I did not win a jackpot, nor I have a sponsor to finance my travels. It all comes down to endless hours of work, work, work. Early flights, late nights, lonely days and non-stop self coaching.
Yes, we travel bloggers share beautiful content and the reason being is that we want to inspire people to follow their dreams and to explore this amazing world that we live in. It doesn’t mean that we don’t face any challenges and that we have everything figured out in life.
It’s easy to hide behind a mask and to get mad at the world and to think that the world owes you. No one owes you anything, you owe it to yourself to change your life around and it all starts with the mindset. People are great at making excuses, but it takes a lot of discipline to get yourself into shape. We all have the same 24 hours in the day, its what you do with these hours defines the results of your game. Step up and lead by example. Do more and talk less. Love more and hate less.
Four years ago I kissed goodbye to my office job and every day I am thankful for taking the risk to follow my passions. One thousand four hundred and sixty days of struggle, heartbreaks, disappointments, tears, smiles and adventures — I am completely in love with my travel blogger life. No one said it is easy but it is definitely worth it. Thanks to all for sticking along, for the love and hate, the jealousy and support. When you travel so much relationships get tested and you find out who is real and who is not. Here is my year in review which I write to remind myself how far I have come and what else needs to be done in the future. My wish to you in 2017 is to find your purpose and to follow your Passions! Happy and safe travels. Cheers!
Valentine’s Day was spent in a slightly unorthodox way; instead of chocolates and an overwhelming explosion of hearts everywhere, we opted for a Jasna Chopok Ski Holiday in Slovakia. My childhood friends and I decided to try a European ski destination close to Greece. We spend a day discovering Bratislava too.
On 6th of March I had to say my hardest goodbye to my best friend Vitton, my miniature pinscher who brought endless joy to my life. At the end of the month together with my fellow travel bloggers Chrysoula (TravelPassionate), Marissa (Travel Greece Travel Europe) and Amber (Provocolate) we were invited to explore Pieria in the north of Greece.
On the 1st of April together with Travel Bloggers Greece we traveled for a weekend to explore Meteora, were we hiked and witnessed the magic of the sunset. The best things in life are not things, but the experiences like watching the sunrise and the sunset.
I then launched my Passion for Dubai blog and traveled to Dubai for a week, this has been one of my most exciting projects this year. I was also invited to speak about the power of story telling at the Health Tourism Conference in Athens.
At the end of the month together with my TBG friends we spend 5 memorable days on the Greek island of Lesvos.
For Greek Orthodox Easter I traveled to Italy and visited Bologna, Verona and Venice. Italy is one of my most favourite travel destinations.
In May I performed my first ever Master of Ceremonies duty at the first European Luxury Hospitality Summit organized by International Luxury Hotel Association USA and Alpine Center!
It has truly been an honour being the Master of Ceremonies at the first European Luxury Hospitality Summit organized by International Luxury Hotel Association USA and Alpine Center! During the last two days we heard inspirational keynotes from the top players of the luxury hospitality industry, from Group President of Hyatt, Director of Digital Marketing Europe of FRHI and many more! #ilhaathens #ilhasummit #luxurytravel
In June I spent my time in Athens. One of the proud accomplishments of 2016 was the article about Travel Bloggers Greece trip to Lesvos featured in CNN International.
In July Marissa and I traveled to Stockholm, Sweden for the TBEX Conference which I also attended in Bangkok, Thailand in October 2015. During our trip we visited the Swedish Archipelago a fantastic experience. I also faced my fear of heights by roof top hiking in Stockholm. A truly exhilarating experience.
At the end of July I traveled to Crete and stayed there until the beginning of September.
A tour of Rethymnon with Crete Urban Adventures to learn more about the city’s historical past over the centuries.
In September to end my time in Crete I spent three days exploring Argyroupolis where I stayed at the Acrus Luxury Suites owned by a lovely family. I then returned home to Athens to prepare for a busy month of October.
In October I was back on the plane flying to Dubai. This time I got VIP treatment flying Business Class Emirates. I was invited as a keynote speaker at the Dubai Health Regulation and Medical Tourism Conference.
A TBG team trip then followed to Nafpaktos for a weekend getaway to explore the natural beauty of Greece.
Followed by a week in Mykonos staying at some of the most luxurious hotels on the island. Here is a photo from one of my favourite hotels Grecotel Mykonos Blu Exclusive Resort.
October ended with a trip to Malta to celebrate my birthday. It was my first time visiting Malta and I was very impressed with this magical city.
In November I travelled to London to attend World Travel Market for the first time together with my fellow travel bloggers from Travel Bloggers Greece. It was a great trip seeing old friends, meeting new contacts and spending a total of 10 days in the magical city of London. We did everything from Prêt-à-Portea at the Berkeley to visiting the London Eye, The View from The Shard and much more. As you can see I am starting to love tall buildings.
After a short trip back to Athens for a change of suitcase, I flew back to Dubai where I spent a total of three weeks. I witnessed the sunrise from the tallest building in the world, At the Top of Burj Khalifa, visited one of the world’s most expensive suites at The Atlantis The Palm. Saw Santa arrive in a red Bentley and met with new and old friends in Dubai.
Now I am back in Athens catching up on all the writing. It has been a very rewarding year and I’m very grateful to be able to do what I love and that is to travel, learn about new cultures and meet inspiring people. HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! What are your travel plans for 2017? If you have any questions please leave them below.