101 in 1001 XXXIX

What a couple of months I've had! From finally attending Eurovision, to jetting off to Aruba for my first press trip, I've had the perfect opportunity to tick off lots of goals. I've definitely found that my third set of my goals are much more achievable than the first two, and it's making me feel really positive about getting at least 75% of them completed before the 1001 days are up in 2020. 

#2 Visit 10 new-to-me foreign cities 3/10

Lisbon rooftops

Technically, Lisbon isn't new to me. I visited when I was a child but I was very young and my only memories are seeing the black-and-white tiled floor, and a very vague memory about a big glass building that may not even be in Portugal after all. For the purposes of my goals, I count a new city as anywhere I haven't been as an adult, so I'm including it. Oranjestad in Aruba, however, is absolutely a new-to-me location. Two new cities in one month, taking my total up to three- what a great few weeks!

#7 Visit two countries outside of Europe/ USA 1/2

Eagle Beach Aruba

Even with all the travelling I've done in my life, I'd never ventured beyond Europe or the USA. Now though, with my first foray into the Caribbean with my trip to Aruba, I can finally say I'm starting to see more of the world.

Read about it here

#8 Attend Eurovision

Eurovision 2018
OK, so when I wrote this goal, I intended to visit the grand final of Eurovision. But I tried, and getting hold of tickets was a nightmare. Instead, I managed to get a seat at the first semi-final, and I figured that was close enough. I loved it! I don't think I'll be attending next year, but maybe in 2020 I'll finally get to the final.

Read about it here

#28 Stay in an Airbnb

Whitstable Airbnb

It was my birthday in June, and to celebrate we went to Whitstable to spend a couple of days by the coast. This was our perfect opportunity to finally book an Airbnb, so we found a lovely little apartment called Seaside Escape opposite the harbour. It was a great experience and I'll definitely look into booking an Airbnb for future trips.

Read about is (ish) here

#29 Start a travel journal

This is going to be a lifelong project so my goal was to make a start on my travel journals. I once found my grandad's travel journal and it was lovely to flick through. He'd written a little about each city he visited, accompanied with a watercolour illustration, and I love the idea of forming similar journals to pass down to my own children and grandchildren in future. I don't have photos yet because I'm not entirely happy with any of the pages, but I'm planning to write a post about them soon. 

#31 Read 150 books 37/150

May 2018 book round up

I expected to read a lot more with all my flights in May, but flying makes me sleepy and I just need to look at a page before I'm snoring on my fellow passengers. Still, nine books over two months isn't bad, I guess. 

Read about May's books here

#37 Visit 20 new-to-me museums 5/20

Aruba Aloe Museum
With the Gulbenkian art museum in Lisbon, and the Aloe Museum in Aruba, I'm already a quarter of the way through after just 150 days. It's going well! I haven't really mentioned these in any posts, so allow me to briefly skim them here. The Gulbenkian is deceptively large, and hosts a variety of exhibits from art to textiles, so it's great to visit if you're looking for culture. The Aloe Museum is the complete opposite- very intimate and specialised, focusing on the history of aloe in Aruba. It's certainly interesting, especially when you get to look into the factory at work, and it has a great shop at the end too! 

#59 Visit Farnborough Abbey

Farnborough St Michael's Abbey

This is actually called St Michael's Abbey, but everybody in the area just calls it Farnborough Abbey seeing as, well, it's in Farnborough. For the past 30 years, I've been living in the shadow of this monastic building, the resting place of Napoleon III and his wife Princess Eugenie, but never really thought much of it. I entered it when I was 5 because my uncle married there but needless to say, I have few memories of that day. It was only at the beginning of this year that I even found out it was open to visitors, even if it is just an hour once a week. Still, I kept promising myself I'd go and visit and just squeezed it in on the last day of June. It was very interesting to be inside the building that I used to stare at from out of my German classroom window. 

#63 Have 5 different spa treatments 1/5

While in Aruba, I had a massage and it was... interesting. I had to get full-on naked, then had my treatment in a hut on the beach that was totally open to the elements. But it was liberating! I absolutely loved it and it was just what I needed after a hard week exploring the island!

Read about it here

#66 Go snorkelling


Another Aruban adventure! My only previous experience of snorkelling was the shark pool in Walt Disney World, and it turns out snorkelling in the sea is very different! With the waves and the currents, my poor legs were aching afterwards and I bruised all the way up my calves on the ladder into the lagoon. But seeing wildlife in its natural environment and having the opportunity to snorkel in such vivid blue waters made those little inconveniences so worth it! 

Read about it here

#89 Visit ten new-to-me restaurants 9/10

I think I probably should have been more specific here because obviously every time I go away, I visit a new restaurant. With a different place to try out every evening in Aruba, and my trip to Lisbon at the beginning of the month, I'm already approaching the end of my goal. 

#90 Visit ten new-to-me Hard Rock Cafes 3/10

When I found out about my Aruba trip, I looked to see if there was a Hard Rock Cafe on the island, but it seemed there wasn't. So just imagine how thrilled I was when our car drove past one on our second day. I made sure to find time to pop over. I usually have the Local Legendary burger because it's different in every location and based on local cuisine. Having three meals a day provided for us, I would have had no room for a mid-afternoon burger, so I was a little disappointed that I'd miss out... until I saw the menu and realised it was a Heineken-drenched burger. Not for me, thanks! With my Lisbon trip too (unfortunately the worst Hard Rock I've been too, with undercooked meat and terrible service), that takes my total up to 3. 

#95 Have an academic paper published

Winchester ALFRED journal

At the end of last year, I saw on the university website that the journal was looking for submissions. I sent over one of my most successful assignments, about teaching the Holocaust in primary schools, and they must have liked it because they decided to publish it. I know it's not exactly the British Medical Journal, but it's still an achievement, right? Especially because way back in 2010, one of my undergraduate assignments was published too. Unlike last time, we had a launch event and I was given a paper copy of the journal to sit on my bookshelf forever. I guess this makes me a twice-published author. 

Wow, two months and twelve goals! I also gave blood, but I haven't included that as I've done it before, and I had plans to get a piercing but it wasn't possible in the end since the studio was fully booked. I think this might be my most successful update ever! 


  1. This is awesome, such good progress on the list but also just - great experiences! Also I know how you feel about the restaurant goal, it would take me ages if I stayed here forever, but when I go somewhere I try to pitch stuff so I don't end up eating just fast food and Starbucks sandwiches and will fit so many fantastic meals within a week and then miss them for a year. LOL.

  2. Wow - you've definitely achieved lots of success with your goals recently. Keep going! You've got this <3 x x


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