The 12 in 12 Challenge

Uluru, sunrise at Uluru, Australia

When I first met my travelling buddy just over 10 years ago we were both students with no money. Our first attempt at foreign travel together was a trip to Florence after almost a year of dating. We learnt a few things that holiday, but the most important was that neither of us can bear dragging a wheely case more than 100m without the urge to drop kick it off a bridge.

Over the past 10 years we've been fortunate enough to build up our travels together. In 2016 we hit up 6 new countries together and we started to joke about whether we could manage 12 destinations in 12 months. We decided to use the rest of our annual leave to visit Australia which put paid to anymore destinations that year.

AFL, Roos

Now, the travelling buddy will turn 30 years old next August. It’s prime time to see if we can finally hit 12 countries in 12 months. Credit for the idea goes to a colleague who attempted the same thing for her honeymoon, and I have ruthlessly stolen her brilliant plan.

The rules for this challenge are:
- I am undertaking all planning solo
- The destination must remain a surprise
- It should be somewhere we have never been to together before
- We have to spend at least 48 hours in each place
- Where we can, we should undertake a new activity on each trip
- All travel is hand luggage only
- To make it to August 2018 with both our sanity and our bank accounts intact

Luckily for me, the travelling buddy is one of the most relaxed men to ever walk the planet. This stood him in good stead when we arrived at destination 1, Budapest, and made a typically strong start- I couldn't work out how to get out of the airport.

Istanbul, map reading
The good old days when planning was a two person job

So I have been left to my own devices to use up our annual leave and empty our bank in an attempt to create a memorable year of adventures. With the help of Tripadvisor and some medicinal gin we might just make it.

So far we’ve managed the first 2 trips- Budapest and Copenhagen- largely unscathed (except some minor bruising of course - you can read more about that here).

It’s going to be an interesting year. Please wish me (and more importantly, him) luck!


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