December 31st 2013
As we sit in our lovely apartment in Turkey waiting for it to be acceptable to raise a glass to the amazing 2013 we decided to jot down a few of our memories of the year.
A few numbers here and there, a lot of new friends, a few laughs and a fair few tears, few of which you normally see in the blogs.
We just cannot believe that another year has passed and we are still living out our dreams. We still live in our campervan Peggy and we have maintained our average of a wedding every 10 days for yet another 365 days!
In 2013 we were married 26 times in 19 of the 26 countries we visited.
That is some going and we can’t quite believe it ourselves, especially as right now we haven’t had a wedding for more than a month! (you do the math)
We have launched 79 blogs and are still 5 months behind real time! Sorry about that, join us on facebook for real time updates!
We have had a couple of proud moments such as featuring on the Lorraine Kelly show, achieving a Wedding Blog Award nomination by the UK’s Wedding Magazine and Top 10 couple travel bloggers by awesome travel bloggers Latitude34 which honestly made me sigh with relief that I have not lost the plot by continuing to write everything down!
We swam with Sharks…TWICE, once in Africa, the other in Tahiti and survived!
We held the first Inflight wedding on our way to Tahiti!
Visiting 26 countries and being married as many times is difficult to summarise, so much happiness and experience to squeeze into one post, the highlights have been so many so here are just a few!
We had our eyes opened to Africa, its beauty, the wonderful soulful people and their incredible singing voices and humongous welcome was one of the warmest experiences of my life. The Zulu wedding was one of Alex’s favourite experiences on this whole trip!
We met our kindred spirits in Africa in the Elliot family and sharing in the incredibly difficult loss of a father, a husband and an inspiration. To have met Keith was such a joy, a pleasure and a push to live life to the fullest just as he inspired in everyone.
Staying safe with ease has definitely been a highlight. Our biggest worry was being in Kenya during a potentially turbulent time but we were welcomed as always. The world is a surprisingly safe place to explore!
Morocco was an incredible road-trip through scenery like no other we have seen and resulting in great new ‘for life’ friends, crazy wedding experiences (which we are keeping a secret until a rainy day) and great realisation that Peggy is by FAR the best way to travel!
Places closer to home brought great adventures too. We travelled around our own doorstep and fell in love with Wales and reconnected with family roots in Scotland. We made new friends and rebuilt old foundations with others in the rugged landscape too and felt surprisingly happy and at home in the snow!
And then there was Ireland! My favourite wedding of the year! It needs no other explanation.
Europe was a difficult time for us after so much excitement of the Americas and Africa. The familiarity of the culture became a little tiring and we longed for something different to inspire us and pick us up again. We found this in lots of places don’t get me wrong, we fell in love with Bordeaux but in hate with Paris. Spain offered me the chance to spend time with my family and revisit old art heroes, Portugal inspired us with Fado and an incredible amount of culture that we had never realised. The Bavarians reminded us that life was about having fun (and a beer) and Prague dragged us back in time to a Medieval era. Hungary was definitely the jewel in the crown of western Europe, a beautiful country filled with sunflowers, summer haze and of course wonderful weddings.
Timea at Hungarian weddings surprised us with the best wedding party and a huge effort to support local charities. Italy welcomed us with the joy and sadness of family, seeing a Mummy’s tummy grow and a beloved elderly pet pass away while we were filled with food and wine and food and wine.
Eastern Europe picked us up a little with gems like Lithuania with our most ancient ceremony yet, Romania with a drinkathon peasant wedding laced with Rakija, Croatia with a coastline we would LOVE to call home and the surprise we were never expecting in Bosnia Herzegovina…which should be twinned with Hull, our home town! We fit right in with the great fun team in Prijedor and felt at home in their familiar city centre. We drank and danced the night away with a belter of a wedding party and cured our hangovers the old school way, with a good old greasy take away.
The end of Europe has been an odd experience with Albania, the ‘El Salvador’ of Europe but with stunning desolate beaches, leading into the beauty of Greece and us falling in love with Corfu (another surprise) and finally into Turkey. The Frontier, where east meets west.
There is only one way left for us to go.
2014 will see us in Dubai, Bahrain, Iran, Pakistan and India and on into eastern asia and finally to Australia and New Zealand. We hope you stick with us and continue to enjoy our wild wedding adventure.
We love to hear from you, with comments, suggestions, ideas, support, complaints…anything, we would especially love to hear about your highlights of 2013 and your plans for the new year! We just love to know you are with us, wherever you are!
We want to take the opportunity to thank you for your support through 2013 and to wish you all the VERY best for a healthy 2014 filled with love, joy and happiness…and travel…even if it is vicariously!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!