It really was a fantastic year for me, I travelled like crazy and partied hard all year round. If I were to write about 2017 in detail, I am certain that I could write a book, but I will briefly describe places I visited during each month of this year.
To start off the year, the first month of 2017, January, was spent in: India – Surat, Goa and Mumbai.
I am originally from India so I often visit the country throughout the year, it could be for social events, a small break to meet the family to reconnect and also take a small family holiday to be able to spend quality time with each other. Surat is a city in Gujarat, this is where I was brought up and my childhood was spent in this very city. It holds many memories from the past and has always been a place I can call ‘home.’ Surat is famous for all food that is served on a lorry as well as fancy cuisines, and me being such a foodie, I love experiencing food from everywhere. If you ever happen to be in Surat, you must try these food items: locha, khaman, coco, and icedish (these are some of my favorites).
Goa is a place everyone should visit. It’s a place that allows a quiet, relaxing family vacation but also a place where you can go party with your friends. The four of us stayed at the “W” Hotel, spent quality time together, made lots of new memories for the years to come and had a great time.
Mumbai is a city that is known to be very busy. The atmosphere doesn’t suit everyone although I love the place, I love partying and love the options it has for shopping. Living in Belgium, I don’t buy western clothes from anywhere but Antwerp, although since we have so many functions to attend, I need to buy Indian clothes from Mumbai and the variety they have is beautiful.
For our 19th Anniversary, in February, we spent a week in Spain – Tenerife.
The best part of the hotel was that they made 2 sections; a part for the couples and the other part for regular customers. The two of us needed a small break from our busy lives and this was the perfect getaway. The hotel provided a free meal at a restaurant of your choice at the hotel, and the food was splendid. Our stay was quite peaceful and relaxing, and I am sure both of us agree that we had a good time.
I’ve already written on my trip to Malta on a previous blog. It was a beautiful place and we had an amazing time with our family (just the 4 of us).
April: UAE – Dubai
I visit Dubai very often and it is my second home. It’s a great to have small breaks from the Belgian weather. I love the number of brands Dubai has to offer, from the small to the high-end brands. I love to visit new restaurants because of the number of options they have for vegetarian items, and the style of presentation is amazing too. The time I went in March, I went to Zuma and Robertos, both are different cuisines and the ambiance of the place is really something to go for.
The month that my daughter was born, May, I visited: Berlin, Germany
This is the month where my daughter turned 17 this year, time really does fly. Although I love to watch her grow into a beautiful person, I want time to stop, I don’t want her to grow up too quickly.
One of the best girls trips I’ve ever had was this year when we visited Berlin. We did all sorts of crazy things, pushed out of our comfort zones and really got to know each other. It was a memorable trip and I am sure I will never forget it. There was a group cycle we hired, all 8 of us were able to be on it at the same time. Loud music always makes everything better, and it’ll also allow you to be crazy.
June: Turkey – Bodrum, Spain – Ibiza, UK – London
This was one of the busiest months of the year. We travelled to 3 different countries in the span of a month. Our first location of the month was Bodrum, Turkey. We were there to attend a wedding. The hotel was absolutely magnificent, and the villa we were given to stay in was also mind-blowing. 4 couples were given one villa to share and each room was so beautiful.
I know I am going to visit Bodrum again soon. All of us couples took a half day break from all the wedding events and spent the day shopping. The trip was both, beautiful and relaxing.
The next place Miten and I visited with our friends was Ibiza, in Spain. We really had a blast on this trip. We stayed at the Me Ibiza in Ibiza, and it was far from the center. I would really advise you to find a hotel that is in the center as it could save so much travel time. Things you must do: boating – jump into the sea!!
This was a short trip to London as we only went for the weekend to visit universities because my daughter graduates in less than 6 months. We had busy days with lots of fun, we went shopping (obviously) and we also went to see some great universities. We went to an outlet by train (takes an hour) called Bicester village. I really would suggest you visit it!
July & August: Thailand, Australia and New Zealand
Although, as you can see my year is filled with travelling, I am a person that gets homesick very quickly. Seeing the world, capturing new experiences and making memories is key to my life, but being at home with my family is one of my top priorities. These two months, I travelled to 3 countries, and 2 being literally ‘across the globe’.
Firstly, I visited Thailand for my sister-in-law’s bachelorette and I also met my friend Mittal in Bangkok, had a great time overall.
The shopping was fabulous and the place we grabbed dinner at ‘Zuma’ was amazing too. For the bachelorette, we went to a few cities – Krabi, Koh Samui, and Centara Grand Beach Resort. During this crazy girls’ trip, we went to a full moon party which included super cool neon paint. The massages we got were so good and relaxing. While we were in Centara, we went on a boat ride, this was only the scariest experience I’ve ever had. At one point we all thought we would never make it back because the tides were insane. In the course of this boat trip, we visited a few islands that were neighbored; Phi Phi Island, Chicken Island and 2 others. The hotel we stayed at in Koh Samui made the trip worth it, otherwise, the location itself did not appeal to us very much.
The next place we visited, Australia and New Zealand, this brought back memories of 19 years ago when we went for our honeymoon. This year, in 2017, we brought back those memories with 2 beautiful children.
In Australia, we visited several cities – Melbourne, Cairns (Green Island aka Great Barrier Reef, and Kuranda Village). In Gold Coast, we went skydiving, visited theme parks (movie world and dream world) and also experience a beautiful 4am hot air balloon ride. Finally, to finish the trip in Australia, we visited Sydney.
Queenstown, New Zealand, was the best of the 3 cities we saw. Being a family of adrenaline junkies, we did both the zipline and the bungee through AJ Hackett. In a small town, you’d think 5 days is too much, they were just right because we had something new to do every single day.
Finally, our last stop was Christchurch from where we would start our journey back home. It was a really long trip and we knew our flight home wouldn’t be easy. It took 3 flights and 37 hours of travelling for us to finally get back home.
September: France – Cannes
It was a relaxing month at home and this was a very significant month for me as a fashion blogger, because this is when NikkiTheFashionista went live. We went to Cannes for a weekend during the month for a social gathering and I can sure say, it’s a beautiful place. Things you must do: shopping & speed boating.
As I love places that have beaches, this really sparked my interest in the city. The location we stayed at enhanced the trip loads more (at the Hyatt hotel).
October: Family time. India – Mumbai & our Village.
October is my Son, Meet’s birthday month. We celebrated his birthday at home and then left for India. This was one of the most memorable trips we’ve had as a whole family, not just the 4 of us, but around 35-40 of us, our whole extended family. It was such a splendid gathering. We celebrated Diwali as a family with all the pooja’s and New Year in our JB farmhouse.
November: the month of celebrations. Germany – Dusseldorf.
As this was both, mine and Miten’s birthday month, we decided to skip the travelling and spend a relaxed but fun birthday in Antwerp, our home. We celebrated his 40th birthday with a few of our closest friends and a family dinner. It was simple but very special. Miten always goes all out to make my birthdays as special as he can make them. And because travelling is just something we do, we couldn’t avoid it for long, we had to travel to Dusseldorf, in Germany, for Preet’s volleyball matches. It was a kind of pre-birthday getaway weekend, and it was super amazing. We had a long drive, shopping, coffees, dinners, and everything that made my dreams come true. Something you must do: drive the German highway as there are no speed limits!!
Lastly, but nothing less than the rest, December: India – Mumbai
This time, almost like every other time, it’s going to be super busy, We have so many social events to attend, and obviously dress up in our traditional attire (absolutely love it). December is the wedding season in India, and I can say that I’ve had such a great time attending all these beautiful and so well-organized events. The parties, the food, and the friends are just too great when it comes to being in India.
I don’t want to say goodbye to 2017 as it has been a year I’ll never forget. It was the best year I’ve ever had with so many special memories, I’ve been able to create so many new bonds and I’m sticking to one rule, and that rule is: enjoy your life today, you don’t know what tomorrow’s going to be like. Now that 2017’s coming to an end, I am excited to see what 2018 has to offer, and I have plans that I will be sharing soon enough.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
Enjoy every moment because You Only Live Once.
– Nikki Shah