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That's A Wrap - 2018

I don't know about you but this year has went faster than me clicking my fingers. Already excited about what 2019 is going to bring. The vision board is complete, goals set and I've already taken action. Now time to relax, grateful to enjoy being with family & friends, great food and all the joys of the festive season.

It's nice to look back to see how far I've traveled on my personal journey, grateful for all the opportunities, meeting old and new friends at some of the fabulous events throughout the UK and further a field.

What has been your biggest goal or achievement this year? I have one word Courage. Being naturally shy it takes a great deal of my energy to muster up my strength of Courage. Walking up to these two gentleman was a little bewildering! But I needn't of worried they were very friendly and funny too.

WTM London ©MDHarding

That's A Wrap - 2018

This year has been busier than ever trying new food, experiences and creating amazing memories! If you could name one of these, what would it be?

As they say "You only have one life. Go for it!"

Top 18 of 2018

In no particular order here are my 18 highlights of 2018. What are yours? Please comment/share below.

Baba Restaurant

I have never eaten food in this style, flavour and presentation before. It blew me away. The Baba Restaurant in Edinburgh is located just off Charlotte Square, on George Street. One you must try at least once!

Read more here.

Colourful Dips at Baba's Restaurant ©MDHarding

Visiting The Home of The Dalai Lama

I've been lucky to have been in an audience with the Dalai Lama many years ago in Glasgow (he is very funny) and since have been curious to what his home in Tibet and today in McLeod Ganj, India was like. In February I was lucky to visit McLeod Gani also known as "Little Lhasa", at an elevation of 2,082 metres (6,831 feet). Located by the Dhauladhar Range, part of the southern Himalayas.

The mountain caps covered in snow, like they had just been dipped in vanilla ice cream. We took our time dissecting the scene before us, as this was a trip of a lifetime. We were finally here! After two planes, train and bus we had made it. The stairs rose high before us, every step almost felt like you were climbing a mountain. The air crisp, clean and thin. We wouldn't be running around today.

Astonished at how central his Holiness lived, the streets lead off with many stalls, little shops and parked taxis. We were welcomed through the towering gates and directed up the stairs to a large platform with doors into small Buddhist temple's. The walls on the outside adorned with large Tibetan Prayer Wheels. There were around 30 people quiet as little mice, examining, praying and looking out to the great vastness of the mountains beyond. Off this platform, a path lead the way to another set of towering bottle green metal gates. The entrance to the 14th Dalai Lama's house.

We were told that his Holiness was home, which was a wonderful surprise!

Visiting the Dalai Lama's House ©MDHarding


Discovering there really is more to the Czech Republic than Prague! The history and folklore of Tesin Silesia, visiting Petrovice Chateau then experiencing the Kravarsko region. There was also the amazing Dolni Vitkovice mine with Bolt Tower! Yes, named and visited by Usain Bolt.

Read more here.

In The Czech Countryside ©MDHarding


There are just some things you put off, even though they are right on your doorstep. Thinking that they are more difficult to reach than they are. The Giants Causeway for one was definitely one for me. It all came together nicely and would highly recommend a trip to Belfast if you have never been before, it was also the home of the RMS Titanic.

The trip combined seeing Titanic The Musical and visiting the Giant's Causeway. Did you know that there are museum's, walking tours and more linked to the RMS Titanic?

The Giant's Causeway ©MDHarding

Papa Westray

One of the smallest islands in the Orkney Archipelago - Papa Westray or Papay for short. Is a hidden gem!

Read more here.

Papa Westray ©MDHarding

Isle of Gigha

One of the smallest islands forming part of Argyll & Bute. The island off the west coast of Scotland has a population of only 160 people! Did you know it has been inhabited since prehistoric times?

Read more here.

Isle of Gigha ©MDHarding


Where do I start with Taiwan? It was awesome! We had no idea what to expect but we didn't have to worry on all the pre-guessing. It was easy to get around, great food, lovely people and some of the most incredible landscapes to be seen. Taiwan we will be back.

Discover more and why it should be on your travel bucket list here. Also don't miss seeing the capital Taipei from the highest vantage points and scenic destinations.

Alishan National Park ©MDHarding


Liverpool was a last minute lively trip! I wish I could have spent more time in this vibrant city. I loved every minute of it, from watching the incredible performance of Let It Be (Beatles) to staying at The Titanic themed hotel.

Have you visited Liverpool? What was your highlight? Haven't been? Don't worry there is still time. Here is more on what not to miss.

The Beatles Story Museum ©MDHarding

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Every year the Edinburgh International Book Festival gets bigger and better with profound, entertaining as well as being truly inspirational events.

One of this years personal favourites was discovering the Scottish 3D photography pioneer George Washington Wilson. Dr Brian May (also lead guitarist of Queen) and Professor Roger Taylor (not from Queen) shared there passionate interest in Victorian stereoscopic photography. Did you know that the legendary Queen guitarist Brian May has a PhD in Astrophysics and is part of the management at the London Stereoscopic Company?

Entertaining ourselves while we wait in line to see Dr Brian May ©MDHarding

Edinburgh International Fringe Festival

As always the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival did not disappoint with the hilariously funny Hardeep Singh Kohli, Gyles Bandreith, Jason Byrne, a variety of acts at the festival gala, Susan Coleman and an audience with pop star/musician/celebrity Jason Donovan as well as many more.

What was your favourite act this year?