For me, having something to look forward to is one of the keys to happiness. When I’m not challenged or don’t have something good to look forward to, I seem to just fall flat and struggle to maintain my motivation.

It can be something as simple as catching up with a friend I haven’t seen for a while, a treasured weekend away with my family or a night out with girlfriends. Or it could be something as big as a family wedding or an overseas trip. It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it brings you joy or soothes your soul.

Sunset, Fraser Island, Seize the day project, something to look forward to

Sunset at Fraser Island – taken on family trip

At this time of the year, I find myself reflecting on what I’ve achieved this year and what I’m aiming for next year and beyond. While my goals for next year are a work in progress, one of my long term goals is to take another overseas trip. Travel definitely soothes my soul! I’d go tomorrow if the budget would allow. Timing is another factor, with our daughter going into Year 11 next year, so I want to be around to support her during the most challenging years of her school life.

So, my best friend and I are planning another trip in a couple of years’ time – now that’s definitely something to look forward to. It’s good we have some time, I’ll need that long to save the money! We already have a rough idea of our itinerary, but we still have a lot of research to do on the actual places we want to visit, the best way to get from A to B and the best places to stay.

I got to reminiscing about our previous trip and what a fabulous time we had. It was lovely to travel with my bestie, as we have so much in common and enjoy doing the same things. We both like history, shopping and beautiful scenery.

Segways Colosseum, Rome, Seize the day project, besties do Italy

Segways at the Colosseum

We explored Rome by Segway – tons of fun, took a cooking class, did an Eating Tour – highly recommended, did lots of shopping and of course, we explored the Colosseum, Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Roman Forum, Trevi fountain, Campo di Fiori and Piazza Navona. We walked to most places and found lots of wonderful treasures along the way. Staying in a small B&B was ideal for us, and the owner was so welcoming and helpful with directions and suggestions.

Next we ventured down to the Amalfi Coast, where we stayed one night in Sorrento, then took a day trip to Capri the next day. Capri is so breathtakingly beautiful – we could have spent much more time there. That evening, we moved down to the stunning hillside village of Positano, definitely one of the most fascinating places we’ve been. We also visited Amalfi Town and returned to Positano on the ferry, giving us an amazing view of the gorgeous coastline.

Positano, Amalfi Coast, Seize the day project, Besties do Italy, something to look forward to

View of Positano beach from bus stop near our B&B

After transferring to Salerno, we took the fast train back to Rome, with a maximum speed of 296 km per hour – eek!

We spent 3 nights in Florence, where we explored the renaissance city, with its historic Baptistry and Duomo, as well as the Uffizzi Gallery, with it’s incredible artwork. A day trip to the stunning village of San Gimignano and Siena was another highlight.

San Gimignano, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project, something to look forward to

While spending 3 nights in Venice, we stayed at the Molino Stucky Hilton, a former pasta factory which has been converted into an upscale hotel. Venice is a city like no other. We found everything about it fascinating, including a day spent wandering around the back streets in the rain! Visiting the island of Burano, with its colourful houses, was a wonderful half day trip and is highly recommended.  Spending time listening to the band playing in San Marco Piazza one evening was a delight, as was the inevitable (and expensive) outing on a gondola.

Gondolas, Besties do Italy, Venice, Seize the day project, something to look forward to

A row of gondolas by night

From the busy mecca of Venice, we moved on to the small, quaint fishing village of Vernazza, on the Cinque Terre (five villages overhanging the sea along the Ligurian Coast). During the day, the villages of the Cinque Terre are overrun with day trippers, but when evening falls, the locals come out and it’s such a delightful place to be. The walking trails between the villages are definitely a big drawcard to this area. We completed the cliff top walk from Vernazza to Monterosso, where the scenery was simply spectacular.

Cinque terre trail, Vernazza, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project, something to look forward to

Vernazza from higher up on the trail

Our last stop was four nights in Varenna, a small village on the edge of Lake Como. Our room was tiny, but it had French doors which opened to a balcony overlooking the stunning lake – it was so so beautiful. While it was a little busy during the day, Varenna is quieter at night. We had the most delicious and delightful dinner on the terrace of our hotel with the lake as a backdrop. The next day, we took the ferry to visit some of the spectacular villas on the lake as well as the village of Bellagio. On our last day in Varenna, we did a day trip up into Switzerland, visiting the ski resort of St Moritz and taking the famous Bernina Express – the red train, through the Alps. What an awesome day!

Switzerland, Bernina Express, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project, something to look forward to

Everything about our trip to Italy was amazing. We totally enjoyed ourselves and it was definitely worth all the planning, saving, researching and waiting. Since our return, I’ve been writing and posting articles about the trip here on the blog, in a series called “Besties Do Italy”. The purpose of the posts is to inspire others to travel and to let readers know that anyone can do it too.

I’m so looking forward to another very enjoyable trip. It will be different to the last one, and that’s fine. It’s just wonderful to have something to look forward to which is so very exciting. The planning and researching is a big part of the trip – get it right and the trip will be awesome, get it wrong and it could be disastrous! Even though the trip is still a few years away, I’m enjoying the process of day dreaming about it. The time will come around quickly, that’s for sure.

It’s just wonderful to have something to look forward to which is so very exciting. The planning and researching is a big part of the trip – get it right and the trip will be awesome, get it wrong and it could be disastrous! Even though the trip is still a few years away, I’m enjoying the process of daydreaming about it. The time will come around quickly, that’s for sure.

That’s how I’m Lovin’ Life this week, how about you?

What do you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while? What soothes your soul? What are you currently looking forward to?

Lovin Life Linky, Gratitude, Seize the day project

I’m honoured to be a co-host of the Lovin’ Life Linky – it happens each and every Thursday.

Click on any of the links below to read more amazing stories about Lovin’ Life – because we all need to feel inspired and create our own happiness :).

The rest of the Lovin’ Life Linky team is:

Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit – Min from Write of the Middle

Deb from Debbish.com – Jo from Lifestyle Fifty and Kathy from 50 Shades of Age