12 Cities in 12 Months

12 May, 2017

I've set myself a mission: I'm attempting to visit twelve different cities over the course of twelve months.

The trend of visiting twelve different countries in twelve months is something that was adopted by a number of travel bloggers in recent years, however to start slow I've adapted it slightly, so it's a little kinder to my bank account, and I've pledged to visit twelve cities outside of my hometown (London) over a twelve month period. I decided to start this after realising I had unintentionally planned three different city breaks over three consecutive months; Berlin in March, Reykjavik in April and Gothenburg in May. I suppose that I kind of fell into the trend and decided to continue it to make it my own.

Jacket: Vintage via Charity Shop
Waistcoat: Vintage via Charity Shop
Hat: Catarzi x ASOS
Dress: Topshop
Boots*: Kurt Geiger 
Photos: Kaye Ford

Why did I set myself such a challenge?

I suppose that's kinda of a rhetorical question; I mean, who doesn't want to discover as many cities as possible as soon as possible?! I'm not particularly 'well travelled' as I didn't really go on holiday that frequently growing up, and I've only started travelling a little more in the past couple of years. I guess there's a part of me that feels a yearning to 'catch up' for the years I missed, because when I travel I'm honestly at my happiest and without sounding like a cheeseball, I'm keen to make as many memories as possible this year. 

I've had the desire to travel for a while, but it can be difficult whilst holding down a 9-6 office job five days a week and limited annual leave, so I'm really curious to see if I can manage it. Twelve cities rather than twelve countries is much more realistic in my situation, particularly as I haven't taken advantage of any bank holiday dates to make the most of my annual leave. There are also plenty of cities in the UK that I'm still eager to visit, including Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and oh so many more!

It's also a great way to tick off lots of bucket list destinations in one hit, and I've found it really makes you consider your budget when you travel because you know you need to keep money set aside for your next trip. Twelve short vacations in a year may seem impossible when you're on a limited budget, but I've found myself scanning the cheapest flight deals and nabbing budget Airbnbs all in the name of travel. I recently booked three days in Copenhagen including flights & accommodation for just £100! Initially I was looking at a weekend away to Manchester but it turns out the return train ticket was over double the cost of the return flight to Denmark, so go figure (although Denmark is incredibly expensive, so the jokes probably on me)!  

I'm not one for luxury travel, (although to be honest I wouldn't pass up an all inclusive, fancy ass trip to a island somewhere - who wouldn't?!) so I'm not too concerned about where I stay or how I fly. As long as I've got a bed for the night to crash out in after a long day of exploring and a flight that can get me safely from A to B, then I'm a happy traveller. So, over the course of the next year you can expect content from lots of getaways that's I've *hopefully* somehow managed to scrape together on a budget!

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm pretty new to this whole frequent travelling thing - unless it's Amsterdam as I may as well call it my second home - so if you have any tips or tricks related to budgeting whilst travelling then it'd be much appreciated! I'll also use this series to start writing a little more about how to travel on a budget and how to make the most of your annual leave if you're in a full-time job like myself. I mean, I'm pretty much going to figure it out as I go along but I'll record my progress both on my blog and over on my Instagram channel under the hashtag #Leighs12in12.

Most importantly if you have any cities that you think I should definitely visit over the coming year, please do let me know in the comments.



  1. I know how you feel, I'm in a full time job and it can be hard balancing travelling with working. Last year I did a trip out of England every month of the year which was so much fun and I found budgetting quite easy as I had ideas of what I wanted to do in each place before so I knew how much attractions etc were. This year I've slowed it down a bit but I've still been out of the country five times without intending to x

    1. That's amazing! I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to manage one out of the country every month, but I'm going to try and leave the country whenever I can.

      Yes, totally! Budgeting takes a lot of planning and preparation before you leave! x

  2. This is such a great challenge! I definitely couldn't do 12 countries either, but this 12 cities adaptation sounds actually doable and pretty exciting too! I'm trying to fit in as many weekend and day trips to this year as possible - there's so many lovely little towns and cities just a few hours away from London still to discover! My current favourites are St Albans, Brighton & Manchester x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    1. Ahhh, staycations are just as great as leaving the country as it's nice to explore parts of the UK you wouldn't usually see!

      Brighton is always top of my list and is my favourite city I've been to in the UK, so I'm with ya on that one! I'm really hoping to go on a getaway to Manchester at some point too. ♥


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