Thoughts & Plans

2013: My year in travel – 50 flights, 80k miles and 105 nights away

I cannot believe 2013 is over. O-V-E-R. And what a year it was! I have been through all my statements, calendars and notes and added everything up. In 2013, I took 50 flights, flew 80,000 miles (128,000 km) and stayed away 105 nights in hotels.

I was asked this question earlier this month, and I honestly had no idea how it compared to 2012, the first year of this blog. If we compare like for like, on the previous year I flew 40 times, flown slightly less (75,000 miles) and stayed away 80 nights. It would be fair to say I had more shorter trips than in 2012 (or more connecting flights!). I have also done more trips in the UK, which obviously meant no flying at all, which is nice for a change.

I will take 3 glasses, por favor. Photo by Flytographer.

Around the world? Not really but it was so much fun…

Throughout the year, I visited 13 countries and many of those were repeated over and over again. I visited the United States 5 times throughout 2013 (Houston, Boston, New York, California and Miami – the latter one is where I will end 2013), France came a close second with 4 visits (Paris, Lyon and Val Thorens, Cannes and Alpe d’Huez), followed by Spain, with 3 visits (Mallorca, Andalucia and Madrid). With two visits only I have my beloved Portugal alongside Italy and The Netherlands. Single visits took place to amazing places such as the Maldives, Qatar, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland and Finland. I spent 10 nights away from home in the UK, which was also different – and lovely. It is all a little bit mad.

Shall we go back in time?


A room with a view - oh la la Paris!

The eternal cliche, but still so special!

I started the year in the United States, where I had a great time in New Orleans, Louisiana. From there, went on to Paris, where I had an amazing stay with Mr. O. I met my American friends in Switzerland, where we skied in Verbier, followed by a stay in Geneva and Zurich.

Verbier still has some time to get ready for us!

Postcard-pretty Verbier, in Switzerland



An aperol spritz with a view, in Milan

An aperol spritz with a view, in Milan

The shortest month of the year was also quite interesting – I went back to Milan, a city that most people don’t like, but I am a great fan. I also returned for the first time in over 7 years to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I liked it so much, I went back again later in the year.



Lyon is trés fabulous!

Lyon is trés fabulous!

March was an exciting month – and still keeping the European theme, I went back to Lisbon, Portugal (my hometown) which was lovely, as always. I also visited Berlin which was a lovely surprise (a city that needs a repeat visit!!) and then headed off to France to our annual ski holiday with friends, which this year had an added bonus: we spent a weekend in Lyon at the end of it and absolutely feel in love with this amazing city.



No comments necessary. Straight out of our water villa in the Maldives

No comments necessary. Straight out of our water villa in the Maldives

For my birthday month, I really pulled all the stops and only went on one trip, just the one. But oh my God – possibly one of the most special trips ever. I absolutely adored the Maldives, a place I vowed to return sooner rather than later. I also enjoyed our stopover in Doha, Qatar, which was my first taste of the Middle East.



Huevos Rotos con patatas y jamon.. and some view at Finca Cortesin

Huevos Rotos con patatas y jamon.. and some view at Finca Cortesin

May was all about Spain, one of the countries that I love the most. It was a delight to go back to Mallorca, a place I know well and had not been in over 10 years. We loved our stay here and decided that it would be part of the annual O’Reilly weekend repertoire. Simply stunning.

And in mainland Spain, I found the beautiful Finca Cortesin, which was my hotel of the year. I cannot find another way to describe it.



How much excitement can one have in an afternoon? In Newport, RI you never know!

How much excitement can one have in an afternoon? In Newport, RI you never know!

June was a very girly month. And so much fun – I headed to Newport, in Rhode Island (USA) with my lovely friend Lauren, who also helped me rediscover Boston, a city I had not been to in over 6 years. There is something about this part of the world!

Stunning scenery aboard our cruise. Strangely enough, Los Cabos reminded me of Portugal...

Stunning scenery aboard our cruise in Los Cabos. Strangely enough, Los Cabos reminded me of Portugal…

From there, I headed to Los Cabos, Mexico, which was the first time I enjoyed a trip to this country. I wasn’t very lucky in the past and can report that I was not disappointed, as you can find out right here.

Mrs. O loving Helsinki

Mrs. O loving Helsinki

As this wasn’t enough, I went back home and immediately left for something completely different: I spent a weekend in Helsinki, a city I loved and cannot wait to go back. I spent a weekend with the Quality Hunters team, aiming to improve travelling around the world.



I think Henley-on-Thames is so so so pretty

I think Henley-on-Thames is so so so pretty

July 2013 was the hottest ever in the UK and I was delighted to stay home for a change. Or closer to home. I got the girls over for the Henley Regatta, and from there, took them on a little tour around my adopted hometown, Henley on Thames. We had an amazing stay at the Four Seasons in Hampshire – which I will never forget as it was the first time I ever sun bathed in the UK. People would ask where I got my tan from and could not quite believe me…

Not a cloud in the sky...

Not a cloud in the sky…

We even headed further south (west) and the girls had their first taste of Devon. Salcombe was our destination and it was as quirky and lovely as I remembered. And I even got to go to the beach (albeit wearing more clothes than usual).

My first time on an English beach...

My first time on an English beach…

The rest of the month was spent in New York City, where I had to go for work, and a little play of course.

Crossing the line in NYC...

Crossing the line in NYC…



The glorious British summer continued, and we just stayed home and enjoyed the weather. That meant barbeques and a fair bit of champagne, ‘just because it was sunny’, and the month could have not been more perfect.

I love these. Photo by Flytographer.

I love Lisbon. Photo by Flytographer.

At the end of the month, we headed back to Portugal to say hello to my family in Lisbon and to sleep our all worries away in the Alentejo, one of Portugal’s leading wine-making regions and a place I would urge you to visit.

Yes, the pool was all mine. And the views...

Yes, the pool was all mine at Herdade do Vau. And the views…



We had a family wedding which was incredible and took us to the Brighton area quite a few times during this period. I love this part of England and it is somewhere I would love to explore properly one day.

At the end of the month, we went on our annual trip to California, which as you know by now, it is an annual event. Call it a pilgrimage…

We got things started in San Diego and from there, we headed to Rancho Valencia, where we spent 3 days. I loved this hotel and almost did not leave it as it was truly special.

Southern California at its best. I adored Rancho Valencia.

Southern California at its best. I adored Rancho Valencia.

From there, we disconnected from the world in Palm Springs – we do this every year and I would highly recommend this for health reasons. We love the sun, the peace and quiet, the shopping and, who am I kidding, the food!

Marilyn is wearing white, obviously! In Palm Springs

Marilyn is wearing white, obviously! In Palm Springs

On our recent visit we tried quite a few new restaurants in the Greater Palm Springs area, and let me just say… more reasons to go back to the desert again.



One thing I love, is a balcony - makes a huge difference to me. And we had some great views!

One thing I love, is a balcony – makes a huge difference to me. And we had some great views in LA!

We continued our California explorer trip throughout October. I hadn’t been to LA in over 3 years and oh, did I miss it. We had a fantastic stay for over 5 days – and were met by the girls which made it even sweeter. It was a perfect weekend indeed.



Lauren, yours truly, Ashley and Mary Anne - the girls in Amsterdam by Flytographer

Lauren, yours truly, Ashley and Mary Anne – the girls in Amsterdam by Flytographer

November was the perfect time for 3 amazing weekends in Europe. I got things started in Amsterdam with the girls – I have to say, Amsterdam has changed so much in recent years. We had an incredible stay – packed with stylish hotels, bars and restaurants. It was my second visit this year alone.

Madrid - shopping, sightseeing and amazing food...

Madrid – shopping, sightseeing and amazing food…

From there, we headed to Madrid to celebrate Mr. O’s birthday – a city I love and called home for 4 years, and I hadn’t been back since 2009. We had an incredible stay at the Hotel Villamagna and are plotting our return.

And to end the month in style, I headed to Rome with my sister Renata, where we had the wettest weekend of the year, but also one of the most fun. It was lovely to spend some sister time and continue our quest for shoes…

Out and about in Rome. Even checking out the local talent. Photos by Flytographer.

Out and about in Rome. Even checking out the local talent. Photos by Flytographer.



Hello Cannes, I am back!

This is how one should always arrive in Cannes..

The year was about to come to an end, but not without a bit of lux. I spent the first week of the month in Cannes, France, attending a conference, and also enjoying the views – the sun was out and it was lovely just to see it in between meetings.

Oui, some champagne, s'il-vous plait

Oui, some champagne, s’il-vous plait. When in Cannes…

And with this, came the begining of the ski season, which meant a return to France and a first visit to Alpe d’Huez for a long weekend. A bit of skiing, eating and parapenting were in order – I still cannot believe I did it!

Not a bad view. Loved my weekend in Alpe d'Huez, France

Not a bad view. Loved my weekend in Alpe d’Huez, France

Christmas was spent at home, where both our families and close friends came to for once, this year. It was wonderful and busy – but we loved it.

After that, we decided that we needed some sun, so we headed to Miami for a week of bliss. I am here right now and there is no sun – but we have been catching up on sleep and just relaxing, which is just what we needed.

Happy New Year from Miami, Florida.

Happy New Year from Miami, Florida.

So from Florida, I would like to wish you a fantastic 2014. Thank you for your support and company throughout 2013, a truly fantastic year.


Mrs O

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View Comments (38)


  1. Maria do Carmo Pereira

    January 26, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Loved your “Year in Travel”. Thanks and happy travels in 2014!

  2. Cheap Air Flights Online

    January 9, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Pure AWESOME I could say. Phew! What a year for you, I’m looking forward your next trips in the year 2014. Gotta wait for that! Congrats to the awesome year you have. Keep posting! Feels like traveling all around the world just by sitting fronting my desktop. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Mary Anne

    January 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    The perfect life. One or two trips a month with fantastic friends and Mr. O! Loved the recap and memories.

  4. Tawny of Captain and Clark

    January 7, 2014 at 6:34 am

    You’ve had one incredible year! Here’s to an even more spectacular 2014!
    Tawny of Captain and Clark recently posted..Honoring a life through our travel bucket listMy Profile

  5. Erin at The World Wanderer

    January 4, 2014 at 4:33 am

    What an incredible year! I am sure 2014 will top it. Glad we got to spend some time together, but hopefully there will be a lot more of it this year. Enjoy Miami! xx
    Erin at The World Wanderer recently posted..Top Thirteen Moments of 2013: Photo Essay.My Profile

  6. Lucia

    January 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Just wonderful! Happy 2014 for you and Mr. O. I’m looking forward to read about your next travels, I’ll be on this side for sure!

  7. Eleni

    January 3, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    So nice! I wish I could do the same around the world…Best wishes for 2014 and we wait you to Greece!
    Eleni recently posted..GastronomyMy Profile

  8. Hogga

    January 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    looks like a great year. Happy 2014!
    Hogga recently posted..Why Everyone Should Go Eat a PeckerMy Profile

  9. Sharzad Kiadeh

    January 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    WOW! Looks like an incredible year! Thanks for sharing all your exciting travels ; ) Cheers to 2014!

  10. Fiona

    January 3, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    So inspiring! Happy New Year Ana – wishing you many more fantastic adventures in 2014! 🙂
    Fiona recently posted..Learning to Waltz in ViennaMy Profile

  11. Lucy

    January 2, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    What a fantastic year! That Maldives photo has me dreaming of sun and sea well away from the English winter… Here’s to a great 2014 with lots of health, happiness and travels to come.
    Lucy recently posted..Travel plans for 2014My Profile

  12. Monica

    January 2, 2014 at 8:39 am

    What a fantastic year you’ve had! I love that picture of you floating in the Maldives – I want to be there!
    Monica recently posted..Highlights from 2013My Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      January 3, 2014 at 5:13 am

      It was a wonderful trip indeed. I hope to go back sooner rather than later!

  13. lola

    January 1, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    i love your year!! it was a pleasure to have shared many of those adventures with you & Mr. O. i cannot thank you enough for opening your home & hearts to me. and, i look forward to many more wonderful travel memories in this new year! xo
    lola recently posted..One Bucket List Item for 2014My Profile

  14. Leah

    January 1, 2014 at 3:09 am

    Your 2013 was a great year, and I’m happy to have been on several of those great adventures. Here’s to a healthy and happy 2014 filled with lots of wonderful travel plans.
    Leah recently posted..My Travel Year in Instagram PhotosMy Profile

  15. Maria isabel Q

    December 31, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Conheço há pouco tempo as suas andanças e fico abismada como consegue fazer tantas viagens. Se fosse eu já estava morta de cansaço.

    Feliz Ano Novo.
    Maria isabel Q recently posted..Roberto Carlos – Café da ManhãMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      December 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      hhehe Maria 🙂 quem corre por gosto, nao cansa! Um optimo ano para si

  16. Anna Parker

    December 31, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    That is a busy year, amazing to tot it all up! I did the maths last year and my husband was away for the same amount, sadly I couldn’t go too!!! Are you going to exceed it in 2014, looking forward to following!
    Anna Parker recently posted..Missing South AfricaMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      December 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Anna, it is never about the quantity – I just hope it is as much fun. Adding them up was quite interesting!

  17. Suzanne (Travelbunny)

    December 31, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    What an ab fab year – thanks for having us along on the journey!
    Wishing you a happy, healthy year in 2014 with lots of laughter and exciting travels 🙂
    Suzanne (Travelbunny) recently posted..Travelbunny Highlights 2013My Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      December 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you so much Suzanne! Let’s see what 2014 brings!

  18. Simon O'Reilly

    December 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    A great year indeed with many fond memories. Already looking forward to 2014 and new places to see and explore! Thank you Mrs O!

  19. Mira

    December 31, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    A lovely album of your 2013 travels. My two favorite pictures are: you and your adorable sister Renata in Rome and you sitting so adorably in the sand on an English beach! Who knew:-)

    Happy New Year to you and many new bon voyages in 2014!

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