Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Why Brits Go Abroad

Luckies Gold Scratch MapWith September now well and truly underway, all thoughts of sun drenched balconies and calzone al fresco are a thing of the past.  My mind is now firmly set on the upcoming colder months and all that comes with them.  At the very top of my list is Christmas.  Why?  Because I'm a festive fanatic who gets excited about the season three months in advance, that's why.  With that out of the way, I can guiltlessly confess to having already begun planning for my annual visit to Germany's Cologne in December!  Depending on how long you've been reading my blog, you may or may not remember my travel diaries from last year's visit.  Well, I found myself reading through them late last night after receiving this Scratch-off Travel Map c/o and having a solo conversation on why I enjoy travelling so much, as well as my general travel behaviour...

Luckies Gold Scratch Map
Luckies Gold Scratch Map
Although I'm fortunate to have travelled quite a bit, my favourite experience has - and always will be - visiting Cologne each Christmas at the beginning of December.  It's been an annual family tradition for as long as I can remember, with each time seeming more enjoyable than the last.  I've always put my excitement down to the festive atmosphere, however as lovely as that is, I'm now beginning to see it probably has even more to do with spending such quality time with my family.  In the lead up to the days spent at the German Christmas markets, the sense of excitement stretches from myself to my family and all the way to the extended family we meet up with over there.  With this in mind, it's no wonder this annual trip has become my all-time favourite travel experience - excitement is trebled when you've got someone to share it with, after all!     
Luckies Gold Scratch Map
Luckies Gold Scratch Map
Luckies Gold Scratch Map

So, as I mentioned, I'm already in the preliminary stages of planning for Germany.  This means I've been reading blog/travel reviews online for ideas on what to experience this year in Cologne.  I've started browsing the aisles of Boots in advance to see just how teeny-tiny their travel bottle sizes are - listen, I may adore luxury hotels' toiletries, but nothing can compare to my shampoo.. it will always come with me.  Thankfully, I don't have to worry about baggage allowances though on this occasion, for we drive across Europe through wind, rain and snow with Germany in sight!  Speaking of which, I drove abroad for the first time earlier this year on a return trip from Belgium and once I'd adjusted to the different road rules it was so much fun - honestly, I'd rate it above being flown!  
Luckies Gold Scratch Map
Luckies Gold Scratch Map
I blame every second spent daydreaming about Cologne (and travel in general) on this beautiful Scratch-off World Map, courtesy of the online travel specialist, loveholidays.com, in running with their campaign Why Brits Go Abroad.  A simple glance at the tiny patch that represents the UK reminds me of just how much more of the world I need to see, to experience and to enjoy. Although I've visited a fair few destinations in my twenty-two years, I don't plan on scratching their golden covers from this map, as this metallic beauty is getting framed and taking up residence on my wall to remind me of all the countries I've yet to explore!  Perhaps I should invest in a second map for scratching purposes...

With love,

Gabrielle x

This post has been sponsored by loveholidays.com, however all opinions are my own.
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140 comments

  1. This is such a cool idea! I'm with you on Christmas. I'm already thinking about it!

    Amber | y a c h t s m a a n

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    Replies
    1. Ah, it's great to know I'm not the only one!

      Gabrielle x

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  2. What a fantastic Travel-Map, Gabrielle! Gotta get it at Amazon as well. So exciting you visit Germany this year. You'll definitely need warm boots since the weather can be quite unpredictable in December. ;)

    xoxo Ira
    JOURNAL OF STYLE / BLOGLOVIN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is such a brilliant concept and the fact it's gold certainly helps ;) I'm really looking forward to visiting Germany again and yes, warm boots and thermals!

      Gabrielle x

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  3. This was such an interesting post, Gabrielle! I love the Travel-Map! Hopefully I can go on vacation pretty soon!
    xx

    Ale | http://alemint.blogspot.com.co/

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you've enjoyed this post Alejandra - I hope you find yourself on a sunny beach sometime very soon!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  4. Well hello there, my fellow festive fanatic. I'm rather excited by the upcoming festive holiday season too! And this map is such a lovely idea xx

    VanessaVonJames | Fashion Blog

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    1. 'A fellow festive fanatic' - I like the sound of that! I bought a Christmas decoration yesterday...

      Gabrielle x

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  5. Have a wonderful time in Germany! Keep us posted :)

    www.girlcandress.com

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    1. Thanks very much, in three months from now that's exactly what I'll do!

      Gabrielle x

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  6. I keep on looking everywhere in this scratch-off map and I couldn't find anywhere. Perhaps I am looking at the wrong places. I am so glad that you feature this in your blog as now I know where to get one. I am also going away at the end of the year and I am really excited for it. Xx

    eLLa
    every LiTTLE thing07

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    1. That's great Ella, I'm happy to have been of some help! I first saw a scratch-off map in a boutique homeware store in Bruges (Belgium) earlier this year :)

      Gabrielle x

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  7. I love it!! I am a christmas fanatic too. Christmas OCD. Hahah. I can't wait. Although I am just as big of a freak about Halloween and thanksgiving here too. Mmm the food! That is a pretty cool map!!

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    1. Yay! There can be no such thing as 'too much' Christmas ;) I don't blame you, any cause for celebration and you can count me in too!

      Gabrielle x

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  8. absolutely beautiful
    I posted a new post, I'd love to know your opinion
    would you like to pass from my blog?
    fashion blogger
    kiss

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  9. That scratch map is so cool! Do you just scratch off everywhere you've been?

    Renee | Lose The Road

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right and it reveals a different colour underneath! Though.. I won't be scratching any off this map though as I'm having it framed and put up on my wall ;)

      Gabrielle x

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  10. The scratch map is such a cool idea! I'm looking forward to your write up and photos of your annual trip to Cologne.

    Keisha xo
    www.chrysalisgals.blgospot.com

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    Replies
    1. Glad you think so Keisha! I'm so looking forward to taking my camera along to Germany this year and snapping away - and of course sharing them all afterwards :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  11. OH, scratching maps have always been something I'd love to get, though I have no idea when I'd actually be making a dent in it, haha. I've been eagerly anticipating Christmas as well! I hardly ever go anywhere for Christmas, but the festive season is always welcomed with cheers and hugs within the community I place myself with, and it's always such a joy to celebrate it! I hope planning all goes well, Gabrielle!

    May | THE MAYDEN

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    1. In that case, a scratch-off map could be a brilliant source of inspiration to mark where you'd like to explore most in the world! How lovely, Christmas truly is the best time of year in my opinion - so glad you enjoy it too :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  12. Such a cool concept for map!! Christmas we always spend in Hawaii to be with the grandparents, where there is no snow so I'd love to actually would love to have a White Christmas one year.

    xo Sheree
    http://poshclassymom.com
    IG: @poshclassymom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more! Oh wow, I'm so keen to visit Hawaii.. though like you I'd definitely favour a White Christmas :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  13. I think a second one is in order for sure. I've always wanted one of these but what put me off was the thought of how much was yet to be explored. For some reason I kept viewing it as a negative. Only reading your words it's reminded me that that is a positive. All the places to voyage to, that is excitement right there. Honestly, my brain sometimes.

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased to hear I've managed to change your perspective a little on that front - you're right, there's a lot of world yet to discover, but luckily you still have a lot of life left in which to do so :)

      Gabrielle x

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  14. I haven't been to Germany, would love to go there one day! :)

    ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

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    1. I hope you find yourself there sometime very soon!

      Gabrielle x

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  15. Travelling gives such a thrill to me! There is so much to see in this big wide world!!
    Chichistashan.blogspot.in

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    1. You and me both - it reminds us of how small we are in comparison to the world itself!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  16. I absolutely love the idea of these scratch maps and I agree, I would want to frame mine too! Christmas markets in Germany are so beautiful that time of year and I am insanely jealous that you will be back in Cologne in December. I can't wait to see all your pictures :)

    X

    Anjelique

    www.anjelique.com.au

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    1. I'm glad you do too - I was starting to worry my adoration of gold foil had gone too far ;) I agree, Germany's Christmas markets are spectacular.

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  17. Love this post!
    Dora
    www.BangsBang.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. OOoo, as a travel fanatic, I absolutely NEED one of these scratch-off maps in my life :) I really enjoyed reading your blogs about the Cologne markets last year, so there's so wonder your excited about going again. Loving the metallic tattoos too :D

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

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    Replies
    1. I relate all things gold and sparkly with you Rachel, so yes, it's time for you to get one of these for your wall! That's wonderful to hear, I'm really looking forward to sharing this year's Christmas market adventure :)

      Gabrielle x

      ps. thanks a million for sending the metallic tattoos my way!

      Delete
  19. Your posts are always so beautiful Gabrielle! The photos are magical :) x

    www.aishettina.blogspot.it

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks so much, that's lovely to be told.

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  20. I hope you enjoy Cologne this year as much as the last years. Our Christmas Markets are really special, something I look forward too every year.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. I've no doubt I will - though the low temperature never fails to take me by surprise!!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  21. I do remember your holiday trip to Cologne last year and since it's such a great family tradition for you, I can totally see why you would be looking forward to it now even though it's still a few months away. Just the thought of travelling can be exciting :)

    Rowena @ rolala loves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you remember my travel diary from last Christmas, I'm really looking forward to sharing this year's. I agree, knowing travel is just around the corner can be very exciting :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  22. I would enjoy scratching that map soooo much haha :) Travelling is my biggest passion and I love staring at maps just to fantasize about all the amazing places I have yet to see.

    Bella Pummarola

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can imagine! Travelling can be such an eye-opener and there's truly nothing greater, so I can understand why you like gazing at maps Anett ;)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  23. Beautifully written as always, Gabrielle! I'm also planning a trip right now, thinking of going to Eastern Europe for a change :D

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    1. Thanks ever so much Shirley! How interesting, I look forward to reading your future travel diaries!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  24. It sounds like you are planning a great trip! That is such a cool idea for a map too. :)
    http://trend-mixblog.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This annual trip is undoubtedly my favourite of the year, that's for sure.

      Gabrielle x

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  25. What a lovely post. The map looks so cool.
    I love traveling too. I've been to Germany only once or twice when I was little, but it sounds so amazing that you go there every December and have such a great time with your family. I wish you this year to be even nicer than before :))

    Lu | www.balgarka.co.uk

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    1. Thanks so much, it is such a lovely family tradition and the fact it takes place during the festive season makes it all the more exciting. I hope you find yourself back in Germany sometime soon!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  26. Lovely photos! This map looks so cool and it's such a good idea although I don't blame you for not wanting to scratch it off, it looks so pretty! :) xx

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Haha yeah.. well my room is cream/gold themed and this map is in keeping with that ;)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  27. I love travelling too, but hate sitting in planes. Lol!! I have been in Germany before and the place is great. I used to live in Austria and I think they've some festive events too. Great post, Gabrielle. :)

    missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Long haul flights can be no fun, though with a good film or two they're not quite so bad! How wonderful you used to live in Austria, it's so beautiful there :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  28. I've been in Cologne many times to study German, it's a wonderful city, quite big, but very nice and green. People are friendly, polite and... happy :)

    xoxo
    www.bellezzefelici.blogspot.com

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    1. What an incredible place to study, you lucky thing!

      Gabrielle x

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  29. I've always wanted a scratch map! I wish I can scratch off more places though. I tend to go to the same places over and over again. I'm trying to see more places this year! Love the photos by the way!

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    1. You're not alone there, I tend to re-visit places as well once I've become attached to them. Good luck in your quest to discover more places!

      Gabrielle x

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  30. Driving to another country would be so much fun, sadly it's literally impossible in Australia, unless I want to drive right into the ocean...

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Haha yes I can understand the difficulty there - driving abroad was a brilliant experience and I'm so glad I've done it early on in life.

      Gabrielle x

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  31. This map is awesome and one my husband would love too!

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    Replies
    1. I actually gifted my dad with one of these early this year - I can confirm men love them!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  32. This is so cool babe
    I need to have one lol
    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for stopping by gorgeous

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  33. I ve never been in Germany but i would like to visit this place.
    Kisses

    NEW POST

    www.angelswearheels.com

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    1. I hope you make your way there at some point at Christmastime, it's magical at that time of year!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  34. I always look forward to reading your travel diary posts & really am excited to see your Germany trip unfolded :D I absolutely love the gold travel map how amazing is that!!! Such a lovely post Gabrielle :)

    Serene xox

    http://www.iamserenel.com

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    Replies
    1. That's so wonderful to be told, thank you Serene. I'm looking forward to sharing my Cologne travel diary later this year! :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  35. wow i love it

    http://carrieslifestyle.com
    Posts online about Dubai, Tahiti, Provence....

    ReplyDelete
  36. Beautiful post dear
    Kiss
    Admaiorasemper.website

    ReplyDelete
  37. This is a great idea!!!
    And I've totally loved these photos! :D
    Baci!
    S
    http://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.it/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Silvia, they were a lot of fun to take.

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  38. Beautiful map! The gold gives a special touch. So wonderful to take a trip to Cologne. Looking forward to reading about it! Have a fun upcoming weekend!

    xo, Bry

    Swept.Away.to.KAABOO.Music.Festival.Naughty&Nice

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I completely agree, it makes it artwork as well as a map! Thanks Bry, have a wonderful weekend :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  39. so cool, Cologne is really beautiful during X-Mas :) The city is full of beautiful lights :) Love it totally, one of the most beautiful cities during x mas in my area :) Wish you a wonderful trip there :) xo

    http://lovelyattitude.com
    http://www.youtube.com/c/MissLovelyAttitude

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more, it's the place to be come December! Thanks gorgeous, going by previous visits I'm sure I will :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  40. I'm so excited for your trip! I love daydreaming about travel. I so have to see some Christmas markets some day!

    Http://Leftbankgirl.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and me both, the planning and waiting for travel can be half as exciting as travelling itself!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  41. I really like this a lot!

    ** I'm inviting you to join Love, Beauty Bloggers on facebook. A place for beauty and fashion bloggers from all over the world to promote their latest posts!

    xoxo;
    BEAUTYEDITER.COM

    ReplyDelete
  42. I absolutely love that map! I need to get my hands on one of those ASAP. Great post, and enjoy Cologne this year!
    xo Kiki
    http://colormekiki.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a very good idea! Thanks Kiki.

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  43. nice as usual :)

    http://itsmetijana.blogspot.rs/

    ReplyDelete
  44. I like the idea of a scratch off map!
    Traveling is some of my passions and scratching all these places off would give me a very nice feeling I think.

    Where have you been in Belgium? I live there and would love to hear which cities you loved the most.

    Celien | The Losing Struggle

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    Replies
    1. I don't doubt that for a minute, it's a lot of fun to keep track of where you've been.. and where you're yet to go! I've been to a couple of destination in Belgium, though the place that keeps me coming back for me is the city of Bruges :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  45. Loved that scratch map! I want one for myself hihihi :) I'm also a huge fan of Christmas Market and I really miss them here in Argentina - imagine that December is the beginning of summer here :(((( The worst thing ever is to spend Christmas on the beach - I don't get people who actually choose to travel to warm destinations in that period! Not my thing at all...

    I invite you to check out my VIDEO REPORT from my short visit in TOKYO

    http://www.travelekspert.com/2015/09/tokyo-experience-movie.html

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    1. Ah, I've often wondered how those in hot countries feel when Christmas is there but the cold weather isn't! Yeah, I'm 100% with you on not wanting the spend the day on the beach.. I hope you find yourself somewhere cold for Christmas soon Patrycja! :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  46. Your map is like really cool! I love travelling too! However, I prefer the country that is not that cold lol One day you are going to Asia, let me know :) Singapore, Thailand, Japan are my fav countries!

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    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, though I do rather like extreme weather - if it's going to be hot, let it be boiling and it it's going to be cold, let it be freezing! ;) Ah, will do!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  47. your map is so cute! I also love to travel during the holidays<3

    xx Sera | STARDUSTBOHEMIAN.COM

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sera, hope you're having a good weekend so far

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  48. Cologne is beautiful city and it's great to hear that you'll visit it soon, Gabrielle :) Btw, I love travelling too so I really liked this map, it's great!

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you think so too. I've only ever visited Cologne at Christmas, but it sure is magical then!

      Gabrielle x

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  49. Hello Gabrielle, this is a wonderful family tradition! That scratch map is beautiful, I love stationery-related items! If you go a little South-wise, you'll come across typical Christmas markets in Merano, and enjoy the natural thermal water springing there :-) Baci,
    Coco et La vie en rose fashion blog - Valeria Arizzi

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    1. Hey gorgeous, is is undoubtedly my favourite travel event of the year. You and me both, metallic stationery especially! Thanks for the info, that sounds wonderful.

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  50. I'm a bit jealous of you, Gabrielle cos you already have travelled recently and here you are again planning for another travel destination while me.. haha.. just staying where I am and travelling is not possible cos my baby is coming out anytime soon.. whoa..! Anyway, hope everything goes with you according to plan!
    Take care, hun!

    xoxo
    Jhem | JhemSays.com

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    1. I certainly appreciate how fortunate I am, though I'm forever looking at others' Instagram accounts and wishing I was travelling even more frequently! Good luck with the mini-Jhem :)

      Gabrielle x

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  51. I think scratch maps are so cool! I would love one!

    https://forsevenseasons.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Aleczandra!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  52. Omg, I'm a huge Christmas junkie, too! I know the exciting of planning with months and months of advance what to do during those festive days. Your family tradition of going to the Christmas market in Cologne sounds truly lovely and I bet it's literally the perfect plan for the Holidays. :)
    xx

    http://www.stylebydeb.com

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    Replies
    1. Haha that's great to hear, there's no better time of year in my opinion! I love that you also love the months of preparation before the festival season :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  53. I've heard of these maps! I want one so so badly! And I know what you mean about Christmas, it's my favorite time of year!!

    xx Chelsea
    www.organizedmessblog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They've got a raising profile for sure! Ah lovely, I'm glad you think so too!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  54. That map is so pretty!

    God bless,
    Xo, Claire
    Http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. This scratch travel map is so awesome and perfect for jet setters! Your photos are also beautiful and have I ever told you that you have beautiful hands? hehe Great post Gabrielle!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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    Replies
    1. What a lovely thing to say, thank you so much for pointing out my hands :) I agree the scratch-off map concept is fantastic for any travel enthusiasts!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  56. Wow, Lovely idea!! Nice post!!
    Love,
    Kisses and hugs from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    ReplyDelete
  57. What a brilliant map, it would make such a great gift for traveller friends

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I completely agree with you!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  58. That sounds great! I like that scratch-off map, would love it on my room's bulletin board :)

    STYLE VANITY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like such a great idea Alyssa!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  59. Love so much this map! Amazing!
    Have a great end of the week!
    Natallia Jolliet
    http://www.alexphotographygeneva.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  60. Oh wow - this is absolutely beautiful, I love this map and the detail in your photos is always just gorgeous, loving your photography!

    We do tend to go away, the weather doesn't really help - all this rain!

    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk
    http://www.youtube.com/user/sprinklesofstyle

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    Replies
    1. Oh thank you Layla, I have so much fun experimenting with photography - you've made my day! :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  61. That's a good look! ;)
    Have a nice weekend :)

    Can you follow me back?
    If you comment my post, I will comment your five posts! :)
    http://www.sandrakopko.com/2015/09/jungle.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, think you've commented on the wrong blog..

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  62. I can feel your excitement regarding the holidays Gabrielle! Cologne sounds wonderful :D I believe the holidays are meant to spend with family. You're building memories! Beautiful travel map. Great way to keep track of your adventures.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    Replies
    1. Oh there'll be plenty more where that came from over the upcoming three months! I'm so glad you feel the same way with regard to spending the festive season with family, Kim :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  63. enjoy Germany. I have been there only once, but am sure u would love too.
    New Post on my blog, do drop by soon ,<3
    ✿thefashionflite
    ✿twitter
    ✿Bloglovin
    ✿FaceBook

    ReplyDelete
  64. The map is a wonderful idea. I don't really like the ones, where people have hundreds of pins stuck in them as it can look messy. This one is far more elegant and stylish. Can't blame you, you won't scratch it and rather hang it decoratively in the house somewhere!

    Caz | Style Lingua

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way about those that have pins stuck in them - I'm always paranoid about knocking them and seeing pins fly everywhere haha!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  65. I was excited to read more about this post after seeing a snippet on your Instagram. I've always love maps like this. My father has a huge one framed, I thought it was a bit too much growing up, but later I realised how much of a keepsake it is, since we have all travelled and lived so many places. Such great memories that you have with family, and I'm sure you will enjoy your upcoming holiday, Cologne is a lovely city. Have a great weekend. xx <3
    The Art of Decorating

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear you came through via my Instagram :) Your father's framed map sounds fantastic, I've always loved giant maps - as well as wooden globes with gold trimmings! Thanks ever so much for your lovely message, have a lovely weekend.

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  66. I need this map like right now!!! and I am so with you about Christmas time! Can't wait!
    Glamoury Armory Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure is a brilliant concept :) Yay, three cheers for Christmas!

      Gabrielle x

      Delete
  67. This map is indeed gorgeous and I totally see how it can spark wanderlust in us....great photos, I hope your annual trip to Germany turns into a best one ever.

    http://modaodaradosti.blogspot.ba/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you love this map as much as I do Ivana. With regard to Germany.. I hope so too! :)

      Gabrielle x

      Delete

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