1 year ago, sat in my college room at University of Cambridge, I finally got round to writing my first proper blog post and making Hand Luggage Only a proper blog. I’d written a couple of blog posts prior to this but kept them in draft and on the 12th of April, 2014 – we finally launched! Before I go on, apologies for some of the grainy photos, the front camera on the iPhone is not that great but when you’re gonna take a selfie – you got no better choice! 😉

It’s a tad surreal looking back now – over 225,000 Pinterest friends later, over 15,000 Facebook friends and over 60,000 BlogLovin friends later and I honestly can not tell you how much you have made the last year amazing! Every comment, every Facebook/Intagram/Pinterest like, Twitter favourites and every email has meant so much to us. Even just last week, I put up this video on YouTube and I was a bit unsure what it would be like (I’m not that great at watching or listening to myself on video) but your comments have spurred me on further and given me that extra bit of confidence that I didn’t even know I needed.

Today, we started off in the stunning Cinque Terre, stopped over at Pisa and are currently in an amazing hotel in Florence (after eating our body weight in amazing Florentine T-bone steaks and drinking what seems like lakes of prosecco) and it seems like such an apt way for us to celebrate the last 12 months.

Trust me, they have not come without the hassle that naturally comes with blogging. I’ve had weekends where I’ve had a combine total of about 8 hours sleep over 3 days because I’ve been blogging, catching an early flight, cramming in all the sights and then getting up early to do it all again. I’m not complaining – far from, I love it,  I just realise that it’s been tough on occasion but the thought of you reading what I’ve written and responding, sharing it with your other friends (who I believe should be my friends too, so do remember to set up an introduction soon 😉 ) and even just silently reading our blog posts is what gives me the energy and zeal I need to share as much as I can! A HUGE THANK YOU TO YOU FOR BEING OUR INSPIRATION!!!

Also, thank you for inspiring us! I’m pretty sure, it’s photos you’ve shared with from Cinque Terre that made me want to visit it in the first place and that’s just one example. You’ve shared travel tips and tricks and suggested places to visit that I have taken and used across my travels. You have been an invaluable source of strength and advice to me and I know this sounds like a love letter of sorts but thank you for reading, thank you for inspiring me and generally for your kindness.

Okay, I’m gonna stop being so soppy (I’m not usually this bad – I blame the celebratory prosecco) but here’s to an amazing 12 months and hoping that we all develop an even stronger bond over the next 12 months! 🙂

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