Travelling is a big part of my personality and I will be exploring our beautiful planet for the rest of my life (I hope to anyway). I’ve been to many countries in Asia, a lot more than I have in Europe. All these trips happened when I was younger so I wasn’t able to appreciate the cultures and sceneries as much as I would now, however, I remember them like I was there yesterday. Asia is a BIG ASS continent so next year I am hoping to travel around to a lot more countries whilst I am living abroad in China.
There have been a few major highlights through my life…Sadly, a lot of these places have changed for the worst because of tourism, environmental issues and some other nasty factors. I was very lucky to visit these places before they started developing further. Sadly, they will never look the same as to when I was there, but they are still stunning places.
This year has definitely been my lucky year as I have been fortunate enough to stay in some of the most breath-taking places, and they will of course be mentioned in the list below.
A beautifully quiet, yet incredibly popular destination. The crystal clear water and white coloured sand makes this place look unreal. Sadly, a lot of the land and cultured buildings were destroyed after the tsunami in 2004. However, the town has been rebuilt and renovated, and although it will never look the same, it is still a place you should NOT miss off of you bucket list!
Phuket was a perfect holiday destination for us at the time we went because it was child-friendly, lots of families and children the same age as us (we always made friends with another family) and it was always quiet at the times we went there; Christmas spent on the beach was not one to forget.
Bali in general is becoming more and more known for travelling to for backpackers and gap year students.
Nusa Dua was where we would always holiday to, located in South Bali. There would be a big group of us, about 5 or 6 families, and it would be so much fun as we would make the most of the holidays; do all the waterspouts available and stay at the nicest resorts.
Kuta and Seminyak are the destinations known for backpackers to travel to as they have many hostels around and the areas are reasonably cheap, especially compared to Nusa Dua! Kuta is famous for its very good surfing beaches; time to get those surf boards out and get surfing! As well as Phuket, Bali should definitely be on your travel bucket list, I couldn’t recommend it enough, I will be going back myself very soon!
These next three places I have been lucky enough to visit this year and, without a doubt, have been the highlights of this year.
JIUZHAI GOU, SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA
Jiuzhai Gou is a hidden yet lively town situated in the valley of the mountains just outside of Chengdu, China, in the Sichuan Province. Based in this town, which explains it’s popular status, is the Jiuzhai Gou National Park, shown above. This park is filled with outstanding nature, scenic mountainous views and eye-catching lakes. I have never been to a place in China before with such beautiful surroundings. It took a painful 10 hour bus journey to get there from Chengdu but I would do it all over again to see those magnificent views.
The place we stayed in was a homestay which was a bit pricey but the family was so welcoming and the house was just something else. If I get a chance to re-visit this beautiful town, I would definitely stay at the same house.
Go over to my blog post about my Easter trip in China to read more about the wonderful places I was lucky enough to visit.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, USA
Probably the highlight of my year was being able to stay in the valley of Yosemite National Park, accommodation was called Curry Village, right in the heart of the park. The Half Dome was our view as we were walking to breakfast each morning; it was an unforgettable moment. I was hesitating whether to share my photographs on social media because they just don’t do it justice.
Yosemite National Park is certainly one to visit. Breath-taking views all around, sparkling lakes, and challenging yet stunning hikes. They offer so much through the National Park: day and night tours, water sports, and group hikes, to name a few. Some advice, if you are thinking of going and wanting a tour…BOOK IN ADVANCE!! We were let down after realising all the tours were booked for the whole week.
BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA, USA
I had never actually heard much about this place until this year. My friend was hoping to go during our America trip and it mentioned it to me so I did some research and it looked lovely, one of the most adored segments to pass by on California’s Highway 1. We were lucky enough to make friends with an Austrian girl, Julia, who offered to drive us down there from Monterey (where we were staying at the time, also very beautiful). Read more about our Big Sur trip here.
After our trip I was thinking how underrated Big Sur is, in my opinion. Perfect for hiking, camping and embracing those coastline views; what more could you want?! If you ever find yourself road tripping through California, take the scenic route down Highway 1 where you will pass by Big Sur as well as popular towns such as Carmel and San Simeon.