You know what, I'm pretty lucky to have been to so many different countries in my life and I'm really starting to appreciate it. I don't mean I didn't appreciate it before but when you get older you learn to appreciate the smallest things in life. Travelling isn't exactly a small thing. It's a big exciting thing and I wish I could do it for the rest of my life, or at least for the rest of my 20s.
What is it about travelling we all love so much? To me, it's the learning about a new culture, experiencing how other people live, and seeing beautiful places all around the world. We complain about our own country being boring but that's only because we're so used to it. We don't see our country as an amazing place because we see it everyday. I'm starting to appreciate England more and more each year. Actually today, I was driving back from taking my dog out for a long walk and I was looking at all the houses around. Just the houses made me realise actually it's bloody pretty around here. Just opening your eyes and looking around you reminds you where you are and how lucky you are to live here.
Talking about travelling, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and talk about the places I've already been to but would like to visit again. Have you visited any of these places before?
Oh Singapore. Beautiful Singapore. Let's talk about my memories of Singapore. I went to Singapore around 2005 (can't remember the exact time tbh) with my mum and sister, as Dad had to work. We had friends out there so we went to see them and stay with them. I can more or less remember the entire trip, and this was more than 10 years ago.
It was just a gorgeous, clean, modern city, with so much to do. We didn't do all the touristy things you hear about now, but I'd like to when I next go. Nevertheless, we had great fun. And the best part? There was this foam party event held in the centre of the city where all the kids (and some parents joined in) just went crazy and jumped in what seemed a cloud a foam. We're not talking about the foam parties you see these days, this was the real deal. It was a child's dream. Just a small memory like this is why I love Singapore so much. And why I would like to go back, and possibly live out there in my future.
I travelled to Split, in Croatia, in summer 2015 with my best friend. We did island hopping, explored nearby towns and took a trip to the beautiful Krka National Park. It was a jam-packed adventure and I'd love to do it again. I'd love to travel further North to places like Zadar, and perhaps more inland to Zagreb and Karlovac. The reason why I love Croatia is because of how vibrant the towns and cities are. People will say they all look the same, and I guess they do in a way, but I think that is what's so special about Croatias culture and architecture.
#3 Lake District, UK
Now, I couldn't miss this of the list could I? If you've been you know what I'm talking about, if you haven't...what's up with that? Add it to your 2019 travel bucket list!
Miles and miles of natural beauty, and quirky little towns in-between, the Lake District is the ultimate countryside holiday in England. If you enjoy hiking, kayaking, swimming, maybe a bit of shopping, then you'll definitely like the Lakes. It has a little something for everyone. One negative? You're never guaranteed good weather which is the deal breaker for a lot of people. However, if you're lucky with the weather, or don't mind a bit of rain here and there, then you'll have a great time!
Why would I like to go back? I've only been for a day trip with mum and dad as it was just up the road from my university, and I 100% regret not taking more advantage of this being on my doorstep when it was. The short time I was there, however, I fell in love with everything about it. And I only saw a fraction of it. We went to Windermere, one of the prettiest of the towns, and it was one of the prettiest places I've been to in the whole of England. Trip number 2 coming up!
#4 Yosemite National Park, California
I'm feeling beyond lucky to have been here already, and only a few years ago! However, we were very unlucky with our journey from San Francisco to Yosemite as it was heavily delayed. Our original plan was to have 2 days there, 2 half days and 1 full day - that makes 2 whole days. In the end, we only managed to have 1 1/2 days in total. A bit of a bummer but we made the most of it. The full day we hiked one of the big trails which was incredible. It was tough but an unforgettable journey, and the views...just wow.
My next visit to Yosemite National Park will include a longer stay for sure. Due to the time we visited being in the high season, all the tours were getting booked up weeks in advance (we didn't know this until we got there) so we were unable to do certain things we would've like to have done. For example, we didn't make it up to the half dome and see the whole park from above as this is a very popular tour and booked up quickly. I would actually prefer to have a car so you have your freedom and go wherever whenever. Well, until next time!
All my USA travel posts are here.
#5 Halong Bay, Vietnam
It's like being in a movie and you're in paradise. It literally takes your breath away at first sight. Off to Vietnam soon? Add this to your list! So here's a tip for you, grab your luggage and venture out here for a few days, not just a day. Yes you get to see the beautiful islands, kayak around them, and grab a bite to eat, but it all seems a little rushed. If I could go back and re-organise my trip, I'd go for a few days.
Halong Bay was first on my list of things to see in Vietnam and it did not let me down. The only sad thing was the amount of tour boats sailing around - it was crazy. It's actually said that Cat Ba Island is better because it's less touristy and less spoilt. However, the word is getting around fast and now more and more people are going to Cat Ba making it more and more touristy.
Venturing inland a bit, I regret not making my way up to Sapa where the thousands of rice fields are hidden. Type it into Google now - breath. taken. away. That's on my list for next time!
Laos, the silent country. Why I call it this you ask? It regularly gets missed out when people talk about travelling South East Asia. Maybe not so much now but when I was organising my travels, I didn't hear much about Laos. I have no idea why it's missed of the list a lot as it was probably my favourite country in the whole of South East Asia. Sure, it's not the wealthiest or most-developed of countries but that's what makes it so special and unique. It's quite like going back a few decades. That's what I loved about it. How much the small things matter and how friendly the locals are, it made me feel safe. I stayed in Luang Prabang, the capital of Laos. It doesn't seem like a capital as it's tiny. It's probably the same size as most villages or towns in the UK.
So what's there to do in and around Luang Prabang? More than meets the eye. Looking for temples? There's about 100 of them. Want a view from above? Climb Mount Phousi, 150 metre high - perfect to watch the sun set! Fancy a swim? You don't want to miss Kuang Si waterfall. Want to grab a bargain? The night street market is the place to go to. Hang out with elephants? There's a few Elephant Sanctuary's around the area where you can chill out with the elephants, give them a bath and trek with them - make sure you do you research into tours and avoid ones with riding (read my blog below on Mandalao Tours).
Laos - A Temple Heaven (Including beautiful photos!!)