Happy New Year!
It’s New Year’s a day later (than in Australia) here in Peru, but it was worth the wait! Let’s just say, legal fireworks are as fun as they sound 😉
This past year I was lucky enough to travel through 13 countries, and loved every one. I always have a travel wish list, but as I tick each item off the list it only grows longer. So before I think about my wish list for 2016, I wanted to look back on my favourite places and experiences.
Here’s some 2016 travel inspo for you. Hope you enjoy the list as much as I enjoyed making it!
1. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is easily my favourite city in Europe. It has everything. Incredible nightlife, including some of the best bars in the world (the ruin bars), ridiculously delicious food that can be enjoyed at the beautiful neogothic Market Hall, some of the best party hostels in Europe (Retox and Grandio of BPH), stunning landmarks, the friendliest locals and the best musical festival I have ever been to- Sziget. Like I said- everything.
2. Universal Studios, Florida
Also known to nerds such as I as the almighty Harry Potter World- or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Aside from fulfilling dreams such as drinking butterbeer and holding the elder wand while wearing my deathly hallows shirt (total nerd-out), Universal as an outing was ridiculously fun. Also I had my first corn-dog.
3. Exuma, Bahamas
4. Cancun, Mexico
Mexico is probably my favourite place from this year overall. I met some incredible people there, at some of the best food of my life, and saw everything from ancient Mayan ruins to gorgeous cenotes, and swan with turtles AND WHALE SHARKS. WHALE SHARKS I TELL YOU. Life made.
5. Wroclaw, Poland
Ah, the unpronounceable but utterly adorable Wroclaw. Gnomes, pierogi, and architecture that rivals the wondrousness of anywhere else in Europe.
6. Koh Rong, Cambodia
While Koh Rong develops at an alarming rate, it hasn’t gone far enough yet to have that sterile no-contact-with-any-locals feel that so many other islands have. There is still a local village on the main beach, and secret beaches can be reached by walking through barely visible paths through parts of the jungle. If you go, stay at Island Boys for a free hour of beer every night of your stay 😉
7. Bangkok, Thailand
Some love bangkok and others hate it. If you don’t like cities it probably isn’t for you, but I love it for its bustling craziness, brilliant street food and even better markets. I love visiting the mental backpacker district for a massage and a bucket cocktail. Embrace the city and it will give you a full-on, hangover-ridden hug right back. (Check out my other post on top spots in SE Asia).
8. Huacachina, Peru
Huacachina is Peru’s desert oasis, a peaceful stop on the gringo trail. It’s a beautiful and really peaceful stop on the gringo trail but is often missed by people who go straight on to the bigger cities like Arequipa and Cusco. For a guide on what to do there and where to go, check out this post.
9. Pampas, Bolivian Amazon
The Amazon! The Amazon I tell you! Bolivia is the cheapest country in South America to see it, and the Pampas is the animal-spotting tour that was basically non-stop over-stimulation for me. I practically hyperventilated when I saw the capybara, and there were near-constant sightings of pink dolphins, cayman (like alligators), turtles and fantastic birds. I loved the wildlife, and even spent my first attempt at fishing catching piranha!
10. Berlin, Germany
Berlin is an incredible city, especially in summer when the festivals and outdoor bars bring the already amazing nightlife to near-perfection. Go on an alternative walking tour or to pretty much any beer garden, grab a pretzel and a life-changing kebab and some currywurst or stand in line for a ridiculous club (and get rejected like we did, ha). Pretty much anything you do in Berlin is fun even when it doesn’t work. Also there’s beer. Lots of beer.
Honorable mention: Huaraz, Peru
While the city itself isn’t anything too special, it is the starting point for one of the most beautiful hikes in South America. While I didn’t go on the full Santa Cruz trek, I did the one-dayer through the Huascaran National Park to Laguna 69, a high-altitude glacial lake. The hike had amazing views of the Andes, and we even heard a few avalanches! Also, I did not fail at hiking this time, so I was super proud of that.
What was your favourite moment from this past year?