As we enter a new decade, I am grateful for the past decade of many amazing adventures. To pick my top ten was difficult, but it was made a little easier by the accomplishment of some bucket list items. Here they are:
Galapagos Islands 2016
Cruising around the Galapagos Islands on Galapagos Legend was the ultimate way to explore these unique and extraordinary islands. The diversity in the Galapagos is second to none. I was stoked to see the Giant Tortoises, Blue-footed Boobies and all the other fascinating wildlife. This was a BIG tick off the bucket list!!
Inca Trail Trek 2015
This guy looks how I felt after the 3 day trek. Challenging and rewarding at the same time. How the porters can run that trail is baffling. I would love to return to explore Machu Picchu but next time I will take the train.
Amazon River & Rainforest 2015-2016
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil while travelling on the six month Tucan Travel Circuito tour, encompassing most of South America. Each provided a varying perspective of the rainforest. My favourite experience would have to be the five day cruise along the Amazon River to Manaus, as you really got a sense of real life of the Amazonian people.
Cuba is the one country that I love and hate at the same time. It was an interesting experience and I wish I had Vegemite with me (confiscated at the airport in Ecuador for being a liquid). The culture and history is fascinating, whereas the hospitality is not quite what I am used to. Would I go back? I am not sure.
One of my favourite places on earth for wildlife and landscape. Alaska was a bucket list item and I really want to return. I loved every minute of my time and the highlight was the bear flight out of Homer. Expensive and worth every cent. We flew into an area where bear seek salmon. We landed on a beach and walked amongst the bears while they fed. If you ever get the chance, do it. Put it on the credit card if you have to, you wont regret it.
Trek America Great 48 2015
In 80 days I traversed all 48 continental states of the USA. I don’t know many Americans who have been to this many states. It’s the perfect way to get an overview of what America has to offer so you can plan where you want to go back to. Highlights for me included one awesome day in NYC (ended up in Jimmy Fallon’s audience), breathtaking national parks and my first ever trip to a Bass Pro Shop. There are many more, but that is another story. After travelling through Alaska post Great 48 and having previously visited Hawaii, I have now been to all 50 USA states!
Cherry Blossoms in Japan 2014
I love Japan. I have been 4 times, once in every season. Cherry blossom season only lasts a few weeks so you have to be lucky when you plan your trip. I was very lucky as I began in Tokyo as the blossoms were just starting, moved onto Kyoto where they were in full bloom and ended in Hiroshima where they were ending. To see the cherry blossoms in all stages was magical. In Kyoto I encountered a Geisha (pictured) out on a photo shoot in celebration of cherry blossom season, a rare treat. This is one trip that cannot be topped.
When I lived in the UK back in 2003-04, I only managed a 5 day tour of Ireland. This time I wanted to explore more and include Northern Ireland. I missed out on the Giants Causeway the first time and thanks to my Spaceships camper van, I had the freedom to get there early before the crowds. I enjoyed taking the back roads at my own pace, and lets face it, road trips are the best.
Hong Kong 2012 & 2014
Hong Kong twice, why? Disneyland! I admit it was an easy decision seeing as Disneyland is there. I am trying to visit all of them, just need LA and Shanghai. Halloween was the occasion and with Disneyland being American, I assumed correctly that Hong Kong Disneyland would celebrate. Dressed to impress, I had strangers asking to take my photo. Maybe they thought I worked there?! There rest of Hong Kong was a great experience for the culture, though having now been twice, I am done.
Cruising the Caribbean & Bermuda
I am a cruising fan, my current count is 24 across multiple locales. I can tell you with experience that I LOVE cruising the Caribbean. The water, islands and cultures are amazing. I would be a happy girl if I could live in Florida and cruise every weekend. Unlike cruising from Australia, the waters are so calm (provided no hurricanes). Plus, there is nothing like cruising out of the Port of Miami. Cruising down the channel past the multi-million dollar homes, while people driving along the causeway into Miami South Beach wave at the passengers on the ships as they leave. Just as the ship is about to enter open water, Miami Beach appears with beach goers cheering on the ships as they head out to sea. Thanks to a cruise, I was lucky enough to check of my bucket list destination of Bermuda. The pink beaches of Bermuda are surreal and to make it back out of the triangle is a bonus. I have almost completed the rounds of the places mentioned in the Beach Boys song “Kokomo”, another couple of cruises should do it!
Here’s to another decade of adventures, who’s with me?!