2014 in Review: My Top Five Travel Highlights

Well that was fun, wasn’t it? 2014 really was an absolute belter for me. Although the end of 2013 was by far the worst period of my short life to date and whatever followed that was always going to be an improvement, 2014 really was a good one regardless of what preceded it.

It’s been a year largely spent in Asia with a bit of Australia thrown in for good measure. I’ve visited 10 countries, taken countless flights, boats, trains, buses, motorbikes and just about every other mode of transport you could possibly think of, seen in two different new years and ticked countless items off my bucket list. Hell, I even realised this year that I would actually quite like to be a teacher. To say it’s been a productive year would be something of an understatement!

In order to draw a line under 2014 and welcome in the new year, I’ve tried to narrow down the past 12 months in to five highlights – a real struggle! So, without further ado here are my five highlights of 2014!

5. Becoming open water divers on Koh Tao

I honestly cannot write enough about how much fun James and I had when we did our open water course in October. As I mentioned in my post about it, scuba diving has never really appealed to me all that much. It’s not that I was against it, I just never really had any desire to do it.

Four days, four dives and one whale shark later, it’s safe to say I’ve been bitten by the diving bug and I already can’t wait to get my next fix!

4. New Year’s Eve in Sydney

The latest entry possible – last night’s firework display really was as good as people say it is. I’ll admit I wasn’t mad keen on turning up at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair (a park – we didn’t steal an old woman’s seat) at 3pm and hanging around for nine hours for 12 minutes of fireworks. The fact that some people actually got there at 6.30am made me a little disappointed with humanity.

Not a bad place to welcome in 2015...

Not a bad place to welcome in 2015…

There were hours going by where not a great deal was happening, but come midnight I was eating my words as it was so, so, so worth it. Truly spectacular.

3. Seeing the Great Wall of China

This was a huge bucket list item for me, and it really didn’t disappoint. I’ve told anyone who will listen how desperate I was to go to China, and the Great Wall was the highlight of a great two weeks in the country!

No caption required.

No caption required.

To just stand there, look around and really take in the surroundings was truly breathtaking. The best thing is that it’s so bloody big I wouldn’t rule out me going again to a different point of the wall!

2. Songkran in Bangkok

Ahh, Songkran – you seem so long ago. Thailand’s crazy new year water festival is something I would suggest everyone adds to their bucket list. Sure, after three days being pelted with water and clay when you just want to nip out for a spot of street food can get frustrating – but it’s only once a year!

Note to self: don't go flip flop shopping during Songkran...

Note to self: don’t go flip flop shopping during Songkran…

Just avoid Khao San Road (so congested I almost hyperventilated!), buy the biggest super soaker you can find and get amongst it! But a word of warning: don’t soak the old ladies. Trust me – they really don’t appreciate it…

1. Our Vietnam road trip

There was never really any doubt about this one, was there? Not only the best thing I did in 2014 but perhaps the best thing I’ve ever done in my life! Buying scooters in Ho Chi Minh and riding all the way to Hanoi with one of my very best mates.

Yes, it was frustrating at times, cold and even painful but already we keep looking back and reflecting on what an incredible month it was. Don’t let me just talk on at you about it though – you can see videos of every leg of the journey courtesy of my Go Pro at the link above.

Finally making it to Hanoi was the highlight of a truly incredible year!

Finally making it to Hanoi was the highlight of a truly incredible year!

So that was 2014, a truly incredible year which I will never, ever forget. 2015 – you have a hell of a lot to live up to!

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One response to “2014 in Review: My Top Five Travel Highlights

  1. Pingback: 2015 in Review: My Top Five Travel Highlights | Rambling Northerner·

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