2015 has been a great year of travel for Ge and I. After our wedding, it was really our intention to explore and get into as many adventures as possible whether it’d be internationally or locally. We wanted to spend our early years of marriage getting to know each other better and traveling the world together as husband and wife, and we were blessed to be able to do just that this year. :)
Here’s a look back of this year’s travels in photos.
Melbourne, Australia We spent the last year’s New Year in Sydney and then went to Melbourne for our first trip of 2015. It was a very artsy and laid back city. There were lots of local artists (bands, singers, acrobats, dancers, magic shows) showcasing their talents in the streets. People are very friendly; they help and talk to strangers which really amazes me. I grew up in a not so safe city, Manila, that it’s a no-brainer for most of us to NOT talk to strangers. And in Singapore, people are too busy looking down on their gadgets and phones so we don’t encounter that much friendliness as well. It was refreshing to see that the Aussie way of socializing — chatting in public transport, making friends to strangers in the street, reading a book or having a picnic with friends in the park — is really personal.
Borneo IslandBecause we work full time, we take advantage of the holidays in full measure. We went to Borneo for a relaxing long weekend and enjoyed seaside picnic, spa massage, sunset cruise and lots of swimming. The rooms in Gaya Island Resort are really nice and you can opt to stay on the one at sea level or the one higher up the hill with the best view. We chose the latter.
TaiwanWe didn’t have any plans in Taiwan except to experience the Sky Lantern Festival. It was surreal and festive; we get to write our wishes and fly our own lantern. Surprisingly, Taiwan has a lot more to offer than that. I love their food (they really taste good), themed cafes and cheap shopping. We want to go back to explore more of their National Parks, hot springs and maybe do some hike, too.
Paris, FranceParis is a dream come true. Being always a traveler of the east side, I have always wished to step on the other side of the planet. Europe is an expensive continent to travel to especially for us, Asians, where we’re used to cheaper costs of living. We book our tickets almost a year in advance to give us enough time to plan and save moolah. And yes, Paris really captured my heart. We walked along the banks of the Seine River, climbed the top of the Eiffel Tower on a rainy day, ate macarons and croissants to our heart’s content and held hands while strolling around The Louvre, Tuileries Garden and Musee d’ Orsay. Cheesy but romantic. Paris is worthy to be called City of Love. :)
Bruges/Antwerp, BelgiumEverything in Belgium is great – the fairy tale-like architecture, quality food that tastes good, hospitable and smiling locals, and all things chocolate! Both places seem like they came from a storybook (especially Bruges). For the short time we were there, we had a real great time!
Amsterdam, NetherlandsAmsterdam was liberating and charming on its own but it was my least favorite from our Europe trip. Maybe because it feels familiar… and too crowded for a small city. Like Singapore, it is a melting pot of expats and different cultures. I did enjoy taking photographs of the canals; they always look like a painting. It’s amazing!
IcelandIceland was a place like no other. With its terrains changing every few miles, this place is otherworldly. There’s waterfalls, geysers, lava fields, black sand beaches and Northern Lights! For the first time, I’ve seen that magical lights dance up the sky. It wasn’t for long but it was nothing less than supernatural. We plan to go back and embark on a longer road trip next year. I’m excited!
Annecy, FranceWe hopped on a train to Annecy to spend the last two days of our Europe trip and what a way to end it. We enjoyed walking around the picturesque town, admiring the turquoise lake and dreaming of of fairy tales. It was beautiful and laidback and full of charm.
Phuket, ThailandSince it is not possible to leave work longer and go back home for the holidays, we decided to go for a quick trip to Phuket instead, to spend the Christmas there (thankfully it’s on a Friday) and get some relax time for the weekend. It was a challenge to communicate in English but we loved the graciousness of the Thai people.
To more plans, dreams and adventures next year, here’s a thought to ponder on:
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.”
Happy New Year everyone!
Where did 2015 bring you? What are your plans for 2016?