Looking back, I realized that we only ventured in two trips this year — Japan and Europe. It wasn’t as filled as our 2015 where we had something planned every quarter, or our 2016, the year we took our 50-day sabbatical trip. 2017 is more introspective and had a lot of in-between moments. The year we appreciated more the spontaneous, the little adventures at home, and rejoiced over the everyday miracles of the mundane.
Travel-wise, 2017 still had more than I could ask for. I managed to make a childish goal come true this year — to match the number of countries I’ve visited to my age. Ha! Not counting anymore, I just really like coming back to Europe because we get to visit so many countries in one go.
Here’s where we’ve been to in 2017.
This is a bucket list trip for me. To visit Japan during the cherry blossom season is really worth the hype. It’s crowded with locals and tourists, but the festive mood is so refreshing. And the food, oh, I cannot forget the food!
We officially left Singapore in July last year after calling it ‘home’ for 5 years. Months prior, we spent as much time as we can exploring new places, revisiting old ones and spending time with our friends.
Back in our home country — we spent quality time with family and friends and visited a few places near Metro Manila. This photo was taken from an abandoned castle in Batangas. The area was initially built to be a theme park, but construction was halted and now it only serves as a photo park.
We only allotted one full day in Budapest and wished we stayed longer. The city is historic, full of character and the traditional hot bath was a really nice experience.
Croatia is a favorite of mine. We had to endure the scorching sun (summer season) and the seemingly endless flight of stairs everywhere. But just look at the photo below, it’s so worth it for the views alone, don’t you think?
Bosnia & Herzegovina
This lovely country is still recovering from the war that happened in the 90’s and you’ll see traces of it around. It’s heartbreaking and surreal at the same time.
I appreciate how much the locals are doing their best to restore and promote their city. Hence, I suggest visiting the country soon before tourism boosts further in the next years.
We visited Kotor on a day trip from Dubrovnik. The city feels a little low-key but that’s because it’s a relatively poor country compared to its European neighbors. I can’t really say that it had me at first hello. But it’s still worth visiting if you’re in the area. Surrounded by bays and mountains, Montenegro made amends with its natural beauty.
Ljubljana is such a cute little city. It’s colorful, charming, and exploring it feels like I’m walking into a fairytale book. We also visited the infamous Lake Bled but the weather didn’t permit us to really dig into the town. I’d be happy to visit again next time.
We visited Salzburg, Hallstatt, and Vienna – each has its own charm and beauty. Austria reminds me a little of Switzerland – pretty little towns with glorious views of the Alps in the background. There are so many cities to explore in this country alone. We would have stayed longer than planned if it’s not so expensive. :)
The Czech Republic
We spent a few days in Prague and fell in love with its romantic vibe. It’s like an eccentric version of Paris to me – more lively, compact and easier to explore on foot. I could totally imagine us living here. Someday maybe?
Turkey is my favorite, too. It’s everything the bad media doesn’t tell you. It’s safe, clean, beautiful, and Turkish people are one of the kindest people I’ve ever encountered. I’m really happy that we got to visit because it really changed the way I think about the country.
Capping off our Eastern Europe and Turkey trip with this sunrise view of Hagia Sophia (pronounced as Aya Sofya). – History in Turkey runs deep. It's wonderful beyond words, it's SAFE, and Turkish hospitality is the best I've ever experienced in the world! Leaving today and already thinking of coming back. ? – Will continue sharing more photos of this lovely country in the next days. ?? #lovefromturkey #istanbul #feelingistanbul #turkishfollowers #huntgramturkey #igersistanbul #camii
We had a bonus stopover trip in Sydney, on our way to New Zealand. We didn’t have any to-do list here and just strolled at our own pace. It was nice to be back in the land down under.
And now our new home, the land of open spaces.
On to you, where did 2017 take you? … and follow along on Instagram if you haven’t already. :)