Admittedly every time I travel I feel like there are so many more things that I could add to this list. But as it stands right now, these are my top 10 travel moments to date. They are in no particular order because I can’t possibly rank one better than the other!
Climbing Koko head crater on Oahu, Hawaii
The Koko Head crater trail consists of a meagre 1048 stairs to the top up an old tram track originally built over 60 years ago to get supplies to the military bunkers at the top. This was one hard slog and a whole lot of stairs to the top! Lucky I absolutely love stairs, there’s nothing I find more exciting than discovering an epic staircase in an exotic location! This gem was recommended to us by the lady on the desk at our hotel and it was definitely a highlight of my Hawaii trip.
The Best Sunset I have ever seen! Isabel Island (Galápagos), Ecuador
To say im a big fan of sunsets is an understatement, I absolutely LOVE sunsets so for me to say this is the best sunset I have ever seen is a pretty big deal! There was something incredibly magical watching the pelicans and Frigate birds soaring through the air, searching the sand for colourful sally lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas and watching this golden spectacle unravel in front of our eyes. Stumbling across Bar Beto (the best beach bar in the world!) on our sunset beach walk was just a bonus!
Celebrating Australia Day with a Difference. Hakuba, Japan
In 2013 I found myself in the snow fields of Hakuba Japan with my brother Nick and my friends Adam and Jenny for Australia day. Now every Aussie knows how important this day is and since we had abandoned our country on the most important day of the year we knew we’d have to take our Australia day celebrations to a whole new level to make up for this discrepancy. I think the photo says it all- bikini’s, an inflatable Australian flag ball and a whole lot of snow is how this memory was made! It was absolutely freezing but totally worth it!
Paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal
This was something I did on a whim because most of the other people in my tour group were doing it too! I’m not usually this kind of daredeveil and on the bus ride up to the top of the mountain it started to hit me that I’d signed up to voluntarily run off a mountain! Terrified is probably the best way to describe how I was feeling, I remember my breathing got heavy and I was shaking, by this point I was already rigged up and there was no turning back. Once we were up in the air my fear was put aside and I was left in awe of what I was seeing; the incredible Annapurna region of the Nepalese Himalaya’s!
Jungle Swimming holes in Borneo, Malaysia
My latest adventure and it sure was a good one, this crazy beautiful swimming hole just outside the Clearwater Cave of Gunung Mulu National park was definitely a standout! This UNESCO world listed heritage site can only be accessed by air or boat and it is one of only few on the list that meets all 4 natural criteria set by the world heritage committee!
2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony, London, England
Not the kind of moment your average traveller gets to experience but after 1000’s of hours of training and a lifetime of commitment this was definitely something I had earnt! Getting to experience this with my team mates made it all the more special!
The Secret Keyhole, Rome, Italy
A different perspective on the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica, located on the top of Rome’s Aventine Hill this little known secret lit up all my secret garden dreams and peeking through this keyhole to see this magnificent site was a highlight of my trip to Rome
Blackout in the middle of nowhere
Blackouts in Nepal are an everyday occurrence, you could be in the middle of your evening shower and find yourself plunged into complete darkness, on some occasions these blackouts are a pain, on other occasions they can create something completely magical. We were in the town of Bandipur, a tiny hilltop settlement in the middle of nowhere, and we were out to dinner at one of the local restauraunts. We had a table set up on the street outside and we were happily chatting and awaiting our meals. As can only be expected a blackout struck and we were plunged into darkness, but this was the best kind of darkness I have ever experienced. We looked up to find a sky full of more stars I have ever seen! You truly know you’re in a remote part of the world when the stars are the brightest thing at night!
Swimming with turtles off Hamilton Island, QLD, Australia
Travel doesn’t always have to be too far from home and this memory was only a short 2 hour flight from my home town to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, North Queensland. Queensland boasts some of the best reefs in the world and to be able to step off the beach and dive into this underwater wonderland is only part of what makes this tropical island so special!
The Forgotten Kingdom, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Not a typical stop on most peoples Thailand itineraries, this forgotten kingdom is only a one hour train trip from Bangkok and it is definitely worth a visit! Founded in 1350 Ayutthaya was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom. Today this UNESCO world heritage site boasts an impressive number of temple monasteries which all remain relatively intact!
An unexpected trek in Peru
The whole reason I was going to Peru was to visit Machu Picchu, trust me when I say Peru is so much more than just Machu Picchu! But I’m getting side tracked, I wanted to visit Machu Picchu and trek the infamous Inca trail to get there. So as I’m sure you imagine I was horribly disappointed to find out that I’d left it to late to book and the Inca Trail was sold out. My travel agent offered me the alternative of doing the 3 day Lares Trek, then staying in the town Aguas Calientes and then busing it up to Mach Picchu. I was so upset that I wouldn’t be able to do the Inca trail that I seriously considered cancelling the trip and going somewhere else altogether! But I was meeting my brother Nick over there and we both really wanted to do Machu Picchu so I decided I would have to swallow my disappointment and do the Lares trek instead. I told myself “you’re going to see a wonder of the world and thats the main thing!”, I was also excited by the fact that the Lares Trek went to a higher altitude than the Inca Trail did! I am so glad that I made this decision, the trek was absolutely breathtaking! Snow capped peaks (The Peruvian Andes!), mountain lakes and young school children who greeted us with smiles from ear to ear (they new we’d bought treats in the form of fruit and bread for them). I haven’t done the Inca trail so I can’t compare the two but I would 100% recommend the Lares trek to any outdoor adventure enthusiasts!