I’ve been blessed, and cursed, with the travel bug. It will always be in my blood, and that of many of my friends. It helps that we are scattered throughout the world, which is added encouragement to get out there and explore, whilst catching up at the same time.
Some of the most amazing experiences of our lives have been had whilst exploring the many corners of the world, and here are some of them to tempt you.
- One of my dearest friends, Charissa, is from Singapore. We met when she was studying in Australia, and I must say that the friendship we made was, and is, one of the highlights from my time at university. Even though she now lives back in Singapore, I always make it a priority to drop in on her on the way back into Australia from a big trip. I’ve fallen in love with Singapore now – the food, the shopping, the people, the pubic transport, the weather – so I don’t even need a long haul trip as an excuse to drop by anymore (along with our friendship). It is an amazing place, that even after 8 visits, I will never bore of. It has become like my second home. To think that I was too scared to eat anything but chicken on my first visit there. Now I eat almost like a local.
- Charissa, however, has fond memories of her time spent living in Australia. She reminisces that Australia is ‘Where we say we speak English but we say things like “chook (chicken)” and to “chuck a shitty (go to the toilet)”.’ I never knew this, but she recently admitted to me that she had to watch ‘Neighbours’, an Australian soap opera, to “learn the language.” Now that’s embarrassing – for us Aussies! Apart from that, she has been blessed to experience a trip to Las Vegas, where she spent her birthday on a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon to have champagne brunch. Nice!
- My friend Fran, who is originally from Singapore, now lives by the beach in Australia. We bonded in work and over our travel tales. Fran remembers each physical journey with her personal journey at that particular time in her life. She got engaged in Penang, married in Singapore, conceived her son Russell on Rottnest Island, travelled through Vietnam when she was 4 months pregnant, celebrated Russell’s first birthday in Singapore with family, and his second birthday in Bali.
- Alicia is one of my newest friends, and we share a common love for Paris. One of Alicia’s favourite moments was on her and her partner’s last trip to Europe where they took a one day cooking course with Chef Moreno in Varenna, Lake Como. They got to sit back and drink wine while watching his cooking demonstrations all day. Of course, they got to taste the food along the way and say it was ‘absolutely gorgeous food. Now I can cook delicious gnocchi any time thanks to Chef Moreno!’ Generally, Alicia loves renting apartments in places rather than staying in hotels, as it adds to the adventure and she believes that you get a better sense of the place you are visiting. I’m going to try this next time I travel!
- Lastly, we come to one of my more well-travelled friends, of which I only recently discovered HOW well-travelled she actually is. Chern had the pleasure of experiencing a free concert held at the Duomo in Milan, Italy, recalls making it to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and being blown away (mentally) when standing on top of the great wall in China. Then there was Barcelona, with its amazing gaudi greatness, or seeing Gavin Rosedale (Rock Star and Gwen Stefani’s husband) walk his dog pass their house on Primrose Hill – that is something she will never forget! She recalls walking the streets of heartland Japan in winter, watching the ducks in the “drain”, and getting lost in Venice, resulting in them stumbling upon an amazing and unforgettable shopping street. There was the yoga retreat in Bali that made her realise she could be silent for the entire day, and the memory of having a barbeque at a place called “Sun, moon lake”, Taiwan, followed by a drive into the mountains which ended up in a landslide that she describes ‘was exciting and fun’! And then there is her next trip – Cambodia and the terra-cotta soldiers in Xi-an, China.
I don’t know about you but I am already salivating over the thought of my next journey, which will be in 2 weeks. I will finally be visiting Melbourne, Australia, and can’t wait!
(I finally decided I should see more of my own country…this time round anyway).
Feel free to share your amazing experience!
- Summer in the rainforest was experience of a lifetime (dmacc5022.wordpress.com)
- Your travel highlights of 2010 (inside-digital.blog.lonelyplanet.com)