2017 in Travel

I believe I’ve been facing a severe brain juice drain during the last 3 months, resulting from endless final project deadlines and constantly deprived of sleep, that I have difficulty putting letters into words, into sentences for this beloved blog of mine. But today, I try to get myself out of it.

Although Instagram puts out the #2017BestNine, we all know that the best moments are not the ones you put on screen – they were the ones that make you forgot to take pictures! In no particular order, here are my honest thoughts about 10 of most memorable moments of this year’s travel :

1. Went on a long, steep walk downhill at 9 pm to swim in freezing Norwegian lake, even though it’s summer because well.. it’s Norway.

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Thoughts : Damn that uphill hike was no joke and it was freezing, but worth it. Can’t believe that despite going to one of the most expensive country in the world, a.k.a Norway, and #1 bucket list on Michelle’s Bottomless Travel Bucket List, the best things are free (kind of, when you overlook the hefty tax.).

2. Going on the worst tour of the universe in San Francisco that consisted of half day on the bus picking people up and the other half day on the bus, oh wait – we got few minutes of toilet break, photo break, and unbelievable schedule.

Thoughts : I silently and solidly complained like an old lady inside, but at least I got to have a humongous Tacorea afterwards and 2 days in SF that makes me love the city even more!

3. 22 Days in Wanayasa, a Community Development project that my university conducts every year where we try to help develop small businesses in villages.

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Thoughts : I mean, hey it counts as travel! If it wasn’t for this, I would not have met lovely new friends that become good ones long after the 22-days stay ended and I deeply enjoyed the morning/afternoon coffee and conversations. It wasn’t all enjoyable, but it definitely is memorable.

4. Successfully stood on a waterski.

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That’s supposed to be me.

Thoughts : What a personal achievement for someone as clumsy as I am, but it’s actually very very addicting. I count it as a beginner’s luck.

5. Walking the edge of Grand Canyon.

I can almost hear my dad cringe, though I stood in the middle.

Thoughts : Sorry for the heart attack I caused you Dad and the fact that I stood next to you while jumping up and down on that glass bridge with nothing but air underneath, but it was pretty incredible.

6. Accidentally pressed the panic button in my Airbnb in Tokyo and yes, SECOM came.

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Thoughts : PANIC ATTACK. I CAN’T SPEAK JAPANESE anymore (except for “I’m sorry, but my Japanese is bad” and few lifesavior sentences) so I just threw a thousand of daijobu, sumimasen and arigatougozaimasu to the SECOM person.

7. First bite of o-toro at Tsukiji Market.

 

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Thoughts : How is it possible that 20 years went by without me knowing how delicious a slice of raw fish can taste. Eating o-toro and in the more general sense, sushi, for me is like meeting someone you never thought were missing and now can’t live without but you are forced to be in LDR with (because o-toro is pricey here.)

8. Having to go back to our Airbnb in Paris to get my bag few hours before the flight back home. 

Few minutes before I realised that my bag was not with me.

Thoughts : If you spend 10 minutes with me then you probably will know how forgetful I am about everything! Google Maps said 30 minutes by train to go back to my Airbnb so I took it and found out that it took so much longer than anticipated, and I barely made it back to Charles de Gaulle. I hate delays, but when the flight was delayed then it had never sounded better.

9. Thinking on our feet helped us do the France road trip.

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Thoughts : Background story, the car rental company in Nice wouldn’t receive my brother-in-law’s international driving license and we were forced to forgo the whole road trip. I slumped and Nice suddenly didn’t look really nice (ok, I am definitely lying), so I started looking for other day trips we could do when my brother-in-law suddenly had an idea to use his ID as driving license and whoop whoop, 5 minutes later we drove Promenade des Anglais like the coolest in the ‘hood. Had we gave up, it would have taken us to a very different turn.

10. A conversation on board a plane bound for Athens.

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Thoughts : The flight was 3 hours and I easily spent the first half writing on my travel journal and eating my SUPER HARD baguette. When I got back from the toilet, a couple in their 50s that sat next to me said hello and started the conversation by admiring my writing (are you kidding me, but thanks.) we talked and those talks ended up with them telling me that the world is in deep danger (“I worked at a renewable energy company, I’ve seen it.”), the global warming is a real threat, whether I have found my life purpose (I can’t even find my glasses), whether my purpose will help humanity to survive and in the end, the husband told me to write on my journal the word : WE NEED YOU (“because hey, we’re old and we did the part but now we need you to continue our work”) which I did and they both invited me to go to Norway in the winter to stay with them. I did some digging just now and pretty sure he was a CEO at a renewable energy company and CFO at a big FMCG company in Norway, but for now (or at least then), they were off for a 10-days holiday in Greece!

Anyway, hope 2017 has been a great, memorable year for you, too and hope you can grow more as a person. Don’t listen to those songs that indicate it’s okay to be young, dumb and broke ; work smart and play hard. Treasure time and memories with the people you love because I think the older you get, the more you realise how precious time really is.

Enough with the chats, happy holidays!

Until next year,

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