Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Ultimate Guide To My 15 Favourite Travel Experiences

I'm a huge traveler and even while you read this, I'm out of the country in Vietnam spending a couple of weeks over there for Christmas and New Years.

I have this inate passion in me to see the world and it hasn't eased up. I also want to see it all; within Australia and all over the globe.

I'm very fortunate to have already seen a lot of places in my adult life and wanted to countdown some of the top experiences I have had so far. I've narrowed it down to 15 favourite places that I fell in love with while travelling.

I've categorised each location by country but most of my travelling has been done in the USA so that makes up the largest portion of this countdown. 

This incredible part of the city is where a lot of the hustle and bustle goes on. It's just a short walk to Times Square with 24 hour shopping, incredible food options and Broadway right next door screening amazing shows. I loved this city for soaking in the culture and appreciating how people live here. It's such a fast moving city with something always going on.

Central Park deserved a special mention because this beautiful green ecosystem right in the middle of the busiest city in the world is really a sight to see. The contrast of a massive skyline of buildings to the green of the park is awesome. There are also heaps of food trucks and tourist spots along the way including a showgrounds with rides, a massive lake you can ride paddle boats in and so much architecture to see.
I would go as far as to say this is my second favourite place in America! I absolutely loved Washington DC for the culture, people, architecture and landscape. It's so lush and green with cute little houses that look like replicas of the White House. The vibe in the central district where all the legislation happens is busy and invigorating. Yet just a short walk from there, the lush green parks and beautiful monuments are so relaxing. It really was an amazing place to go and I will definitely be back. 

I spoke about Griffith Observatory in this blog post when I was over there at the time and it is my favourite place in Los Angeles. Absolutely breathtaking views of the whole of Los Angeles and all of it's city districts. You also have stunning views of the Hollywood hills and of course, the Hollywood sign. Not only that but Griffith Observatory itself is a stunning location architecturally and interesting to learn about elements, planets etc. It recently was featured in La La Land and it brought back such fond memories of the times I have been. Definitely worth putting on the itinerary next time you're in California!

I mean, Disneyland was great but honestly I much preferred LACMA! The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Not only was it so interesting to see all of the architecture of the grand museum but the art was so fascinating and learning of the history and culture was incredible. There is a lot to see there so I would recommend at least a half day, probably a full day if you want to stop into the museums surrounding the art museum.
I have now been to Santa Monica at least 3-4 times and it is such a cool vibe. The area in general is a little run down but it adds to the character of the beach. It's a real mix of mansions and cheap housing which makes for a great mix of people. Trust me, you see some interesting people on the boulevard. There's a lot to do and see but it's a pretty magical place for being by the beach and experiencing a different area of California.
As touristy and this is, it's a really fun experience to see all of the mansions around the area, experience the Rodeo Drive shopping and scout out all the delicious food places. I would highly recommend The Cheesecake Factory - it was so good! Head over to this blog post to see what I got up to during a day on Rodeo Drive.

Alright and now we count down to my favourite spot in California...Yosemite and Yosemite National Park. This is hands down the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. You are absolutely surrounded by nature from the snow topped mountains to the giant sequoia trees. There is SO MUCH to explore in Yosemite; waterfalls, streams, dessert like lands where bears live, squirrels, rocky coast lines and that's all done while hiking... Honestly it's breathtaking and I am so incredibly in love with the place.

I thought that I would hate Vegas but now I've been there more than 3 times, it's safe to say that I love it! The people are so friendly and the whole atmosphere is about kicking your shoes off and relaxing. I remember when I was taking the photo on the left, I had so many lovely people compliment me on my dress. I might have otherwise felt a bit judged for wearing a dress like that but everyone was genuinely caring and supportive of it. It's such a cool place (just not the weather) with lots of amazing shopping, things to see. The Grand Canyon is just a few hours away which is also beautiful and worth seeing.
So San Francisco was a very interesting place for me to visit. Everything was very different from the people to the housing, food places and landscape. The airport is probably one of the coolest I've ever been in, it was just really huge and amazing. Lombard street was one of the most awesome places I've been. Unfortunately the bridge was covered in fog on the day I went and it was bloody freezing up there but I did get a great idea of what the city was like and the culture. 

I've been to Byron Bay a few times now as it's only a 4 hour Road Trip from Brisbane. You can check out Byron Bay Guide here. It is such an awesome place to go all year round. In the warmer months you can spend it by the beautiful beach sipping on a freshly squeezed juice. In Winter you can warm up with a pub meal and explore the unique and interesting shops around the place. A road trip up to the lighthouse is always good fun and a great view. 
Crystal Castle in Byron Bay is a magical place filled with beautiful zen gardens and you guessed it... crystals. If you are into crystals at all then this will blow your mind - there are GIGANIC amethysts, all different crystals scattered everywhere, beautiful Buddhism fountains, gardens to walk through and meditation exercises. It's such a beautiful place to go and experience some peace and tranquillity. It's definitely underrated and I don't hear many people talk about it but trust me when I say you have to check this place out. 

So I may be in Vietnam as you read this but before that, the only Asian countries I had been were Singapore and Thailand. I really did love Singapore and it should have made the list but I feel like I need to go back and spend more time there to full experience the city. I went and saw the Marina Bay Sands, Little India, Little Italy, China town, Buddhism tooth relic temples and the lot but need to spend at least a night there to fully gather my thoughts on the city. 
The Phi Phi Islands were a magical experience, travelling in a yacht from gorgeous island to another gorgeous island. The beautiful white sands, buffet island lunches, snorkelling with fish, beers on the beach, stunning views, monkey island and so much was an incredible and long day.
Phuket is such a fun place to stay, quite a journey to the Phi Phi islands from there though. The people are so friendly, the shopping is amazing and omg the food is INCREDIBLE. The best sushi I've ever had in my life was there. Water skiing is also a heap of fun! I got a tattoo in Thailand so that was really exciting for me and nightlife is awesome!

So those are my 15 favourite travel destinations and why! I hope you enjoyed this post and it's given you some insight into my favourite tourist spots that I think are worth the hype and some inspiration to add to your travel bucket list. 

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