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Our Top 7 Travel Moments of 2014

This year seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, but not before we squeezed in a few visits far from home base. On this orbit around the sun, we traveled to Scandinavia – an area of the world we’d never explored before, returned to Thailand – one of our favourite countries, and headed back home to Canada for a nostalgic road trip through interior British Columbia.

When you travel, there are always highs, surprises and disappointments, and 2014 was no different. Here, our favourite moments from the year.

Being awe-struck by the Warship Vasa in Stockholm
Sweden’s Warship Vasa is the only authentic 17th Century warship surviving in its entirety, in the whole world.

At the Vasamuseet in Stockholm, we stood in awe of her soaring 57 metre high main mast, feeling truly humbled. Knowing that the unfortunate ship sank on her maiden voyage, made the experience all the more poignant.

Dogsledding in Norway
Desperately trying not to fall off the sled, as we raced through the snowy landscapes of Finnmark with 11 time FinnmarkslΓΈpet race winner Sven Engholm, was maybe the most exciting thing we did during our 3 week adventure in Scandinavia.

5 hours later, despite being bruised and sore from my many falls off the sled, I found myself wishing that the day would never end.

Being tickled by Tallinn’s Old Town
We ended up in Tallinn almost by accident, when our initial plan to visit St. Petersburg backfired, and are we ever glad it did.

Tallinn was perhaps the biggest surprise of our travels this year. Full of atmospheric cafes, authentic buildings and cobblestone streets, this Medieval Pearl of Europe was affordable, incredibly well-maintained and a blast to explore. We spent literally 3 days just wandering happily around the wonderful old town, with stops for good coffee and Russian pelmenis along the way.

Flying business class between Seoul and Bangkok
I usually maximize my airline points, by taking as many economy flights as I can with them, but when I found out that a business class ticket between Seoul and Bangkok would only cost me 30,000 Aeroplan points, and cost the same as a regular old economy class ticket, it seemed like the perfect time to treat myself to a little luxury.

From dedicated lines bypassing Bangkok’s way out of control immigration lines, to airplane cabin serenity, to actual cutlery and plates, flying business was everything I’d imagined it would be and more.

I’ll have a full post about this eventually, but suffice it to say that getting an honest to god latte on my Asiana flight from Bangkok to Seoul pretty much sealed the deal. Now if only I could figure out how to travel that way all the time. πŸ˜‰

Getting clean and lean in Koh Samui, Thailand
Though Thailand’s Andaman islands are usually associated with perfect beaches, heavenly meals and scandalously cheap massages, they’re also a major centre for detoxing and fasting. And that’s precisely why I headed there.

After 14 days of no food, countless bentonite clay and psyllium husk shakes, and more colonics than I care to think about, I emerged lighter, brighter and feeling full of energy. It’s definitely something I’ll be doing again, and regularly.

Cherry picking in the Okanagan Valley
Fruit orchards and wineries dot the Okanagan Valley’s fertile landscape like lights on a Christmas tree. And though we spent our fair share of time sampling vino in a few of the area’s outstanding vineyards, the standout experience of our travels was cherry picking at Dunrovin Farms.

Perhaps it’s because cherries are as expensive as gold in Korea, but standing on a ladder beneath the blinding sun and picking as many cherries as we wanted, I couldn’t help but feel like a kid in an unlimited candy store.

Living it up luxury style in Whistler
You don’t tend to associate the winter wonderland of Whistler with balmy summers, but when we had a chance to stay in my little brother’s amazing timeshare on the Nicklaus North Golf Course, we jumped at the chance.

With total serenity, close proximity to Whistler’s enticing restaurants, and the majesty of nature all around, it was a fantastic (and luxurious) way to end our British Columbia adventure.

Where did 2014 take you? What were YOUR top travel experiences of the year?

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36 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mmm, Okanagan cherries! I’m feeling inspired to make a list of my own ^_^

    December 27, 2014
    • They were delicious. We completely stuffed ourselves with them. πŸ™‚ I’d love to see your list! πŸ˜€

      December 28, 2014
  2. It sounds like you’ve had a great year of travel! I have always wanted to go to Whistler to snowboard, but I had never thought of it as a summer destination. It looks beautiful. Hopefully I get there someday πŸ™‚

    December 27, 2014
    • It was pretty awesome! We usually stick around Asia, but last year, we decided to travel less, and actually go where we really wanted to go instead. πŸ™‚ Yeah, I think Whistler can be great in summertime… actually all those mountain towns are gorgeous in summer, with tons of great activities.

      December 28, 2014
  3. What a wonderful year! To many more to come!

    December 27, 2014
    • It was a pretty great year! Happy 2015 Lucy!! πŸ˜€

      December 28, 2014
      • Thank you!!! I wish you a new year full of accomplishments! Have a lovely Sunday πŸ™‚

        December 28, 2014
  4. What a year you’ve had! Happy New Year and here’s to many more adventures in 2015.

    December 28, 2014
  5. Fabulous recount of your best experiences. We’d love to go cherry picking or dogsledding or both! Best wishes for a great new year and many more good times! Bert and Rusha

    December 28, 2014
    • They were both fantastic experiences, in very different ways. One decidedly warmer than the other. πŸ˜‰ Happy holidays and a wonderful 2015 to you Bert and Rusha!! πŸ˜€

      December 28, 2014
  6. Ana #

    Those cherries sure look good! I’d love to see Whistler in the summer. Those pics are so beautiful.

    December 28, 2014
    • Thanks Ana! Yes, I must admit the cherries were quite delicious. The best part is you can eat as many as you want, while picking at no charge. Suffice it to say, we had very red fingers and tongues by the end of the day. πŸ™‚

      December 28, 2014
  7. Koh samui sound like nice place. How to get there from bangkok?

    December 28, 2014
    • It is a lovely island. Lots of things to do and see there. Hmm, there are many different ways to go. You can take a direct flight on Bangkok Air, or take a combination of flight and boat (on Nok Air), or even take a bus or train down to Surat Thani and then get on a boat there. I think it might even be possible to take a really long boat ride there from Chumporn or Hua Hin (3 hours south of Bangkok). It really depends on how much money you want to spent, but trust me, there is something to fit everyone’s budget. Planning a trip? πŸ™‚

      December 28, 2014
      • thank you Shell. yeah.. i’ve been booking the flight from Jakarta – to Bangkok September 2014.now i still compare the place with Ciang mai. have been visit Ciang mai?

        December 29, 2014
        • Wow fantastic! I hope you have a wonderful trip. πŸ™‚ Yes, I have been to Chiang Mai… hmm, it depends on what type of thing you’re looking for. Koh Samui and the other islands are more beach type travel, whereas Chiang Mai is hills, jungle and elephant trekking. Which do you prefer? If you go o Chiang Mai, I suggest you head out to Pai and spend a few days there. It’s a 3 hour bus ride away from there, and is one of our favourite places in Thailand. πŸ˜€

          December 30, 2014
  8. Looks like you’ve had a great year! I did my first trip to Norway this year and more Scandinavia is on the cards for 2015 for sure, such a fascinating region.

    December 28, 2014
    • It was not too bad a year, if I do say so myself. πŸ˜€ I wish I could spend more time in Scandinavia too, but alas, I will have to save up a whole lot more money! πŸ™‚ Enjoy your 2015 travels.

      December 29, 2014
  9. What a great year you have had! Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best in 2015. πŸ™‚

    December 29, 2014
    • Thanks Sue! We definitely enjoyed our year in travels and look forward to what’s next in 2015, starting with a last minute trip to Hong Kong on Jan. 2nd. πŸ˜€

      December 30, 2014
  10. I remember your post on what you were hoping to do this year. You’ve done so many! I remember lots of your experiences. My favorite is the sledding adventure. What I didn’t realised to be so much fun to be on this list is your cherry picking.
    Ow, great decision to join WPC this year. Happy New Year, and more and safe travels for you next year.

    December 29, 2014
    • Yes, we were lucky to do so much stuff this year. The only thing is that I wish I was sitting on a beach right now, instead of in cold Seoul. We actually had tix booked to Philippines over Christmas, but had to cancel them due to some family stuff. 😦 But yeah, cherry picking was a lot of fun, and they were so delicious. Somehow they taste different when you eat them directly from the tree. πŸ™‚

      WPC was great! really forced me to write something at least a week, and helped me with scheduling other posts. I think I’ll probably continue next year… Wonderful 2015 to you Rommel! πŸ˜€

      December 30, 2014
  11. Nice post sista, sounds like good fun.

    January 2, 2015
  12. Glad you liked Tallinn but a pity that you missed St. Petersburg.
    It’s surprising how many ships seemed to have sunk on their maiden voyage!

    January 10, 2015
    • I really hope to get to St. Petersburg and for that matter, all of Russia one day, but we’ll just have to sort out their complicated visa requirements first. We felt that it was too much pay for just 3 days there, so we decided on Tallinn instead. Glad we did! πŸ™‚

      January 11, 2015
  13. Looks like an awesome year. I’d love to try dog sledding. Sometimes my dog tries to pull me around our neighborhood. Close, but no cigar. πŸ˜‰

    January 12, 2015
    • Lol…guess you have a big dog? πŸ˜‰ It was definitely a highlight experience…wish we would’ve gone on one of the 5-7 day sledding tours. Maybe next time…

      January 13, 2015
  14. Looks like an exciting year! Hope 2015 has lots more travels stored for you πŸ™‚

    January 13, 2015
    • We were happy that we got to check a few places off our travel wish list. Looks like 2015 will have more travels close to home, though I’d really like to get to a beach sometime this year. It’s been awhile. Best wishes for 2015! πŸ˜€

      January 14, 2015
  15. Looks pretty good! Happy New Year 2015! Bye. Kamila

    January 18, 2015
    • Hi Kamila, yes, we were lucky with our travels we had last year. Lots of new experiences! Best wishes to you for 2015! πŸ™‚

      January 18, 2015

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  1. Travel Highlights of 2014 | Misadventures with Michael

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