A 2015 Travel Retrospective
2015 was one of the biggest years of our lives. Not because of the trips we took, but because we welcomed a daughter into this world. And not without a fair bit of drama.
Parenthood is likely the greatest journey we’ll ever embark on, but that doesn’t mean that our travels to different parts of the globe will stop. In fact, I can’t wait to take our little Naia on her first trip!
What are the odds that she inherited the travel bug from us?
For the first time, in a very long time, Agri and I spent the beginning of a year on 2 different continents. He, with his family in Toronto, Canada, and me, here in Seoul, celebrating with friends. However, I couldn’t let him get a trip ahead of me, so I booked myself a last minute trip to Hong Kong. Mostly to escape Seoul’s windy winter, but also to satisfy my dim sum craving, maybe just a wee little bit.
It was my second trip to Hong Kong, so rather than spend too much time doing touristy things like I did the first time, I, instead, focused on living “like a local.” I met up with friends, shopped, checked out Stanley Park, and basically just wandered around eating yummy things.
A trip to the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world was high on my agenda, as was a visit to one of the city’s outlying islands for a bit of water and sun. It wasn’t exactly beach weather, but an afternoon spent basking on the rocks of Lamma Island was supremely relaxing.
I learned some interesting things on that trip, like the fact that chow mein, is actually eaten for breakfast, and that it’s actually pronounced chow MEEN, not chow MEIN. Am I the only one that’s made this mistake all their life? 🙂
We weren’t planning to take another trip so soon after our returns from Canada and Hong Kong, but when a 5 day Korean holiday presented itself, we couldn’t resist booking a last minute vacation. We were both seriously craving some beach time, so we cashed in some aeroplan points and treated ourselves to business class flights on Singapore Air (which in Asia, are not much more than an economy flight for some reason).
We headed straight down to Bali, and spent 3 days in one of my favourite places on earth – the rice paddies surrounding Ubud. Soothing Balinese massages, organic food and the absolute serenity of nature helped us to quickly forget the rush-rush hurry-hurry vibe of East Asia.
After that, it was a week on tiny, traffic-free Gili Air. Despite a storm knocking out power on the island for a full 36 hours, we loved the relaxed pace, friendly locals and gorgeous water. It’s a place I’d love to return to one day with our little one. 😀
In June, we knocked 2 destinations off our “Take 6 Trips in Korea” Challenge. First, with a quick hour long plane ride down to New Wonder of the World, Jeju Island, at the beginning of the month, and then with a trip to Jeongdongjin Beach and the bizarre Suncruise Resort at the end.
It rained for part of our time in Jeju, and the water was still surprisingly cold (no swimming yet), but it didn’t stop us from enjoying the dramatic beauty of it’s volcanic landscapes, hiking up Seongsan Ilchubong (Sunrise Peak), or eating black pork, abalone hotpot and grilled fish, a few of the island’s specialties.
In July, I was 5 months pregnant, and it was babymoon time! We wanted the last big trip we would take for a while to be a good one, so we fulfilled one of our travel dreams by traveling to the Maldives. But not before a quick stop in Kuala Lumpur, where we took full advantage of the city’s amazing food scene. We hit both ends of the spectrum by pigging out at Jalan Alor’s hawker stalls, and then indulging in high tea at the historic Majestic Hotel.
From there, it was a surprise upgrade to business class on Sri Lankan Airlines, a quick stopover in Colombo, and a few days in Hulhumale – a quiet reclaimed island close to the airport that would give us our first taste of the country’s out of this world beaches.
In August, our Maldives babymoon began in earnest, on the tiny, but beautiful local island of Maafushi. We spent 12 blissful days in one of the most naturally blessed countries on earth, without a care in the world. We laid on warm, white sands, swam in immaculate water, and even managed a day trip or two.
By the time we left, we were well and truly “beached out,” (didn’t think that was possible), and ready to tackle the UNESCO World Heritage city of Malacca. A last pitstop in Bangkok to visit friends, get massages and eat delicious Thai food, and our babymoon was over. Posts about these 2 destinations coming in 2016. 🙂
And finally, we checked off a 3rd destination for our “Take 6 Trips in Korea” Challenge with a quick weekend trip to Naksan and Anmok Beach for the last weekend of summer.
That would turn out to be our last real trip of 2015. For the final months of the year, our travels consisted of trips to the hospital for check-ups and vaccinations, coffee dates at Starbucks, and if we were really ambitious, dinner at the mall.
I must admit, that with a newborn around, these simple outings felt like a real challenge at first. We’re almost 3 months into our new adventure now though, and I’m happy to say that things are getting easier and easier.
It won’t be long now, before we get back on the road, baby in tow. And we’ve got big plans for 2016. Stay tuned! 😀
Where did you travel in 2015? What were your travel highlights?