Dec 26, 2017

My Last Blogpost For 2017. Wrapping Up A Year Of Travel.

Photograph taken at the peak of Ti Top Island, Halong Bay, Vietnam.

For the longest time, I don't remember setting yearly goals for myself. My personal challenge for this year though, was to travel more.

To start things off, I think it would be an easy feat to just say - instead of one holiday, let's now plan for two! That's, not exactly what I had in mind, though to be very honest, I don't think I'm ready to go on full speed just yet. Having to juggle between a full time job and some part time ones in between, meant that it was really important for me to carve out what was challenging enough, yet realistically achievable overall.

Let's start small.

Asia.

In the beginning, I was very divided on what I want to achieve from all of this traveling. Was I merely chasing after a stamp on my passport? Or was there something I really want to see and do, that would be meaningful enough for me in the long run?

Then, I decided - let's try to strike a balance for both, but on one condition - it has to be a place that I have not been to; someplace foreign enough to give me the excitement of exploring something new.

Sure enough, for the most part of 2017, things did go according to plan.

Traveling plans were made, be it short local road trips by car, or places that were nearby, but far enough to render a plane ride.

I will sum up my traveling deeds for the year.

In the beginning of the 2017, I celebrated New Years Eve in Bangkok, where I had a slightly fuzzy but fun countdown. I then visited Johor Bahru for the first time in February, hopping from one eatery to another, sampling some of the best eats in town. In March, I spend four days in Hong Kong, a trip that eventually changed my perception of the Hong Kong culture. I was 10 when I last visited Hong Kong. I went on a short day trip, in April, to Seremban, just to eat siew bau. I ended up traveling back to Bangkok in May, simply because my friends asked me to do so. In July, I spend a relaxing weekend in Penang, a place deemed as food heaven for many. The most meaningful trip for the year was completed in September. I traveled to Beijing for the first time, on a solo adventure, to conquer The Great Wall, a feat that has been pending on my bucket list for the longest time. I also met some really interesting characters along the way. In October, I made an impromptu trip to Hanoi, a place which I eventually grew to like, and would not hesitate to return again. The highlight of my Vietnam trip however, was visiting Halong Bay, where I had a great experience at sea, being on board a cruise and kayaking for the first time. My final trip of the year, in December, would be counting down to the new year, in Pulau Langkawi, for a short 32-hours. This will be my first time there.

Apologies. That, got a bit wordy.

For all the short and sweet trips that I have done in the past 365 days, the one new thing that struck me the most, was how much I enjoyed traveling by myself. From planning the itinerary, to traveling and sightseeing, then writing about the entire experience.

Don't get me wrong, I still prefer to have a travel buddy, but all I'm saying is that, I realised that I can actually do this on my own!

My 2018 traveling goal, therefore, would be to get out of the bubble, and see more of what the beautiful world beholds - outside of Asia.

Travel buddy anyone?

Completed thus far:
Australasia - Australia (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth), New Zealand (Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, Christchurch).
East Asia - Japan (Tokyo),  Korea (Seoul & Jeju), Hong Kong, Taiwan, China (Beijing & Shanghai).
Southeast Asia -  Thailand (Bangkok & Phuket & Hat Yai), Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh & Hanoi & Halong Bay), Indonesia (Bali & Jakarta), Philippines (Manila & Borocay), Singapore, Malaysia.
 
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