Over the next week or so in the run up to 2014 I am looking back over everything I have done this year. It has been my biggest year of travel, I have completed some incredible bucket list ticks and visited seven countries in total – that’s a record for one year! To enable myself to properly review this year I have put together a series of differnt types of posts. I hope you enjoy them! To view my infographic head here. Today I’m looking at my top 13 moments of the year…
Completing 88 days of regional work
The year started in Waikerie where we were living on a boat and picking oranges everyday in the blistering heat. We were paid poorly but had some of the best times – celebrating Australia Day is probably the most memorable. When it all came to an end in February it was a mixture of excitement and nerves. We had finally completed our Australian regional work but we now had to go back to the real world, enter city life and get real jobs again. Still nothing beats the feeling I had the day we completed our orange picking and the night we left Waikerie.
Climbing the Tongariro Crossing
This was something we debated about for ages; because of the wintry conditions this hike would cost us $150 for a guide, equipment and transfers. That seemed like a lot. Still we decided we would fork out the money and go for it and I’m so glad we did. The hike was hard and long at 18km but it was the most rewarding of all the things we did in New Zealand. The views were incredible and seeing the place all covered in snow only seemed right.
This is a weird one: it was the biggest highlight but also the biggest lowlight. Coming home meant our year long trip was over, we were back in the UK and had to adjust to reality again. However coming home also meant seeing my family and friends who I hadn’t seen in a year, sleeping in my familiar bed and just realising that home isn’t such a bad place after all.
Riding an Elephant
Again another moment which I had been looking forward to since I booked our flights to Thailand. Originally I thought I would get to do this in Chang Mai but we actually ended up doing so on Ko Chang. The elephant ride itself was great but the real highlight was when we took one of the young elephants down to the sea – he carried us bareback and dumped us in the sea. We then spent time playing in the sea while he splashed water over us with his trunk. It was magical to just see this adorable creature playing so gently with us.
Visiting Angkor Temples
I had always wanted to visit Angkor Wat but little did I realise how much I was going to enjoy the rest of the temples. We spent sunrise at Angkor Wat and true to the stories there were hundreds of people around the lake waiting for the magical moment. Problem was the day we went the skies were full of cloud and we never really witnessed the special moment. However I loved the Byron temple and the whole of Ta Phrom with the natural look of trees growing over the falling down temples. The temples had a powering feel I never expected and I found myself fascinated rather than bored by the whole day.
We recently moved to Glasgow and I made a promise to myself I would actually see more of Scotland than last time round. Our first adventure was to Loch Lomond and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It was a freezing winter’s day but the scenery certainly didn’t disappoint: with a mirror reflection on the water and snowy mountains lining the landscape it really was picture perfect Scotland. I cannot wait to explore more of that area and the rest of Scotland.
Getting a place at Roehampton University to study Primary Education
I have spoken several times about my wish to become a primary school teacher and my fears about staying in the same place for three years. However despite these fears I sent my UCAS application off upon arriving home in the UK and had my first interview in December. I was offered a place at my first choice university less than a week later. So come September I will be a full time student again and back to living in London! The thought of staying in one place with barely any money for travels scares me but I am so excited and proud of myself for getting a place on the primary education course.
And that has been my top 13 moments of 2013, I feel so lucky to have had such a fun and action packed year of travel. 2014 is already shaping up to a good start as I won a trip to Australia in February and we have plans for a New Year trip away in Scotland, and that is just the first two months. And other suggestions for Europe or more specifically Scotland? I would love to hear them.