In just a couple days we’ll be saying goodbye to 2017 and welcoming 2018. First off, where has the time gone?! I don’t know about you but this past year seems to have flown by! I think the main reason why it’s gone by in a flash is because: travel!
Not only did I travel back home to Canada – after living in Korea for 2 years – but I was able to tick off some of my goals for the New Year and travel to all the places on my bucket list.
So to recap, here are some photos from my travels that will fuel your wanderlust for the upcoming year and to get you booking your next adventure!
My home away from home. I could probably dedicate a post just to this country as I have hundreds of photos and several albums to look back on my memories as an expat living in Korea.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Have you ever been to a temple on the water? Built in 1376, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Busan is a beautiful Buddhist temple situated right on the coast with breathtaking views of the sea.
Boseong Green Tea Field
Hills upon hills of lush greenery, the famous Boseong Green Tea Field should be on everyone’s Korea bucket list. With people coming and going, it’s pretty quiet to enjoy the space to yourself. Don’t forget to try the green tea ice cream!
Mount Maisan & Naesosa Temple
If you have a chance to explore outside of Busan and Seoul, make sure you check out Jeollabukdo province. Rich with Korean history, you’ll get a better understanding for the culture and customs of Korea. Mount Maisan and Naesosa Temple are two places you must visit.
Mount Maisan’s main attraction is a mysterious temple, where it is said that even with strong winds, the large stone pagodas will never budge. Naesosa Temple is one of the only temples in Korea to have never been affected by forces such as bombs, fires or natural disasters.
Great Wall of China, Beijing
Walking the Great Wall of China is one of my favourite memories of living overseas. My friend and I hiked Jinshanling – the section of the Great Wall that is partly restored but still has many natural qualities to it. The best part about this section is there are hardly any people. We basically had the whole place to ourselves!
The Bund, Shanghai
As much as I loved Beijing (as it’s home to the Great Wall), my favourite Chinese city has to be Shanghai! I loved it so much I went for a long weekend getaway and then again for my summer vacation. Make sure you check out the Bund and walk the promenade both in the day and at night!
Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong
Despite the gloomy and rainy weather, I had a great time exploring Hong Kong and seeing all that this territory has to offer. This photo was taken while taking the cable car up to the enormous Tian Tan Buddha statue on Lantau Island. For a short period in the cable car, we were surrounded by thick fog (it was really cool!) and then in the distance – as the fog cleared – we see “Big Buddha” in the distance.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
When you visit Vietnam, cruising Ha Long Bay better be on your itinerary! We stayed 2 days / 1 night with Indochina Junk and had a great time setting sail through this UNESCO World Heritage Site. We even got to take a trip to the floating fishing village and saw how the locals live on a daily basis.
Forget to pack something? No worries – Vietnam is the spot for shopping. Although I didn’t need anything, the weather was a bit cooler than I anticipated so I had to pick up a jacket and pants. Plus, the prices were cheap so it was hard to say no!
Meiji Shrine & Bamboo Forest
Exploring Japan was one for the books. In 9 days, we had a jam-packed itinerary exploring Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Check out the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, where you’ll see a collection of sake in decorative barrels. Over in Kyoto, make sure to wander the Bamboo Forest in the Arashiyama district.
The number one thing to do when visiting Cambodia is to explore Angkor Wat. I highly suggest hiring a tour guide and private tuk-tuk that will take you to all of the ancient ruins over the course of 2 or 3 days. Don’t forget to explore at sunrise for an unforgettable view!
Signal Hill, Newfoundland
Finally made my way back to my home and native land after living abroad for two years. I never really explored my own country before, so I decided to take a summer road trip (my first!) to the east coast with my family friend. Pictures don’t really do it justice – you have to see it first-hand! Maybe you’ll spot a whale like I did!
New York City
As an avid city girl, New York City is my jam! For an awesome view like this, check out the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center. The only downside is the steep price to go up to the top – but I’d say the view is worth it!
I’m pretty fortunate to have been able to live out some of my travel dreams – and it’s only going to continue! I know for some it’s not as easy to head on to Skyscanner and book a flight. I get it, life gets in the way – bills to pay, mouths to feed, work obligations. But just remember that travel is good for the mind, body and soul – and everyone deserves to see this beautiful world we live in!
One more photo just because…
What’s your travel bucket list looking like for the new year? Let me know in the comments below!
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