2015 was an incredible year for travel. From destinations near and far, here are my favourite moments from this year’s trips (in chronological order, because I couldn’t possibly rank them!)
Reuniting with my best friend in Frankfurt, Germany (February 2015)
One of my favourite parts of living in London was the ability to hop on a budget airline on a whim. Upon hearing that Cameron had joined a rather prestigious Taiwanese men’s choir which was touring in Germany, I didn’t have to think twice. We enjoyed an incredible weekend in Frankfurt generally being goofs and consuming vast amounts of apfelwein — a local apple wine specialty which tastes much like an unsweetened cider. Yum!
Gellert Baths in Budapest, Hungary (February, 2015)
Budapest is famed for its many public baths (and there sure are quite a few to pick from!) What better way to spend a freezing cold and rainy day than inside the Gellert Baths, admiring its ornate architecture while soaking in lovely thermal baths?
Being a tourist in Berlin, Germany (March 2015)
Despite the prevalence of tags and graffiti, the East Side Gallery is still a marvel for lovers of street art.
I made it to the Baltics! (May 2015)
Created by Vilnius's bohemian arts and culture community in 1997, the Republic of Užupis remains committed to its delightful and absurdist roots. Highlights include its own constitution, passport stamp, and ever-evolving art installations. #vilnius #lithuania #lietuva #uzpis #republicofuzupis #baltics #art #publicart #artinstallation #bohemian #travel #vsco #vscocam
Helsinki-Tallinn booze cruise (May 2015)
Alcohol is exorbitant in Finland, so residents hop on the ferry to Estonia to purchase vast quantities of cheap booze. I had heard of this, but never witnessed it in person until I took the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki, where I spotted many a Finn with moving carts stacked full of cases and cases of beer. I suppose it’s really no different than stocking up at Costco.
Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey (June 2015)
Aside from being a travel fanatic, food also ranks very highly on things which are important in my life. The Spice Bazaar is like the king of all Gourmet Warehouses, with store owners hollering at passers-by to sample some fresh Turkish Delight or smell saffron and any number of other spices. I returned with a hefty amount of kebab meat spice and tea.
Istanbul, Turkey — in general (June 2015)
From feasting on hearty beef stews at truck stops to gawking wide-eyed at historical monuments in Sultanahmet, Istanbul is one of my all-time favourite destinations.
Hiking Helvellyn in the Lake District, England (June 2015)
Despite learning that five people had died attempting to hike Strider’s Edge (just in 2015), you couldn’t stop this motley crew of Americans, one Canadian, and one Brit from tackling this challenging trek. The trail started out clear and sunny, but swiftly turned so foggy that we could barely see an arm’s length ahead. Thankfully, I’ve lived to tell the tale!
Summer Day on Bowen Island, Canada (August 2015)
It had been nearly ten years since the last time I was on Bowen Island, and even longer for my best friend Cameron. When he was home for the summer — on a break from teaching kindergarten tykes in Taipei — we decided to take a ferry over to the charming island municipality for a day of hiking, picnicking, and beaching.
Visiting Snoqualmie Falls in Washington (October 2015)
As a Twin Peaks fan, 2017 can’t come soon enough!