The somewhat different travel guides

You know I’m a big fan of Lonely Planet. In my opinion, their travel guides are almost as comprehensive as travel guides can get, being the perfect companion for whatever trip you’re about to plan. I recently discovered that Lonely Planet not only publishes the regular destination travel guides but books that dig way deeper. Here’s what I found:

Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List

It’s a list of the 500 most thrilling, memorable and downright interesting places on this planet. These are the places that the authors think you should experience; sights that will humble, amaze and surprise you. They’ll provoke thoughts, emotions or just an urgent need to tell someone about them.

Tales from Nowhere

Many places can feel like nowhere: a desert, an isolated village, even the middle of a bustling city. And then something happens: an adventure, a revelation, an experience that changes the whole landscape. The richly varied stories in this book all celebrate and illuminate one simple truth: if we embark on each adventure with an open heart and an open mind, travel will take us to places we never planned to go, and enrich and enlighten us in ways we never otherwise would have known.

Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips

Packed with trade secrets, this book will help you have a better, safer, cheaper trip. The aim with this guide is to pass on universal advice that you can take with you wherever in the world you go, and whatever budget you travel at.

Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing

Well this is a hint – if you ever need a gift for me, this is what you should get! Written by a pre-eminent travel writer and bursting with invaluable advice, this inspiring and practical guide is a must for anyone who has ever yearned to turn their travels into tales.

Happy: Secrets to Happiness From Cultures of the World

Happiness. One word, nine letter, roughly seven billion definitions, one for each person on the planet. The book shares the planet’s lessons on youth, old age, love, death, work and family. The title features fascinating insights into how happiness is created in different cultures.

2015 Bucket List Review!

This is it, the year 2015 is more or less wrapped up. For me, this time of the year is always dedicated to re-living everything that has happened over the course of the last months. If you are one of those awesome fellas that regularly read my blog (YAY, big shout out to you guys!), you might remember my bucket list for 2015. It’s an excerpt from my infinite bucket list that I am hoping to check off in decades from now.

A bucket list really is like a to do list for me. As I have uttered several times, I simply like checking things off lists just to be excited for the next step on that list. But what I’ve learned this year is that bucket lists are a tad different. They really mostly fuel my excitement and are less straightforward than a regular to do list. I’ve learned how much I like veering off the beaten path and finding myself in situations I hadn’t planned out for myself.

So here is what I had planned and what actually happened:

Athens, Greece

Yep, that definitely happened! I still look back to this trip regularly. Not only because I relish thinking back to the incredible Greek architecture or the vast amounts of mouth-watering dishes we consumed but also because it made me learn a life-lesson right at the start of the new year: getting robbed and still managing to enjoy your trip.

Filopappou Hill Athens

Filopappou Hill Athens

Exploring Wales

I can also cross this off my list! And as a matter of fact, I could cross it off several times because I was lucky to explore Wales more than once. Every day whenever I wander through the streets that I currently call home or used to call home, I am determined to explore and look behind each hidden corner. But not only did I meander my immediate surroundings, I took three road trips around Wales!

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Driving around North Wales

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Skrinkle Haven Wales

Scotland

Well, I was not able to visit Scotland this year. I was all too consumed with running around Wales or sitting at my desk in Cardiff, head fuming with thoughts about assignments or my dissertation. But Scotland, I’ll be back someday!

Alberta, Canada

Hell, yeah! Words cannot even begin to describe how much this trip impacted me. Being a bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding, road tripping through the most incredible landscapes I have ever seen, summitting my first mountain and just loving everyday life in rural Alberta. A trip to remember and a heart lost to Canada!

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Southeast Asia

A trip of a lifetime. My first backpacking trip and also my first time in Southeast Asia. This trip made me learn a lot about myself and about travelling. And even though we’ve been back for almost three months now, I am still basking in Bali bliss with my head in the clouds and radiant sun streams still leaving warm marks on my skin.

Sunrise hike on Mount Batur

Sunrise hike on Mount Batur

Jimbaran Beach Bali

Jimbaran Beach Bali

Breakfast at Crate Cafe

Breakfast at Crate Cafe

Black Forest, Prague and Barcelona

These three destinations still remain uncovered. With a year as eventful as this one and with as many accomplishments and changes happening, I am at peace with not having discovered these destinations. Instead, I focused on going back to my hometown more, admiring it with the eyes of a first-time visitor and building up an immense amount of gratefulness about having grown up here.

Well, were did I veer off the beaten path then? Being caught up in one-of-a-lifetime-experiences often doesn’t come planned. Just as my most recent trip to Japan did. Sitting at home, caught up with job applications with no immediate bucket list destinations ahead, I had never expected for such an opportunity to happen that quickly. A very dear friend and her family suddenly swooped me out of my rut and invited me to a road trip through Japan. Who would I be to say no that?! Against my I-am-an-adult-now better judgement I left my job applications instantaneously and went to rove around Japan.

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Himeji Castle in Japan

It made me realize that this truly is what I love about traveling. Expect the unexpected and just go with the flow. Those are the times when you discover who you’ve always been, what drives and motivates you and how you find your utter bliss.