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!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Driving around North Wales

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

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!

12391220_10156311755500722_7259269346134442187_n

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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.

 

Bali Bliss.


FullSizeRender

That’s what we did – made new friends, Nicole caught waves, we drank some Bintangs (the delicious Indonesian beer!), had a great time, took a break. And we definitely look back on the incredible time we had in Bali! I have never seen a place like Bali before in my life. You do find the typical tourists but more than that you find expats, yogis, surfers and those – like us – that just relished each day.

You might think it must have been hard to choose a top three for my favourite spots in Bali. While there are numerous places and activities that I could recommend you, there are three that really stand out:

1. CANGGU

This lovely spot is still rather unknown and thus reserved for expats and surfers who stay on the island a bit longer than the typical few days. It is almost impossible to describe the unique atmosphere that surrounds Canggu. The town is a collection of one of a kind shops bursting with clothes and jewelry, “cafes for days”, as well as restaurants and bars exploding with the smell and taste of mouthwatering dishes. Each with a unique little touch. My ABSOLUTE highlight will forever be the Crate Cafe on Batu Bolong. It solely opens for breakfast. Breakfasts that are out of this world – steaming hot piles of scrambled eggs on the perfect golden french toast, the rich flavours of a flat white coffee or the infamous breakfast bowls – acai, blueberries or freshly shredded coconut are just some of the incredible ingredients they use day in and day out.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

If you ever go to Crate – look out for the on wanderlust logo on one of the tables inside the cafe!

2. MOUNT BATUR

As I said on Instagram, sunrise hikes are the best hikes! The most jaw-dropping and goosebump-evoking experience of all the four weeks in Southeast Asia was our hike up Mount Batur. It is a truly mesmerizing experience to escape the bustling life in Bali to hike up a mountain during the middle of the night. Imagine getting up at 2am just to hike up a volcano while it’s still pitch black outside equipped only with the light of torches. Just at the crack of dawn you get to your destination – the top of the mountain. Sit down and take in the stunning views the sun conjures while rising up the sky and the beautiful golden light it provokes.


IMG_9154-1

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

3. ULUWATU

This place is located at the southern tip of Bali. It’s an enchanting place because it combines natural beauty with the best sunset party on the whole island. Start off your Sunday with a trip to Greenbowl beach, a stretch of the coastline that lays hundreds of steps down from a cliff, which take you to white sand stretches, clear blue waters and hidden away caves.

FullSizeRender.1

Don’t stay too long though. Make sure you leave the beach just in time for the famous Sunday party at Single Fin bar. It is a bar/restaurant/club built into a cliff and consists of various levels and decks. On Sundays, the Single Fin bar turns into a magical place that unites the happiest, most gorgeous people on the island just to celebrate the sunset, be thankful for the day spent and look forward to another incredible day in Bali.

IMG_9166

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

It still gives me the chills thinking about my time in Bali. I urge you to go there – whether you are a yogi, aim to catch some waves or just enjoy yourself – everything is just a little more extraordinary than usual in Bali.

Daydreaming. Throwback. Summer.

This is a throwback. Technically, throwbacks apparently only work on Thursdays now, with the widely known #throwbackthursday. But you can’t really control your longings and feelings, can you? Summer has finally arrived in Wales. Blazing hot summer days, long and warm nights on the patio and blissfully enjoying the warm and hot sun streams on your skin.

Can you really enjoy it though? When you’re in your everyday life, you most probably can’t appreciate summer as much as you would want it. Running to work or to uni, hauling groceries around in 30 degree-stuffy-air and only finding time to truly enjoy the weather in the evenings.

In these times, I always pretend my head is in a little travel-bubble. In my head I am in Santorini right now. Sitting on the patio, drinking coffee and enjoying a Greek breakfast.

Or, even better, returning to my favourite memory – hiking from Fira to Oia, the two biggest towns in Santorini. Passing by lush infinity pools, admiring the endless and ultramarine coloured ocean and taking in the tranquility around you.

Blogpost

Do you have these reveries you can escape to when you’re feeling you need a break? My advice is to keep them as close to your heart as possible. There’s nothing better than going through your memories and pictures from past travels and feeling an excitement bubbling up inside you, only waiting to board the next plane and go on a trip.

I am lucky to say that my next take off is only 22 days away now. Soon I’ll step foot onto Canadian land for the first time, visiting Calgary, Banff and Jasper. And of course, being a guest at one of my best friend’s wedding!

Where do your throwbacks and daydreams take you? Or even better, where are you travelling next? I still have a long bucket list for 2015!