It’s that time of the year where I take a look back at how and where I’ve travelled this year. It’s always fun to reminisce and see where I’ve been so far, and see how I might be able to squeeze in my travel in the year ahead.
The first trip of 2014 was a short one up to Penang mainly to eat, eat, and eat. It was also the first place that I really started taking interest in hunting street art as a way to explore a place. See the Penang recaps here>>
I spent my 30th birthday in Bali once again, but this time with my family. It was my 3rd trip to this little island paradise in 2 years. We stayed in quite an awesome villa in Seminyak, but besides lazing on the beach, I got to see Ubud as well as some of the famous temples on this island. More on Bali here>>
Margaret River, Australia
The Easter holiday in April was spent down in Margaret River and Perth with my friend S, where we stayed on a remote but charming house in a vineyard, and spent most of it in places no telephone network could reach (grapevines eat telephone signals I swear~) indulging in a lot of good wine and gourmet. See more Margaret River stories here>>
Then a quick weekend jaunt up to Shanghai, my first trip to China ever, with a bunch of other bloggers thanks to Spring Airlines. We spent a rainy day exploring this city together and eating xiaolongbaos and visiting a rather interesting Korean-style bathhouse, and also meeting another blogger based in Shanghai who introduced me to the wonderful architecture of local Shikumen. More on Shanghai here >>
The second quarter was absolutely packed – the weekend after that I found myself headed to Phuket, another new place for me (I’d only been to Bangkok before this) with the girls where we chillaxed over the weekend thanks to Holiday Inn Mai Khao resort. Mai Khao is pretty close to the airport and a lovely quiet part of Phuket, I would definitely consider going back there again. More on Phuket here >>
June saw me heading up to London for my first ever working trip overseas – the good thing about my jobs in the arts is that even the work bits were quite fun as we got to explore quite a bit of London’s art scene, so I was quite happy not to be stuck in boardrooms or offices all day! I found even more street art, favourite literary landmarks and went to a lot of markets. More London stories here >>
Ayutthaya + Bangkok, Thailand
The Tourism Authority of Thailand then invited me up to Bangkok for a huge Happiness party to show that Bangkok remains an amazing place to visit despite all their recent struggles with protests earlier in the year. I had the opportunity to visit the old capital of Ayutthaya and also got to watch my first live Muay Thai match. More on Bangkok here >>
Finally after what felt like eons, I took off for my annual big trip – a semi-solo adventure to Portugal, where I spent a lovely 16 days travelling around Lisbon, the Algarve and Porto. I love the vibe of Portugal which has great history and amazing street art throughout the country, and in comparison to some other countries is actually a more affordable place to visit. I definitely have so much to write about which I haven’t quite gotten to yet! More on Portugal here >>
And finally the last trip for 2014 was a short one with another group of girlfriends back to Phuket again for a hen’s weekend getaway. We stayed in a luxurious villa in Kamala on the central western coast, and I finally got to see firsthand what the notorious Patong Beach area was like (Spoiler: I didn’t love it). More Phuket stories here >>
So that’s my summary for the year – I apparently managed to spend 52 days travelling with my 18 days of leave! I’m pretty impressed with myself~
- Feb: Penang, Malaysia – Eat and Relax trip (3D2N)
- Mar: Bali, Indonesia – Family trip (4D3N)
- Apr: Margaret River, Australia – Road trip (5D4N)
- Apr: Shanghai, China – Spring Airlines FAM trip (4D3N)
- May: Phuket, Thailand – Holiday Inn Mai Khao FAM trip (3D2N)
- Jun: London, United Kingdom – Work trip (9D9N)
- Jul: Bangkok, Thailand – Thailand FAM trip (4D3N)
- Sep/Oct: Portugal – Semi-solo trip (17D16N)
- Nov: Phuket, Thailand – Hen’s Weekend (3D2N)
The work trip to London definitely helped make that number so much higher than last year’s 38 days! Even if you take that number out, 42 days is still a pretty good number considering I only have 18 days of leave :) I definitely made full use of weekends and public holidays like Good Friday and Hari Raya to help increase my travelling days.
Most of the trips were nearby jaunts around Asia within 5 hours flight from Singapore, except for London and Portugal, so that made it easier to take many short trips in anticipation of my long Portugal trip. I had booked the Portugal trip quite early on, in the first quarter of the year, so while that made planning easier and saved me a load on airfare, it also means that I couldn’t go for some FAM trips that cropped up last minute or mid-week as my leave was all tied up already. Ah well, you can’t have it all~
Trips in 2015
I haven’t actually made any plans for 2015. Which is a little bit odd for me, feeling so untethered…
I definitely want to go diving earlier in the year – there was no dive trip this year so had to break that yearly tradition and I’m starting to feel like I need to get underwater.
There have been quite a lot of interesting chats with tourism boards and travel companies in partnership to help them promote their destinations, and I’m crossing my fingers that some of these will result in opportunities to visit amazing places that I might not think to visit on my own.
And as usual there are just so many places to go! My bucket list is ever growing, but some places that are on the top of that list include Iceland, Istanbul, Croatia, Galapagos Islands, Azores… there is so much to see!
How were your 2014 travels like? And where are you headed in 2015? Share here and inspire us all!
Check out the round up of my favourite writings in my 2014 as well.