My Best Travel Moments (2015-18)

This post was inspired by one of my latest blog posts, (Top 5 Countries That I have Travelled 15-18). As this post did so well and had so much positive feedback, I decided to write a blog post on my best moments whilst travelling. However, just like the last article, being able to narrow my list of awesome travel moments down was extremely difficult. Nevertheless, after much thought here are my top 5!

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Climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan is number 5 on my best travel moments! Climbing Mt. Fuji was part of my Asia trip with Max and Haydn, so being able to experience the climb with them only made the experience better! We also met someone called Andrew at our hostel who we also did the climb with.

Although the last couple of hours back to the hostel were extremely painful as I had injured my knee running a half-marathon a couple of months before. The whole experience was incredible and looking back something I am so glad I did. One of the best decisions was definitely not taking the bus to 5th station and actually walking the entire way from the hostel. However, what this meant was an 11km walk to station 0!

Nevertheless, station 0-5 was a pretty easy climb and I got to see some spectacular views along the way. Being above the clouds really made for an impressive view! Another benefit of walking meant that by the time I reached 5th station, the sun was setting and the sunset was just surreal. However, at station 6, I started wrapping up and putting on as many layers that I had. Being above 2,500m and with the sun setting, it got really cold, fast.

 This was the part of the climb that seemed to go on for a long time as the stations started going up in halves now instead of 5-6, 6-7. The cold also started to become a big factor. I remember stopping at the side of the walkaway and laying down for a while and just shivering so much as my body temperature plummeted. The other issues were that the climb started to get a lot steeper and this meant that any slow people ahead of you made you slow down which meant that you were getting cold again!

In spite of the cold, walking in pitch black and the steep climb to the summit, I finally got to the top at around 2 am which meant that I had been walking for a total of 14 hours so far. However, the issue I had now was that the temperature was well below 0c and I had to just find a place to keep warm until the sunrise. Initially, Max and I found a bench that we laid down and drifted off to sleep. But, within minutes our bodies woke us up shivering! That’s when I saw that they let people into a restaurant type area where they charged a ridiculous amount for food and drink just because they knew people were desperate to be allowed inside.

After finally getting in and warming up, the sun started to rise! Rushing outside to get some pictures of the sunset as well as our climbing group, it made the whole experience more than worthwhile. The sunrise was just incredible. The different colours that bounced off the skyline and the surrounding mountains were just out of this world! I really cannot describe what a unique experience it was being able to see a sunset this good.

After the sun had rose it was then time for the descent back to the hostel. The climb down didn’t take as long but by the time I made it to the hostel I had been climbing for over 24 hours! However, this didn’t take away from what an incredible experience it was and actually made the whole trip more rewarding.

Even though I only spent around 4 days in Fuji, it quickly became one of my favourite places. It has great lakes, great mountains, gives you the chance to climb a 3,800m mountain and offers great Japanese food!

4.

Sunset Point in Uluwatu is a moment that I cannot stop thinking about. Every time I look back at my pictures from my trip to Bali, this is always one that stands out the most. Every trip always has a couple of moments that become your highlight, and this sunset is definitely that!

Sunset Point is located on the coast which has a small bar where hundreds of travellers come to watch the sunset. They bar has a swimming pool, a rooftop seating area, as well as bean bags placed everywhere. Luckily, Sita and I managed to get right to the front where we just chilled with a beer, listening to music and watching the sunset.

As you can see by the pictures below, the tranquillity of the place is unreal! Why this makes my top 5 best travel moments, is just because when I was there watching the waves come in and the sun setting, I just thought how amazing my life was and how lucky I am to experience these kind of moments

For anyone who is visiting Bali, then make sure you visit Uluwatu and in particularly Sunset Point. Personally, what I enjoyed about the area so much was that it was just full of travellers who all came to relax, have a drink and just watch the sunset. This gave the place a great atmosphere and a really nice place to chill. The sunsets that I saw in Bali, but in particular the sunset I saw in Uluwatu, was probably the best sunset I have ever seen!

3.

For those of you who read the article that inspired this one (Top 5 Countries That I Have Travelled 2015-18) then you’ll know how much I love Guatemala. As I said in that post, Guatemala was a place where we were given many warnings prior to arriving. But, as this all turned out to be hearsay and incorrect, it made the whole trip so much better.

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Climbing and camping on an active Volcano – Acatenango, is as you can imagine, a fantastic experience. One of the major reasons why I enjoyed this so much was because we met such an awesome group of people that were all liked minded. As we got to know each other, we all shared stories of our past or current trips which were really interesting to listen to, as it made you want to go to the places that they have visited.

One of my favourite memories of climbing Acatenango was just being around the campfire with our group just drinking some beers and watching Fuego, another of Guatemala’s volcanoes blowing smoke. (Fuego had erupted about three weeks before we had arrived). The rest of the day was spent eating, drinking and sharing more travel stories, before watching the sunset.

Again like our climb on Mt. Fuji, as darkness fell, so did the temperature. Although this time, we had a tent and sleeping bags which were actually warm. The only issue was that if you wanted to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, which I did, it was absolutely freezing! We woke up around 3.30 am to set about climbing the final 1000m so that we could see the sunrise. The climb up the final 1000m was harder than the climb up Fuji, but nevertheless we made it to the summit in time.

When we were at the summit our tour guide gave us some volcanic rock to hold which warmed up our hands no problem. It was just a reminder that, wow, we are actually standing on an active volcano. As the sun started to rise the whole skyline kept changing colours and you could see an entire mountain range silhouetting in the distance. I personally found the sunrise at Acatenango better than the one at Fuji just because of the whole experience of being able to camp on an active volcano.

2.

At number 2 of my best travel moments has to be dog sledging whilst in Tromso, Norway. Up until this point, my time in Norway  had just been immense. So good in fact, I rated it as my number one country to visit!

One of the reasons why I rated Norway my best trip to date, was definitely because we got the chance to dog sledge. What made the experience so good was that we got to spend around 3 hours with the dogs, where we got educated on where the dogs had come from and how they are looked after. Also the sled drivers were from all over the world. The driver of my sled was from Northern Italy and he shared his stories of why he came to Norway and where else he had been.

The main highlight of course was actually sledging! The sledging lasted about 45 minutes, however it felt a lot shorter than that. With Tromso being in the Arctic circle and us being there in late January, we were lucky enough to have apparently, the first sunrise of the year whilst sledging! Our Italian driver said it was the first time they had any sun for the last 3 months. The sunrise was simply mesmerising as the sunlight bounced of the snow and surrounding mountains.  

The whole day’s experience with the dogs was just so enjoyable and they give you plenty of time to interact and play with the dogs. As well as letting you see some new puppies! We also enjoyed Reindeer stew for our lunch after sledging which to my surprise was really nice. One of the reasons why dog sledging ranks number 2 for me is because I haven’t done anything like this before. It made for such a unique and cool experience that I don’t think I’ll ever forget!

1.

Without any doubt, seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland is by far the best travel moment that I have experienced. Just being able to see the Aurora is unique in itself and took a lot of patience and driving around to see it. However, the moment when I saw the Northern Lights, it was such relief and I felt so much excitement that it definitely has to rank number 1. 

 

We spent several days driving around Iceland to find the best place. We usually went near Pingvellir National Park which is about 40 minutes away from our hostel. As it turns out, hundreds of people go to the lighthouse just outside of Reykjavik to see them. So if you’re in Reykjavik and want a place where someone has spotted them, then try the lighthouse!

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Another special thing about being able to see the Northern Lights is that when they dance around it is such a spectacle to watch. I remember us just laying down on a freezing concrete path, just watching them swirl around in the sky and thinking how amazing nature and the world is.

What made my sighting of the Northern Lights so special to me, is that this was the third night of waiting hours in the freezing cold just hoping that I would finally see the Aurora. The night that I did see them, was my last night in Iceland, so being able to see them was just such a relief. What makes this experience even more important, is that when I was in Tromso, I didn’t end up seeing the Lights. So luckily, I got to see them whilst I was in Iceland!

 

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66 thoughts on “My Best Travel Moments (2015-18)

  1. It’s just these moments that make the journey worthwhile. There’s so much travelling I wish to do and your special moments just expanded my bucket list. Travel on wanderer and regale us with your adventures.

  2. What a great set of experiences, I can see why you loved them. I’m a Japanophile so the Fuji day really struck me, though good to hear the downsides of being so cold. Still worth it though! Also amazing to read about the dog sledding in Tromso, we did that a few years ago, but we chose the experience where you could be the actual driver of the sled, well three of us did and the other three chose to be passengers!!! It was amazing! And Iceland, another favourite of mine!

  3. Your climbing adventures are amazing! Mt Fuji looks spectacular. I can see why the Northern Lights are your number 1. Great list.

  4. I love how diverse your list is, from Bali to Norway to Guatemala. It just goes to show that we can fall in love over and over again with different places and different people. That vista in Bali is amazing. I’m hoping to experience that for myself some day. I’m so sorry that the last part of your hike in Japan was painful. I know how NOT fun it is to hike when you’re in pain!

    1. Thank you Rachelle for your comment! It is amazing how you can like places that are completely different from each other in so many ways! I hope you get to experience all the travels that you want to in the future! Ahh it was not fun.. I really badly injured my knee just a few months before so climbing for over 24hours straight wasn’t good for it!!

  5. The trees in Mt. Fuji look gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to go there myself.

    Also, you climbed and camped on an active volcano?!?! I honestly would have been anxious the entire time. LOL

    The dog sledging in Norway looks like it was an amazing experience. I have to add that to my Bucket List now!

    Thanks for sharing your best travel moments. I really enjoyed reading it!

    1. Thank you Jasmine! Mt. Fuji was ammmaaaazing! Honestly you gotta go and climb!

      Hahaha! Well it was a little dangerous as it’s sister volcano Fuego had erupted and still is! But the experience itself just means you kinda forget about the danger.

      Honestly dog sledging was crazy! It’s such an amazing experience and I could not recommend it enough. So glad to hear you have put it on your bucket list!

  6. Amazing and beautifully captured pictures, it seems that you have enjoyed every bit of it. Wish I could also plan something like this. Thanks a lot for sharing this and letting us know about your experience

  7. I loved the list. Next week, I am heading to Iceland for Northern Lights. It would be so exciting. Tromso is also very beautiful though I have never been there. I so much want to visit Bali as well.

    1. Ahhhh! I so hope you end up seeing them! You will love Iceland it’s such an amazing country and the nature is just incredible! Feel free to check out two of my posts where I speak about Iceland (Iceland: A Travellers Utopia + Top 5 countries that I have travelled 2015-18)

      Tromso was such an awesome place – if you like Iceland you’ll love Norway!

  8. How gorgeous is Mount Fuji! She is also known for helping many farmers in Japan, coz the water coming from the mountain is very important in the wasabi farming. It is awesome that you experienced this adventure. Where is your next destination?

  9. I experienced the sunset at Uluwatu and the Northern lights and it was awesome! Climbing Mt. Fuji in Japan is my next adventure and I have no doubt it’s gonna be a great adventure too. I loved your list! Thank you for sharing!

  10. I am not a traveler but I wish I could visit at least some parts of the world. It’s amazing to see people taking photos of snow. We don’t have that in our place so I want to visit a place with snow someday.

  11. Wow! I want to go back to Japan and climb Mt. Fuji too! It’s a once in a lifetime experience. I hope I can do that in the next few years! So cool!

  12. You really captivated me with all the wonderful memories you’ve experienced around the world. It looks as though we have traveled to some of the same destinations (Iceland and Guatemala for sure), but we still had similar yet unique experiences. I was blown away by Iceland as well, but not because of the Northern Lights because of the sheer vastness and uniqueness of its terrain. You’ve now convinced me to also climb Mt. Fuji!

    1. I completely agree with you there Martha! When we were driving around we constantly kept stopping the car to get out and take a picture and just marvel in its beauty! The same with Norway. Definitely climb Fuji it’s such a great experience 🙂

  13. Wow I loved reading your journey. You traveled to so many beautiful places from east to west. From mount Fiji in Japan to the northern lights of Iceland. Each and every experience you described are spectacular and will give everyone travel goals

  14. All of these moments look amazing, I am amazed you chose only the top 5, but I must say the northern lights are by far the most memorable, judging by the pictures, and I hope I will get to see them again one day.

  15. Those dogs are unbelievable that they are naturally trained to handlr this cold weather. They look adorable and friendly!

  16. Thank you for any other great article. Where else may just anyone get that type of information in such a perfect approach of writing?
    I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the search for such
    information.

  17. I am literally drooling over your pictures! Honestly, I recently went on vacay and the kinda trips you have, it takes more muscle strength to accomplish what you have accomplished honestly! we were exhausted after 8000 steps or so!

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