The End of An Era

6 months, 4 countries, 12 flights, and countless train/bus/ferry rides later, I sit here in the First Class Korean Air Lounge I snuck into sipping on a glass of vino feeling like a pretty lucky girl. And not just because I talked my way into this lounge where I have experienced how the other half flies–open bars, delicious buffets, “massage rooms”, showers, and comfy lounge areas. In some ways it feels like yesterday was boxing day and I was departing Pearson International–white as a ghost–for Thailand with ELai. But in other ways it feels like eternity; I feel like I’ve known the friends I’ve made along the way for my whole life.

I walk away from my exchange experience with an overwhelming feeling of content. If I did the whole thing over, I literally would not change a thing. I truly feel like I made the absolute most of my time overseas and it has only fuelled my desire to travel the globe even further. To pick a single highlight seems like an impossible task, so I have decided to compile a list of my top 10 favourite places and activities of the trip (in no particular order–too hard!).

  1. Ubud, Bali–bike tour through the rice fields and swimming at Hanging Gardens’ Infinity Pool

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2. Northern Territory & WA Road Trip–swimming in pristine gorges and driving the outback

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3. Angthong National Marine Park, Koh Samui, Thailand–tough hike worth the view 100x over

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4. Rottnest Island, Western Australia–tandem biking around this breathtaking island!

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5. Bay of Islands, New Zealand–beach roadies and the hospitality of Nadia and her lovely family

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6. The Whitsundays, Queensland–sailboat life and Whitehaven beach

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7. Chiang Mai, Thailand–elephant trekking

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8. Fraser Island, Queensland–champagne pools and sand dunes

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9. Queenstown & Milford Sound, New Zealand–jumping 12,000 ft. out of a plane and cruising the fjord

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10. Brisbane, Queensland–home is where the heart is!

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I thought a list of ten would be easy and give me plenty of room to choose but making that list made me truly realize how many amazing places I’ve had the opportunity to visit. Thank you to each and every person that was apart of this amazing adventure, to my parents–without whom the trip would not have been possible, and to everyone that has followed my blog! It started out as simply a way to update family and friends on what I’ve been up to but it morphed into a detailed diary of all my adventures and I am planning to have it printed and bound as a keepsake I can cherish forever. And be sure to stay tuned! I plan to continue my blog for future travels–big and small. The next big one will be my family Christmas trip to hike Mt Kilimanjaro but there will surely be smaller trips before that!

Until next time…

“Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer”

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