Without further ado, here’s a shortlist of some of the things we loved on our trip around the world in 389 days.
Ascending the Tokyo Skytree for sunset over Mount Fuji 🇯🇵
We went up a lot of high things. This was undoubtedly top of the pile!
Braving the snow in Astana 🇰🇿
The coldest (and coolest) city we visited on the whole trip. So glad we made the journey up to 51 degrees north.
Cycling the temples of Angkor 🇰🇭
So. much. cycling. And so. many. temples! But beating the crowds and experiencing sunrise alone in Angkor Wat was a genuine life highlight.
Driving around the South Island in our little camper van 🇳🇿
What an incredible place – we just loved NZ so much.
📋 Ridiculously good views from the summit of Te Tapu-nui, Queenstown
📋 The roadtrip begins! Cruising on Milford Sound, the eighth wonder of the world
📋 Joining the Great Coast Road
📋 Glaciers and gold on NZ’s west coast
📋 Pedalling the West Coast Wilderness Trail
📋 Driving to the very end of the road (Punakaiki and Kohaihai) 🌴
📋 Dophins and waterslides (not dolphins on waterslides!)
Escaping to the desert island paradise of Ko Adang 🇹🇭
Just like The Beach, except with far fewer drugs and murders.
Floating above the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia 🇹🇷
Expensive, nervewracking and very, very cool.
Going To The Sun in Glacier National Park 🇺🇸
Over a million acres of beautiful mountains, lakes and bears beginning in a remote corner of Montana and stretching all the way up into Canada, accessible on the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Hiking in the Cinque Terre 🇮🇹
Not exactly niche, but definitely worth the hype.
Ice skating on the world’s highest rink in Almaty 🇰🇿
Kazakhstan in general was a lot of fun and as always, watching people wobble around on ice skates didn’t disappoint, but this was also a truly spectacular setting in the mountains above Almaty.
Joining the Silk Road in Khiva 🇺🇿
Our first taste of Uzbekistan’s section of the Silk Road had the biggest impact on us.
Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay 🇻🇳
Paddling (somewhat) serenely through one of Vietnam’s most iconic and otherworldly seascapes.
Living like a monk on a Korean temple stay 🇰🇷
Probably the most baffling 24 hours of our entire trip, but we wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything.
Meeting the hiking dogs of the Caucasus 🇬🇪
Making friends with some gentle giants while hiking in the spectacular mountains of northern Georgia.
Night skiing in Niseko 🇯🇵
Genuinely the most (and best) snow we’ve ever seen. SO GOOD!
Observing the New Year festivities at the Hokkaidō Shrine 🇯🇵
A very different New Year for us, but we loved embracing Japanese traditions and learning our fortunes for the year.
Paddling through the rice paddies of Luang Prabang 🇱🇦
Making friends with Susan the water buffalo and learning how to grow sticky rice. Who knew it could be so fascinating?!
Quaffing wine in the vineyards of Marlborough 🇳🇿
Gorgeous weather and a whole day of NZ wine. Perfection!
Riding the Otago Central Rail Trail on two wheels 🇳🇿
Four days of spectacular cycling through a wild, arid and sparsely populated corner of NZ’s South Island.
Soaking in a snowy onsen in Tazawako 🇯🇵
Bathing in the forest while surrounded by deep snow drifts was a magical experience.
Taking the slow boat down the Mekong river 🇱🇦
An incredibly peaceful few days drifting along the Mekong River through Laos.
Urb-exing the sanatoria of Tskaltubo 🇬🇪
An afternoon exploring a spa town full of crumbling sanatoria near to Georgia’s second city, Kutaisi. Fascinating and unnerving in equal measure, and totally different to anything else we did on this trip.
Visiting Meteora’s mountaintop monasteries 🇬🇷
We loved exploring these precariously-perched monasteries in mainland Greece. The area is apparently one of Greece’s biggest tourist destinations (except that no one seems to have heard of it!).
Wading through the travertines of Pamukkale 🇹🇷
A weird and wonderful landscape unlike anything we’d seen before.
eXploring Singapore by night 🇸🇬
(Please forgive the shoehorning of the letter X in here – if only we’d had the foresight to do some xylophoning on our trip.) We do love a free activity and Singapore’s supertree light show didn’t disappoint.
Yodelling our way around Salzburg 🇦🇹
Salzburg way exceeded our expectations – another city to add to our list of places we’d happily live.
Zooming across Japan on a bullet train 🇯🇵
Japan’s rail network has got to be the best in the world, and boarding a Shinkansen felt more like getting on an aeroplane than a train. What a way to travel!
📋 Getting buried alive in Ibusuki
📋 Christmas in Hiroshima and Osaka
📋 Four together again in Tokyo
📋 New Year in snowy Sapporo
📋 It’s called Hakodate, mate*
📋 Beef tongue and snowy onsens in Honshu
📋 Memoirs of a geezer (in Kyoto)
We realised two things writing this post:
- We experienced way, way more than 26 highlights during our nearly 13 months away
- Fitting even 26 highlights neatly into alphabetical order was really quite difficult!
But you might also notice that there’s very little mention of food here – we had to make this a rule, or else all 26 entries would have been about what we ate! We might just have to write a food highlights post too. It’s making me hungry just thinking about it…