Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My Five Favorite Travel Moments of 2017

I know it's kinda late, but I would like to share my five most unforgettable travel moments of 2017. I can truly say that 2017 is my travel year. I have revisited some of my favorite countries and cities twice or thrice, and I finally got the chance to experience the four seasons. Isn't that great? Well, I won't make this introduction long.

Here are my five favorite travel moments of the year 2017.

First Winter Experience

I will never get tired of sharing my first winter experience. Where else is the best place to experience this? South Korea. It was never a part of my travel plans last year, but the travel gods and the universe have conspired. We got bumped off from our Denpasar-Manila flight because everyone showed up. To compensate this travel inconvenience, the airline gave us a free roundtrip ticket to any regional destination. Fast forward, I chose South Korea because (i) I have never been there; and (ii) I have a college buddy who's studying his Masters in Busan. I had no choice but to book a round-trip ticket to Kimchiland in January because the travel voucher expires in February.

I will never forget the moment I went outside the arrival hall of Gimhae International Airport. Reality hit me hard as the cold wind of winter embraced my body and soul. Honestly, I didn't really enjoy this trip because it was just too cold to stroll around. At least, I am proud to say that I endured the -19C weather of Seoul. It was one hell of an experience.

First Hiking Experience Abroad

I have to be completely honest - I was never a fan of hiking. When I went to Sydney, my original plan was to visit Canberra, the capital city of Australia. But since flower parks and government buildings weren't really my thing, I chose to visit the Blue Mountain National Park. It's only a 90-minute ride from Central Sydney. I didn't prepare for this hike, but surprisingly, I survived it. I mean, the rainy weather and the prevailing spring climate made it more bearable. I guess I won't be able to make it should we hike during the peak of summer where temperatures soar as high as 40 degrees!

And oh, the hike was REALLY worth it. The view was just so spectacular!

Cherry Blossom

A month after my winter trip, I traveled again to Taipei, Taiwan. This time, I was with my colleagues. It was the beginning of the spring season, so we wasted no time by exploring some of their national parks. I was really happy after seeing the cherry blossoms. Taiwan's cherry blossoms may not be as vibrant as Japan or Korea, but I guess it's a good start. We don't have cherry blossoms here in the Philippines, but we have tons of bougainvillea.

Autumn in my Heart

To complete my Four Seasons bucket list, my travel buddies went to South Korea in mid-November to experience the fall season. The autumn foliage looks stunning in photos, but in reality, it smelled like shit. Like, literally. I thought autumn smells like pumpkin spice or cinnamon, but heck, since a pile of leaves were rotting on the ground, the smell wasn't really enticing. I'm not complaining though because the backdrop made our OOTD photos really nice.

Pro tip: If you're planning to visit Korea during the autumn season, be sure to visit on or before the first week of November. We went there on the third week of November and the cold really bothered us. At night time, the temperature at downtown Seoul plunged down to minus 4 degrees. The day after we left, it snowed. Just in a nick of time!

Trying out the local food

Even if I am allergic to crustaceans, I am still blessed because my tummy's not sensitive. Every time I travel, the first thing that I try is the food. The local cuisines reflect the culture and history of the country. Taiwan is a great destination for food junkies like me. The food choices are actually endless whenever you stroll around Taipei's night markets. Although, not all local foods are delicious. I tried their infamous stinky tofu. From the word itself, you can already imagine its smell. Uhm, stinky is an understatement. I gave it a try, and guess what? I fucking hate it. Just take a look at the vlog I made while eating stinky tofu. You judge.

2017 was indeed a blast. As of this time, I have four travels scheduled for this year, and I am so excited. But first, I need to work hard.

What are your favorite travel moments of 2017? Feel free to share in the comment box below. Happy New Year, everyone!

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