Thursday, 14 June 2018

Reflection: Travelling round-the-world 2018

As my time draws to an end, I am filled with a conflicting sense of sadness and overwhelming excitement. I have undoubtedly had some phenomenal adventures on this trip - this reminds me, since I didn't blog, I'd like to write down the key highlights to come my mind:
  • Hiked Mount Batur volcano (Indonesia), through strong winds on a loop near Mount Cook (NZ), to a beautiful view of Lake Wanaka up Mount Iron (NZ), to a lookout point over Honolulu (Louis Ridge Trail, Ohau, Hawaii) and up to the caves at Pinnacles National Park (California) -- to name a view.
  • Paddle-boarded in Gili T.
  • Learned to surf in Kuta, Bali.
  • Scuba-dived in the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkelled in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. 
  • Saw wild seals, sea lions, dolphins, and whales as well as rattlesnakes, deer, and kangaroos in all kinds of varying climates.
  • Made incredible friends (shout-out to Andrew, Amaia, and Aaron) and watched some of the most amazing sunsets and sunrises I'll ever see in my life while touring around the South Island of New Zealand. 
  • Hitchhiked all around the North Island of New Zealand and met a whole range of people thus rediscovering how fantastic humans are.
  • Swam and stared in awe in waterfalls in Ubud, Cairns, Hawaii, and all over New Zealand. In fact, got completely soaked by one accidentally while on a boat through the Milford Sound fjord on the South Island.
  • Spent a wonderful time with my younger sister wine-tasting in Yarra Valley, cruising the ocean for 3 days, road-tripping to the Twelve Apostles, and hiking through the Grampians National Park (while narrowly avoiding being killed by a kangaroo during a 6am morning wee). 
  • Enjoyed drinks with old friends and my first ever travel buddy (Olivia) while visiting her in Brisbane. 
  • Road-tripped with my parents for the first time in years around the USA - visited the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, and all the way up to Sacramento to see my great-aunt and learn about our family's history.
  • Drove on the wrong side of the road for the first time (oh and nearly killed us 3 times) while touring down the Pacific Coast Highway with Matt Carabine, an old school friend from my computing class. On route visited Silicon Valley, San José, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, and LA (to name a few places!).
  • Enjoyed my first ever couchcrash experience in San Francisco where I got to meet couchsurfers from all over the world and go to CS HQ!