Travel Diary: My Most Treasuring Experiences
The Top Highlights of My Travels
One of the top reasons why I travel is to look out to the world in order to look in and the mission behind my blog is to show the world through my eyes. No matter where I travel to and the types of adventures I partake in, each journey means something special to me.
Ever since I started avidly traveling the world, there have been so many different experiences that have opened my eyes and gave me a new perspective on life. Growing up, my brothers did sports and I was a competitive dancer, so it was very difficult to travel far. Most of our vacations were spent at my grandparent’s shore house. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for those amazing memories made down at the Jersey Shore, but I definitely had a thirst for wanderlust throughout those many years!
I fell in love with travel on a college study abroad trip to Spain and I remember being the only one in my group who continued to talk about the trip months after it ended. That was how I knew this was my passion! Since my study abroad trip, I have traveled to dozens of places both around the world and also within the United States that have taken my breath away. Today, I am so excited to share with you my most treasuring experiences within my travels.
Arriving at the Cliffs of Santorini, Greece:
Even though it is like asking who your favorite child is; whenever someone asks me what my top travel destination is, I definitely admit that it is Santorini, Greece. The first time I saw those gorgeous cliffs with their beautiful Cycladic buildings overlooking the Aegean Sea, I was awestruck! It seriously felt like all of those photographs from magazines and other travel blogs came to life right in front of me, but it was even better! There is truly nothing like seeing this place in person and it is always breathtaking no matter what time of the day it is.
Click here to read my blog post on Santorini.
Experiencing the Cultures of Chiang Mai, Thailand:
The multitude of thriving cultures within the city of Chiang Mai is astonishing! I could literally talk about this amazing Thai city for days. The first memorable experience from Chiang Mai was playing, feeding and washing elephants at Ran-Tong’s Elephant Save & Rescue Center. When I was out caring for the elephants, it definitely was one of the most magical experiences of my life! I can’t stop reliving this experience in my head.
Another amazing opportunity during my time in Chiang Mai was visiting the Akha and Kayan Hill Tribe villages of Palong and Lahu. It was in these beautiful tribal villages that made me feel the most present and alive. I truly admire how both tribes stick to their cultural traditions and simplistic lifestyle. It is here where you could purchase homemade goods, interact with the locals and experience a beautiful culture.
During my time in Chiang Mai, I also got to participate in an open forum and gain insight from a Buddhist monk. At the time, I was going through a little bit of a set back in life and everything the monk said spoke directly to me. It was such a beautiful and happy experience that I am proud to say I was part of!
Click here to read my blog post on Chiang Mai.
Journeying through Catalina Island, California:
One of the most treasuring experiences was sailing from San Pedro, outside of Los Angeles, to the remote Pacific island of Catalina Island. This beautiful island sets itself far apart from the typical California cities. It is here where I got a taste of both European and California-native culture combined. During my time on Catalina Island, I got to enjoy an off-the-beaten tour of the Avalon area. It was on this tour that I got an enriching education about the island; such as how there is only one hospital and the locals have to be put on a waiting list to get their car there. (It can take up to 30 years!) I was so amazed at the culture on this gorgeous island.
Click here to read my blog post on Southern California.
Capturing the Gorgeous Views of Lake Louise, Alberta:
Another destination that is at the top of my favorites list is the Canadian Rocky Mountains in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Nestled within these sky-high mountains are glistening lakes that you can admire for days! Even though all of Canada’s popular national parks and lakes took my breath away, one lake that really knocked me off my feet was Lake Louise. Prior to traveling to this amazing region in Canada, I was fascinated by all of the outstanding pictures I came across online. It was one place that I couldn’t imagine looking better than the pictures and boy was I wrong! The view from the Fairmont Chateau hotel on the lake was absolutely incredible! It is at Lake Louise where you could catch Canada’s “Diamond in the Wilderness” and the “Hiking Capital of Canada”. It will leave you amazed!
Click here to read my blog post on Lake Louise.
Adventuring through the Irish Countryside in Cong, Ireland:
Having the opportunity to participate in traditional Irish activities such as falcon flying and horseback riding through the countryside was such a beautiful experience. Ireland was definitely one country that truly knocked me off my feet and I always love sharing my experiences from there with others.
When it came to falcon flying, I literally felt like I had some sort of super power. These falcons did a great job listening and knowing when to fly and come back. We even had the opportunity to fly an owl! It was such a fun and amazing experience.
After falcon flying, we went horseback riding through gorgeous Cong. This charming area features quaint Irish cottages as well as an ancient forest that consists of majestic woodland paths and great views of the famous Ashford Castle. It truly was a fairytale experience and I couldn’t believe I got to live it!
Click here to read my blog post on Galway, Cong and Ashford Castle.
Exploring my Roots in Ragusa, Sicily, Italy:
During my birthday trip to Sicily last summer, I had the opportunity to visit my great grandparents’ hometown of Ibla, Ragusa. Not only was it magical to visit a town where my roots are from, it was also amazing to experience an Italian city that hasn’t conformed to globalization. I loved strolling through all of the windy roads and hearing nothing but peace, accordion music and some beautiful Italian here and there. It was an incredible experience that everyone should be exposed to.
Click here to read my blog post on Sicily.
Wandering through Picos de Europa, Spain:
Many people (myself included at one point) have no idea how amazing Northern Spain is. This region is definitely an underrated area in Europe and it is a shame because there is so much to admire about it. When I studied abroad during summer 2012, one of our excursions was in the region of Cantabria. I honestly had no idea what to expect prior to traveling there, but once we arrived in the gorgeous mountain area of Picos de Europa, I was absolutely amazed by the snowcapped mountains, luscious green rolling hills, dreamy farmland, refreshing blue lakes and rivers as well as the historical caves. There is nothing dreamier than being in the Pyrenees Mountains of the Iberian Peninsula.
Click here to read my blog post on Northern Spain.
Getting a Natural Spa Experience at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland:
Iceland is an incredible country with outstanding nature. Almost every place I visited in the land of fire and ice took my breath away and I would do anything to go back there and relive it all! Not only was exploring the amazing black sand beach, gorgeous waterfalls and aurora borealis out of this world; one of the top experiences during my time there was relaxing in the famous Blue Lagoon. The day I visited this amazing place was actually the last day of my trip and it was just perfect! What made this experience so cool was that it was snowing out during my natural spa experience. It was amazing to say the least!
Click here to read my blog post on Iceland.
Participating in a Private Wine Tour in the Winelands, South Africa:
A couple months ago, I visited Cape Town, South Africa and participated in many outstanding adventures while I was there. One adventure that was truly amazing for me was doing a private wine tour in South Africa’s Winelands. Both the wine towns of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are breathtaking along with all of their award-winning vineyards! I am currently dreaming and wishing I could be back in this beautiful place sipping on the best wine and indulging in amazing food.
Click here to read my blog post on my adventures in South Africa.
Watching the Northern Lights Dance through the Sky in Rovaniemi, Finland:
One of the most incredible and exciting experiences of my life was watching the Aurora Borealis dance through the sky on a gorgeous winter’s night in Lapland, Finland. Even though I briefly saw the Northern Lights a year prior in Iceland, it definitely wasn’t as incredible and exciting as when I saw them in Finland (the sky was much clearer in Lapland). I even got to see my first shooting star, which I always thought was fictional! It was definitely one of the best nights of my life and I would love to relive it again!
Click here to read my blog post on Lapland.
I hope you all enjoyed reading about some of the highlights of my travels over the past few years. Traveling, whether near or far, is such an amazing and important part of life that everyone needs to do at some point. I know every single one of us has different life and financial situations, but even getting out in your own backyard and truly honing in on how amazing life is could be one of the most amazing experiences of your life!
If you have any questions on my experiences or are wondering how I manage to save and travel the world, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE to reach out to me at TAYLORL.DEER@gmail.com or via social media @Brown.Eyed.Flower.Child.
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