My Travel Trials & Triumphs


1. Croatia

Croatia is the jewel of the Adriatic and it was evident everywhere I looked. Swimming in the still blue waters, relaxing on deck or grabbing a bit of shut eye – it was relaxing in paradise at its best.

The time I spent in Croatia is at the top of my list of best and favourite moments. A sailboat sailed me from island to island at a relaxed pace. I would lounge in the sun on the top deck during the day as we sailed, and explore in the evening once we were docked.   I would nestle in my cabin at nighttime and fall asleep to the sounds of the sailboat drifting away, and wake up to a new amazing island. I visited Split, Hvar, Korcula, Makarska, Trstenik, and ended in Dubrovnik.

I distinctly remember a moment when I was eating dinner at a seafood restaurant one night down by the shore in Dubrovnik. I still have that view imported into my memory and it always will be.

magicaldubrovnikTwinkling lights from the boats bobbing out in the water, a velvety blue sky, castles high above me that line the sea cliff, a warm breeze softly escaping from the gentle waves soothing my face and arms . . . an absolutely enchanting night.

Dubrovnik feels magical and very romantic. Lanterns and torches light up charming alleyways in the evening, and there are also jazz musicians playing in the streets with onlookers dancing along. Onofrio’s Fountain is big and ornate in the centre of Dubrovnik’s main square, and is fresh for drinking and filling up your water bottle. This was a very refreshing change from always having to buy bottled water out of fear of contamination in other parts of Europe.I would absolutely love to return one day, spending more time in Dubrovnik as well as exploring more of the mainland which I’m told by a fellow blogger is totally different but equally fascinating.

 2. Inca Trail & Machu Picchu

I was pretty exhausted by the time we neared the end of the Inca Trail, but upon laying eyes on Machu Picchu I gained so much more energy. We climbed up tons of very, very steep steps near the end to get up to the Sun Gate. When I was just walking around at the top catching my breath and waiting for others to catch up, I looked out to my right and caught my first glimpse of Machu Picchu below me out in the distance. . . just sitting there with the sun shining upon it through the slowly moving cloud forest.  I didn’t even realize I would be able to see it after climbing that last set of really steep steps. We spent so long hiking, the moment we would be this close to it always seemed so far away.


Like a woman having just given birth to a child, hikers are too overwhelmed by the beauty of Machu Picchu that they seem to forget about the labour itself to get to the end. Ending at Machu Picchu, exploring ancient ruins, and continually stumbling across stunning landscapes made every treacherous twist and turn along the way worth it.

3. Pyramids

How can you fathom the moment when you lay eyes on a pyramid for the first time? It was almost as if a genie had appeared from nowhere and had offered to grant me a wish – truly one of the most iconic sights on the planet. Set against the backdrop of a desert 30 minutes from Cairo, the pyramids felt almost unreal and mythical.  As I set eyes on them for the first time, I went through a mixture of emotions.  I was awestruck, humbled, amazed, and simply feeling blessed for the privilege of standing in front of them.


Each stone block went to my waist. I noticed them, not the other people around me. They were mine for reflection and contemplation. All I could think of was how hard it must have been to make them, how much will it took when there were no cranes or power tools.

4. Paris

Who doesn’t want to experience Paris? Lamp-lit bridges and cool little cafés give a real taste of Paris’ romance. I took in the world’s most-recognized monuments, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe and will definitely be visiting again.


Paris is loaded with possibilities. I discovered its many bistros, museums, tree-lined avenues and diverse quartiers. Treating myself to the full Parisian experience, I went to a cabaret show complete with can-can girls, and had champagne with dinner.

5. Swiss Alps

I loved every minute amongst Switzerland’s massive picture perfect Alps and the jaw-droppingly beautiful alpine town of Lucerne. With covered wooden bridges, cobbled lanes and quaint buildings, Lucerne was perfect to explore on foot. I also made sure to stock up on lots of genuine Swiss chocolate!


To visit Jungfrau Mountain, I headed up the sheer slopes on a cog rail to Europe’s highest railway station, and stepped out onto the “roof” of Europe for spine-tingling views. Another best part of Switzerland? I was able to upgrade from my tent to a cabin!


1. Forgetting my camera on a toilet paper dispenser in France, losing all of my Eiffel Tower and Paris photos. Sigh. Luckily one of my travel mates took a couple shots of me with her digital SLR. I had some amazing photos of the Eiffel Tower when it lights up at night. Dammit.

2. Rolling up my tent in the mud and rain all alone for 3 weeks in Spain and Italy. Ugh. I did not enjoy the dirty, cold, and wet components of my camping trip. I was camping during a time of so much rain in Western Europe that there were floods going on. I had no tent mate and it was a challenge setting up when it was nice and dry, let alone monsoon weather. I remember trying to set up my tent in Sorrento and I couldn’t even keep my balance because I was slipping too much in the mud and rain. It was actually impossible to keep a tiny bit clean. My tent started to slide down a hill, so I moved in with two other girls in their tent.

 3. Losing my luggage in London. I suppose it’s bound to happen to the avid traveler at some point. It still sucked though since I spent my entire sightseeing time for London trying to track down my stupid suitcase.

4. Food poisoning in Rhodes and Egypt. Avoid buffets, especially when they are on ships – a lesson I shared in my Feasting & Drinking of 6 Continents post. In places where you need to be wary of food quality initially, and when it’s in the form of a buffet, all hell breaks loose. I’ve never been so sick in my life than these two times, both on a ship, and both after a buffet.

5. Cairo airport on my way home.  There was something about this airport that gave me the heebie jeebies. I was really exhausted and had been up all night, and there was something about the music playing over the intercom that really did me in. It sounded like really old Arabic music and it was downright eerie. I didn’t appreciate the people who worked in the airport that constantly asked for a tip after doing the slightest of things I never asked for, such as picking up my bag for me or pointing me in the right direction. I would have to just ignore them by pretending I couldn’t see or hear them anymore in order for them to go away.

2 thoughts on “My Travel Trials & Triumphs

  1. I like your post . . . mostly because you included your “trials,” as well as your “triumphs.” Ironically, I would imagine in 10-15 years, you will look back at your trials as good experiences, i.e., you learned from them and can laugh about them too.

    In a little over a week, I begin my RTW trip and am blogging about it as well. Earlier last year, I spent 2 plus months back packing parts of C and S America. It was a blast! Take care and good luck!


    • Hey Steve! Thank you so much for your comment! I’m glad you liked it. You’re right – there always comes a point where you just have to laugh. I can’t believe you are beginning a RTW trip so soon! That is my dream. I will be sure to follow along.

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