Things that make me happy

Most memorable travel moments of 2014

It’s almost the end of the year so after publishing our travel year in selfies earlier on this week, it’s now time to share my most memorable moments in travel. Martijn doesn’t really like those kind of lists so it’s just my moments, although I’m sure he agrees on the ones he experienced with me…

1. Stepping onto Cape Horn
When going on a trip for a few weeks or longer, we are always prepared there are certain things you can’t do because of the weather. There are things that you can live with if they are not happening, and there are things you just keep all your toes and fingers crossed for that will be able to happen. Making it to Cape Horn is one of those things. In all honesty, Cape Horn isn’t pretty or magnificent. It’s just an island, all the way down south in Patagonia. But it’s also the southernmost piece of land before Antarctica and a place you can only get to by boat (or fly to, if you are a millionaire). So making it to Cape Horn and being able to go on land was magic, even though the weather totally sucked and we didn’t even manage to take any good photos just because our cameras were all wet… Go here to read all about it.

selfie


2. Swimming with dolphins in Curaçao

OK I know there is a lot to say for the whole swimming with dolphin thing, but I’m not going to start the discussion about that here. I always wanted to do this but only in a place that made me feel good and not give me the idea that the animals were treated badly or not taken care of. The Dolphin Academy in Curaçao seemed to be the perfect place for this so when I got the chance, I took it and jumped into the water. Well, not just like that ofcourse, but you get the point. I wrote a blog post about it in Dutch by the way.

dolphin-swim-1 zwemmen-met-dolfijnen


3. Rimstigen hike in Norway
Somehow I have no idea why we have never been to Norway before, because it’s just so damn gorgeous and a true paradise for the outdoor lover. It’s probably because of the cost of everything, it’s certainly not a cheap place to travel to… On our first day in Norway, we hiked the Rimstigen Trail, right in the narrow Nærøyfjord behind the cottage we rented. The sun was shining and the trail was just gorgeous, giving us stunning views into the fjords and surrounding area. It’s a shame this trail is relatively unknown, if you ever make it over to Nærøyfjord, make sure to hike it because it’s a real beauty. Everyone without a fear of height and with a decent shape should be able to do it.

view

 

4. Doing a Klettersteig in the Dolomites
“If you fall, you are dead”…
When going on a Klettersteig in the Dolomites, I thought I could easily do that. Until the moment that I was actually about the descent from the top of Monte Paterno, through a pack of snow, only secured by a small piece of rope. On the left of me was the wall covered in ice and on the right a very steep slope covered in a thick pack of snow. I generally don’t have a lot of fear, but when looking down into the depth, my stomach started turning. I realized that one wrong step would mean the end of me…
After reaching the summit of Monte Paterno earlier on the Klettersteig, I was once again reminded that the way up is usually the easy way.  Making my way down on the small legde was one of the scariest moments of my life but I made it down safe and sound. Oh and the picture is not the steep and narrow part by the way …
(click here to read all about it in Dutch)

way-down-2 Paternkofel-top


5. Seeing Salinas Grandes in Argentina

They are not the biggest salt flats in the world and probably not the prettiest in the world either. However, Salinas Grandes in northern Argentina left me totally speechless when I was there. The drive up was stunning (and a true motion sickness trigger) and eventually descending down to the salt flats, felt like “finally being there” after seeing it on so many pictures and hearing a lot about it.

salinas-grandes

 

Moments I’d rather forget:
– Getting lost in Vancouver… after a 10 hour flight I picked up my rental car and drove to the hotel which was close to the airport. Somehow, I took a wrong exit and got totally lost. The map I printed wasn’t good and I ended up god knows where. I drove for about an hour, hoping to see something familiar (and too stubborn to stop at a gas station to ask the way…) but somehow everything looked the same. I tried to switch on my 3G but since I just changed mobile phone providers the day before, I hadn’t activated roaming yet. So there I was, exhausted after a long flight, all alone in Vancouver, totally lost. Eventually I rang the doorbell at a random house and asked the way to the hotel. The man who opened was a Chinese who barely spoke any English, but he drew me a lifesize map and eventually I made it. This man totally deserves good karma for the rest of his life!

– Raining away in Luxemburg
Camping is a lot of fun, but not when it’s wet and cold. Sure, we are used to something but spending almost a whole week in the pouring rain, in the middle of summer, is just no fun. So we decided to head back home early, something we almost never do. Cold, wet and a bit disappointed. Out of the 7 days in Luxemburg, we had 6 days of rain…

Best place for sleeping:
I can’t pick so I’ll choose Nita Lake Lodge near Whistler, Canada. Pure luxury and I had a 3-bedroom apartment all to myself. Ofcourse, I tried all the beds and spent hours on my balcony overlooking the lake and just staring into the distance.

Second choice would be Refugio Otto Meiling in Argentina. Probably the most basic mountain hut we ever stayed at (‘just grab a mattress and put it anywhere you want”) but the area was just stunning, surrounded by glaciers streaming down from Cerro Tronador.

refugio-otto-meiling

 

The best OMG! OMG! OMG! – moments

– Seeing a mama bear and her two cubs below me from the Whistler Mountain Gondola. I was alone in the cabin and just screaming OMG and ready to jump out to hug them….

– Flying on a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Curaçao. Well, almost brand new, it was only its third flight. Very relaxed, especially for a flying wreck like me…

– My “Adventure is for Everyone”  presentation being voted as one of the best ones during a conference for tourism and hospitality students in Serbia.

– Flying from Norway to Amsterdam to Curaçao to Amsterdam to Turin to Amsterdam in less than 2 weeks and with just 1 night at home, and still being able to stand on my feet and head back to work within 10 hours after touchdown (and keeping my eyes open).

2014
– Basically, waking up each morning in a new place, whether I was exhausted, excited, hungover, jetlagged, frozen, amazed or simply just thankful for the fact that I was about to experience something new again…

So … how much have I traveled this year? Well, it’s a lot. On December 31st the last blog of the year will be published and I will do a shocking revelation that made my ears go WHAT??? when I found out … keep an eye out!

More 2014 travel flashbacks:
2014 in travel statistics (it’s insane!)
2014 in travel selfies

Thanks for sharing!

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