2016 was a year full of such varied travel and I am so grateful for all the experiences that I have been lucky to have. My top ten travel highlights, in no particular order, were as follows:
- A BBQ out at sea in Mauritius
Having a BBQ on a Catamaran in the middle of the Indian Ocean in Mauritius was one of those “pinch me, is this real?” moments and was an unforgettable experience. What made it even more special was that we saw some dolphins jumping in and out of the water whilst we were chilling on the Catamaran, soaking up the sunshine. I generally am happiest when on a boat, out at sea, so this was definitely a memory I will cherish forever.
2. Exploring St Malo, in Brittany
I had visited St Malo, when I was 15, as part of a school trip to spend a few weeks there, attending a school to learn French. In 2016, I was invited by Brittany Ferries, to experience St Malo again and it was just stunning! I fell in love with it all over again and ate all the salted caramel I could manage. It is such an easy trip from the UK and I highly recommend it.
3. Making my own pizza in Naples, Italy
As part of our cruise in September 2016, one of our stops was Naples, in Italy and it happened to be during the Pizza Festival. We spent the day exploring Naples by foot, learning about the history and then went to a restaurant where we learned how to make the pizzas Naples is famous for ourselves! It was such a lovely experience and one of the top foodie moments of 2016 for me. The pizza was delicious too!
4. Visiting Monaco
Monaco had been one of the destinations on my travel wish list for so long so when it was part of the destinations our cruise was going to I was ecstatic! I loved exploring Monaco and taking in the views and aspiring to own a yacht parked in the marina one day!
5. The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Barcelona is one of my favourite cities in the world, and this was my third visit to the Catalonian capital and I can never tire of seeing the sights.
6. Climbing the Pyramid of the Sun, Mexico City
Climbing the third biggest pyramid in the world in Mexico City was also a top travel moment. I was very unfit and had to stop several times before I made it to the top! However, the view from the top made up for the exhaustion! If you ever visit Mexico City do not miss this out and make sure you climb it!
7. Visiting my husband’s family’s Kesar Mango Farm in India
This year my husband took me to India to visit his ancestral home outside of Bhuj. They grow the famous Kesar Mangoes at the farmland close to his home and trust me those mangoes, when in season, are the best mangoes you will ever eat!
It was nice to have a (forced) social media detox and not be able to check emails and just immerse myself in the laid back culture and breath that fresh air every day.
PS: I know I look like a Kesar Mango myself in this bright yellow outfit LOL
8. Seeing the Gateway of India in Mumbai
Another landmark, top of my list to see, was the Gateway of India, and in 2016 I ticked this off the list. It had always interested me, especially after reading about the Mumbai Terror Attacks, and the major plus point was it was right opposite the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which we stayed at and also ticked off our hotel wish list.
9. Going to the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Although I have visited Dubai several times, we have never actually gone to the top of the Burj Khalifa until 2016 on a family trip there. It was dark when we got to the top at our scheduled time so we saw all the pretty lights making the city sparkle. I would love to go again during the day time on my next visit to Dubai.
10. Attending The Latin America Top 50 Restaurant Awards
The final highlight of many, was attending the Latin America Top 50 Restaurant Awards in a very glitzy ceremony in Mexico City, as part of a press trip. This trip was especially confidence boosting for me as I had never travelled so far by myself before and with a lack of knowledge of much Spanish I did struggle a little. However, it has also led to one of my new year’s resolution being to learn Spanish as I would love to visit other parts of Latin America.
So far in 2017 I have plans to visit Athens in January, Paris in February and a long trip back to Kenya in March to attend my youngest brother’s wedding as well as spend lots of time with family and friends.
We have yet to plan a trip for our seven (gasp) year wedding anniversary as well as a big trip for when I end my career at some point this year (tbc).
I would love to see more of Asia, Latin America, North America as well as some more city breaks in Europe.
Keep an eye out on my Instagram to find out as and when I make some more travel plans.
What is on your travel wish list this year? I would love to know in the c0mments section below 🙂