With the beginning of this new year i’m looking through photos and reminiscing about the time when I was able to be like Dora the explorer. I visited 7 countries in 8 months. I traveled by airplane, cycle rickshaw, tuk tuk, motorbikes, e-bikes, bus and boat. Slept in 40(?) different beds and ate all the delicious local street food. 2016 was a year full of beautiful experiences and breathtaking adventures. These are my..
favorite travel moments of 2016:
One of the most magical places I have ever been to was Bagan in Myanmar. We rented e-bikes and went exploring like Indiana Jones would have done. We climbed on 2000 year old temples like it was no big deal, touched old Buddha statues in the dark, watched amazing sunsets and drove on dirt roads inbetween the temples. Bagan was such a beautiful experience! If you are interested in Buddhism you should really go to Myanmar before it get’s more and more touristy. For me it was the most underrated place where I have been to. The people there are so pure. It’s like when they smile at you this smile bounces back into your heart. Or maybe it was because I was just so in love with everything around me…. 😉
One of the biggest things I have learned while traveling is my own concept about time. When you travel from place to place I realized that the only thing that really matters is this very moment. The moment when you experience something for the first time. You are only going from this moment to the next and so on. Kids from the villages going to the temples at the weekend to sell postcards. They want to have this serious looking salesperson face, but the most funniest thing is that they are so innocent. At one point I just bursted into laughter and as you can see his reaction was the same. I never had such a good laugh with a kid. Sweet memories.
Enjoying the food in Myanmar. It was kind of difficult for Nynke and I to find vegetarian food sometimes. The people in Myanmar really like to eat meat, but luckily we had our travel buddy Adam who could eat all the meat for us haha.Cat Ba island in Vietnam is a island that has it’s alien vibe because of it’s rocky playground. This is probably not how you would read it in the Lonely Planet, because I call it this way. The first thing I did when I arrived was exploring the island
I ended up at one of the most beautiful paths I ever seen in my life and even though I was all alone, this experience was one of the best of my trip. I felt so complete, powerful and overwhelmed by mother natures beauty. And I remember at that time how blessed I felt, because I choose to continue traveling after my motorbike accident.
I found this path when I sneaked into a luxurious resort named Cat ba Sunrise Resort on the island. I mean come on! No one was stopping me sooooo why not take the road lesser taken. 😉 The best thing was that I was the only one up there, because it was low season. The experience would be totally different if I was not all by myself. Cat ba Sunrise resort is really beautiful and has it’s own private beach and the sunset is really beautiful there.
The golden hour in Cat Ba.. Yes you read this right; playing volleyball with monks. This is one of my most favorite travel moments of 2016. Monks are really amazing and interesting for me. I don’t really know what it is, it’s like they have this magical magnet and I want to follow them everywhere. In the old ancient temples Angkor Watt in Cambodia I even followed some monks to capture them with my camera. So funny that I forget that these monks are people too, you know?
I wrote about my volleyball adventure in Dutch, but you can find the translation button in that post to read it in your own language. Unfortunately this translation button is shit, but I will translate it in the future..
Playing volleyball with monks. Compassion? Nah not at all because they had no mercy and beat our asses with the game. They were like professionals. Photo was taken at the Ho Quoc Pagoda on Phu Quoc island. One of the best places to watch the sun going down.
My travel buddy Rob and I were one with the roads in Northern Thailand. We went from Pai to Mae Hong Son and it was by far the most beautiful road trip I have ever done. The nature in this area is absolutely powerful. It’s like all the mountains have some kind of alien force inside. I took some photos of the area but still…you cannot really capture that moment on a photo, but the feeling I had there was really powerful. I mean a tiny human is conquering the mountain roads in the middle of nowhere, how cool is that.
So these were my favorite travel moments of 2016..but to be fair the whole experience of traveling is the best feeling there is. Go out there explore and leave sparkles wherever you go.