It’s that time of year again, 2019 has ended so it’s high time to reflect on some of the best and most of all craziest travel moments from 2019!
Over the past year I had some once in a lifetime experiences, crazy adventures and I am super excited to share all of them with you!
1. Going on a road trip in Morocco
When I first booked my tickets to Morocco I was a little bit on the fence about this country. I had such a bad experience with the male culture in Egypt the year before and I had heard Morocco was the same, or worse. To my surprise it wasn’t anything like it! Men left us alone, didn’t want to force products on us and as a woman traveling with another woman I never felt unsafe.
It does require me to say that we went during Ramadan. So it’s safe to say that by the end of that period the men may be a little more tired and have less energy than usual :p.
When it comes to traveling in Morocco I am super happy we decided to go for a road trip. At times we drove 11 hours in one day and we got pulled over by the police at least 4 times each single day. Whatever you do, never give them money. They will try to give you a “ticket”, even when you didn’t do anything wrong. Stand your grand and simply refuse to give them money!
But all in all this road trip was absolutely amazing! We drove through gorgeous mountain passes, watched the sunset over Chefchaouen, explored the souks of Marrakech and Fez and all in all just had a crazy good trip!
2. Climbing Table Mountain in South Africa
Let me ask you a simple question… When you think of Table Mountain, you would think it’s flat right? Well I can tell you, that this is definitely NOT the case! The idea of hiking Table Mountain came to me when I saw a spectacular photo on Instagram of someone standing on what looked like a diving board. After some extensive research I found the location and the hike that would bring us there.
We started in the early morning and hiked upwards for 2 hours. And there it was, the infamous diving board! When we finished taking photos it was still pretty early so we thought it would be a good idea to not just hike back down but to “walk” towards the cable car. Since Table Mountain is flat this wouldn’t be too hard right? WROOOONG! I can honestly say I have never sweared more in my entire life than I did that day.
It took us 3,5 hours more to finally reach the cable car. By now the sun was high in the sky and was scorching every part of my bare skin. My legs felt like overcooked spaghetti and every time that I thought: “this has to be the last hill”, another one showed up, laughing at me. At least that’s what was going on in my head.
When we finally reached the cable car this place was so so soooo crowded. People where shoving me and pushing me out of the way. At that point sweat was dripping, my facial expression looked like a thundercloud and I was ready to throw people off Table Mountain. To tell you the ice cream that I had 5 minutes later felt like heaven on earth definitely is an understatement!
3. Temple and toilet hopping in Thailand
I had been to Thailand two times before so when Caroline and I decided to add it to our Asia itinerary I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to take photos at all of the stunning temples and try out every single Thai speciality!
Unfortunately my tummy had different ideas… and I was able to take photos at all the beautiful temples. But, in between shoots I had to run “roadrunner” style to the nearest toilet. Something I have learned on this adventure is that every single temple in Thailand comes with a toilet. The easiest way to spot is to just ask one of the monks!
4. Visiting Japan during Sakura season
When planning our trip through Asia Caroline and I realised we would arrive in Japan during cherry blossom season! Every year blooming season is a little different so make sure to check when is the best time to go.
Our first stop was Tokyo, one of the coolest cities I ever visited. One moment you’re walking in the most modern part and ten minutes later you end up at the most beautiful park with cherry blossom trees and shrines all over. There are so many beautiful sights to see in Tokyo so make sure to take your time when visiting! One must see spot is TeamLab Borderless! Book your tickets on time cause they tend to sell out pretty fast.
After that we visited both Osaka and Kyoto and I still can’t believe my luck when thinking back about this time. One day we dressed up in an authentic kimono and while we were taking photos in Gion I saw a geisha leaning out of a window. I got so excited that I started waving at her. A little later she was joined by another geisha, they pointed at me and gestured to us to come up. I didn’t hesitate for a second. Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my all time favourite books and I was about to meet a real one! The entire experience was absolutely magical and one of the stand out moments of the past year!
5. Having pizza for breakfast in Venice
One morning in Venice to create as much content as possible. It seemed like quite the impossible task but turned out to be one of the most brilliant mornings this year! Dolled up in a glamorous dress, leaving a trail of sequins all over San Marco square we went out to search a pizza place that was open at 8am. Turns out there was one just 2 minutes walking from the Bridge of Sighs.
So we took our pizza and enjoyed it sitting on a pier while gondola’s were going passed us. It suffices to say that all of the other tourists were snapping photos of us sitting there.
6. Living the Disney princess life in Germany
One not so special morning in August I woke up with a crazy idea. I was planning to go on a road trip through Germany and visit some of it’s prettiest castles. Since a lot of these places formed the inspiration for some of my favourite fairytales I wanted to create some unique content here.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest Disney geek. One that can sing along to every single song and can rewatch them as many times as possible.
It only felt natural to me to dress up as some of my favourite characters and try to bring some of the fairytales to life.
There was Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio and the Princess and the frog. Which one is your favourite?
7. Going on a solo road trip through Iceland
I don’t know what it is with Iceland but it seems to be one of those countries that I can’t get enough of. Even that I only visited in November of 2018, I spontaneously booked myself a flight after seeing one photo of it during lupin season.
If you’ve read my recap of 2018 you know that Iceland and it’s unpredictable weather tried to kill us a couple of times. So there I was, heading back on my own. To be fair, I was more nervous about taking photos by myself than I was about the driving conditions. It always stresses me out when I have to use my tripod and I am always scared that I won’t get the photos that I want.
Well, this trip changed all that. I got super comfortable with tripod photography and realised I was capable of a lot more than I thought I was. For instance, driving over 1600km in just 3 days to see as much as possible of this amazing country.
I tell you, if you’ve never visited Iceland before do yourself a favour and put it on your list of travel plans for 2020. It feels like stepping back in time and seeing how nature came to exist.
8. Bonding over being sick and seeing no hot air balloons in Myanmar
As soon as we arrived in Bagan both Caroline and I got pretty sick. With me it got so bad at one point that I went from laying in bed to laying in a hot bath tub and then went back to bed. Before Caro came on this 6 week trip with me we had only traveled together once and that was just a weekend in Düsseldorf. Still she said hell yes when I asked her to join me for a big part of my 3 month journey through Asia!
We bonded over feeling miserable, broken hearts and going the extra mile to get that shot. We kind of are a “dream team”. When one of us has a crazy idea she will go to any length possible to convince the other one that this is a good idea.
To top it all off, tracking hot air balloons in Bagan turned out to be a lot harder than we thought. They usually take off at the golf court but not during the time we were there. They started on the entire other side which led to us jumping back on the electric scooter. To point out Bagan was a bumpy ride is an understatement. It involved a lot of running around, a lot of cursing but especially a lot of bonding which is why this is one of my favourite trips of the last year.
9. Freezing my but off in beautiful Uzbekistan
Don’t go to Uzbekistain in November, it is freaking cold! Especially if you want to go out in the morning for sunrise to take photos. Don’t do it, it’s a bad idea!
What did make this trip one of my favourites of the year is that I got to go with both Caroline and Nathalie! And even that Uzbekistan is an amazing country to visit it were the little moments that made this trip awesome:
- Warming up our feet in the bath tub while singing along to stupid songs
- Walking around looking like yeti’s and suffering in the cold together
- Having a dance party in our room on the last night and finishing a bottle of vodka
- Singing songs from Aladdin while parading through the streets
- Going on one of the night trains and hanging with the locals
If you want to visit Uzbekistan and see these amazing places for yourself, the best time to go is from May until October.
10. Going on a solo hike in Austria
By now I am sure you know that hiking really isn’t my favourite thing to do. That is however unless there is an epic viewpoint waiting for me at the top. And this was definitely the case on this hike!
Armed with my tripod and camera equipment I set out on an adventure at 6 in the morning. During the entire hike I had the most amazing view and it really helped me to pull through. If I may say so, this hike isn’t the easiest. There is almost no even ground and with my short legs there was actually a lot of climbing involved.
But, the epic suspension bridge that was waiting for me at the top made it all worth the struggle.
What I didn’t think of was how exactly I was going to take these photos. The suspension bridge is hanging over a small river that drops down into the deep. But to my surprise I found a big flat rock right next to it that made it possible for me to get the exact framing that I wanted. After setting up I did however stand next to my camera for over 5 minutes, just to make sure it wouldn’t tip over and go into the river…
Oh and yes, for this hike I did change on top of the mountain :p
I hope you enjoyed this little recap of 2019. I did some crazy stuff over the past years and can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for me!