Memorable Moments of 2018: Travel Edition
It’s time to bid farewell to 2018. While the previous year had been a bittersweet year for me, I am elated that this year had been so much sweeter. Now is a good time to reflect upon the best moments of 2018. I had never written a year end review post and am so excited to share this one. But First:
Why review the past year?
I like to review the past year to learn from it and plan for the future. Yes, I know they all say “live in the present moment” but I have always been someone who planned and looked forward to the future. Isn’t the anticipation of future events that makes life exciting? Reviewing the past year’s highlights AND lowlights helps me recognize where I fell short and what I can do to improve. It also brings a smile to my face when I reminisce on all the interesting things that happened in the last year. Of course, one doesn’t have to do this only at the end of the year. Any time is a good time and the important thing is to pick up that pen and put words on paper.
What are your reasons for a year end review? Feel free to share in the comments.
My Top 10 travel experiences of 2018!
10. Spending a day in Amsterdam which was totally unplanned. Our plan was to visit only Barcelona and Paris but due to logistics, we had to book our return flight from Amsterdam. And what a surprise it was! Within that short period, I discovered cute health food cafes, Dutch Indonesian influences, learnt so much about bikes, canals and Dutch houses! Summer would be a great time to visit Amsterdam.
9. Exploring local gems from Tahoe to Temecula. This year involved a lot of travel, not just international but within California as well. From relaxing time in Lake Tahoe to family time and hot air balloon rides in Temecula and San Diego, California didn’t disappoint.
8. Solo weekend trip to Sonoma and exploring Dry Creek Valley for the first time. What a gem of a wine region it is! Not just wine tastings but this region also offers activities like hiking and boating in Lake Sonoma.
7. Finally visiting Aspen to see the amazing autumn colors and the snow peaked Maroon Bells. So what’s the deal with Aspen? This question had been eating me away for quite a while now and I finally found the answer by visiting this gorgeous winter sports capital with pristine nature all around it.
6. Positano, Capri Island and the Costiera Amalfitana (Amalfi Coast). I’ve seen so many photos of this place that I thought it would not meet the expectations in reality. But boy, was I wrong! Amalfi Coast is a little piece of paradise on earth. From the lemon groves to the sweeping coastal views to the incredibly fresh food, Amalfi Coast feels surreal when you are there and pulls you back after you leave.
5. Visiting the heart of Tuscany and experiencing the kindness and hospitality of our hosts at an agriturismo. If there is one place where you can forget all your worries and have a relaxing time, it is Val d’Orcia. The rolling hills, poppy fields and the medieval hilltowns are pleasing to the eyes and wine tasting in medieval castles is an added bonus!
4. Opportunity to taste delicious food around the world. I am a foodie and in my travels, food is a part of cultural experience. I also love recreating dishes; and tasting food from different cultures opens up endless combinations. Some of the best experiences this year have been through food. A few of my happiest travel memories have been dining at a Michelin 3 star restaurant in Paris, trying the best dark hot chocolate on a cold night, tasting fresh seafood in Barcelona, eating pasta and pizza in Italy, trying escargot in Paris and finding Indonesian food in Netherlands.
3. Admiring the genius of Gaudi and visiting many of his architectural wonders in Barcelona. I was awed by the architectural genius of Antoni Gaudi. He is a reminder that nature can prove to be a great inspiration and what the power of observation can translate to. Visiting Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera and his other buildings were not just memorable but a huge inspiration for me.
2. Strolling through the streets of Paris, romantic evenings along the seine and waking up to a view of Eiffel Tower. What more can a Francophile ask for?
1. Walking the cobbled alleys, visiting centuries’ old monuments, enjoying Italian hospitality and spending my birthday in Rome. It remains one of the best cities I’ve visited. They are as passionate as I am about food and wine and that made me love the city even more.
I end this post with a wide happy smile and I hope your 2018 was also filled with lots of sweet memories. Cheers to a new and exciting year ahead!
I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.