I had a lot of amazing travel stories and adventures in 2013. In this year, a series of hellos and goodbyes were said, new friends were made and new places were discovered. It has been a great year, one of my best in life and I would honestly replay the year over and over again if I could but I am optimistic for the coming year of 2014.
Here are some of my best celebrations of 2013:
Kissing Goodbye Romania
Many of you know I lived for several months in Romania. I started 2013 in Bucharest, one of the most interesting cities I have ever lived in. I made quite a lot of friends in this city and so it was sad for me to leave the country at the end of January.
Enjoying the Good Life in Italy
After Romania, I spent a good solid week to venture around Northern Italy: Alessandria, Turin and Milan. Being in Italy relaxed me and it was what I needed after my January exams. I loved being welcomed by a group of women talking with the famous Italian gestures, I adored walking through aisles and smelling pizza dough and I didn’t mind being spoilt by gelato.
As soon as I entered Zurich, I instantly knew I would love living here. By February I was in Swiss soil, enjoying the goodness Switzerland has to offer. Here too I found some amazing people where I would later spend time with them in the cold spring and lazy summer days. I visited new cities like Bern, Luzern and Lugano and also revisited an old favourite, Geneve.
Revisiting An Old Friend, France
I consider France as an old friend. I spent my first year of university in Nantes and I always have fond memories of France. This year I went to Grenoble with its amazing French Alps and also went back to Lyon twice and Paris on Valentine’s day (for non-Valentine purposes). I always find myself smiling whenever I’m back in France, there are familiarities such as the smell of delicious pastries that I miss.
Falling in Love with Portugal
Portugal, a new country this year where I spent roaming around with Jalan2Liburan. I fell I love with the country almost immediately. Lisbon and Porto, especially, took my breath away. The Portuguese spoke a language similar to Spanish but also with a hint of Romanian, which was maybe why I felt a little bit of connectivity with Romania in a strange way I couldn’t even explain. I felt like home in Portugal.
Lazing Around in Spain
Barcelona was where my friends and I decided to spend our last summer together. It was just as I expected, I wanted to laze around and I got it. I spent most of my days at the beach, then later on my friends would brush up a delicious meal and homemade cocktails then the day would end either at a tapas bar or at a beach club, dancing the night away. It was an amazing summer.
Hooked on Poland
Poland is one of those countries that I adore. This year I visited Warsaw and Krakow, two amazing cities where I spent most of my meal times chomping down the famous pierogi. If I could have my way, I would visit this country every single year. Each town is unique and always has a story that hook me.
Relaxing in Hungary
I spent a week in Budapest this year. It was a week full of relaxation, I visited many cafés, strolling next to the Danube river and took the most relaxing hot bath. Budapest is so huge that it has everything for everyone. I even took the liberty to visit a small town called Szentendre, 40 minutes from Budapest to be charmed by its Serbian-influenced churches and the many gorgeous small streets that took over the small town.
Transitioning in Singapore
Before heading home, I decided to spend some time in Singapore. Singapore was a great choice of country for transitioning after being in Europe. The country has amazing food, different cultures and a great transportation system – I always see Singapore as that Asian country with a zing of European style of life.
Home is Indonesia
Being truly home is bitter sweet. They always say that moving to a new country will make you culture shock, but the truth is the worst culture shock is when you are back home after living abroad. To get back to your past rhythm of life is difficult, you know you’ve changed, your friends may no longer understand you but home is home. I am still trying to readjust myself, it’s difficult and missing Europe is a constant part of my thought, but I’m getting there…eventually.
AWEd by Malaysia
In November, I attended AWE Asia 2013. It was an amazing event where I met some powerful women. It was also the event that got me thinking of the future and what I really wanted to do, to follow the so-called flow or to create my own wave of creativity. The event was held in Kuala Lumpur and I enjoyed every second I spent in this busy Malaysian capital.
Grateful to the World
I am grateful to be able to travel. 2013 has been an amazing year to experience warm friendships, witness breathtaking landscapes and enjoy the beauty the world has to offer.
I thank YOU for following me. Thank you for reading my posts, meeting me, laughing at my terrible jokes, sharing my tweets and connecting with me. Thank you for the friendship – how this blog created some new, amazing friendships is beyond me. I look forward to seeing some of you (again) in 2014!
I hope 2014 will be more awesome.
To welcome the New Year, I’d like to giveaway 5 vintage postcards of Indonesia in the olden days. I personally think it’s awesome. Leave your comment below and I will randomly select five winners on 10 January 2014!