Upon this reflection I have created the following list of my most memorable travel experiences of 2012.
1. Traveled To Peru
One of my most memorable travel moments of 2012 was my trip to Peru. In July I spent a month exploring the country; it was great to have my backpack back on again!
I had wanted to go to South America for a long time, but at that point I did not have enough time to travel the whole continent. I therefore had to pick just one country to explore.
I chose Peru as I had always been fascinated by the culture. I also chose the country for its amazing landscape. Peru has the Andes of course, so for someone that loves mountains that was a major draw. Then there’s that famous ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. It’s one of the wonders of the world that I could not miss seeing in my lifetime.
Peru did not disappoint. Not completely anyway!
The trip got off to an amazing start in the city of Arequipa. I was blown away. Just walking around this beautiful white city, with the mountains and majestic volcanoes always in view, was quite simply jaw dropping!
Arequipa is where I visited the deepest canyon in the world, the Colca Canyon. The trip to the canyon was filled with amazing scenery and culture. I saw the Condors sweep through the canyon, visited traditional Peruvian villages, and admired the amazing landscape of the Arequipa Mountain Plateau.
Yes, my time in Arequipa was a memorable one, I loved that city.
Then it was off to explore the Sacred Valley. My time here wasn’t as enjoyable. I certainly had some beautiful areas to explore, and I loved the hikes through the mountains, but for some reason I did not have as good a time here. Maybe it was because of the hordes of tourist buses taking away the magic by clogging the narrow streets, or I felt that it could not compete with Arequipa.
Nevertheless, there was a moment that was truly memorable. The day that I visited Machu Picchu.
So did I have a good time in Peru? Most certainly! Will I return? No. I have visited Peru and had a great time, but I feel that one visit is enough. If I return to South America it would be to see Argentina or Brazil. Two countries that have the culture and scenery that fascinates me.
2. Explored Germany
As my time in Germany drew to a close, I took the opportunity to absorb the German culture, and visit some outlying towns and cities.
Oldenburg is one of them. This is a beautiful city in Northern Germany with a traditional old town area. If you are ever in Northern Germany than this city is worth visiting. I loved strolling through the calm alleyways of the old town, and along the wide open shopping streets.
Oldenburg has a very traditional German feel. This city is where you will see modern cosmopolitan areas meet traditional historical architecture. The fact that half of the city is covered with parks and gardens make it even more scenic. Points of interest include Oldenburg Castle, the Botanical Gardens and Oldenburg Theatre.
More recently I visited the famous Pied Piper town of Hamelin. This was a gorgeous medieval town, and probably the most beautiful town that I have visited in Germany. Of course the Xmas Market just added to the enjoyment! Highlights were admiring the half-timbered houses and Weser Renaissance style buildings and experiencing the Christmas festivities in the main square.
3. Returned To My Roots
As a self confessed nomad, returning home to my roots is always an enjoyable experience. I had three trips back home to London. The time was spent not so much site seeing, but being around family and friends and absorbing the surroundings that I grew up with. I am sure other travelers can appreciate how special this is.
4. Arrived in Edinburgh
This experience is still raw as this was only last week! I had that familiar buzz that is experienced when first arriving in a new City. However, I had an extra high knowing that this City will be my new temporary home and travel base for the next few months.
I instantly fell in love with Edinburgh. Why? For the beautiful architecture, the stunning landscape, and the compact walkable city. Most of all there is an abundance of things to do, whether its enjoying the outdoors, participating in special events or even just enjoying the excellent facilities right on your doorstep.
Yep! The upcoming months in Scotland will be enjoyable ones!
5. Made The Change From Corporate Dweller to Full-Time Nomad
This has to be my most memorable travel moment of 2012. I decided to quit the 9-5 job and abandon the cubicle. This means that I now have the freedom to travel at a whim, and focus more time on sharing my adventures with you.
I will no longer be confined to the four walls of the office, with the glazed windows that I could hardly see out of. I will now have the view of the Scottish landscape and new horizons to enjoy.
Fellow Nomads and travelers I hope 2013 brings you the same freedom and memorable travel experiences!