I’ve been in touch with some of the top travel bloggers on the web in order to collate a list of their favourite travel destinations. I simply asked each blogger to provide me with their best travel experience and the reason why they rate it so highly. So, without further ado, here they are…
30m Below the Waves, Off the Coast of Cape Bowling Green in Queensland, Australia
The wreck of the SS Yongala is a Mecca for anyone who enjoys exploring the underwater world. After getting into difficulty during a cyclone that battered the Australian shores during March 1911, she sank just 12 nautical miles from the coast. Taking all 122 souls on board with her to the bottom of the ocean the wreck was lost for many years until a survey vessel discovered unusual sonar readings in 1947.
Now one of the world’s largest artificial reefs it is home to an abundance of marine life and attracts divers from all over the world. Laid on the sandy ocean floor it is the only underwater structure for miles around and is home to an incredible diverse mix of aquatic creatures. From nudibranchs to giant marble rays and sharks a dive on the wreck is an eye opening experience.
Easter Island in the South Pacific
Why Easter Island? The remote island seems almost fictional, like something out of a childhood bedtime story. At times, it feels as if the island was never meant to be re-discovered by modern man, as if it has a dark history that it doesn’t want to reveal to the world. It’s a place unlike any other – isolated, mysterious, peaceful yet full of adventure.
My husband and I rented bicycles and rode around Old Georgetown in a day. We got a great sense of the vibrant diversity in this city by passing colourful Hindu temples, remnants of Teochew architecture, an ancient fort and the oldest Anglican Church to be built in Southeast Asia. This UNESCO World Heritage site revealed the most beautiful buildings constructed in the 1800’s, street art and murals dotted throughout the town and a superb choice of Malay, Indian and Chinese dishes. It felt like we were visiting a few countries all at once as locals hailing from all parts of Asia, settled here years ago and all call Malaysia their home. I was reunited with foods such as rotis, curries and samoosas which form a big part of the Cape Malay culture which is so interlinked with my own in Cape Town.
Hitchhiking Europe With No Plans
Leaving my job, home, and everything else that wouldn’t fit into my backpack behind, I hit the road alone. I had no idea where I was going or what would happen, but the search for something undefined overpowered me. I found myself sleeping in the homes of strangers, taking lifts from several hundred people I didn’t know, camping next to the Eiffel Tower, laying my head down on beaches, and sleeping under bridges during thunderstorms. I herded cows under moonlight, washed in rivers, ate from bins, trained rats, and did everything else that my parents and society had told me not to do. In short, I had the time of my life. Rules were non-existent, time didn’t matter, and the road was long. Every day was an adventure.
Just About Anywhere With a Group of Women
Fez – I am not here to shop… Yeah Right
We are in ancient Medina in Fez, Morocco. I am travelling for months, I do not have room for more stuff. I am not going to buy another thing. Whatever….
First stop the oldest tannery in Morocco. We are surrounded by leather bags, leather shoes of every colour and texture. I need nothing, but cannot resist a beautifully soft red and black leather backpack.
We have lunch surrounded by the most fantastic vibrant colours. I need nothing, but cannot resist a bed throw that hangs in front of me through lunch. We go downstairs where the clothes are. I need nothing, but I am drawn to a stylish black and gold number. It costs so much that the scarf I also want is thrown in.
I think I am getting the hang of bartering – but they can see me coming. They suss me out – western, rich, stupid woman who will buy stuff…..
No other place has captivated me as much as the Himalayas did. I have seen the Himalayas in India, specifically the Tibetan town called McLeod Ganj, where Tibet’s government-in-exile is based. I have seen the mountains in Nepal, too, where I went trekking under the shadow of snow-capped peaks for 10 straight days. Hungry for more, I went to the Himalayan province of Yunnan in Southwest China. There, I was delightfully surprised by the diversity of the cultures and landscapes. Even today, I’m still quite captivated by the Himalayas, dreaming about it and planning to explore a different part of it in the future. The mountain range is a truly fascinating region of the world to explore.
The Amazon Basin in Ecuador
I travelled with two friends by dugout canoe along one of the Amazon tributaries, stopping at rainforest communities and sleeping on sandbanks. We were following in the footsteps of an 18th century lady, Isabel Godin, who set off to find her husband and was the only survivor of her whole party. Luckily we didn’t capsize, drown or get eaten by anacondas, but it we did meet the local shaman, learn about jungle medicine, get Wika dye tattoos and stayed with the families of our local boatmen. The journey ended on the border with Peru when we flew out through the clouds, with views of the river snaking below.
Meeting My Husband in Crete
It’s so difficult to choose just one thing! If I was only allowed a single experience, however, it would have to be meeting my husband in a tiny, remote town in Crete almost nine years ago. We were both staying in the same accommodation and really hit it off. The rest is history. Our favourite aspect of travel in general is the happy randomness of it, and I don’t think I have an example that better illustrates this.