So I have been away from the blog for a little while and I apologize for that! I have to say after the happenings from two weeks ago I was feeling quite emotionally drained and couldn’t put myself in front of a computer, but as of late I have been itching to write again. I have been getting a few requests for some more travel posts, so I decided to create a round up post of my absolute favorite places to visit.
Travelling gives you a sense of adventure and escape from reality. I absolutely adore travelling and wish I could do a lot more of it, but in saying that I am very fortunate to have been to as many countries as I have. so here I will share my top six destinations, what I loved to do there and where I ate, stayed etc. So hopefully this helps if you are planning an overseas trip somewhere!
(This is a really long post, so feel free to read just the bits you might be interested in!)
I’m going to start with Amsterdam because it is one of the most surprisingly cool places to visit. I loved the atmosphere of the pace. I feel like all you ever hear about Amsterdam in New Zealand is the fact that marijuana is legal. But Amsterdam is so much more then that! The city is just so beautiful! I loved the shopping over there, and of course the eating. One of the biggest highlights for me was visiting the Anne Frank haus. That was amazing, when I was younger I think I read the book at least 3 times, I was obsessed with the story, so to see the house in reality was such a surreal experience.
I realize Brisbane isn’t the most “happening” place in Australia, I think Sydney or Melbourne would take the cake for that one. But personally I really do love Brisbane, its a really pretty city and there are lots of great food choices about as well. I have been to Brisbane multiple times because I have family there so accommodation is no problem. It has so many great beaches surrounding and places like Mooloolaba are only a short drive away. It’s been a while since I have been there I’ll admit but I do remember Max Brenner’s Chocolate bar! I have a huge sweet tooth so if you do too, make sure you check it out. Also, the Almond Hot Chocolate’s from Zarraffa’s are just way too good for words!
I first went to Rarotonga when I was 17 years old and then returned at the end of last year for a girls getaway. The first trip over we ate out a lot more, more recently though we mainly ate at home because we had a full on studio with a kitchen and it saved us loads of money too which was great (We stayed at Moana Sands Villas). I can also recommend some awesome bars- We loved Vaianas Bar for the atmosphere (imagine a outdoor wooden bar with awesome music, pretty lighting and loads of dancing) then we had a fun night out at the Te Vara Nui Village where they put on dinner and show packages. The show was incredible and so was the food- this was where we got to trial loads of different food options with their extensive buffet. I highly recommend this night out!
I have to include Queenstown in this line up because it is probably one of the most picturesque places I have ever visited. I love that you can be out and about shopping then look up and be surrounded by glorious mountains that truly look like big pieces of art. The township itself is also very pretty- the buildings are so well maintained and their are lots of great foodie options too! If you can, hire a car and visit Arrowtown. One of the cutest little towns ever! I’m sure I’ll be back this year if I get the chance. Accommodation wise, I can’t recommend The Rees enough, we stayed here the first time round and the apartment was absolutely stunning with some of the best views. Seriously, take me back!
Barcelona was one of the coolest cities I have visited. There is no shortage of good food and it has one of best atmospheres. The township is always busy and it has a whole bunch of different elements to it and that’s something I love about it. We hired bikes for a full day and it was one of the best things we did there. One minute we were biking along the beach front, the next your surrounded by all these beautifully designed buildings and the next your going through cute little cobblestone streets. When in Barcelona, you are always eating! We ate at a million different tapas places and drunk plenty of red wine. We stayed in a Air Bnb apartment in El Born which is known as the artsy, hipster area with plenty of cocktail bars. I can honestly say that every Tapas bar we ate it in El Born had amazing food (although I can’t say the same for Central Barcelona where the food was a little more fast food/touristy style)
I have a soft spot for France. Not necessarily for Paris but for all the cute little French towns. I stayed in Arras with my host family when I was 15 years old, and they have become my second family. On my bucket list to this day is to head back and take a road trip around the countryside of France. I couldn’t think of a better holiday! My highlights in France were; Shopping in Lille, celebrating my birthday at the Moulin Rouge, Eating five course meals made by my French mommy for Breakfast, Lunch and dinner, Heading down to the markets to buy fresh meat and bread for dinner, Drinking wine/ Eating Cheese every single day.
Las Vegas is such a fun place to visit! Their is something to do every day and if you find yourself bored there, your doing it wrong! We went to a few different shows during the day, they have so many on (including about five different Cirque du Soleil shows) and you can book some last minute deals while your over there. We stayed at The MGM where they have Lions living downstairs, a huge pool area as well as the famous Wet Republic Bar. My personal favorite dinner spot was at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant which was ridiculously priced but very tasty! It was also where I had my very first Crème Brulee and I still remember it- so it must of been good!
I wish I got to visit the other Islands of Hawaii as I found Honolulu a little touristy, aside from that I really enjoyed our stay there. We didn’t do a lot, it was a good trip for relaxing, eating and a little shopping. I really enjoyed the snorkeling and general eating and drinking. Cocktails on the beach and of course visiting the massively popular cheesecake factory. We ate out for every meal so it’s basically impossible to think of my absolute favorite places to eat because I don’t remember a bad meal! We actually stayed in another Air Bnb in Honolulu and that was such an awesome way to do it, the cost of accommodation in Honolulu is crazy and Air Bnb always has great apartments for a lot less then your standard hotel.
Where are your top places to go and stay? I’ll be making my way over to Sydney in March so make sure you leave me a comment telling me what I should be doing and seeing over there and of course the best places to be eating!