Okay okay okay I am not one for listicals but on this very important travel anniversary it seems like the appropriate time to bring out the lists! 5 years ago I went from having only visited 3 countries other than my home of the US to now having visited 21 countries. 17 new countries in 5 years is pretty good for working Full Time most of the past 5 years if you ask me! Today is all about my Top 5 Memories from my past 5 years of travel and next week will be my Top 5 Destinations.
While I usually pride myself on beautiful images as it turns out the times with the best memories don’t usually have too many photos attached to them and that is really how it should be. Live in the moment when a moment is happening, you will remember it more even with out quality photographic evidence. Since I am not good at picking favorites this list is in order of oldest to most recent!
And Finally before we get to the good stuff if you are interested in learning how to improve your travel photography regardless of what you shoot with please help me out by filling out this survey here! I am working on creating some materials and would love to make sure I am serving you best! 🙂
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1 | Bastille Day (Le Quatorze Juillet) in Paris; 2012
Oh Bastille day, with out this occasion who knows where my travel adventures would or would not have taken me. On this trip I met up with some of my UN friends (more about them here!) for a weekend in Paris. The plan was to picnic in the park at the Eiffel tower and then watch the firework show. We had a huge group (about 15) and all depended upon a grocery store near where we were staying to buy supplies, we managed to only spend maybe 12 Euro each for a ton of food and drink. Everything was swell until we got to the park and noticed there were check points as they do not allow Alcohol into the park for this event. As we had a ton of booze we were strategizing a backup plan when someone found an entrance that was briefly un manned. We were able to smuggle our large supply of wine and beer it but still had to be careful while drinking it as the police were going around and confiscating anything they found.
As we were such a large group we were able to keep an eye out pretty well and while we knew the cops knew we had booze (one literally stood over our group area for a good 5 minutes waiting for someone to crack) since we hid it so well and they couldn’t see anything they couldn’t do anything. It was loads of fun and the fireworks were awesome. It truly was an experience I will never forget!
2 | Queensday in Amsterdam; 2013
Being in Amsterdam on Queensday (now Kingsday) the national holiday is one thing but being there and getting to ride a boat around the canals is a whole separate thing. My Norwegian friend and I booked our trip before the Queen announced she was abdicating the throne so our trip became the Coronation of her son as King and subsequently making the day the last Queensday for now (the holiday is based on the King or Queen’s birthday). My friend and I were lucky enough to have a Dutch friend (ie UN friend) who’s sister had a boat which we were invited to spend the holiday on. It was so amazing we had a sound system, beers, and food and joined in the festivities on our boat of fun. Quite a few of the other Dutch people were telling my friend and I how lucky we were as it was their first time on a boat for the holiday. It was truly a special experience that neither of us will forget.
3 | New Years in Sri Lanka; 2014 into 2015
Hands down still one of the weirdest, fun, and strange evenings of my life. It was definitely a you had to be there experience but I will do my best to describe it in a nutshell. My friend had a local contact who had us over to her house for dinner on New Year’s Eve. After dinner our host put on music (some random mixes some American had given her) and we proceeded to have the most awkward ‘dance party’ ever. We were all stone cold sober and the lights were on for a lovely ambiance, thankfully my friend’s sister is an absolute hero and started the awkward dance party. This continues for a bit as neighbor children look in wondering what is going on with these 3 giant white girls (myself, my friend, and her sister are all pretty tall). At some point we decide to launch the terrifying fireworks we bought at the market, the “noise” one was literally gun powder in a cardboard shell! We finally make our way back to where we are staying after midnight and decide to head down to the hipster hotel nearby to see if anything is going on there but instead end up drinking the local liquor,Arrack,(basically everclear) with the guys that run the place we are staying at. It was weird but a great memory for sure.
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4 | Creative Workshop in Kyushu Japan; 2015
I go way more into what was so special about this workshop and trip in my post (HERE) but this trip was what helped me focus my path for the future and reconnect me to my creativity. Japan will always have a special place in my heart for many reasons but this trip will always be one of them.
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5 | Train Ride from Bucharest to Sofia; 2016
One day I will write about this train ride in more detail but I decided to travel to Sofia Bulgaria from Bucharest Romania. What I failed to notice was the train ride was 10 hours and as it turned out was on a 2 car, yes only 2 cars, train. What was supposed to be a relatively boring train ride became quite the unexpected adventure. I initially befriended two backpackers over the fact I had a wine bottle opener on me and one of them had 3 bottles of wine an Retired British Man soon joined our group and by the end of the 10 hours there was an additional 3-4 people over all due to having a bottle opener. Our assorted group arrived into Sofia buzzed in the dark of the night, we all were well traveled yet had never quite encountered such a bizarre but fantastic experience as that train ride. The longer version of the story is here for your reading pleasure ;).