My 5 Best Adventures From 2015

Top adventures from 2015

I’ll have been to 23 countries this year by the time the clock strikes at midnight on the 31st. Crazy. Probably won’t be doing that again!

It’s been an incredible year, filled with fun places, great people and too many excellent time for me to even write on the blog. One of the first questions people always ask me when they find out I’m a travel blogger is: ‘where’s your favourite place?’

It’s a difficult question, so instead I thought I’d narrow it down to the best adventures I’ve had this year to use my hard earned knowledge and experience to help y’all decide where to go next.

1. Exploring Japan for 5 Weeks

Exploring Japan in 2015

Japan is awesome. It’s my standard answer when people do ask me my favourite place. Everything here is just so different; from going to the toilet, to how you eat, to what you eat, to where you sleep. Every day was an adventure here.

I went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Wayakama, Sapporo and Niseko and loved it all, well 95% of everything. The skiing was just unreal, and I stacked up quite the bill on my credit card from extending my skiing days from 3 to 6, oops. I really miss the food here, I ate sushi every second day and would go back just for that.

Exploring Japan in 2015

I didn’t set myself a budget here and just did everything and anything I fancied. From robots at the science centre, to geishas in Kyoto, the fashion in Harajuku, ice festival in Sapporo, the bullet trains and beaches in Wayakama I just loved the diversity here. I also really liked staying in the capsule hotels, I think this is how I’m meant to snooze. I had some of my best sleeps ever in those things.

Loving life in Japan

Japan was a strange time for me personally, y’know, just stuff going on in my head, feeling hurt and betrayed thanks to people I once trusted. I didn’t really make any friends in Japan, didn’t want to, I barely spoke to anyone for the five weeks and just did my own thing – apart from that one crazy weekend on a ski trip I joined to Nozawa Onsen. I’ve heard of people doing silent retreats and I kind of feel like Japan was mine. I had the time to sort my mind and life out spiritually and mentally and feel like I will always love the place for the clarity I gained here. Starting to sound like a hippy, I’ll stop.

Me favourite adventures from 2015

There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be back in Japan some day.

5 Weeks in Japan: a Round Up

 7 Things I Didn’t Like About Japan

47 Things Japan Does Differently to the Brits

2. Sailing on the Tao Experience for a week, Philippines

Best Adventure in 2015

Booking the Tao Experience from El Nido to Coron was a very last minute decision, I think it was about three days before. I was kind of over travelling by myself after Japan and wanted to buy myself some instant friends, so when I saw the trip recommended on my friend Chris’ blog at backpackerbanter.com the dates matched and I thought it was meant to be.

Turned out to be a brilliant decision.

It could’ve been the fact I was grouped with an awesome team, or that we had the best leader in Miki, or maybe that for the first time in a long time none of us were distracted by any sort of technology, being out there in the middle of the Sulu Sea, but the week was one of the best of my year.

Experiencing Philippines 2015

I’ve written about why the Tao Experience was so good quite extensively before so I’ll keep it short. Basically the Tao ‘Lost Boys’ as they called themselves (the crew) would make us breakfast first thing, while we woke up in our desert island huts, we’d go out sailing on our catamaran boat, often stopping to explore the marine life by snorkel or swim, maybe even having a wrestle on the rigs, we’d get the sundowner cocktails going and then moor up for the day, on another desert island. One night we had massages waiting for us, another we played basketball with the locals and another had a spit roast (with a pig they’d killed on the boat that day).

Best Adventures 2015

Every night I was in the dream team that were the last to go to bed. We’d be up playing drinking games with the Lost Boys, playing cards, and just generally talking. It was so much fun. I felt lost when the trip came to an end and I had to go off to Manila by myself. Stayed in my hotel room for 24 hours.

3. Road tripping the Pacific Coast Highway, California

Exploring the USa

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway was also one of the most difficult things I’ve done this year. Weaving in and out of those 5-lane highways was pretty scary, I’m glad I didn’t realise that the $20,000 Ford Mustang I was driving was worth that much.

Best Adventures of 2015

This trip taught me a lot though. In parts the coast is very windy, and very coastal, as in right next to the edge. I started to have the glimmer of panic take over, the adrenaline was rushing and my mum’s fear of ‘the edge’ of things had her voice in my head shrieking, ‘I can’t look, I can’t look’. Except, I had to look, I was driving.

But as I took the coast bit by bit I enjoyed it, really enjoyed it. It was only when I looked to the cliff side miles in front of me that the panic started rising, as I comprehended what I had to do to get to the end point. This was a huge learning for me, and one I’ve thought about a lot since. In any task, break it down, take it slow, have the end in mind but enjoy the journey bit by manageable bit.

Best Adventures of 2015

I stayed at some incredible hotels along the way, was in a loose convoy with 5 national journalists from huge publications who were on the same press trip, and got up to some awesome adventures. That week was brilliant. Challenging, exhausting, but brilliant.

4. A week exploring Israel

Exploring Israel 2015

I’d wanted to go to Israel for a few years, and finally took the plunge in April. While I was there I found it to be an interesting, diverse and welcoming place, nothing like my worries had decided. The people I met were very open to discussing politics with you, if that’s what you wanted to do, or not, which is what I preferred.

Partying in Israel 2015

I met some awesome people here and some adventures I’ll remember forever, that I still have to write on my blog about. From ATV driving in Galilee to massages in a super fancy spa hotel looking over the valley and wine tasting at a wine festival with local celebrity chefs. Did you imagine you could do all that stuff there? I mean call me stupid, yes, do, but I didn’t. Israel was a fascinating country for me and definitely one I’d like to see more of.

Incredible Breakfast from the Mendeli Hotel

7 Incredible Food Experiences in Tel Aviv

Photos from My Day in Jerusalem

5. With friends 

Making friends in 2015

Right or wrong there are a few places I’ve been to this year where the destination may not have wowed my cynical heart, but the people I’ve been with have. I’m just going to count the friendship adventure as one, or my list would be too long, but of course there’s been BBK Bilbao with Helen, Barcelona with the whole family, my weekend in Paris with Kellie, meeting Erin, Cailin and Craig in the Adirondacks, a week with my mum in Cuba, Oktoberfest with the Busabout girls, a week in Mantova, Italy with Chloe and the other weekend in Tromso with my brother, were all absolute, definite highlights of my year I’d like to repeat somewhere different in 2016.

All the new friends I’ve made this year through DNX and the digital nomad meet ups I go to have definitely helped make this an awesome year too.

Exploring adirondacks with Erin

– Erin and I dressed up for wine tasting in the Adirondacks

Best Adventures in Paris

– Sheltering from the rain with Kellie in Paris, on a boat

Fun in Cuba 2015

– Mum and I loving life in the sea in Cuba

Loving BBK live

– Helen and I watching what we thought was the Mumford and Sons sound check, but wasn’t

Fun at Bestival 2015

– Getting with the Summer of Love theme at Bestival with Chloe

Tarifa friends

– Just a few of the awesome digital nomad crew I’ve met this year

My incredible 2014/15

Check out my video featuring the first half of the year, love the Beyonce soundtrack.

I have so many plans coming up for 2016, but 2015 has been more incredible, mind blowing, exciting and fun than I ever could’ve thought my life would be. Thank you to everyone who reads, follows along and comes along for the adventure, in spirit or in person, I hope your 2015 has been just as fulfilling.

xx Vicky xx

3 Days in Tromso: How to Have the Best Trip Ever
A Week in the Life of This Travel Blogger: London Edition

4 Comments

  1. by Kate on December 15, 2015  2:32 pm Reply

    Great post - so many awesome adventures! I'm feeling very inspired after reading it :)

  2. by zoomingjapan on December 15, 2015  4:17 pm Reply

    I'm so happy to see Japan in your list! ^____^

  3. by Emily Ray on December 15, 2015  11:15 pm Reply

    Hurrah, I love travel blogging round-up posts, so this was right up my street! I've absolutely adored following all your travels this year, and I can't believe just how many countries you've managed to squeeze in - I'd even forgotten about half of these on the list :P Can't wait to see what excitement 2016 brings you! xx

  4. by Helen on December 28, 2015  11:27 am Reply

    Aw BBK was so much fun with you! Hope to see you soon babe! xxxxxxxxx

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