From sunrise at Ankor Wat to zipping along in a colorful tuk tuk, Cambodia was the perfect stop on my big South East Asia Backpacking Trip in December of 2015. I made my way to Cambodia by speeding down the Mekong River from Vietnam with two awesome travelers I met the day before in Vietnam. With the sun on our faces and a Cambodia beer in our hands we had the best entrance into Phnom Phen.
Clear blue water, sunny skies, fresh fruits and cold drinks is where my mind wanders when I remember my days spent in the Caribbean. Growing up on the East Coast of the USA I was fortunate to spend several family holidays on the beaches of the Caribbean. My most recent trip was the ultimate girls getaway to Turks and Caicos in March 2016 with my sister, mom, aunts, and girl cousins.
India is a magical place and unlike anywhere I have ever been. The chaos of Old Delhi, the peacefulness of rowing through Ganges, the laughter playing with street children in Varanasi, the awe of viewing the Taj Mahal, and the bliss riding on a camel into the desert are just several emotions and feelings that ran through my veins while spending over three weeks in India.
Nepal stole my heart. Flying into Kathmandu in February of 2016 was one of the happiest traveling memories - I was finally seeing the Himalayas with my own eyes as I flew into Nepal for the final country on my Asia backpacking trip. After a crazy day day spent in Kathmandu with a great college friend we headed on the bus journey to Pokhara to begin our 10 day trek to Annapurna Base Camp. Walking tea house to tea house along the ABC route and meeting wonderful people along the way was a true highlight in Nepal.
New Zealand: North Island
From isolated tropical beaches to cable cars and local coffee shops the North Island of New Zealand offers a bit of everything. Many people begin their New Zealand journey in Auckland, the biggest and most populated city (by a long shot!) in the country. From Auckland head North for lush beaches or head South for beautiful pastoral landscapes and large lakes. Wellington is the perfect place to spend time before hopping in the ferry for the South Island.
New Zealand: South Island
New Zealand's South Island was my home for just over 2.5 years and I will never have enough positive words for this beautiful country, specifically Queenstown and the Lakes District. I spent most of my summer weekends driving around the South Island exploring the many hiking trails maintained by the DOC. The winter brought beautiful ski runs and time for roaring fires and Sunday roasts. Just promise me you will go!
Surrounded by water on all sides Sri Lanka is known as the Peal of the Indian Ocean - a tropical Island nation in South East Asia. Sri Lanka is easily accessible by trains and tuk tuks and the small size of the island allows travelers to visit the varying landscapes in a few weeks. From beautiful palm lined beaches to vast tea plantations and ancient ruins there is a bit of everything for those venturing to Sri Lanka.
Thailand has so much to offer. Whether you are interested in jungle trekking and playing with elephants or eating your way through a large city with a Chang Beer in your hand, Thailand is an eye opening cultural experience and the country is the perfect travel destination for backpack travelers. We traveled from the bottom to the top of the island, spending a week relaxing on the beach and sipping banana smoothies to motorbiking the Mae Hong Son Loop - just boarding the border of Myanmar.
Vietnam was the first destination on my three month backpacking trip through Asia and it turned out to be the perfect starting point. Northern Vietnam showcased local cuisine, terraced rice fields, and a beautiful cruise through Ha Long Bay. As I traveled South I spent time riding bikes, wandering through local markets, and paddling through the Mekong Delta area before making my way across to Cambodia.