Top
You only live once but if you do it right once is enough

Top 13 Travel Experiences of 2013

Someone once said: “you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!” We couldn’t agree more and that is why we make sure to enjoy our days to the fullest, wherever we are in the world.

 

Here are, in no particular order, our top travel experiences of 2013:

 

Starting 2013 in one of the sweetest spots on Earth: Goa

Fun & games in Palolem beach!

Fun & games in Palolem beach!

We love Goa and Palolem Beach is one of our favorite spots in this warm, lush and sunny part of India.

We started 2013 at the beach with our friends. Eating Indian food, watching fireworks go off and dancing Gangnam Style with the locals. As you can see here, it was great fun!

 

Attempting a dim sum over dose in Hong Kong

燒賣 (siumai): a classic dumpling of minced pork and prawn at One Dim Sum, Hong Kong

燒賣 (siumai): a classic dumpling of minced pork and prawn at One Dim Sum, Hong Kong

One Dim Sum restaurant in Hong Kong was the spot where we had one of the most memorable foodie experiences of 2013. We tried a bunch of different dim sums, but there where still many other appealing ones on the menu. One day we will be back and this dim sum overdose shall have a part 2! I promise.

 

Getting married… TWICE!

The first wedding... in Incredible India!

The first wedding… in Incredible India!

We don’t live a conventional life-style and that has even affected the way we got married! After a lot of hassle in India and a Hindu ceremony celebrated with family and friends, we weren’t still officially married. In good ‘ol Hollywood style, we thought of a solution to hasten the process, which was what any reasonable person would have ever come up with: go to Vegas!

 

Road Tripping’ in the USA

Cruising Route 66 in Arizona

Cruising Route 66 in Arizona

The roads of the USA were meant for driving, and as road-trip lovers, that’s exactly what we did. More than 7000Km in 2 weeks, passing by the states of California, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Washington, surrounded by gorgeous landscapes, quaint towns, big cities and A LOT of nature!

 

Eating snails for the first time

Buttery caracois (snails) at a tasca in Lisbon

Buttery caracois (snails) at a tasca in Lisbon

Trying snails for the first time in Lisbon was a representative step towards being even more adventurous with food. Maybe, soon enough, we will be able to face other kinds of creatures. Asia: I’ve got my eyes on you for this!

 

Going around Cambodia’s countryside by bicycle

Sopheap, Butterfly Tour guide in Battambang (Cambodia)

Sopheap, Butterfly Tour guide in Battambang (Cambodia)

Cambodia’s countryside is beautiful. Not only because of the landscapes populated by green rice fields, but mainly because of all the friendly people who make a living in the villages and are always happy to talk and smile at passerby’s like us.

We joined Butterfly Tour, a company started by students in the city of Battambang, and they took us around the Cambodian countryside to see from up close how people go about their daily errands and businesses in the province.

 

Spending Z’s birthday with Mickey Mouse

Happy birthday at Disneyland California

Happy birthday at Disneyland California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthdays are meant to be spent with friends and family. While traveling, this becomes a little difficult. That’s why this year I decided to make new friends on my birthday. I am pleased to introduce you the coolest mouse on earth: Mickey Mouse! This is a photo we took inside his house in Anaheim, California, and here are more photos of the rest of that amazingly fun-filled day we spent in his neighborhood, Disneyland!

 

Digging into Indian cuisine like there was no tomorrow

Z's affair with masala dosa, in Delhi

Z's affair with masala dosa, in Delhi

This year, our foodie side has grown like never before! And my appreciation for Indian food has developed immensely too. I am starting to think one life time won’t be enough to appreciate all the distinct flavors and recipes one can find all over Incredible India. I’ll keep on trying…

 

Flying somewhere we didn’t even know existed!

Ostrava airport

Ostrava airport

We were in Paris this summer and happened to miss an early morning bus to Brussels, which was supposed to be our next destination. After we were shocked at how much another bus or train ticket to Belgium would cost us, we did a little research with SkyScanner’s fly to anywhere feature. And that’s how we ended up choosing a different destination and simply flew somewhere we had never heard about before: Ostrava, in the Czech Republic. Needless to say, the trip rocked and this is proof that sometimes it’s just better to plan a little less and go with the flow a little more.

Czech Republic is a stunning country, way beyond the obvious charm of Prague.

 

Experiencing the world’s best value for money destination

Eating noodle soup at Jing Jai Market in Chiang Mai

Eating noodle soup at Jing Jai Market in Chiang Mai

That is, Thailand!

Nowhere else in the world have we been able to enjoy such high standards at such incredible prices. This goes for accommodation, entertainment and, above all, FOOD! Thailand, you’ve stolen our hearts.

 

Finding out that Berlin KICKS-ASS!

Hipster Berlin

Hipster Berlin

We don’t often dream of settling down in a place, but on the odd day when we do manage to picture that kind of reality Berlin does tend to come to mind. We spent very little time in Germany’s capital this summer, but it was enough to understand that Berlin had a pulse that not many cities in Europe have. Berlin is incredibly multicultural (imagine the variety of mindsets, lifestyles and even food that this means!), artsy and affordable – everything we love in a place!

 

Learning how to cook Cambodian food

Chef Baruah making Nom Tong Nuyen

Chef Baruah making Nom Tong Nuyen

Sometimes you visit a new country and enjoy the local food but then you go back home and do not know how to re-create the experience. We had a delicious time in Cambodia and that’s why we made sure to learn a few recipes in Siem Reap before we left!

Cambodian curry for the win!

 

Finally visiting Vietnam and loving it as expected

A gloomy day at the citadel of Hue, Vietnam

A gloomy day at the citadel of Hue, Vietnam

Vietnam has been in my bucket-list for years! I don’t know why or even when exactly my fascination with this country started, but finally 2013 has been the year when this dream of mine has come true! Vietnam was as amazing as I expected and it’s going to inspire more articles, visual essays and videos for a long time.

 

What are your top travel experiences of 2013?

 

Hi! If you like what you see, leave us a comment! We would LOVE to hear from you!
Subscribe to the monthly Backpack Me Newsletter and we will mail out a postcard to you! Or get daily email updates!

18 Comments

  • I was quite pissed off when I found out I had a ridiculous layover in Istanbul, on my way to Thailand…. just to find out later, that I fell in love with it so much, I would have to return for more.

    Sometimes my favorite places are the ones I have absolutely no expectations about.

    Koh Lanta, in Thailand was another gem :)

    BTW, I’m really happy I bumped into your site, it’s great and I have to add I admire and respect the fact you guys don’t sugar coat everything, and make travel life sound like an every day of rainbows and butterflies. It feels very honest and real. I absolutely love that :)

    • Zara Says

      Istanbul is great – I am glad you got to discover the city even if it wasn’t on the plans!

      Thanks for the nice words regarding our site! We like talking about the good and the bad things about travel.. although most things are good, not every moment is indeed filled with “rainbows and butterflies”! ;)

  • Anita Catita Says

    I’m so proud that the snails made it to your list!!

    • Zara Says

      Of course!
      I’m telling you: that plate of snails in Lisbon marked a before and after in my culinary experiences! :D

  • Irina Says

    What an exciting year you two had! So cheers for a great 2014 ahead!! Bicycling around Cambordia sounds like a thing I would enjoy, thanks for an idea. Also, nice T-shirt of the last pic, Zara :))

  • DebbZie Says

    Whoa, those are some awesome experience!
    I love love love your Indian wedding photo. You look so beautiful, Zara :)
    Happy new year!

  • What a fun year!! Love the 2nd marriage photo(congrats btw) although I can’t look at the snails. Looking forward to 2014 adventures!

    • Zara Says

      Thanks Samantha!
      We couldn’t look at the snails at first either.. but putting first impressions aside, they were actually not bad at all!

  • Great round up, love all the foodie pics! Hope 2014 will be even better for you!

  • Aggy Says

    What an amazing year you guys had! I need to visit Czech Republic and Vietnam! And the food you had throughout the year – yum!

  • Kudos to you both for all the adventurous eating – I’m such a chicken (or rather, if it’s not chicken, I probably won’t eat it.)

    • Zara Says

      Thanks Rashad!
      We’re working on the adventurous eating too.. have been neglecting the worms and assorted fried insects in South East Asia.. but that’s gotta change!! ;)

  • That was an amazing year for you both, Zara! I always wanted to use the “Fly anywhere” feature as well, but it hasn’t worked out yet.

    My best travel experiences of 2013 include visiting Iraq, the ruins of Macchu Pichu and travelling by train in the former Soviet countries.

    May 2014 bring us all new and exciting travels!

    • Zara Says

      You should totally use the “fly anywhere” feature sometime, Pedro! Some of the best adventures are the ones that come up spontaneously!
      I’d really like to visit Iraq sometime – good to know about your exciting travels too! :)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

x
Sign up for our Newsletter - Get a postcard!
Sign up now!