This is precisely the thought I have at least 10 times a week. I am always trying to plan my next holiday or trip abroad and, as listed on my About Me page, I try to visit a new country every year. 2014 has been a little slow on the travel front (a few trips to Spain, including a crazy week on the UCB Sports Tour – more on that in a later post) but we have a Sports Management course trip to Poland in December, so I will tick that box again for another year.
This day (19 August) in 2013 saw me leave England on an epic five-week trip to New Zealand and Australia with a two-night stop over in Kuala Lumpur.
I had been planning this trip in one way or another for years and finally the circumstances (and finances) were right for me to take off on my once-in-a-lifetime experience. My whole trip was booked with STA Travel and I spent my first day in Kuala Lumpur on a private tour with a brilliant and knowledgeable driver. The city is beautiful, with such a great mix of traditional and modern styles wherever you looked. And the food was utterly mouthwatering – everything I ate was so full of flavour and so cheap.
After my short stopover in KL, I took off for Auckland. In brief, this is what my three weeks in NZ consisted of:
- an amazing hop on/hop off bus tour round Auckland – I met an American who I will write about in a future post but who had a really profound impact on me
- a quick flight to Wellington to see the All Blacks thrash the Wallabies – as a huge rugby fan this ticked off a bucket list item and although not a patch on seeing England play at Twickenham, it really was pretty special
- an incredible Kiwi Experience bus tour from Auckland to Christchurch – meeting so many people, stopping in breathtaking places, snowboarding, black water rafting, hiking on a glacier – with a helicopter ride, white water rafting, fancy dress nights, too many hostels, hot water springs and so much more.
I then flew to Sydney to spend 10 days in Australia (Brisbane, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays, and Byron Bay also on the list) with these as my highlights:
- Aussie Rules semi-final at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney – I still have no idea of the rules of this game but I loved every second of it
- Sailing trip around the Whitsundays – I actually have no words to describe this experience, I just urge you to add it to your list of places to visit
- All of the amazing animals at Australia Zoo
- Fireworks, classical music and a fantastic light show in Brisbane as part of their annual festival
- Great food, drinks and beaches in Byron Bay.
I can’t believe this trip started a year ago. The memories I have of my time away pop back up on a daily basis, and my advice to any student (and anyone else, too) is to travel as much as you can to as many different places as you can. The experiences and memories last a lifetime and really will change you, for the better, in so many ways.