By Jade Johnston and James Cook
It’s another end of the year blogging chain letter! This time it is the best and worst of travel in 2011. We were honoured to be nominated by Man On The Lam. We hope you enjoy!
Best Domestic Travel Destination 2011
James: We spent the majority of 2011 in New Zealand. I think the best domestic location for me would have to be Lake Waikaremoana. It is a beautiful lake on the north island of New Zealand. Kayaking on it was one of the highlights of the entire year for me (minus having the campsite that was full of rats and extremely aggressive swans!). It was so flat and calm and the weather made for incredible photos.
Jade : New Zealand hardly feels like it was a travel destination for me! I worked a professional job and accumulated too much stuff. I did spend two weeks in Malaysia though. I guess that felt more like a holiday for me. I really enjoyed catching up with friends and family there – and of course, eating tons of curry!
Best Travel Experience 2011
James: My best travel experiance was taking a wildlife cruise out to go and see the albatross. They live on this isolated peninsula outside of Dunedin and whilst being taken out on the boat to go and see them we also were lucky enough to catch a glimps of tiny hectors doliphins! These dolphins are quite rare and the only place in the world that you can see them is in New Zealand so it was incredibly fortunate that we saw them.
Best International Destination 2011
James: As the only other country I went to in 2011 was Australia, it sort of wins by default! Brisbane is a really great place and often overlooked as a good place to be based whilst in Australia. But it has fantastic attractions. All quite close to the city such as the Glass house Mountains, Australia Zoo, Stradbroke Island and the Gold Coast.
Jade – Australia has been really awesome. We have only been here for a few months and already we went to some amazing music festivals and gigs such as the Woodford festival. I love being back in the “big city.”
Worst Travel Experience 2011
James: It was the Great Walk on Stewart Island. It was 3 days of mud. Energy sapping, morale draining mud. I do not want to go back to Stewart Island and I think that if it had been the first of the great walks we went on it would have almost certainly been the last.
Jade – I’m going to go with Stewart Island as well, and not just because the walk was horrific. But also because the ferry there and back made me very, very, very sick!
Most Embarrassing Travel Moment 2011
James: I honestly can’t think of one. When we were hitchhiking I always felt a little awkward and self conscious, but other then that it has been a calamity free year. The only other thing I can think of would be when we flipped our canoe within the last 100m of a 3 day canoe trip. We could see the guy on the shore who had come to pick us up. We were so close!
Jade – Well this wasn’t really embarrassing, but it was definitely pretty awkward. I flew to Malaysia in August to meet my biological father for the first time. It got less awkward as time went on, and I am really glad to have met him. One day I might even blog about it. 🙂
Best Local Destination 2011
James: I loved going out on Cuba St. in Wellington and just soaking up the cafe atmosphere there. I also spent a lot of time at the Te Papa museum.
Jade – Well we live in Australia now, so does that count as local? (I know that I also put Australia down for best International destination but oh well!). I really loved Melbourne. That city is cooler than cool.
Best Travel Lesson from 2011
James: I learnt the value of putting at least a little bit of planning into a trip. Before I met Jade my travel style was very much grabbing my passport and whatever clothes were close to hand and heading off. Now we plan things out and as a result are able to see more things (though we do some times indulge in my flighty habits!)
Jade – Booking ahead! We booked our hostels online where possible, and one time we noticed that we had saved $9 per night EACH, just by doing it online a few minutes earlier. Definitely adds up!
Well thats it for our year! You can learn more about what 2011 was like for us in our yearly wrap up post. Or if you want to see what we plan to get up in the new year, check out our 2012 goals post!
And now it’s our turn to tag some other great bloggers! We nominate: