Where did you go?
Okay, but seriously, this year has gone by in the blink of an eye!
It's hard to believe that in four weeks we will be heading off to New Zealand because I can so acutely remember floating in the pool in Bali last Chinese New Year stating to Sean + our friends: let's go to New Zealand next Chinese New Year!
And, suddenly, the year is over and here we are.
While our 2014 did include some great travel experiences, for us the year was so much more than that.
It was about going home after two long years away.
It was about reaching goals like Sean finishing classes and me deciding I was going to finally do what I wanted to do and start running and learning the ins and outs of photography.
It was about planning for our future and deciding to stay in Taiwan for one more year.
It was about self improvement and hard work and, as always, enjoying the heck out of each other and our friends.
That said, since this is my travel blog and we had some pretty epic travel moments, it was certainly also about monkeys in Bali, anniversaries in Canada, beautiful moments in Taiwan, and a homecoming in America.
So here are my most memorable travel moments of 2014:
Bali + Rouge Monkeys
While the concept of a Sacred Money Forest is intriguing, the reality is a whole different story. What I actually expected, I have no idea. Probably something along the lines of ancient Hindu temples covered in foliage, kind of like Angkor Wat. That part was true enough. And I guess I expected cute, docile, amusing monkeys. How wrong I was! I definitely did not expect them to be little thieving terrors!
One critical lesson of 2014? Monkeys = bad news.
Victoria B.C. + Anniversaries
Victoria is one of my favorite places on earth, and one reason is because I can take an old fashioned ferry to get there. Riding the Coho, the ferry that services the route between Port Angeles, Washington and Victoria, B.C., is always a special experience.
While on the Coho, we bought hot chocolates from the galley and played cards. We went outside and let our hair get windswept. We held hands and admired the beautiful place we call home. Hands down, this was one of my best days of the entire year.
Taiwan + Indescribable Moments
It took a scooter, a train, a metro, a cab, and a bus to reach the small Taiwanese village of Pingxi. In the process, we got soaked by the deluge and were frozen from the wind. Regardless, we pushed onward with smiles, waiting to see something unspeakably beautiful.
Witnessing this was so profound we had to get our own lantern. So we set off to choose one and write our messages. Most were for our families: that they would find peace and comfort. Some were for us: that we would have adventures and continued love and more success.
I like to think our wishes came true.
This year, absolutely nothing beat going home. We were in Asia for two years in a row without any
escape trip off the continent. Trust me, it was a long two years. I love Asia and I love Taiwan but I needed some good old America.
When our plane landed in Seattle, I almost burst into tears. The sun was just starting to set over the mountains and the Puget Sound was basking in this warm, pink glow. We got to spend eight whole weeks with friends and family and it was a magical time.
And I think I finally learned how to say more than five phrases in Chinese.
So we will spend one more year together.
So that was our 2014.
As for 2015?
In four weeks, we are heading off on an epic, three week road trip through New Zealand with a popover in South Korea!