10. Sydney, Australia – Landing in Sydney was a surreal experience for me, as it was the furthest away I’ve ever been from home. I remember landing at 7am, sleeping for a few hours, and then taking a cab with my best friend Shanna and her saying to the driver “Oh, Jesus. I don’t even know what continent we’re on. Where should we go? Just take us to where we should go first.” He was so confused, so we finally asked to go to the harbour (to see the Opera House, of course) but he misunderstood and took us to Darling Harbour, where we wandered around for 2 hours, exhausted and jetlagged, wondering if they put the Opera House in storage for the winter.
We found it eventually, and when I had slept a fair amount, I was back to my normal level of sanity and had an AMAZING time climbing trees, drinking champagne in the botanical gardens, holding koalas and playing up my Oklahoma southern accent to get free beers from cute Aussie boys.
9. Darwin, Northern Territory of Australia- I had the most Australian experience that anyone’s ever had when I explored Darwin, haha. We went to Charles Darwin National Park, and it was completely dry and barren but beautiful. I was not prepared for the day, and was wearing flipflops like a noob. Everyone wanted to go hiking in the grassy forest, but I decided to sit outside and wait, because the high grass looked like Snake Capitol of the World and the flip flops. So I sat, waiting for the group to collect me at the end of thier hike, just chilling (melting) in the Aussie sun, having a grand old time…….until about an hour had passed and no sign of anyone I knew. I started to get a bit nervous, maybe the path led them around to another side of the park, so I doubled back. I was walking in circles unknowingly. I ran out of water in my bottle. Vultures were flying over my head, I kid you not. I started to think I might die there…….
I didn’t die. I found my friends. All was well, we got lunch and cabbed back to the boat but for about 20 minutes there….#yeah
8. Dublin, Ireland- I’m on my second trip to Dublin right now, and what a charming city full of cheery people, great food and ofcourse, Guinness! I’m lucky enough to have some awesome friends in Ireland so I’m sure I’ll spend a fair amount of time here over the next few months, as I also want to record here :). Currently staying in an artists apartment above a pub where there are daily raves beginning at 7am and going all day and all night until the next one begins. I don’t participate persay but I am inspired by all the action around me to write, write, write constantly!!!
Also visited the Guinness Factory and Stephens Green with my lovely good friend Ben and it was so so much fun, spring is just about to spring into action so the trees are so green AND pink:)
7. Toronto, Canada- One of my favourite cities in the world and such a great place to explore!! I’ve visited and adventured about 4 times now and I love it! Kensington Market is one of the best places I’ve ever hung out, and it’s one of the cities at the top of my list to move to one day. Artsy, cool, hipster-without-being-pretentious-and-annoying and very interesting city. The music scene is groovy and there’s friendly people everywhere, it’s Canada! They also are the first city to have an annual Taco Fest, which I attended last year and would love to make it a tradition. Canada is having a moment right now.
6. Mystery Island, Vanuatu- Mystery Island is an uninhabited Island in the South Pacific. Its one of 83 volcanic islands that make up the country of Vanuatu and shortly after we spent our first day here, the island was hit by Cyclone Pam and was unreachable (under water) for about 4 months after that. You can walk around this entire island in 20 minutes. One time the Queen visited during the 70s, there’s a plague commemorating the event next to their thatched-roof “airport” where someone told me “We land planes on Tuesdays” which I thought was adorable. We nicknamed this island “Spider Island” because of the masssssiveeeee spiders, larger than my palm, that would just be chillin above your head. It was awesome. I love this place.
5. Bali, Indonesia- Eat, Pray, Love, anyone? We almost missed this beautiful port because it was ‘too windy to dock’ but then we GOT TO GO. We visited the gorgeous and serene Uluwatu Hindu Temple and explored off the beaten track. My friend David swears he saw a kimono dragon. Jury’s out. We had amazing lunch and watched monkeys stealing people’s personal belongings and trying to throw them off the cliffs. Would LOVE to spend more time here, definitely going to do that soon!!
4. Athens, Greece- ive had a pretty interesting year. I went through a not- hurtful-but-just-plain-sadddd breakup and the horrible death of a good friend, some scary financial issues in addition to the regular quarter-life crisis of “what should I do with my life and where?!?” I’ve been so many places and done so much it’s hard to decide what to follow up on. I had a bit of a breakdown when I was in London and instead of flying back to Dublin, I bought a cheap ticket to Athens, Greece. It’s always been my number 1 bucket list place to visit and it didn’t disappoint. From having relaxing Greek yogurt breakfast on my terrace with beautiful views of the Acropolis, to island hopping with friends I had just met, to sitting on the side of ancient ruins and writing lyrics, soul searching and trying to find my personal peace, athens was definitely a good decision.
3. Edinburgh, Scotland- this is the city I call home currently, and I’m so happy I get to explore more! I backpacked through last month and my hostel offered me a job so I will stay for a little while. This city is full of dark, morbid history and cheery, lovely people. There’s a castle across the street from my house. There’s castles really everywhere. There’s a bar where they used to give prisoners who were about to be executed their last shot of whisky and everything is a historical landmark. As a musician, the community has been extremely warm and accepting and the busking scene is great (no permit needed) so I’m sure I’ll reap the benefits of hanging out in Scotland for as long as possible
2. Melbourne, Australia- We got re-routed to Melbourne last year because of Cyclone Pam, and our ship stayed overnight to avoid bad weather. This gave me a chance to REALLY explore this beautiful city, I stayed out until about 4am and then got up and went to brunch around 9am so…no sleep til adventure. Having no notice that we were going to dock here, I had made no plans, and knew nothing about the city. This gave me anxiety, but ended up being the best way to see any city and taught me a lot about travelling. My boyfriend at the time and I got off the ship, took the train to a random stop, walked into a bar, ordered a local beer, and talked to the bartenders about where to go since we only had 7 hours. They sent us down the road to a brunch place, who sent us down the road t0 another local bar, who sent us down the road to a Saturday-morning market, from there to a Thai food place, from there to a liquor store where we bought champagne and drank it in Spiderman Park, people watching and talking about how we could probably just move to Melbourne right then and be super happy. I might still move to Melbourne.
1. L’Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia- This is hands-down my favourite place I’ve ever been, and ever will go. It’s a tiny island in the South Pacific, one of the islands that make up the French colony of New Caledonia. Seriously, this place has everything. my heartrate is raising writing this paragraph, every morning I wake up NOT in New Caledonia is a giant disappointment. There’s a beautiful, peaceful beach with tiny local restaurants. The peace and silence is overwhelming. There’s a huge, twisted forest of trees you can climb. There’s a mountain you can make it up to the top and back in about 2 hours, and at the top you see the greatest view I’ve ever had. Cute local boys that speak in french. Lots of history, as well. In 1871 after the Paris Commune, 2,800 Parisan prisoners were sent from France to a horrible prison they built on the remote island, mostly feminist revolutionaries, and lots of them are buried there. The prisons are still intact and you can like, HANG OUT THERE and read little messages in french on the walls and seriously this island has everything.
I’m a bit worried that since Cruise Ships just started going to this port last year that it will be ruined. I’m scared it will become a tourist location, and that if I went back now, it wouldn’t be the same. I hope it keeps its charm and beauty!
Honorable mentions: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Cancun, St. Croix, Oslo, Tasmania.