Last year and the year before I travelled a lot and I was hoping to keep that up this year, but we all know what happened. I guess it’s alright because I’m supposed to be applying for citizenship this year and I’m not supposed to travel much before applying for citizenship, even though I’m allowed a few weeks.
I remember a while ago I was thinking of teaching English in Asia and I’m glad I decided not to go for it this year since those plans would have been ruined and I’d be stressed out scrambling to get back home.
Since I can’t write a real travel blog post this year, I’m thinking outside the box and using my imagination: thinking about my fantasy trips and places I’ve been to that I would like to return to and experience again but with my husband. Travelling with your significant other is so different from travelling with your parents for sure.
My friend, Patrick, inspired me to write this blog post since we often talk about travel. He loves road trips particularly and I love pretty much any kind of travel.
My history with travel
If this is your first time reading my blog, let me introduce myself. I’m Angie Moon and I’m 25 and I really love two things: classic rock and travel. On this blog, you’ll find a lot of my ramblings on the two subjects.
A love of travel runs in my family. My grandparents are world travellers who have been to every continent, bar Antarctica – although my grandpa did his best to convince my grandma to go there, they decided not to because of the price, how strenuous a journey it is, and the weather. I have so many memories of them bringing stuff back from their travels and showing us pictures of all the places they’ve been: China, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Egypt, Kenya, Russia, you name it!
My parents both love to travel. My dad likes going to the Caribbean and Latin America as well as doing road trips across the US. I believe he’s been to every state except for Hawaii. Before I was born, my parents did a bunch of road trips. My mum had an interest in travelling, but she doesn’t like going alone and she didn’t have the opportunity to go somewhere outside of South America until her late 20s when she immigrated to the US.
Because I love to read about different cultures, it’s only natural that I love to travel. My first trip ever was when I was 4 months old and that was to Venezuela to visit my mum’s family. My mum has only been back to Venezuela maybe 4 times since she left over 30 years ago. Most of my travels as a kid were within the US, with occasional trips to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. When I was 15, I made my first trip overseas and we went to London and that’s when I fell in love with London and since then I’ve visited London a bunch of times and always enjoy it. I’ve travelled around Europe, the US, Canada, the Caribbean, Australia, and Israel. I’m hoping to see even more places. Travel is pretty much the reason I live. I just want to see as much of the world as I can and photograph and chronicle my adventures.
Five Dream Trips:
I have a lot of travel dreams, so it was hard to just pick five, but I think this list covers a good range of where I want to go. My honourable mentions are Russia, Thailand, and Hawaii. Russia because I love the culture. Thailand and Hawaii – because I love going to the beach.
Some people might be surprised to know that I’m a bit of a weeb, not so much with anime but I love Japanese culture and one of my dreams is to go to Japan. I love the food, art, music, video games, and technology. It’s a country that fascinated me ever since I was a little kid watching anime. It’s so different from where I’m from and I love seeing new things.
What do I want to do in Japan? What don’t I want to do is the real question here. There’s so much I want to do: shop for clothes (I love gothic lolita fashion and I want to buy a yukata); see the cherry blossoms; ride on a bullet train; find good vegan places to eat (even though I’ve heard it’s difficult); go to a karaoke bar; stay at a ryokan; go to one of those automated robot restaurants; go to a kabuki show; check out neighbourhoods like Shibuya and Harajuku; go to Okinawa; go to that cat island; check out the temples and castles; the list goes on and on.
It’s a difficult decision, but if I had to pick a number one for this list, it’s Japan.
2. New Zealand
My husband likes Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit more than I do, but even me as someone who has only watched those movies once, I have to go to New Zealand and see it for myself. I know a bunch of people who have been to New Zealand and all of them have only good things to say about it.
New Zealand being in the southern hemisphere and on the opposite side of the Earth as Ireland, will have completely different wildlife and plants than I’m used to seeing and that is something I would especially love as someone who loves doing travel and nature photography as a hobby. Also, the night sky will look different, and that is something I really want to appreciate as someone who loves space.
My bucket list of things I want to do in New Zealand? Hobbiton, Zorbing, white water rafting, go to Wanaka, go to Milford Sound, fly through the air on a gorge swing, go sailing, see glowworms, and learn about Maori culture.
3. South Africa
I was nearly going to go to South Africa back in 2016, but I had to change my plans due to getting surgery. Didn’t want to take a chance and risk my health. The plans were to go to Johannesburg, then go on a safari in the northeast of the country, then go to Cape Town for a week.
South Africa’s been on my bucket list for a long time and I hope to go with my husband since he’s my favourite travel buddy. I’ve spoken to so many South Africans and they have many nice things to say about their country and I really want to see it for myself. As a person who loves wildlife, history, and seeing so many kinds of landscapes, the country has so much to offer no matter what you like.
There’s so much I want to do in South Africa: go to Kruger National Park, go to Cape Town, go to Boulders Beach and see the penguins there (Yes! There are penguins in Africa!), and travel the Garden Route. I’ve also heard stargazing is supposed to be amazing in South Africa and as a space lover I have to do that!
4. Pacific Northwest (Oregon)
I’ve travelled a lot around the US, but there are only a few regions that I never got to see. One of those regions is the Pacific Northwest. The most I’ve seen of it is the Seattle Airport and I have no recollection of it. If you count Vancouver as part of the PNW, then I guess I’ve been to that region.
Specifically, I want to go to Oregon. Sounds weird as someone who lives in a country where the landscapes and weather have a lot of similarities, but I’ve heard wonderful things about Portland and people can really picture me living there. Also, it’s going to have a lot more stuff than Ireland. There are lots of gardens, nature trails, and shops to check out and as someone who loves nature and shopping, that’s my kind of place. And of course, how can I forget about the food? Everyone tells me I’ve got to go to Voodoo Doughnut and check out the food trucks.
I wouldn’t just want to see Portland though. I want to check out the forests and nature in the area too. My dream American holiday is to do a road trip from Portland to Southern California. I hope one day my husband and I can do this.
I’m a huge fan of the Life is Strange video game series and it takes place in the Pacific Northwest and I love the landscapes.
Greece is one of the major European countries I haven’t been to. My parents have been to Athens, but they didn’t go to any of the islands. They really liked it there and said it was one of their favourite places they went on their backpacking trip. What I really want to see in Greece though is the islands and the beaches. My husband and I haven’t really been on a true beach holiday together. Always something crazy travelling around big cities and I know that he really wants to relax. There are so many destinations to pick from. Personally I’d love to go to Santorini or Mykonos. The sunsets are beautiful!
Five places I’d like to travel to again:
I’ve travelled a lot in my 25, almost 26 years on this pale blue dot and there are many places I want to revisit. So many places are worth travelling to again and again and especially as you go through different stages of life you get a different appreciation for it.. The city I’ve been to most (that I haven’t lived in) is London. I must have been there like 7 times.
It was hard to narrow it down to five, but these are places that I have memories of and want to visit again and appreciate it from a new perspective.
1. Banff/Lake Louise
I’ve been to Banff twice. Once as a little kid and again as a teenager. One of the times was in the summer and the other time was in the late winter. It’s a bit of a drive from Calgary and it’s so beautiful. I loved going to the national park and checking out the fancy hotels in the area. If I had to go to one place in Canada, this is what I’d pick. It’s beautiful sunny or snowy. Being there felt like a dream and really gave me an appreciation for how beautiful this planet is.
Sorry other states and provinces in the Rockies, the best part of the Rockies is Banff.
The last time I was in California was in December 2016. That trip, I went to San Diego, LA, and Joshua Tree National Park. If I had to pick a favourite state in the US, it would easily be California. California has all kinds of landscapes: desert, forest, beach, city, and mountains – what more can you ask for? Most of my travels in California have brought me to the Bay Area because I have cousins who live there. San Francisco is such an incredible city and it’s been way too long since I visited – last time I was there was 2013. As a vegetarian and later vegan, I never had problems finding good food to eat.
I know it’s so broad because California is such a big state, but I really don’t feel like I’ve experienced enough. I want to revisit so many places and see more of places that I’ve been to. I really want to see more of LA and San Francisco. I’d like to go to more national parks in California like Yosemite, Redwood, and Death Valley, but I absolutely loved Joshua Tree and would love to go there with all my friends.
3. Washington DC
I’ve only been to DC once and that was when I was 16 as a day trip with my family. Nope, I wasn’t lucky enough to have a grade 8 field trip to DC like a lot of American kids get. Not enough time to really take in all the sights. Personally, when I travel I like to see a city in depth and a day in DC isn’t enough. Even if you’re not the most patriotic American, it’s still an incredible city to see and there’s really nothing like it. I remember as a kid I really badly wanted to go. My grandma went there with some of her friends before going back to Venezuela and she knew how badly I wanted to go, so she gave me a few postcards.
My family reunion was in Williamsburg, and my grandparents picked that over DC because they don’t like staying in big cities. It was a long drive from Williamsburg to DC, but my dad said we were going to do it because when’s the next time we would be in the area? We got up super early at 4 AM and drove to the furthest down subway station and took the subway into DC. It’s a pain to drive around the city so we decided on using public transport and our feet. Mostly our feet though. With it being August, it was extremely humid, as you can imagine.
Since my dad planned the trip kinda late, we didn’t get the chance to visit the Capitol or White House since those book out quickly, but we did get to go to the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and a bunch of the Smithsonian Museums. A day isn’t enough to really see everything, but I felt we saw a lot for how short of a time I spent there. I was so happy I got to go to the Air & Space Museum. The good news with DC is the Smithsonian is free.
I got to go to Barcelona with my family in 2014 as part of a cruise itinerary. The cruise started in Barcelona and went to three ports in Italy: Naples, Rome, and Florence; Cannes in France; and Mallorca in Spain. Since travelling to Europe is expensive and my dad couldn’t take that much time off work, he wasn’t able to book more than an extra day in Barcelona. To maximise our time, we went on one of those sightseeing buses and it was cool to see a lot of the sights (and I was especially happy because the jacarandas were in bloom during that time of the year), but I wanted to really see it in depth. My dad and I wanted to go on this cable car, but my mum cheaped out and said no. I got a little taste of Barcelona at least and I was impressed. I want more! I’d love to see the architecture more in depth because Barcelona has some of the best architecture I’ve seen, try some vegan food since I wasn’t a vegan at the time I was there, go to the beach, and I’d like to go to Parque Güell.
Like I said for Barcelona, I went to Italy on a cruise and I don’t think it does the country justice and it’s not my style of travel. I loved the drive on the Amalfi Coast, trying real Neapolitan Pizza, and seeing the sights in Rome and Florence and I want more! It’s not that expensive to fly to Italy since I’m in Ireland, but overseas trips keep taking priority – life happens, you know. One day I’ll get to go back! It sounds like the ideal country for a road trip… and I’ve heard there’s good stargazing in the countryside! And who could forget the incredible food? One of my favourite things about travel is trying the local food. Also there’s some interesting history.
So this is my short little travel blog written from the comfort of my room. Using my imagination, I broke out of my everyday routine and thought about travel plans for the future. Where would you like to go when it’s finally safe to travel again?
Shoutout to my friends Patrick and Matt for supporting the blog!
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