I recently realized that I went through the entire year of 2015 without a single blog post or update!
Shortly following my last update, my sister and I surprised our mom with a trip to Europe over the 2014 Christmas break. Though we were only there for about a week, it was her first time in Europe so we tried to show her as much as we could.
As most travellers are aware, the Christmas break is one of the busiest times to fly and airports tend to be a breeding ground for chaos. We arrived at the airport about 4 hours early, anticipating long waits and processing times. Unfortunately, upon check-in, our airline claimed that they couldn't find our tickets. After spending almost an hour on the phone with our initial airline, our booking site, and the airline of our connecting flight, we finally received our boarding passes. To make matters worse, our initial flight was delayed due to bad weather so we ended up missing our connecting flight anyway, having to spend the night in Newark before being re-booked through to our final destination. What a nightmare!
When we finally arrived in Hamburg, Germany, it was Christmas Day and we had unfortunately missed Christmas Eve dinner. Although by that point, we were simply relieved to have finally made it to our destination. My sister had an entire itinerary planned for the week we were there and it was essentially a condensed version of my first trip there, with the inclusion of an extra destination. We had taken her to the Ostsee-Therme and spent the day on the Baltic Sea Coast, we brought her on day trips to Lubeck and Berlin where we spent the day exploring the city, and we even flew to Vienna, Austria for a few days! From there, we also bought a train ticket and made a day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia (15 euros round-trip!), which was an experience in itself. We went on a free walking tour and nearly froze our toes off. BUT we did get to enjoy a traditional Slovak meal and do a bit of shopping before heading back. If you ever have the opportunity to go, I recommend it!
Last summer (2015), my sister and her boyfriend came to visit us in Toronto. I had taken some time off work and we took a 1-week trip to the Maritimes in Eastern Canada! We had the opportunity to visit New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island (PEI) and enjoy fresh Atlantic lobster. PEI is where I had my first raw oyster experience! Everything about the Maritimes was incredible and I am incredibly grateful that we were able to share the experience as a family.
Last fall, one of my best friends and I went on a weekend trip to visit our other best friend in Chicago, IL. Though it was just a short visit, we managed to check off most of the things on our to-do list. Despite our seemingly terrible luck throughout the entire trip (Chicago was hit with a snowy cold front when we arrived, my boots broke and the holes let in all of the rain, Skydeck at Willis Tower was closed for maintenance, and the day we were going to John Hancock Tower, it was closed due a fire earlier that day!), we made a lot of new friends, memories, and experiences - to say the least!
Most recently, my aunts came to visit Canada for the first time last fall. I was finally able to meet my aunts from China and talk to them without a screen (or an ocean) between us! Between them going on side trips and me working, I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked, though we did get to do a day trip to Niagara Falls!
Now, to fast forward to my latest news: in 4 short weeks, I will be going to South-East Asia for a month! I have been wanting to visit South-East Asia for about 2 years now, and the timing has finally worked out and presented itself. My current work contract is quickly coming to an end and I am incredibly excited for what the next adventure has in store. I will be updating throughout my travels (wi-fi availability pending!) so stay tuned! :)