December 07, 2016

My Top Travel Moments

In the past few years I've been extremely lucky to be able to travel to some amazing cities around the world. On each trip I experience something that changes my perception of the world that little bit more. To me travel is an amazing opportunity, I cannot explain the joy and happiness I have found in exploring and falling in love with these cities, and to anyone that wants to travel, I cannot encourage you enough. 

For today's post I've gathered together my top list of things I've experienced around the world. From times that have made my cry with shock and happiness to others that have left me completely and utterly speechless. 

Two Summers ago I traveled to Venice, Italy. I honestly believe that everyone should experience Venice at least once in their lifetime. The way that life goes on in this city is nothing short of mesmerising - a whole city built entirely on water, the only mode of transport is by foot or boat and buildings are eight or nine stories high. 
Whilst in Venice we spent one particular evening in St Marks Square, a famous landmark within the city. We got Italian gelato from a local vendor in the square and watched the crowds of people bustle by. Dotted around the edge of the square people eat in lavish restaurants, but between every two or three restaurants were raised platforms from which quartets played traditional Italian music. I can still hear it when I think of it. As I stood there in the middle of the square, gathered around with so many other people from all over the world listening to the most beautiful music I have ever heard, I couldn't help but think of how much I felt like I was in a dream world. My words or photos will never do justice to this experience and it is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. Venice owns a little piece of my heart.

Recently I traveled to Iceland. Everything about this trip was magical in it's own way. but for me, standing on the edge of Gulfoss, a mammoth waterfall on the Golden Circle literally stopped me dead in my tracks. Every step further I took the more I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There are no words to convey the sheer power and size of this thing. Mother nature is pretty cool at times. 

Whilst in Barcelona we took a visit to an amusement park at the top of Tibidabo mountain. We went here for an evening of relaxation and fun, only to find Barcelona's cathedral at the top of hill. The Cathedral was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, like a modest castle looking over the land. A balcony looked over the city, making it look like a tiny dot below. In the cathedral local Spaniards were taking part in weekly Saturday evening Mass. Crowds of locals brimmed the church, lined around the outside and out the door while the Priest gave communion. Above in the balcony of the Chapel the choir sang hymns in Spanish. 
I stood there in the doorway of the church crying and covered in goosebumps at what I was experiencing. Again, I can't even explain this moment, but I knew then that I had found the true and authentic Barcelona, no tourist attraction could beat that.

Whilst in Italy we also traveled down to Rome from Venice. During our short few hours that we had we took a tour of the Vatican. As I type, I think it's only just sunk in that I have been inside the actual Vatican. During our tour we seen with our own eyes Michael Angelo's sculptures, hundreds of them decorating the corridors. But the one moment that stood out for me was the Sistine Chapel.
I don't think anything could have prepared me for what I was about to experience. All of the Chapel walls and roof were decorated with murals by Michael Angelo, depicting Christ's life and narrating stories from the Bible. I remember one particular wall had been painted to look like curtains, only until Scott had pointed it out and made me study it, I thought it was real curtains (lol.) The guards inside the Chapel continuously told everyone to be quiet as you aren't allowed to speak or take any photographs. A once in a lifetime experience. 

inside St Paul's Cathedral

I really experienced the wonder of the simple things in life when we visited London back in March. At night we took a trip to the famous Piccadilly Circus. We sat on the steps just opposite and watched the world buzz by. The brightness of the lights, being surrounded by hundreds of people also having the same mesmerising moment as me, and the excitement of the city just made my heart skip. It sounds so simple and like nothing really exciting, but then and there I was just captivated. I had a lump in my throat from pure happiness of my surroundings and how lucky I was to be right there in that moment. 

Lastly, but certainly not least, when we were in Iceland we visited the Blue Lagoon. I have talked and talked about this until I am blue in the face (no pun) so I'm sure everyone is bored of me talking about it, but this was really was one of those "am I actually alive right now" moments. When I walked out from the changing rooms I couldn't believe how blue the water was. The bitter coldness of the air above the water was painful, but the warmth of the lagoon was amazing. I couldn't even process what was happening or that I was even there. 

Writing this post has really made me reflect on my travels, but mostly made me excited to hop on another plane discover another city. I've visited some of the wonders of the world and I'm only 18. I think that's pretty cool. I know I say it a lot, but I really cannot believe how lucky I am to have been able to see some of the things I have.
If I was to write a post on all of my travel experiences I would be here all day, but these are the ones that have really left me feeling grateful for the world we live in!

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