2019 was a year of adventure, new beginnings and travel risks. As each year passes feelings of excitement and curiosity. As I look back to 2019 I realize I didn't accomplish a lot of the goals I set this past year. However, sometimes I make goals that are not realistic for myself, so I need to be a little bit more practical in my abilities.
I did, however, travel to all the places that I wanted to this year. Russia was the highlight of my year as I've dreamed of visiting for so long. I don't know anyone of colour that had actually traveled to Russia, which is why it peaked my curiosity even more. I also loved eating pasty and wine in Italy and the liberation of the Netherlands. Europe has grown a lot on me since my first visit in 2017 and I will probably be visiting again in 2020!
Here are my 2019 travel highlights, I hope you enjoy!
Moscow & St. Petersburg, Russia
Moscow & St.Petersburg were amazing. Russia has so much to offer in terms of tourism. However, it is definitely one of the roads less traveled. There were so many things I adored, like seeing the ballet in an enchanting theatre, having real beef stroganoff, learning about what really happened to the Romanoff family and more! Russia is a gem and should definitely be visited more by people of colour. It's not as scary as you think!
Okinawa was a very last minute trip. I went with friends and we did not plan anything or really know where anything was. Although Okinawa is beautiful, this was one of my least favourite trips this year. Okinawa is more of a resort island, so there isn't much going on here in terms of attractions. I mostly just walked around the American Village while my friends went and hung out at the beach. It's not really my type of trip as I like to sightsee.
Sanya was wonderful. I was honestly so biased about this place because it's Chinese and I didn't have the greatest experience with Chinese cities. Regardless of how I feel about mainland China, I cannot put Sanya in the same category. Sanya is one of the most alluring islands I have ever been on outside of Southeast Asia. The natural beauty will actually surprise you. English is not as common, especially outside of the city centre so just make sure to have a good translator app. If you want to become one with nature in the rain forest, eat Hainan chicken and go swimming at the beach visit Sanya!
Guam is so American it's scary. Yes, I know Guam is an American territory but the island vibes seem like they are in competition with the American vibes. I know see why so many Korean families visit Guam. It's like going to USA without having to experience the nasty racism and American attitude that is so greatly common. Plus, it is only a three hour flight. The nightlife is amazing and the shopping was great.
Visiting Tokyo is always so much fun. This time I went to different areas like Ginza and Golden Gai. Every year I visit Japan but never do the same thing twice. Even though I've visited Tokyo multiple times, I never ever do the same things I did before. Tokyo has so much going on that you need to try different things each time. I still feel like I haven't done or seen much because I always so for a weekend getaway. One thing that I really want to do next time if to see Mount Fuji!
Italy was easily one of my favourite destinations this year. Italy is surely on most peoples bucket list probably because of the pasta, pizza and wine. The food, without a doubt, was one of the highlights on this trip. I've never had pasta or pizza so amazing. There is just so much culture and history which was amazing it actually see in person, rather than in movies.
On the other had, Belgium was not one for the books. I really did not enjoy enjoy my time in Brussels or Antwerp. I found the Brussels city centre to be mediocre and actually a little bit sketchy. I only enjoyed walking around the Grand Place and the beer experiences. Antwerp was a bit nicer but didn't have much to offer me. I did, however, enjoy Bruges. I really love going to places like Bruges because it looks like a quaint fairytale town. In the future, I would probably not return to Belgium again.
Last but most definitely not least, Amsterdam. I freaking love Amsterdam. Not just because of the canals and pot smoking. Let's see, to start, there is the laid back, hippie like vibe. Then there is the ability to never be bored because there's always things going on and the diversity. I also got to spend time with my family that lives there for the first time. I can see why the city is so popular with expats and visitors. I cannot wait to go back.
I hope you enjoyed my 2019 Travel Highlights!
If you want to check out other places I have been, have a look at my 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 travel highlights.
Welcome to Herxtravels!
I’m Hilda, the writer behind Herxtravels. Here you can find travel guides, reviews and tips. Find out more about me here.
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