My 2-week trip to Egypt and Jordan in 2018 was one of the most
rewarding (albeit exhausting) experiences I've ever had. It was
chock-full of activities, as I journeyed swiftly from one location
to the next, eager to visit as many sites as possible. I spent a
vast majority of my time in Egypt visiting its world-famous ancient
Egyptian historical sites, of course, including Abu Simbel, the
pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and Luxor, to name a few.
Jordan was a surprise for me. I went there with few expectations, but it turned out to be one of my favourite trips, with its many beautiful, varied natural terrains. I stayed for 2 days at Wadi Rum, a desert with orange-coloured sand which gave the entire landscape an otherworldly, alien appeal. I also visited Petra, which involved a several-hour-long trek through a vast and meandering canyon. The journey was long but very much worth it as the ancient temple of Petra, with its giant sandstone columns, was a sight to behold.
Steeped in history and culture, Greece and Italy proved to be
delightful and enriching travel destinations for me when I spent 2
weeks in both countries in 2016, visiting their historical sites and
feasting on local food such as moussaka in Greece and pasta in
While in Greece, I spent a few days at Meteora in Thessaly, where I visited monasteries located atop several tall and majestic rock formations that were spread across the hilly landscape. It was breathtaking (not to mention cold!). Of course, one doesn't travel to Greece without visiting its many historical sites, such as the Parthenon and the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens.
In Rome, Italy, I also spent some time in Vatican City, which is home to the largest church in the world, St Peter's Basilica. The sheer size of it was an absolute marvel!
My trip to Sarawak in Malaysia back in 2017 provided a much-needed opportunity for me to visit close relatives who had migrated there a decade ago from our home country, Singapore. And they were kind enough to take me around the state to visit some of its most interesting tourist destinations, one of which included a short trip to a forested area several hours' drive away from the city centre.
When I think of Sydney, images of its iconic Opera House and the hustle and bustle of city life come to mind. But I was also pleasantly surprised to find that it had more to offer travellers like me who crave some time in nature. Take for example, the Blue Mountains, a region west of Sydney known for its steep cliffs and forests. A worthwhile break away from the city!
My stay at one of the resort islands in the Maldives was more for relaxation than adventure. It was the ideal scenic location for a tranquil and rejuvenating retreat away from the stresses of work and everyday life. I spent most of my days lounging in my chalet, occasionally stepping out to snorkel, to take a short boat ride to other surrounding islands or to sunbathe. It was the perfect getaway to help me recharge.
Barcelona offered plenty of beautiful and fascinating sites despite the fact that I could only stay there for slightly more than a week. Barcelona Cathedral was a highlight, with its many tall columns stretching up towards the high ceiling and its stained glass windows providing an ethereal glow. I even managed to take a short trip to visit Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, which is known for its unique location on a mountain in Monistrol de Montserrat, Catalonia, nestled against tall, initimidating cliffs.