My 2014 Travel Roundup

As 2014 draws to a close, each of us should take some time and reflect back to the fondest memories and experiences. Most of my pleasurable affairs are often emerged from my travels where I feel great freedom, and find opportunities to learn countless things that can’t be achieved by sitting through TV documentaries.

It is through travelling that I experience true liberty, knowledge, enrichment, inquisition and most of all, hunger; hunger to want to see more of the world. Here’s a roundup of the places where I’ve left my footsteps and taken away precious memories.

1. Malaysia

KL

There is no place like home. Since moving to London five years ago, it’s the destination for me to visit at least once a year.

What’s to love?

Family, friends and food. Food really is the main reason why most of us love this country, locals and tourists included. We take pride in our local delicacies so DO NOT ever leave Malaysia without trying some of the best dishes, a lot of which are hidden in every nook and cranny (it’s a good sign as a lot of tourist traps are often in obvious shopping malls and corner shops). On occasional weekends, locals drive hours along expressways just to have authentic food served at family run restaurants. Other than food, we also have among the best islands and beaches in the world that are superbly pristine and tranquil when at its best season.

2. Nice, France

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Set by the idyllic French Riviera, this charming little city offers the view and ambience that will leave you breathless.

What’s to love?

Being the fifth most populous city right after Toulouse, Nice is packed with diverse sight sees, starting with the local Old Town in the heart of the city bustling with restaurants, cafes and shops. If you feel like taking a short hike, the Castle Hill is moments away from the Old Town. Your hike will be paid off generously with a panoramic view of the city and Mediterranean sea. With an easy bus transport system, Nice is well connected to other French cities and communes. Resting at the top of a cliff is the enchanting medieval village of Èze, only an hour away from Nice. With a view such as the above, it is no wonder that Walt Disney spent a considerable amount of time here.

Being geographically perfect, Nice is gifted with mild weather with year-round sunshine. It’s reason enough to retire here.

3. Monaco

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Whilst in Nice, how could I resist visiting the full of glitz and glam next door neighbour, Monaco?

What’s to love?

No place in this world is alike Monaco. Home to the Formula 1 Grand prix and many rich and famous, this sovereign city-state is accessorised with super cars cruising on the clean and top-notch paved roads and luxury homes with grand sea views. If you’re feeling lucky, give the roulette a spin at the one and only Monte Carlo casino. Given it’s long standing prestige, Monaco is known to be a premier tourist destination and will continue to be so for a long foreseeable future.

4. Barcelona

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Thanks to Gaudi, one of the most prominent icons in history, Barcelona has become an extremely popular holiday spot.

What’s to love?

Architecture. The vibrant city is densely packed with notable attractions from various historical artists and architects — Gaudi, Picasso and Joan Miró to name a few. Similar to the French Riviera, Barcelona is set by the Mediterranean sea, pleasant year-round sunshine and a perfect mix of city buzz and seaside relaxation. It is also a foodie haven as one will be spoilt with great selections of the best tapas restaurants.

5. Brighton

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A chilled out little town in the south coast of Great Britain, Brighton is exceptionally popular among London day-trippers.

What’s to love?

A hop on the train from London Kings Cross station will get you down to Brighton fairly quickly. Brighton will make a perfect night or even a day trip especially during British summer time; bask in the pebble beach during the day and have fun at the Brighton pier packed with game stalls, rides and jolly good music. The seaside Royal Pavilion palace is also worth a visit.

6.Cambridge

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When you hear ‘Cambridge’, your first thought will be hoarded with extremely bright intellects. That’s not wrong at all.

What’s to love?

Home to the prestigious Cambridge university that is consistently ranked top five in the world, the university campuses will leave you in awe. Combined with the historical styles dating back to prehistoric times, the buildings to see are Kings College Chapel (photo above), Cavendish Laboratory, Fitzwilliam Museum, and many others. In summer time, locals and visitors take pleasure in punting along The Backs and River cam, being taken through great views of the historical buildings where Charles Darwin once studied.

7. Budapest

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Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is set to be an up and coming international holiday spot.

What’s to love?

Truthfully, I have never set foot in a country that has such a huge array of incredibly grand buildings. The fact that Budapest is a construct of two cities, it retains different personalities, which makes it all the more distinctive. In Budapest, there is an abundance of attractions to feed your historical appetite as well as the literal appetite with loads of authentic Eastern European cuisines. Be sure to spare a minimum of two nights to make the most of your trip down there.

 

Mozart

2014 has been a great year and I’m looking forward to embark on an evermore exciting journey around the world.

Merry Christmas and have a great new year!

 

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