Top Travel Moments of 2013
We’re already a few days into 2014 and here I am wrapping my travel from the year past. Guess I’ve blown that “stop procrastinating” resolution already, eh? This year felt like it was full of travel but when I got down to details I hadn’t visited a single new country. All the same I had lots of great new experiences. Just proves that it’s not all about ticking off countries on a list. This year seemed to be about basking in nature and also facing some fears. So what were my top moments?
Visiting a Cat Café in Gunsan, South Korea
I’m not sure when I first heard about Korean cat cafés but when I visited Asia in 2012 I knew I wanted to check one out. It didn’t happen on that trip but when I returned to South Korea for a longer stay in this past spring I was delighted to find out that one had opened in the small city of Gunsan where I was staying. So many cute kitties!
Attempting Noraebang and Not Dying
For those unfamiliar, South Korean noraebang is like Japanese karaoke. You rent a private room and sing along with your friends to hit song and golden oldies. You don’t need to know Korean since there’s a selection of English songs. When it comes to singing publicly, I have huge anxiety so the fact that I participated in noraebang not just once, but twice this year was huge. And I didn’t die of shame or embarrassment!
Horseback Riding in Banff, AB
Much like how I just had to go zip lining in Costa Rica I knew that if I could only do one thing in Alberta it was going to be horseback riding in the mountains. There was something so romantic about the idea. Just me, a horse named Pilsner, the mountains and river. Even though it was early October it was pretty cold during my morning trail ride. Puddles were still frozen oven even. Pilsner and I braved the temps and enjoyed some incredible scenery and learned it’s very hard to take photos with one mittened hand while atop a horse. So very worth it, sore butt, chilled hands and all.
Hiking Johnston Canyon in Alberta
I’d never heard of Johnston Canyon until I saw Candice’s photos. What a stunner! Just 20min from Banff the canyon was really easy to reach from my hotel. Unlike Candice, I had practically had the place to myself and it was the perfect hike/trail walk for my limited time in the area. I’m used to trails that forge through the woods or skim along the ocean so Johnston Canyon was a different experience altogether. The whole time I kept wanting to rush on to the next turn because I couldn’t believe that the views just got better and better. I will definitely be back next time I’m in the area.
CN Tower Edgewalk in Toronto
The pièce de résistance. The one thing that had my friends and family telling me that I was nuts. Perhaps the one experience that gave me the greatest sense of accomplishment in 2013. I faced a slight fear of heights and conquered the CN Tower Edgewalk. I got strapped into a fancy red jumpsuit and circumnavigated the tower 1100+ feet off the ground. My stomach lurched when I stood with my toes over the edge looking way, way down at the Rogers Centre but I kept going. And not unlike Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs, when it was time to go in my brain was shouting “Again!”
What will 2014 bring? Only time will tell. I want to continue to push my comfort zone and to appreciate cool moments, wherever they may happen.