It’s the start of the new year – I’m grateful for where I’m at and so excited for the upcoming adventures ahead of me. This past year has exceeded all my expectations in regards to travel. It’s almost been one year since I started flying and I can confidently say that one year later I am still enjoying the job and I still LOVE to travel! (No, it doesn’t gets old, if anything it even has made me love travelling more) It’s hard to imagine going back to working a 9 to 5 job after this as I’ve gotten so used to my crazy lifestyle where no two weeks, or even two days are the same. This job is not only a job, it’s a lifestyle… and it’s very addictive – changing location every few days, exploring new cities on a weekly basis, eating foods from all over the world and meeting people from all around the globe … how can one get bored?
Last month was tough missing my second Christmas away from my family and friends but with that said, I definitely made the most of the situation and enjoyed a lovely Christmas month away from home. I began the celebrations early and decided to book a short trip to Vienna to visit as many Christmas markets as possible. I had such a magical experience as this was my first time to visit a Christmas market, let alone a Christmas market in Europe!
Aside from this I also travelled to Maldives, Sri Lanka, Italy, Vietnam and Wales. I spent 4 days back at school completing recurrent training so I’m legal to fly for another 12 months. I also successfully obtained my US Visa and will be operating my first flight to the US in a few days time.
Christmas Market tour in Vienna
Q.How much Christmas is too much Christmas?
A. The limit does not exist
I chose Vienna for my Christmas market tour because Vienna is home to some of the biggest and best Christmas markets throughout the whole of Europe. Not only was the city filled with Christmas markets, but it is also decorated beautifully this time of year.
In the time span of almost 3 whole days, I managed to visit 8 Christmas markets throughout the city. I decided to make it my mission to collect Christmas mugs from each market that I visited. Each year, all the markets produce their own uniquely designed Christmas mug which they serve hot drinks in including my beloved mulled wine (glühwein). Usually, you pay a 3-4 euro deposit for the mug when you purchase a hot beverage and once you return the mug you receive your deposit back. However, if you’re anything like me, you drink the wine and run away with the mug for your devotion to Christmas!
This was called Mozartpunsch a.k.a. eggnog liqueur
The 8 markets I visited are as follows:
- Christmas World at Rathausplatz (the main one with all the tourists and large ice skating rink) – it was a bit too commercial for my liking but it’s a MUST to visit for any first timer! It’s huge!
- Christmas Village at Maria-Theresien-Platz – again, this one is big and very commercial but worth a visit
- Christmas Market at Spittelberg – this one has a hipster feel to it, filled with locals and far from the tourists
- Art Advent Karlsplatz – local arts and crafts, organic food and drinks
- Am Hof Advent Market – this one specialises in warm rosé! Enough said!
- Christmas Market Schloss Schönbrunn (Schönbrunn Palace) – amazing location – so elegant, very spacious
- Freyung Christmas Market – Vienna’s oldest Christmas Market which has been held there since 1772!!! This one is small but nice because of the history
- Christmas Market on Stephansplatz (Stephansdom) – this one is nothing special but it’s located in an iconic spot and I like the boot shaped mug!
The biggest ice skating rink I have ever seen at Rathausplatz
Am Hof was one of my favourites, not sure why but it seemed to have a good vibe to it. I visited during the day and at night and it seemed to be a place that even the locals go to for a drink at night. Less tourists, good food and drinks.
Had to try the hot Aperol spritz! I prefer it cold on a hot summer day but this was still nice
Karlsplatz Christmas Market was another one of my favourites – this market specialises in home made and locally produced goods. They also sell organic mulled wine and punch which was delicious.
Other highlights of the trip excluding the Christmas Markets:
- Eating delicious Polish open sandwiches at Trześniewski
2. Visiting the colourful and instagramable Hundertwasser House
Colombo, Sri Lanka for the billionth time with an unexpected surprise
I wasn’t planning to write anything about my short layover in Sri Lanka because I have been a few times now and I have it again next month anddddd I am travelling there for my friend Sachi’s wedding in March and will explore more of the country on that trip. But it just so happened on the one day I was in Sri Lanka last month, my friend Sachi and her fiancé Nathan happened to be travelling there from Melbourne and landed on the exact same day! They made a short detour to my hotel where the 3 of us caught up over a drink – it was super nice and so unexpected! Thank you universe for aligning our stars that day. I am so excited for the wedding and to see more of this amazing country.
This was my third time to visit lovely Hanoi and I was super happy about it. It’s no surprise I love Vietnam so I am always happy to see any Vietnam destination on my roster.
This time around I visited St Joseph’s cathedral. I enjoyed my morning coffee from a nice rooftop cafe overlooking the cathedral.
When In Vietnam, I must eat pho (twice on this occasion)
A Christmas in Doha
As I mentioned in my intro, this year I spent my Christmas in Doha. On Christmas Eve I met some of the Australian crew for a lovely Aussie inspired lunch – there were minties, red skins, twisties, cherries from Perth and of course lots of booze 😛
Santa was good to me this year… I came home from my flight and found this outside my door
And here is my Santa Claus this year ❤
My festive apartment – note the display of my Vienna Christmas mug collection
Roast lamb and chicken for Christmas dinner
Christmas Day with these two angels
Finished off the night with my ice cream tiramisu cake
I was happy to be pulled out from standby and sent to Milan. Unfortunately my layover was super short so I didn’t have enough time to go into the city like I hoped, however I did have time to enjoy a nice pasta dinner with a glass of vino. It was not as good as nonna’s homemade pasta but it helped satisfy my cravings! I think a visit to Melbourne is in order…
New Years Eve in Cardiff, Wales
Again, another short layover but I definitely made the most of my time here as this was a new destination and country for me to travel. I really loved spending my time here even though the weather was super cold. The city is really old and cute, food was good and the shopping…. well lets just say “Boxing Day sales” – bye bye salary!
My first stop was the beautiful Cardiff Castle – I love how green this place is!
So when do I move in?
The streets of Cardiff – love their flag!
A nice little visit to the Cardiff Market
Had to try the famous Welsh cakes since I’m in Wales – you can see the owner of this little bakery making the cakes at the back of the shop. It was really yummy, better than I was expecting!
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it until midnight even though it was NYE. I know I’m lame but I had been awake since 3am that day for my early departure to Wales. On top of this my pickup on New Years Day was 6am… far too early (evil rostering)! This is the second NYE I have missed by going to sleep too early, let’s see if the 2020 new year is a little more exciting 😛
On a side note, I had the cutest old couple on my flight back to Doha celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Such an inspiration, I love it when I see old people in love! #thenotebookisreal
The 86 year old woman was so sassy, talking about her husband “60 years old and he’s still not my type!” A few of us organised a little cake and glass of champers for the couple’s anniversary from the business class (here what we like to call a “Magic Moment” for the customer), they told us “this has been the best holiday and it hasn’t even started yet!” – Bless their hearts!
2019, so it begins…
and this is where I am travelling this month:
- Hangzhou, China
- Miami, USA
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I also have 4 days of standby so I may be pulled out for another destination.
Wishing all my readers a happy and safe new year! May 2019 bring you happiness, health, and everything you desire. Until next month, have a good one xxx