March-ing into new territories

Wow, what an amazing and busy month it’s been. I had two incredible holidays, one in Sri Lanka and the other in Iceland on my two weeks of annual leave. I also operated flights to the States, Malaysia and an additional two flights to Sri Lanka aside from my vacation.

Chicago

My first flight of the month was Chicago – it was a challenging flight but I was happy to go as Chicago is a city I have always wanted to visit. Unfortunately, the layover was super short so I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to explore the city, however I did manage to find time to go out for a little and visit the famous Chicago bean.

I’m not really sure what the significance behind the enormous bean is, but I do know that if you travel to Chicago and you don’t take a picture with the bean then you probably need to travel to Chicago again because you didn’t do it right the first time.

Chicago was officially the coldest place I ever travelled. That was until a couple weeks later and I travelled to Iceland. The weather in Chicago that day was FREEZING with a temperature of how do people actually live here? They weren’t lying when they said Chicago is a windy city. Every part of my body was numb, I’m sure if I stood outside for a little longer, I would have needed to amputate my fingers from frostbite. Not long after the above photos were taken, I quickly ran inside the nearest cafe and ran hot water over my hands so that I could feel again. How do people live here?

Despite the cold and my short stay, I really liked Chicago and would be happy to visit again… preferably in the warmer months.

Sri Lanka

Vacation timeeee! Finally I had the opportunity to spend longer than 24 hours in beautiful Sri Lanka. Thanks to my friends Sachi and Nate who planned their wedding in Sri Lanka, I had the perfect excuse to plan a holiday there. My boyfriend and I travelled a couple days early before the wedding to spend some time in the picturesque green nature-filled landscape known as Ella – a place I had always wanted to visit but never had enough time to on my short layovers.

Views from my hotel

I loved the relaxed hippy vibe of Ella Town. On our first night we went to a nice rooftop restaurant and bar called Cafe Chill where you have to remove your shoes before entering.

The Sri Lankan curry cooked in banana leaf was sooo good!

Because I’m such a good girlfriend, I planned an amazing early sunrise hike to the 9 Arches Bridge to catch the first train passing by – I thought it would make for a great photo. Unfortunately due to my poor sense of direction, we got lost and made it to the bridge well after the first train had passed. Nonetheless, I still managed to get some nice pictures!

After our morning hike, it was time for breakfast… and what’s better to eat in Sri Lanka than their traditional hoppers.

Contemplating why he entered a relationship with me after our sunrise hike 😛

I figured that one hike wasn’t enough so why not go on another? Here we have our second hike of the day at Little Adam’s Peak .

One of the highlights for the trip was zip lining down the peak across this beautiful landscape

After 2 long hikes, it was time to cool down with a swim at Ravana Falls

The next morning we were up early again, this time to catch the first train departing Ella on route to Nuwara Eliya which is famous for its tea fields. The entire train ride from Ella to Kandy is said to be one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to do the entire trip but for the 2.5 hours that we journeyed to Nuwara Eliya, we were not disappointed by the views.

I don’t even want to tell you what went on behind the scenes of this photo… let’s just say there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Probably the hardest photoshoot of my life, so many things to consider ie. lighting, backdrop and trying not to fall off the train at the same time 😛

Once we finally made it to Nuwara Eliya, it would have been rude of us to not visit a tea factory. We stopped at Dambo Tea Factory for tea tasting, present buying and of course more photos in this picturesque setting!

After a TEA-rrific afternoon (sorry), we made our way to Dambulla for the main event – the wedding! I thought I would embrace my inner Sri Lankan princess and wear a saree to the wedding. Thankfully, I had someone to dress me as I had no clue how to do it on my own.

Ta daaaa!!

The best thing about the wedding was catching up with all my amazing friends from Melbourne. It had been almost a year since I saw them last so our catch-up was long overdue and what better place to have it than in beautiful Sri Lanka!

The day after the wedding and my final day in Sri Lanka, I said goodbye to my friends who were travelling with the bride and groom for a post wedding tour of Sri Lanka with the majority of the wedding guests. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough leave to join them, however I did have enough time to go on an elephant safari!

It was an amazing trip but it definitely wasn’t long enough… I want to go back already! There are so many different parts of Sri Lanka I want to explore. I highly recommend everyone to visit this country as it has so much to offer. Tourism here is rapidly increasing so my advice is to go now before the tourists ruin it’s natural beauty. Sri Lanka will always be one my favourite countries ❤

New York

My first flight back from leave was an early morning departure to NYC! I travelled to New York in 2014 and spent a good week in Manhattan, however it had been so long since I graced this city with my presence and I had been longing to go back ever since.

I had nearly 24 hours in the city and my first stop was Times Square to see the broadway performance of Disney’s Anastasia (You’re never too old for Disney). One word  – Amazing. Every show I have seen on broadway has been nothing short of amazing.

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The next morning I woke up nice and early to maximise my day. I went for a chilly morning run around Central Park.

On a side note, as crew we are so so so lucky, the location of the hotel we stay at in New York is prime! We stay on the Upper East Side near Times Square, Central Park, 5th Avenue😁

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After this, I took the subway to Brooklyn and took a nice stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge.

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I had to make a pit stop for brunch at Good Thanks – an Australian cafe in the centre of Manhattan. Even the staff that work there are Aussies! I miss you Australia!!!

I then visited the oh so instagrammable cafe Lroom, famous for it’s epic desserts and glittery lattes. I tried the Bling Bling Rose Latte – not gonna lie, it wasn’t the best tasting coffee I ever had in my life but it was definitely the prettiest #doinitforthegram

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Iceland

After a busy week of flying, it was then time for my second vacation for the month (because one just isn’t enough duh). Iceland was a place high on my travel bucket list for a long time and I’m so happy to finally tick it off. This vacation was definitely a step outside my comfort zone as I’m a lover of sunny destinations and hate the cold. This was my first proper snow vacation (aside from the occasional ski trip to mt buller)

It has always been my dream to see the Northern Lights so I planned to visit Iceland during the season where they are most visible. Unfortunately, I didn’t see them on this trip even though they were strong during the time I was there. At the end of the day it all comes down to the clouds and if you don’t have a clear sky then it’s near impossible to see the Northern lights 😦 I was very hopeful going into my vacation but after a few days I realised it’s a lot more difficult than I thought to see the natural phenomenon. If you ever get the chance to see them, consider yourself extremely lucky! I haven’t given up just yet though, there are still more opportunities for me to see them, especially while I’m traveling for a living.

Despite this little bit of disappointment, I still had the most amazing time in Iceland. I saw some incredible landscapes and natural wonders – mother nature truly at her best!

The first two days of the trip consisted of a roadtrip with my friends Pat and Jo as we travelling across the country on the famous tourist route known as the “Golden Circle”. Our first stop was Thingvellir national park – the walk through the park started off fine until we got caught in a unexpected snow storm. The images below are all prior to that…

Stop number 2: Kerid crater lake which looked nothing like what it does online…

Expectation vs reality….

Probably the highlight of the day was visiting the Geysir hot spring area. It’s so crazy that in the middle of the ice there is a a natural hot spring where the water reaches temperatures up to 50 degrees celsius. The image below displays the natural explosion that occurs when the water boils and converts into steam and, since the steam occupies far greater volume than water, the water above in the channel is thrown high up into the air… Yes, I googled that. I didn’t understand the science behind what I saw. All I know is that it was awesome to watch!

Home for the night… the perfect little cabin!

Day 2 consisted of waterfalls and horses…. I like

After the road trip, we stayed in Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. It’s a really cute little town with a very hipster vibe. I loved all the colourful houses.

The next day I was super pumped to finally visit the Blue Lagoon… I mean who doesn’t want to visit this place? By far the most popular geothermal pool in Iceland. If you don’t visit the blue lagoon, did you even visit Iceland ?

Got my “did you know I’m in Iceland” shot for the gram.

Entry price to the blue lagoon includes a complimentary beverage and face mask.

Exhibit A: Find yourself a guy who loves a face mask just as much as you ❤

The weather was not on our side at the blue lagoon. Even though our bodies were warm, our heads were battling consistent rain and show (not so fun). I still loved the experience though!

The next day we set off on a 2 day tour to the South Island… here we visited more waterfalls…

How amazing is this rainbow ….love!!

Next stop – Black Sand Beach… oops, forgot my bathers!

Perhaps we saved the best for last, but on our last day we visited diamond beach and toured the largest ice cave in the country.

Diamond beach covered in washed up icebergs from the glacier lagoon.

Inside the ice cave… I look legit holding an ice pick

Love these ice cave photos!

April

I feel so blessed to have gone on two amazing vacations this month. From one extreme to the next, both were such eye opening experiences and I have so many amazing memories which are going to last with me a lifetime. Unfortunately, I have no more leave this month, however I do have some exciting new destinations to travel to as crew.

My layovers include:

  1. Colombo, Sri Lanka (surprise!)
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Johannesburg, South Africa
  4. Da Nang, Vietnam
  5. Dallas, USA

I also have 5 days of standby so who knows if there will be another one or two destinations added to that list. I’ll definitely let you know in my next post.

Until then… have a great month my lovely readers xxxxx

 

 

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