After graduating with a Geography degree, I decided to embark on a trip to Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I fell in love with the different cultures, foods and people that I met along the way. I decided to settle and live in Bali for three months, a surfer's and foodie's paradise, and it is here that I concluded that I wanted to dedicate myself to a career in travel, a huge passion of mine.
Whilst traveling around Asia, I well and truly caught the infamous 'travel bug'. From indulging in the local street food in Vietnam, to exploring the magnificent temples of Cambodia and sampling a Singapore Sling and a treat to dinner at the famous Raffles Hotel in Singapore, backpacking around Asia was a truly memorable trip.
Another highlight of my trip was renting a campervan and exploring the South Island of New Zealand. The scenery in New Zealand is truly breathtaking, and without a doubt the most beautiful I have ever seen, with an abundance of turquoise mountain streams and lakes across the island. Queenstown, the adrenaline capital of the world, was a fantastic spot to skydive, with views over the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu - an experience I will never forget!
However, it was upon arrival in Bali that I knew that this was somewhere I wanted to reside for a little longer than orignally planned. I found the local culture mesmorising, and living in a homestay of a local family really enabled me to experience the Hinduism culture first hand. Visiting a local temple dressed in traditional Balinese clothing was a highlight of my trip, where we presented offerings to celebrate 'Galungan', a traditional Balinese vacation. I am also a huge foodie, and Bali definitely delivered on this front, with an abundance of organic cafes for breakfast, and local warungs for dinner.
I have a never-ending list of countries that I would love to visit next, but I am particularly keen to visit Oman and The Maldives next!
Favourite places I've been
- Be sure to go and watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat in Siem Reap - it's incredible and worth the early wake up. You'll also beat the crowds!
- Take a bicycle trip around Ubud - it's the best way of exploring with some beautiful routes through rice paddies and local villages.
- Learn to surf in Bali. Fantastic spots with some great beginner waves, particularly in Seminyak and Legian.
- Make an advanced booking for dinner in the Long Bar Steakhouse in Raffles. Be sure to sample the famous Singapore Sling in the Long Bar before dinner - delicious!
- Visit Chiang Mai, the cultural hub of Northern Thailand and be sure to sample the local food at the nightly food market in the center of the Old Town. By far the best street food I tasted in Asia!
- When in Kuala Lumpur, take a short walk into town and watch the city's light show, which takes place every evening in the main square.
- Enjoy a sumptuous lunch at The Datai's Beach Club on Langkawi. I would thoroughly recommend the Moroccan chickpea salad – it was absolutely delicious, and surprisingly filling!
- Visit a local pearl farm and meet the famous women free divers during your stay in Ise-Shima National Park - a fantastic insight into a more off-the-beaten-track location of Japan.
My hot picks
The Datai is set in amongst the rainforest and Datai Bay, one of the top 10 beaches in the world, as rated by National Geographic. With fantastic attention to detail and a numerous dining options, The Datai is one of the best Malaysian resorts.
Bunga Raya was certainly a highlight of my trip to Borneo, exceeding my expectations. With clear waters and a large infinity pool overlooking the beach, Bunga is the perfect spot to enjoy some R+R at the end of your Borneo adventure!
Le Saint Géran is one of my all time favorite hotels that I have stayed in. As the most established luxury hotel in Mauritius, the service was impeccable. As well as the idyllic private beach to reside on, there plenty of sports facilities to enjoy.
The Four Seasons in Langkawi is a fantastic choice for a family vacation, with faultless service, beautiful interior of rooms and a great selection restaurants. I would particularly recommend the Iban Iban restaurant for Malay-style cuisine - delicious!