Top 5 Travel Experiences of 2023
2023 is definitely up there with one of the best years of my entire life. I travelled like a madman with over 4 months on the road as well as many more weekends away. This year was packed full of incredible travel experiences, misadventures and amazing memories, as well as meeting and making some great friends along the way.
After much agonizing over the very best highlights and trawling through all the photos over the journey, I have compiled a list of the very best places that I visited in 2014 and why.
Honourable mentions must go to the places that did not make the list, including, but not limited to – Thailand (June), Miami, Vegas and California (March), Chicago (August), Budapest (July), Frankfurt (June/August), Rome (July), Hawaii (August) and London (August).
5 BALI – INDONESIA
Seminyak Villa – Bali
Starting the year with a bang in Bali really capped off the year of travelling. Three friends (you know who you are) & I rented a villa, just off ‘Eat Street’ in Seminyak and partied the week away. The climax of the week was the monster party at the Beach Club Cocoon. There were a few minor cases of the dreaded Bali belly and some severe hangovers, but all in all, an amazing week spent in the crippling heat and rain of tropical South East Asia.
- An invite to the St Regis Hotel to spend a day sipping pool bar cocktails in style at Nusa Dua by a good friend Shay.
- Sunday brunch at the W.
- Beginning the night on the infamous Poppies Lane followed by all night partying at Sky Garden in Legian.
- Bribing security $10 to surpass the 2 hour line at Potato Head Beach Club.
4 CROATIA SAILING – CROATIA
King’s Landing – Dubrovnik
A week on a boat sailing the seas of Croatia needs no explaining. A round trip from Split, with days spent swimming and jumping into the blue green waters from the top decks of the rickety old wooden vessel doesn’t get much better. The nightlife, a mix of dress up partying, chilled harbourside bars and pumping nightclubs.
- Game of Thrones sets in Dubrovnik.
- Pirate dress up party in a cave club.
- Watching World Cup soccer games in Croatian alfresco bars.
Rio – Christ the Redeemer
I was lucky enough to be invited to a wedding in Brazil with a huge crew of friends for the now famous Van & Vin spectacular. A couple of weeks spent in the amazing South American stronghold of Brazil with visits to Sao Paulo, Rio and Bahia. A wild week full of caprihinia’s, bad salsa and booty shaking capped off by entry to the camarote (VIP, I think) for the Carnivale in Salvador where no locals could understand my Portugese or dancing.
- Wild wedding & even wilder bucks/stag/bachelor party in Sao Paulo.
- Soccer game at the Marcana stadium in Rio ( the venue of the World Cup final).
- Christ the Redeemer in Rio.
- Carnivale in Salvador and walking home in the rain completely wasted.
2 NEW YORK – USA
Freedom Tower – NYC
My second visit to New York, but this time I did it properly with a downtown hotel and a well organised plan in play. There were a tonne of highlights, free pour drinks, buildings reaching to the heavens and bright, bright lights in the city that never sleeps.
- Helicopter ride over Manhattan and New Jersey.
- Broadway musical ‘Chicago’. I didn’t really enjoy the show, however it is a bucket list item and great experience.
- Tom’s Restaurant – Seinfeld diner. 112th St & Broadway.
- Bike ride around Central Park.
1 GREEK ISLANDS – GREECE
I was very, very lucky to visit the Greek Islands twice during my 80 days around the world holiday 2014. The first visit comprised of an eight day bender at the notoriously wild Pink Palace hostel/resort on the island of Corfu. The second visit to this truly wonderful part of the world happened during a 10 day Greek Island hopping tour with stops at Mykonos, Santorini and Paros. With a plentiful intake of ouzo, azure water and spectacular scenery, the beautiful beach based paradise of the Greek Islands is a winner of my number one travel experience of 2023.
- Toga Party at the Pink Palace with plates smashed on my head and plate shards wedged in my foot.
- Kayak day trip around Corfu.
- 10 shot challenge completed on Paros (twice). Free t-shirt – oh yeeeaah!
- Sunset views on Santorini.
- Hiking up an active volcano and swimming in the lava sea water.
- Meeting amazing people.
There it is people, my top five travel experiences of 2023. Thanks to all the crazy and wonderful people that I met along the way and made these memories and experiences so special. Thanks to those who put up with me sleeping on their couch and waking you up as well as those who said, ‘yes’ when the most sensible answer should have been, ‘no’.
If you want to contribute to this website, I am looking for anyone who wants to feature on Big Travel News with your very own top 5 travel experiences.