My 10 Weirdest Travel Moments from 2016

Well that year flew by in the blink of  an eye did it not?! And as so many fellow writers have alluded to over the last few months, that hasn’t always been for  the cheeriest reasons. From the tragic passing of some high-profile figures to the tragic and unfortunate rise to power of others, from the divisive politics of xenophobia to the senseless politics claiming innocent civilian lives – and that says nothing of the ups and downs we all go through in our own personal lives; if there is one thing that many of us have witnessed this year, it is that life is full of uncertainty and unpredictability.

Lake Inle sunset
Lake Inle, Myanmar, Dec 2016

In my line of work, I am reminded of that every day. Lives can change in an instant, they can be lost in an instant. I could fill this blog with heartbreaking true stories which exemplify that and I have learned, accordingly, to be grateful for each day and that if you are fortunate enough to be in a position to live out your dreams, then live them.

That’s the reason I travel the globe with such fervour and spend so much time with my family – because I have never yearned for suburban mansions or expensive cars, for business class flights or designer clothes, those indulgences failing to accelerate my heart rate. My pulse, instead, dances to the dream of urban life in my exhilarating and chaotic city, caring for the public as best as I can by day, spending time with ma famille in between and witnessing our incredible planet with my own eyes with any time left thereafter.

DSC_0321
Snapped without my knowledge in Patagonia 2014 (before the “here’s my hair” photo movement began…)

Who knows where the road may lead me in 2017 (Alaska, Colombia and India have been mentioned in passing?) Either way, I will cherish this year’s travels that took us to incandescent, flaming sunsets, postcard-esque panoramas, waters possessing the clarity of diamonds and destinations that showered our hair with fragrant petals dispersed from swaying cherry blossom trees.

10 of my Most Bizarre Travel Memories from 2016

 

There was, however, another side to our travels of 2016 and that was the one filled with slivers of weirdness, whimsy and bizarre twists. So, to make a change from my 15 highlights of 2015, my Bali to Chile in 2014 round-up and my 2013 travel summary, this year, I bring you my most bizarre, “huh?!?” moments and I’d love to hear your weird travel moments of the year too.

Going to an Underground Hospital in Budapest, Hungary

Before you show compassionate concern, fear not, our first trip of the year did not end with any broken bones or dodgy hearts.

Hospital in the Rock Museum Budapest

Rather, we went in search of the Hospital in the Rock Museum in Budapest, a once fully functioning hospital that saved lives, operated on the wounded and delivered babies during war-time and the aftermath in Hungary. We’ve worked in our fair share of  UK hospitals but have never seen one quite like this.

medical alcohol morphine postcards

You can read all about it in my round-up of Budapest’s best museums.

A cosy night’s kip at Narita Airport, Tokyo

Pumpkin had put hours of hard graft into planning an epic trip to Japan. Well aware of the cultural and language barriers that would face us, for the first few days in Tokyo, we decided to book a well-located, luxury hotel in Shinjuku.

sleeping on airport floor

Our actual first night’s accommodation couldn’t have been any more different in comparison, when we found ourselves sinking into an air mattress, drowsy from exhaustion on the airport floor in Tokyo. (Curious about this disastrous first night? Here’s the full airport sleep story!)

sleeping bag airport floor
Tearing my hair out at the situation – and admiring the way the sleeping bag perfectly matched the luggage!

Dancing on a Carousel in Harajuku, Tokyo

It was a start as you mean to go on situation in Tokyo in terms of bonkers Japan moments. When we popped into the Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku for a quick coffee to scope out the psychedelic interiors of the place, I never could have predicted being picked out of a crowd randomly and being dragged up to dance on a rotating carousel…

Monster Cafe Tokyo….

If ever there was a time to use the word, mortificado, then that was it. The full version of the story will be coming to the blog in 2017 so stay tuned!

Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku Tokyo
Dancing (clumsily) on the carousel with the pros

Visiting the North Korean Border

If you had asked me a year ago whether I would volunteer to go to the most heavily fortified military border in the world, where landmines are scattered in the soil like Smarties and where I would count more guns in a day than I have seen in my life, then I’d have unsurprisingly said no.

DMZ tour border of North Korea

Yet thanks to the adventure-seeking Pumpkin, that was exactly what we found ourselves doing on a sunny April day this year during a visit to the DMZ- demilitarisation zone between North and South Korea.

Eating & Drinking Hello Kitty in Seoul, South Korea

Sanrio Hello Kitty Cafe

As a child, I always had a soft spot for Hello Kitty so when I learned there was an entire cafe dedicated to her in Seoul, there was no question that I had to see it.

unique quirky cafes around the world

What I hadn’t realised was that it would be the most overwhelmingly pink place I have ever visited and the look of grumpiness sported by my man remains unparalleled! If you’re prepared for the assault of pink tones, you can read my review of the Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongik.

Hello Kitty coffee art

Walking on the roof of the Oslo Opera House

walking on roof of Oslo Opera House

We Brits are (rightly or wrongly) known for our orderly queue formations, our impeccable courtesy and our in-built “mustn’t be seen to be making a fuss” approach. London is filled with architectural masterpieces and ornate buildings but you would certainly never catch me walking on the roof of the Royal Opera House here anytime soon.

Oslo travel blogwalking on opera house Norway

I think that’s why it felt so liberating and almost rebellious having the opportunity to walk, jump and star-jump on the roof of the stylistically contrasting Oslo Opera House and on Easter Weekend of all times!

(Plenty more from the Norwegian capital on my 4 days in Oslo guide.)

Going on a Port Tour in Portugal (when you don’t drink Port)

Symington Family Estates Port Tasting Tour

There seems to be a counter-intuitive trend emerging over in this neck of the woods, which is the tendency for me to check in to alcohol-focused activities, even  though I don’t actually drink! The first was when I visited a German beer house in Munich during my Christmas market break (and drank an OJ).

Quinta do Bomfim Port region Douro

The second was on our anniversary weekend in Porto this year when I desperately wanted to visit the UNESCO-listed Douro Valley region, which is an easy day trip from Porto and is world-renowned for its Port wine. However, having left it only a few days to organise a tour and with no flexibility on dates, the cultural and historical tours I found were fully booked, meaning we either gave up on the idea altogether or go with the Port tour in Douro.

electric boat trip Douro River Porto

When the day arrived, I told Pumpkin that we could decline my Port servings but having paid the same fare as the drinkers, Pumpkin was having none of that, instead selflessly offering to drink my portions. Let’s just say that by the end of the day, he never wanted to see another glass of this ruby-bodied potion again so his face was priceless when he returned to our theatre-themed hotel to find a free bottle waiting for us as an anniversary gift.

Douro Valley Wine Tour Living Tours

Hiking through woodland to reach…a nudist beach in Croatia

Let me start by clarifying (for any colleagues or parents reading) that this was accidental and I am not a nudist. Far from it in fact, as you will never even find even find me walking along the beach in swimwear if I can help it and body-confidence is not my forte. Why then did we decide to head to a nudist beach?

Pakleni island beaches

We didn’t. We just got lost. Very awkwardly lost.

During a trip to the Pakleni islands near Hvar, we found ourselves walking through woodland with not a single other soul in view, muddling through overgrown branches and shrubbery in an attempt to reach the beach we thought we had read about.

When we finally arrived, we found a tranquil, unspoilt stretch of coastline with no amenities, restaurants or bars and a boat inhabited by three American nudists…I have never felt so silly in my knee-length, polka dot frock but it would have taken a few bottles of that Port and then some) before I was about to start coming out of my (clothing) shell.

Palmizana beaches

Walking by a cliff edge and being told to jump in Santorini, Greece

Skim readers might panic but it’s not nearly as depressing as it sounds. The Caldera views in Santorini are one of the most coveted after qualities of this stunning volcanic island. Hotels with Caldera-facing rooms can charge a small fortune for this perk or you can easily get it for free by doing the renowned Oia-Fira hike.

Caldera View Santorini

It was during that 5 hour walk when Pumpkin suggested I jump. Thankfully, we were a wide wide berth away from anywhere even remotely risky and I think (sincerely hope) that he meant it for photographic effect only!

Santorini holiday photos

Travelling for 10 hours in Myanmar….to see a rock

If you were coming to London for just a week or two and I suggested that you give up a day and a night to travel for 10 hours to reach the middle of Bulgaria to see a rock, would you do it? I thought not (and even if you did, I suspect it would still take you less time than this journey took us!) I am not sure what possessed us to embark on such an exhausting mission but that’s the power of a striking visual.

Travelling from Lake Inle (pictured at the start of this post) to the Golden Rock Temple involved no less than a boat, a car, a flight, another car, a truck and a walk but there was nothing quite like the feeling of euphoric relief when we reached just in time for sunset at the Golden Rock Temple and found ourselves facing this:

Golden Rock Temple sunset Myanmar

Was it worth traversing the country for? It most definitely was and it was a spiritual, serene and simply glorious setting to be rounding off (mind the pun) an exhilarating, energy-consuming and educational year in travel.

What were your weirdest travel moments of the  year?

Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for reading along and for sharing your travels and stories with me. Wishing you happiness, health and plenty of globe-trotting in 2017!

92 thoughts on “My 10 Weirdest Travel Moments from 2016

  1. Wow, what a year you’ve had! Good luck with your travels in 2017 Shikha! (..and if you decide to visit Alaska, let me know – this is where I first picked up the travelling bug 🏔️🌲🐻!)

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:20 pm

      Oh really Aaron?! That’s great to hear. It’s not somewhere that had been on my radar until I started blogging and read so many amazing posts and stories about Alaska and it just looks utterly incredible! I’d definitely love to hear all about your experience there. Have a wonderful 2017 too filled with great eats and happy moments 🙂

  2. I remember your Tokyo airport experience and loved it (though that may have not been the sympathetic reaction you were hoping for) but I’m confounded as to how I missed your nudist beach story! That kind of hilarity usually attracts me like a beacon in the night. It seems I have some catching up to do. Here’s to a wonderful 2017 xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:22 pm

      hehe, don’t worry Frankie – you haven’t lost your knack for spotting a nudist beach story!! It’s my mistake that I still haven’t got round to blogging in full about the whole escapade that day so this post was the first revelation! And worry not about laughing at my airport sleep story, whilst I wasn’t giggling about it too much at the time, I did find myself, this’ll make great blog fodder?! Silver linings eh?! Hope 2017 will bring you lots of magic and happiness 🙂

      1. YOU HAD ME DOUBTING MY SKILLS 😂😂😂

  3. “My pulse, instead, dances to the dream of urban life in my exhilarating and chaotic city, caring for the public as best as I can by day, spending time with ma famille in between and witnessing our incredible planet with my own eyes with any time left thereafter.” —-> THIS!!!! Such a big heart you have, Shikha! And such wonderful memories from this year’s travels! x

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:23 pm

      Awww Honey, I can’t thank you enough for such a lovely comment. Really made my day and I’m so grateful (even if you have been far far far too generous with your comments!) Happy New Year and I can’t wait to follow along with the adventures 2017 brings you 🙂 x

  4. That underground Budapest hospital museum must have been quite an eye-opener! And seeing the North Korean border – not many people get to do that! You certainly have had some interesting travel experiences this past year :-). Wonder what weird travel moments you’ll encounter in 2017! We always enjoy your travel tales… Have a great new year :-).

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:25 pm

      Thanks so much Janice & George for all your support of my blog and for reading along. I’ve loved getting inspiration and ideas for future travels from reading your blog. Yes the North Korean border was definitely a little unnerving but because it can only be done with a tour group, that made it all feel a bit less daunting! All a bit surreal but utterly fascinating. Happy New Year to you both! 🙂

  5. Checking out the North Korean border must have been an experience – I’m surprised you’re allowed to take photographs. My quirkiest moment of the year was holding a sloth in the Amazon Jungle – loved the little guy’s perma smile!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:28 pm

      Oh Suzanne, that sounds like an INCREDIBLE and very special weird moment to have this year! I was more than a bit jealous of your epic South American adventure!! Yes, you’re right to be surprised as they were in fact very strict about which parts of the border area we could and couldn’t photograph so I snapped away where I could but was very obedient to put the camera away when required – this was most definitely not a part of the world I fancied getting in trouble in!

  6. So many funny moments here Shikha – although I’m sure some of them weren’t so funny at the time! I hope 2017 is filled with just as many, if only to entertain all us readers haha! 😉

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:29 pm

      hehe, thanks Ayla! I think this year I learned that some of the weirdest (and sometimes most annoying scenarios) can end up making the best blog stories! 😀

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:29 pm

      Thank you thank you Ems for always following along with my crazy stories and endless waffle!

      1. It’s not waffle! (Take it from one who knows!!)

  7. Loooove this post! So unique! On a side note – it looks like you’ve been to many cool places! Cant wait to see where 2017 brings you!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:31 pm

      Thanks so much for reading Krista and for your lovely comments. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and hope you have a wonderful 2017!

  8. You have had such an adventurous year!! This is an amazing post. Also I just love that you travelled 10 hours to see a rock, it is definitely something I would do. Also didn’t realise you had been to Patagonia, that is very high on my wish list!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:34 pm

      Oh seriously Ash, Patagonia is hands down one of the most incredible places I’ve ever seen so I would suggest bumping that right to the top of your wishlist!! I’m glad we weren’t the only ones who’d be bonkers enough to go all that way to see the rock – it was pretty magical at sunset though 🙂 Thanks so much for reading – I’ve been following along all your travels this year too and seriously can’t believe how much you’ve managed to do despite studying etc. Good on you and hope this new year is filled with just as much adventure!

  9. I think my weirdest experience of the year as got to be visiting a Maid Cafe in Akihabara and visiting the Ripper Museum in London. I think you’ve got me beat however!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:35 pm

      No I hear you loud and clear Alice because I went to a maid cafe in Akihabara this year too (I wonder if we went to the same one?!) and I’m totally with you about how totally bizarre it was! I haven’t got round to blogging about it yet but it was all so odd! I didn’t even know about the Ripper Museum London (and I’ve lived here most of my life!) so you’ve given me something to go away and google now! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

      1. The one I went to was in Shibuya. It was an odd experience but I still quite enjoyed it. Not sure I’d repeat it in a hurry as it was so expensive though!

        And the Ripper Museum is fantastic for those with a strong stomach! I’d really recommend checking it if that’s your cup of tea.

  10. love this! happy 2017!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:36 pm

      Thanks Tanja! Hope the new year brings lots of travel and excitement to you too 🙂

  11. Absolutely LOVED this post, Shikha – the first part about gratitude brought tears to my eyes and really put things in perspective for me. After a close friend of mine died, I decided that the best way to honor her memory was to *live*, just as you described. She was always up for fun, doing what she enjoyed, and spending time with her friends. Anyway, on to the travels … lol at so many of your travel moments. You know I loved reading about your visit to the Hello Kitty cafe!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:40 pm

      Jaime, thank you so much for reading and being able to relate to what I was trying to get across in this post. I can’t even imagine how painful it must have been to lose a close friend and I’m so sorry to hear that happened. It sounds like you are paying tribute to her character in a way she would have loved in living your life with passion, motivation and enthusiasm. I think you and I could have spent a good few hours in that cafe photographing the Hello Kitty latte art and chatting away 🙂

  12. I love that you focussed on weird moments! As usual all fantastic and enthralling stories told with your inimitable style!!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:41 pm

      Hehe, thanks Angie…I think?! 😀 Usually, when Pumpkin and my family describe something as being my usual style, they’re typically referring to how much I can waffle on for England! Here’s to a wonderful 2017!

  13. I can’t think of any weird moments that would rival these! I love the story about the carousel – look forward to reading the full post about it! Here’s to another year of great (and perhaps strange) travel experiences 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:46 pm

      Haha, it’s probably a good thing that you haven’t had enough weirdness to rival these this year – that probably means your travels have gone a bit more smoothly Laura! Yes, the carousel moment was definitely one of the more embarrassing ones I’ve had! Total cringe-fest!

  14. What a quirky and memorable year! We went to the Israeli and Lebanese border – always interesting to count guns…!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:49 pm

      Oh gosh, that must have been quite the intimidating experience Anna! I have a friend who had a bit of a frightening experience there in her childhood when the kids got separated from their parents over some misunderstanding so have always been a bit apprehensive! Hope your year is filled with lots of new exciting travels 🙂

  15. This is a great post and an awesome way to recap your year! I seriously can’t believe how much you’ve been able to do in just one year.

    “That’s the reason I travel the globe with such fervour and spend so much time with my family – because I have never yearned for suburban mansions or expensive cars, for business class flights or designer clothes, those indulgences failing to accelerate my heart rate. My pulse, instead, dances to the dream of urban life in my exhilarating and chaotic city, caring for the public as best as I can by day, spending time with ma famille in between and witnessing our incredible planet with my own eyes with any time left thereafter.”

    — I love this quote from you so much and I think it’s part of the reason why I love your blog so much.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:53 pm

      Thank you so much Carolann for such a thoughtful comment and for always being so supportive of my blog. One of the best parts of blogging for me has been the chance to “meet” (virtually at least!) someone like you, who lives thousands of miles away from me, yet whose stories and words I love reading and that really give me a sense of your personality! The annual leave allowance in the UK is a little more on the generous side here than in some other countries around the world, which makes it easier to get a whole lot of travel done (plus I guess the short proximity from Europe) – at least that’s how I’ve been justifying it to myself!! 😀

  16. OMG I have absolutely loved reading this Shika!!!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:53 pm

      Awww so glad you liked the post Binny! Happy New Year!

  17. Loved every one of these Shikha, but the Golden Rock blows me away every time I put my eyes on your photos. So incredible. No doubt it was very well worth all the obstacles you had to overcome to get there.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 4, 2017 — 11:59 pm

      In hindsight, we could have made our lives a lot easier by going straight from the capital, where it would have been a bit quicker but that’s why we were so relieved and thrilled to reach to find it was totally worth it as we’d have been kicking ourselves if we’d gone all the way for something very average! Wishing you a wonderful 2017 Nano! ☺

  18. Ahh, I really really loved reading this! I don’t know if it’s the sleepless state that I’m in, but your sentiments at the beginning of the post actually brought a tear to my eye! I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. What an interesting and hilarious year you’ve had for travel! I think my favourite on the list has got to be the Golden Rock Temple – what an usual and memorable experience that must have been! Sometimes the best travel experiences take a little bit of effort to pull off.

    I hope you have a great 2018 and I look forward to following along!

    Polly xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:02 am

      Awww thanks so much for reading & for your lovely comment…though apologies if I made you even remotely more emotional than you probably want to be when you’re in a sleep deprived state as it is! The whole journey to the Golden Rock Temple, we were wondering why on earth we had signed up to this, especially as Pumpkin wasn’t well but that view when we reached was absolutely the icing on the cake! Your 2017 is sounding blissful! Can’t wait to follow along! 😊 x

  19. This moments are absolutely hilarious, Shikha – and this is why we all love you! LOVE the fact you accidentally walked onto a nudist beach (totally something I would do) and LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact you got pulled up to dance on a rotating carousel, ha!

    Aside from that, your adventures in 2016 sound incredible. I’m gutted we missed out on the Hospital in the Rock Museum as that sounds completely up my street. And the DMZ- demilitarisation zone is something that not a lot of people can say they’ve seen! Super excited to read about your adventures in 2017 ❤

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:05 am

      Oh you can always catch the hospital museum another time Emily as I didn’t even know it existed during my first visit to Budapest and there’s so much else to see and do there, which is one of the reasons it is such a fab city! Yeh the nudist beach and the carousel were not my finest hour but at least they’ll make good stories!! 😀 Thank you so much for reading & for such a lovely comment x

  20. To be honest, I experienced a lot of weird travel situations on the road but I must admit that your story about going to an underground hospital in Budapest killed me! 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:07 am

      Well thankfully it was just a museum and not a real hospital Agness, as otherwise I’d have had some real problems, which probably would have been more stressful than weird! 😀

  21. What a great year! Love the look of the opera house

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:08 am

      Thank you! It was hectic but great fun! Yes the opera house is so different to many of the older, ornate ones in other parts of Europe. It’s so modern & sleek and being able to walk on the roof is quite odd but fun!

  22. Wow that’s so cool! I love to read these travel moments – we all have them and we don’t talk about them enough! And I’m definitely gonna do that in Oslo when I go wow!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:11 am

      Haha, thanks Camila! I think, when I was looking back on the year, many of the moments and memories that sprung to mind the most were these stranger more eventful ones, which was what gave me the idea for the post! Yes, if you do go to Oslo, definitely check out the opera house! You can join an inside tour or just enjoy the strange feeling of walking on the roof looking over the water! 😀

  23. What an amazing year of travel for both of you! I love that you went to incredible and diverse places but had such unforgettable (even if weird) moments. I would be in Hello Kitty heaven at that cafe. Love this post! Wishing the both of you many more adventures in 2017!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:13 am

      Thank you Mary and same to you! I’m always amazed by how much you guys travel & think it’s great how much of the world your kids have seen! Oh I’m glad you like the look of the Hello Kitty cafe too – I think Pumpkin would have quite happily traded places with you 😀

  24. This is a great post love it!!! I have 3 trips planned already for May 2017.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:14 am

      That’s so exciting! And SO organised, as I currently have absolutely nothing planned!!

  25. Love this post and I agree Annual leave is precious!! I have 30 data this year and intend to use them all. I have a slow start to the year but have 3 Trips planned for May already.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:16 am

      Good on you! What have you got lined up? I hope you do manage to make the most of all your well earned leave days! That’s what I try and do and whether I’m travelling or staying here in London, I always try and make sure I’m doing something special or exploring somewhere new with those precious days!

  26. thesandrastories January 3, 2017 — 7:07 pm

    Haha thank you for this entertaining and true read! Although I do sometimes yearn for a business class seat (some flights are brutal) I am moved by the motivation to travel with fervour!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:18 am

      No, thank YOU for reading & I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! 😊

  27. Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad January 3, 2017 — 10:58 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with your opening paragraphs, in fact that’s been the inspiration for my year, as well. I loved the whistlestop tour through your year and it’s a great introduction to your blog which I’m very glad to have found 🙂

    Also, I’m considering a trip to Myanmar next year… I’m not sure about my overall dedication to golden rocks but would be keen for tips if you’re able to share?

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:24 am

      I’m so glad you shared my thoughts on some of this Rachel. Myanmar is a wonderful & still relatively unspoilt place with such kind people that I think it’s well worth a visit. I was so grateful for all the tips you gave me on Santorini and would be delighted to try and return the favour for Myanmar! Just let me know what kind of info would be most helpful and I can send you a message with some tips! PS we made our lives more complex than needed to see the Golden Rock by not going there straight from Yangon – we do sound a bit mad doing that journey though don’t we?! Thank you so much for reading ☺

  28. You certainly had some weird and wonderful moments, I remember your tale of sleeping at the airport. I walked on Oslo Opera roof a few years ago and would love to return!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:25 am

      It’s a great and underrated city isn’t it Suze?! Wishing you another fabulous year of lovely adventures! 😊

  29. You’ve really been around last year, and have some truly bizarre travel memories to show for it. I love the story of the golden rock – and you travail reaching it. Along with your tales from Japan, Portugal, Hungary hospitals and nudist beaches in Croatia. Hope you’ll have as much fun in 2017.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:26 am

      Thanks Mette! It’s certainly been eventful…if a little unpredictable at times! Happy New Year 😊

  30. What a year and what a collection of huh moments! Certainly made me laugh – not at you, obviously. Well, that’s a lie, I cannot wait to hear the Monster Cafe story! Hope 2017 brings you just as many fun, exciting travels. xxx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 12:28 am

      Hehe, the Monster Café was such a surreal experience that sometimes I have to check with myself whether it really even happened Char! You’ve had such fabulous year too – hope 2017 will be filled with just as much adventure! 😊

  31. Great jump shot! Mine always turn out looking like everyone is awkwardly up on their toes. I can’t wait to read more about dancing on the carousel in Harajuku. I hope 2017 brings many memorable travel moments for you.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 5, 2017 — 10:37 pm

      Haha, trust me Michele, it took a few takes!! Mine often reveal that I’m a bit of a chicken and just do little jumps so usually my husband gives up before we manage a successful one 😀 Happy New Year and looking forward to reading all about what 2017 brings you!

  32. I love this Shikha! And I MUST hear about the Toyko dancing on the carousel story soon!! Again, I am amazed by how much you manage to travel around a demanding full-time job. And I love the bit at the beginning about why you travel and what gets your heart racing. So inspirational! I hope 2017 has a ton of fabulous travels in store! xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 12, 2017 — 11:07 pm

      Thanks so much Anna! I’ve been so inspired reading about so many of your travels this year, especially to some of the countries I knew so little about like Taiwan and China, where I’ve never been. I’m excited to see what this year holds in store for you as well and yes, I still can’t quite believe I ended up on that carousel….so embarrassing for someone who really doesn’t love being on stage! 😀

  33. These are hilarious! I’m massively jealous of the Hello Kitty cafe visit, although I can see why any bloke might be a bit 😳😩! 😂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 12, 2017 — 11:15 pm

      Hehe, thanks Jane! Glad they made you chuckle and yes, I’m pretty sure the Hello Kitty Cafe is something my husband will NEVER voluntarily repeat again!!

  34. Wow, what an amazing range of experiences you’ve had this year – so many cool stories!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 12, 2017 — 11:18 pm

      Thanks Jessi! Some cool and some darn annoying at the time (airport floor sleep) but all’s well that end’s well right and I figure, at least the disasters all make for fun blog stories right?!

  35. What a crazy, but fun year Shikha! Loved reading about your (sometimes mis-) adventures, glad you made the most of everything! Here’s to a happy, healthy and travel-filled 2017! K x

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 12, 2017 — 11:20 pm

      Thank you Keri! Happy New Year and hope it’s another one full of adventures for you too! Last year was quite full of funny anecdotes but I’m starting to see that sometimes those are the travel tales that become the most memorable! 😀

  36. Some truly weird and wonderful moments here! A port tour in Porto sounds perfect and I’m constantly getting lost in strange places. Not so sure I’d find myself on the North/South Korea border though…A great read.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 12, 2017 — 11:28 pm

      Hehe, thanks so much Clare! So pleased to hear you enjoyed it. Yes, thankfully we were accompanied the whole time during the visit to the Korean border and it’s definitely not somewhere I’d want to get lost on my own either! If you enjoy Port, you would absolutely love that Port tour and even if not, the views of the Douro Valley just took my breath away. Thanks so much for reading!

  37. Wow! this looks so much fun 🙂 Jealous!

    Loved the “Hello Kitty Cafe” and “hiking to reach nude beach in Croatia’ 🙂

    Looking forward to more posts like these

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) February 11, 2017 — 10:25 pm

      Thank you! It was a pretty busy but fun year of adventure including some rather unexpected adventures like the nudist beach!! 😀

  38. Really enjoyed reading the blog. Do have a look at mine if you can http://www.manupmanship.com

  39. That’s a wonderful post! I was starting to feel SO irritated when you talked about Golden Rock and said “Was it really worth to travel the whole country for this” but then when you said yes I let out an actual sigh of relief 😀 I’m glad it impressed you as much as it impressed me! To more weird travel moments to come in 2017 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 3, 2017 — 5:59 pm

      Haha! Sorry to have caused premature, unnecessary irritation😁 Yes I absolutely loved it – the journey was exhausting and my hubby wasn’t well so we had really been questioning “will it be worth it” but as soon as we laid eyes on it, our jaws dropped in complete awe! Wishing you a wonderful year in travel too & hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Myanmar too!

  40. Looks like you had pretty full year. As to weird moments, I reckon Jerusalem at the beginning of Dec 2016, though I don’t know if weird would the right description.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 21, 2017 — 2:31 pm

      Haha, it was quite a busy year but I’m not complaining! Well, Jerusalem might not be weird Ted but does sound absolutely fascinating – it’s somewhere I would be so intrigued to visit one day.

  41. I stumbled upon your post – I actually can’t remember what I was looking for now, I’ve become so absorbed in your misadventures. Sounds like you had a very exciting 2016 and I hope the fun continues!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) April 3, 2017 — 8:46 am

      Aww thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment – I do hope I didn’t distract you too much from what you were looking for in the first place! 😀 I’ve not gotten round to writing about any of 2017’s adventures so far but so far, nothing as weird or wacky as last year!

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