My Top 5 Travel Experiences of 2016!

2016 has been filled with wonderful travel adventures with all the people I love most. As the year is coming to an end, I’ve been getting all nostalgic and thinking back to all the great travel experiences I’ve been fortunate to have in the past 12 months. The more I travel, the more eager I am to get out and see more of the world. I’ve never really been into new year’s resolutions (probably because I never can stick by them), but my goal next year is to travel to more new countries and explore each city for as long as my wallet allows me. Read on til the end to find out where I’m heading in 2017!

Singapore: January

Upon finding cheap flights from the Gold Coast with Scoot, Mum and I booked this trip on a whim as we needed an overseas getaway together and my feet were itching to jump on a plane! I didn’t have many expectations for Singapore, though the ones I had were most definitely exceeded. Despite the shocking humidity and heat (something I will never get used to despite living on the Gold Coast), we fell in love with this little island/city/country. Who would of thought that so much diversity could exist in such a small country?! From the colours of Little India to hawker stalls in Chinatown and then over to Marina Bay Sands with the Gardens by the Bay, you can get a taste of many cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds in such a short stay. After spending 5 nights in Singapore, I still have many areas I need to explore and much food to sample, so I cannot wait to visit sometime again soon. 

Find my Singapore guide here!

Malaysia: February

My first taste of South-East Asia was in Malaysia after journeying into Melaka from Singapore. Don’t ask me why I chose to visit over the usual Thai or Indonesian cities nearby, I guess I just thought it was convenient to travel upward from Singapore. Anyway, I ended up loving each city for different reasons: Melaka for the cafes and the cutest Airbnb ever, KL for the shopping, Penang for the street art and Chinese New Year celebrations while I enjoyed Langkawi for its abundance of beaches and lush views. While I’m not going to be back in Malaysia in a hurry, unless I get to see the tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands (we were completely rained out), it was a great adventure shared with my mum.

Read more about my Malaysia travels here!

Japan: April

After finding $350 return flights from the Gold Coast to Tokyo, my best friend and I couldn’t say no to our third visit to our favourite country. Finally, we were travelling together and the excitement for a week amongst the cherry blossoms dwindled when we both got extremely sick and found ourselves bed ridden for the first few days before getting to a hospital. Despite this, we pushed ourselves to get out and see Japan in all its spring time beauty. I ticked off seeing Mount Fuji and rowing down a river lined with cherry blossoms off my bucket list and it was just as magical as you can imagine! As well, we made a quick overnight trip to Osaka and a day trip to Kyoto and after a week, we struggled to say goodbye to one of the most lively, friendly and beautiful countries in the world.

Read more about my Japan travels here!

Tasmania: September

About five months without travelling had made me a little crazy, so I looked in to doing a quick trip for my 21st birthday with my boyfriend. We both couldn’t get too much time off work, but I found cheap flights (yet again thanks to Jetstar) to Hobart where we kicked off our Tassie road trip. As Australia is obviously one of the most beautiful countries in the world, I was eager to explore a state that was quite different from the parts of Oz I had experienced already. Cradle Mountain was the greatest highlight for me, I mean, how can you really beat wild wombats outside a cosy cabin amongst the mountains?! This relaxing trip really ignited my need to explore more of my own backyard, which I’m hoping to do more of next year! 

Find all of my Tasmania guides and reviews here!



Sydney: November

Can you believe I have lived in Australia my whole 21 years of life and have never properly seen Sydney?! My mum is obsessed with the idea of living in Potts Point and I’m always keen for a little holiday, so when she suggested showing me around one of her favourite cities, we booked flights immediately! You might think places like Sydney Harbour and Bondi Beach are super touristy, and while yes, they are, this doesn’t detract from how beautiful they are. We stayed in Potts Point and walked all over the city, from Surry Hills to the CBD to Rushcutters Bay, we just about needed a holiday after our holiday because we did so much walking in four days. What really took me by surprise was the Bondi to Coogee walk as well as Manly Beach. It’s amazing how Australia’s busiest city is still so relaxed and naturally stunning.

Find my guides to Sydney here!


– 2017 –

So, what travels have I got in store for next year?! I’m hoping to hop on many more flights and explore many more new cities next year. So far, I only have a trip to Myanmar and Thailand planned. Either North America or Europe are on the cards right now.

Where else do I need to visit in 2017? Any tips for these countries? Let me know below!

Happy travels for 2017 everyone!

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  • Nano @ Travel With Nano B.
    December 21, 2016 at 10:53 am

    So many wonderful adventures! I cannot wait to experience cherry blossoms one more time here in Japan, last year was absolutely gorgeous. Hope to make it down to Australia and NZ too in 2017. Will be reading your travel tips!! 🙂 xoxo, nano | http://www.travelwithnanob.com

    • sophmatters@hotmail.com
      December 21, 2016 at 11:00 am

      I wish I was coming over to see them again!! Let me know if you make it to Australia 🙂 You definitely need to come to the Gold Coast! Glad you’re enjoying my blog 🙂

  • Natalia
    December 22, 2016 at 1:47 am

    What a wonderful year. You need to make it over to South Korea though. Seoul is my new favourite!

    • sophmatters@hotmail.com
      December 22, 2016 at 4:18 am

      I would love to get there! I was there for a stopover for a day a few years ago, but didn’t really get out and see much!

  • Tasha
    January 3, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    It looks like you had an incredible year. I’m so jealous of what you did in Japan. Seeing the blossoms and walking through the bamboo forest must have been amazing! Will be reading any other posts you have on Japan too 🙂

    • sophmatters@hotmail.com
      January 4, 2017 at 5:12 am

      I really did! You must get to Japan if you haven’t already! It is honestly my favourite country 🙂 Glad you like my posts, too!