Last updated on: Jun 2, 2020
It’s exciting to see more and more people embrace travel and go beyond the traditional beach vacation to seek vacations that are both experiential and enriching as well as refreshing.
For me, 2019 was definitely one for the memory books. Here are my top experiences of 2019, which also make great activities for your travel bucket list.
Bali, which has become a major tourist destination, was certainly one of my favorite destinations of 2019. Having spent ten days on the Island of Gods as coordinator of a wellness retreat in partnership with Bikram Yoga Works, there were many highlights of the trip.
Walking amidst the rice paddies of Tegalalang was absolutely stunning as was swinging from the treetops on one of many swings in the area. This is the place for some iconic shots!
Bali is well known for its hospitality, accommodations, and services, and it was so relaxing to spend time in my fabulous pool villas in Denpasar and Ubud, where I enjoyed floating breakfasts and Balinese massages.
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One of the unique things to try in Bali is the floating breakfast, and my gorgeous pool villa in Nusa Dua provided the perfect setting. TIP: It’s a good idea to have some coffee or tea, because it can get a bit chilly in the pool. However, it’s totally worth it! ☕🤗 #visitbali #visitindonesia #taryninindonesia #floatingbreakfast
Biking on road and off road through the jungle, rice paddies, and villages of Ubud was so adventurous. However, during part of the trek, it rained so hard, each pellet of rain felt like tiny stings, flooded my eyes with water, and drenched my clothes, even while my group was riding through dense jungle.
Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is quite a contrast from the Hindu culture of Bali. It’s part of its own special region, which is the only region of Indonesia still ruled by a monarchy, and it’s known for being a center of Javanese arts and culture and home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites.
I stood in awe of the majesty of Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and Prambanan Temple, the largest Hindu temple in Central Java. For more information on my visit, check out my guide to Yogayakarta.
An amazing thing to do at night in Yogyakarta is to take a night street food tour. Be forewarned that it is nearly imposssible to eat all of the food being offered! Some notable foods were the extremely potent charcoal coffee, which woke up every fiber of my being, and soto, a soup similar to Vietnamese pho.
The most delightful part of the evening definitely was hanging out at Alun-Alun Selatan Park and circling the park in decked-out bling-bling cars.
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Fun times in the bling bling cars in Alun-Alun Selatan, a square park in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Bling-bling cars are old Volkswagons that have been transformed into pedal-operated vehicles with neon lights and sound systems. °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʙʟɪɴɢ ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° Local people congregate at the park at night to eat, hang out, and pedal the cars around the square. Like my neon glow? 😁 #visitindonesia #visityogyakarta #taryninindonesia
I’m a fan of Emiliana Organic Vineyard, an organic and biodynamic vineyard just outside of Santiago, Chile. The peaceful setting amidst the orchards was beautiful, and the wines were fantastic. In addition to wine, Emiliana also sells organic honey, which I bought and consumed way too quickly. Read more about my experience here.
My visit to the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest desert, marked the first time I had ventured higher than 4,000 meters above sea level.
During my visit to this region of Chile, my base was the main town of San Pedro de Atacama, the main tourism town of about 2,000 people. From here, I visited nature reserves, like Laguna Chaxa; got up close and personal with a llama and alpaca in a local home; went stargazing; and watched the solar eclipse of 2019.
There are few places on earth like the Uyuni Salt Flats. The landscapes are otherwordly, and the photos you snap here are epic! From the train cemetery to the cycling on the salt flats, it’s definitely one of the most fun places I’ve ever taken photos. Read more about my amazing experience here.
Ever since my honeymoon safari experience in South Africa and my desert safari experience in Morocco, glamping has become one of my favorite travel activities.
And waking up to views of Lake Titicaca was so serene. It’s an experience I’ll never forget!
Machu Picchu is certainly on everyone’s travel bucket list and for good reason. I’m so glad I finally got the chance to visit this amazing place.
The Inca legacy was definitely apparent throughout Peru, and I learned a lot about Inca history and culture. I hope to return to Peru one day soon.
The happiest place on earth has never been more beautiful than during holiday season. I thoroughly enjoyed being at Disney World during this festive time of year. The holiday decor, parade, and weather were fabulous, and it was so much fun to take my girls to Disney for the first time. The twinkle in their eyes was priceless.
The Bahamas is the absolute best, quick beach getaway from the US. Families flock to Paradise Island Atlantis due to its wonderful dining and entertainment, including a fabulous water park and beach.
With all the hustle and bustle of the year, it was nice to go somewhere and soak in some sun, feel ocean breezes, and dip my toes in sand.
Ending the year in the Bahamas, was just what I needed.