I recently did a post about my 25th wedding anniversary where I mentioned all the countries I have travelled to. A few fellow bloggers have asked what my favorite country was so I thought I would blog about it.
These are the places I have been to in a bit more detail and I have tried to keep it short and sweet (in no particular order):
Hubby and I stayed at the Indigo Bay Resort on Bazaruto Island a few years ago. We never had a honeymoon 25 years ago so this was the closest thing to a honeymoon. We were only there for a few days. The resort was great and we had some amazing barbeque’s on the beach. There was not much to do and we spent 3 days reading. We missed the kids on this trip as they somehow keep you amused. We took a little plane there from Vilanculos in Mozambique – one of those planes where there are no seatbelts or luggage hold – you just chuck your luggage in behind your seat (and cross your fingers).
Hubby, I and Son no 1 and 2 lived in Brunei for 2 years back in 1994. We were on contract to a company specializing in the development of entertainment venues for the Sultan of Brunei and his family. It was back to basics here with no entertainment for the general public – not even a cinema. But they have the most amazing beaches and rustic restaurants. We had the best food I have ever tasted here. We met some great people here from all over the world and it all makes for great memories.
While living in Brunei, we had the opportunity to travel to nearby locations.
We stayed at the Tanjung Aru Resort in Kota Kinabalu a few times which was fabulous and we have many fond memories of this resort. The first time we went, we stayed in the honeymoon suite with Son no 1 and 2. I remember the first time we used the Jacuzzi with them and they were scared shitless of it. The honeymoon suite was being offered at a good rate and obviously accommodated the 4 of us very comfortably. We went scuba diving on a nearby island and I loved it – one of the few occasions Hubby has managed to get me on a boat – as a general rule – I don’t do boats!
We also stayed at a resort in Kutching – don’t remember it much so it could not have been very memorable. I do remember taking a combi from the airport and it being the bumpiest 45 minute drive ever – and Son no 1 slept through it.
This was also a stone throw away from Brunei so we spent a few days in Labuan. Labuan is a tiny island off the coast of East Malaysia. I remember taking a very old plane there which was very suspect. Again I don’t remember much about the resort.
Hubby has been to the USA a few times but I managed to persuade him to take me with him to an exhibition to Las Vagas. We went to the LDI Exhibition and also did the backstage tour. This is where you get to do a tour of the backstage areas of some of the theaters in Vegas. This is one of my best memories. I spent just over a week with my mouth open in utter amazement at some of the technology. We also got to see loads of shows as part of the tour. Unfortunately I did not see or do everything I wanted to do in Vegas so this is definitely on my list of places to go back to one day. I would also like to see more of the USA. (Route 66 on a Harley is on my bucket list)
I have been to London a few times. London is not one of my favourite places but it is one of the cities you have to experience. Hubby and I have stayed in some of the smallest hotel rooms you could ever imagine and been in some of the smallest hotel elevators you could imagine. In fact we were in London during 9/11. I remember it clearly as we were in a little gift shop in Leicester Square just before seeing a movie and we saw the twin towers collapsing on the TV’s in the gift shop. We were stuck in London for an extra day due to the panic which followed. We will be taking the kids to London sometime soon as I think it is one of the cities you do need to visit – perhaps we will make the effort to go to Paris as well.
We went to Le Coco Beach Resort (Which has since been revamped into the Long Beach Resort) back in 2000. I was 7 months pregnant with Son no 4. Son no 3 was 3 years old and he learnt to swim here. Son no 2 also broke his toe the day before we left for Mauritius and he was on crutches. We had an amazing time – but as Hubby says – the world’s most expensive swimming pool. Kids generally hate the beach and sea so we find ourselves laying next to the pool everyday. There was very little TV in English and I remember watching The Thomas Crown Affair in French about 20 times (I don’t speak a word of French!).
We have been to Singapore many times and this has to be my favorite place in the world. Everyone is very friendly. You feel extremely safe. And there is loads to do. My sons are all computer geeks so we always spend hours in Sim Lim Square. The food is amazing. The last time we stayed on Sentoza Island and went to the aquarium, the zoo (day and night time version) and many other attractions. Kids absolutely love the science museum and they have a Tesla generator there which is amazing to see in action.
Hubby and I spent 10 days in Shanghai in 2010 to see the World Expo. Hubby has been lobbying the South African Government to bid for the World Expo in 2020 so we went to experience it ourselves. You have never seen so many people in your life. People queuing for 6 hours to get into an exhibit. People were all very friendly and eager to communicate – even if there is a language barrier. Shanghai was very efficient in every aspect. I would have liked to see more of Shanghai but there was just not enough time.
We spent a few days in Hong Kong on our return from Shanghai. I know so many people who have said that Hong Kong is amazing. I found it very hot and humid and there were far too many people. We found it difficult to do anything without fighting through thousands of people – all carrying umbrellas! We went to the aquarium but saw very little – there were just too many queues and in the end we gave up and stayed close to the hotel.
Hubby’s brother and family have lived in Dubai for the last 18 odd years so we have close ties with Dubai. Son no 2 is now also based there. The first time we went to Dubai was back in 1994 and I remember lots of desert. Now it is all built up so it is a very different place. We lived in Dubai for a year in 2008 when we decided to expand our business there. Unfortunately the economic crisis hit at the end of 2008 and we had to come back home to South Africa. You do feel very safe in Dubai and there are some great shopping centers. Living in Dubai was an experience. You only have to read Martin Fullard’s blog to find out what a weird and wonderful place it is.
Hopefully this is not the end of my travels and I hope to have many more countries to add to this list in the future.