We hope that you’re enjoying 2016 so far. We noticed that some of our friends have gone to faraway lands to bring in the New Year. So, we wanted to feature them in our very first #travelthrowbackthursday or #ttbt. If you would like to send in your favorite travel memory, scroll down for more info. For now, let’s meet Harrison, Gary, & Chris!
Harrison in Manila & Batangas, Philippines
First up is Harrison (happy guy in the bottom right photo above) AKA The Most Interesting Man in the World. We met 16 years ago when we were high school students attending a summer program at Cambridge University (United Kingdom). He is a now businessman in New York City (originally from Chicago), who decided to go to Manila, Philippines to bring in 2016. His first time in the Philippines, he describes his NYE in Manila as “an incredible night!!” He watched “the world’s largest fireworks show” at the W Sky Lounge, and spontaneously made new friends who took him to “Black Market, Finders Keepers, and TUNNL, drank and danced ’til 8 am.” In the days that followed, he also chilled at Aquatico Beach Resort in San Juan, Batangas (top left photo) and “got carried away” at ABV Manila, a libations connoisseur’s paradise bar (bottom left photo). Harris traveled half the world in the name of adventure and (new) friendships waiting to happen!
Gary in Taiwan & China (Guangdong and Hong Kong)
Not too far from the Philippines is where my friend Gary and his clique spent his New Year: Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Guangdong, China. Gary and I earned our master’s degrees together, doing ecological research in labs that collaborate with each other. Now he is a very busy dental student who took advantage of the Holiday Break to travel far. In his Holiday adventure, Gary and his crew hiked through Sandiaoling wilderness and a tunnel where they had a close call with a train that came right after they got through it (top photos). Sandiaoling is located in Jiufen, the Taiwanese city that inspired the town in one of my favorite movies of all time, Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away.” In Taiwan, they also visited Sanshih, Taiwan (not too far from the capital, Taipei) and stayed along Pearl River (as seen on photo in bottom right). They also went to Gary’s family reunion in Guangdong, China (in the Southern region) and went to a spa afterwards (photo in the bottom left). While in China, they also checked out Hong Kong and visited “The Peak” with is the highest vantage point in Hong Kong Island. Obviously, the view of this megacity is spectacular (photo in bottom center)! What a blessing to share travel memories with your loved ones!
Chris in Barcelona, Spain
Our final #ttbt New Year’s Edition comes from Chris, who I met when I took a Mandarin class over a decade ago! Now, for bringing in the new year, what city could be more romantic than San Francisco? Apparently, Barcelona is! Chris and her loved one left the Bay Area to spend the New Year in this magical city in Spain. On New Year’s Eve, these loved birds wined and dined at Arume. They feasted on some scallop tataki (top left), cava (bottom left), pineapples in mezcal (bottom right), and Tarta de Santiago–a Galician dessert with ice cream and a cheese foam. Bravo! What a decadent way to welcoming 2016!
Getting Featured in the next #ttbt #travelthrowbackthursday
So folks, tune in every Thursday for #ttbt. Please feel free to send in your favorite travel memories to firstname.lastname@example.org, so that we can share it with the universe! Make sure to add a li’l blurb to add in a backstory to your adventure!