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The Year in Travel: Where did you go in 2011?


Do you ever get weirded out when you think about how the future of your past is now the now? Me, too!

When we were younger, we pictured the future and thought about how far away that was. Oh, when I’m able to drive, I’ll be SO OLD. Twenty-five? Are you kidding me? That will never happen!

I remember the thought of 2011 being a particularly ominous one as it was the year of my 10-year high school reunion (that I missed). And to think… it [2011] is going to be over in just a few short days. I can’t change that, but I can look back and celebrate it (just like everyone else on the web)!

In case you need a little refresher, or you just stumbled in, let’s take a look at my year in travel. I’ll share first, and then you can share after:

Cross-Country Train Trip in Australia

colored window shot

The view from the Red Gum Lounge.

I started off the year continuing to live as an Aussie expat in Sydney. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of my time behind a computer writing and dreaming about travel, but I finally was able to whip up a little trip to Perth in late March. I rode the 3-day long Indian Pacific train from Sydney to Perth, crossing the Outback and the Nullarbor Plain. We stopped in small towns along the way for whistle stop tours while I worked and basked in the beautiful views.

rottnest bike riding

Riding a bike around Rottnest Island.

Once in Perth, I wondered around the city in the heat; took a day to Swan Valley for the ultimate beer tour; swam with wild dolphins; met up with Heather, Adam and Nicole; and took a day trip out to Rottnest Island.

Family Trip to Malaysia

In May, I was given the chance to travel to Malaysia with my boyfriend’s family to do touristy stuff, but also visit his dad’s hometown and family still over in the country. We were lucky to be able to meet up with our Aussie friend, Anna, while in Penang, where we hung out underwater and visited tropical spice gardens.

Malacca River

Malacca River

In Seremban, we dealt with family stuff like huge, gigantic Chinese dinners before moving on to Malacca, where I searched for coconuts on Jonker street and pined for the best coffee.

Return Trip to the USA

baseball pitching
Pat and I had a week back in Australia before heading off to the USA — my first trip home in 3 years! We stopped off for some birthday fun fun in Los Angeles, gave ourselves garlic breath in San Francisco, and stopped off for some aquarium adventures in Chicago before getting to Peoria.

fremont street
On the way back to Australia, we stopped in Las Vegas (my first trip) where we met up with an old school friend, watched Criss Angel perform and indulged in the glorious Paris buffet! Unfortunately, the ride back to Sydney was plagued with flight troubles that left us stranded in San Fran for a night and further giving us a fright when one of our bags was not in Sydney when we landed.

Luxury Trip to Queensland

thala beach from the lodge

Thala Beach from the Thala Beach Lodge

As part of my work on WhyGo Australia, I was given the opportunity to travel to tropical north Queensland for a week of pure luxury. We stayed in high-end resorts, ate breakfast on a yacht, had the most dream-like first-time flight on a hot air balloon ride ever, and drank plenty of wine. Still, I must stress, it was all a huge amount of work.

Port Stephens Weekend Trip

wedding in port stephens
In October, Pat and I ventured up to Port Stephens a few hours north of Sydney for a weekend wedding of one of his best mates. I had never been to Port Stephens before that, and I really enjoyed it.

My Jaunt to Central Asia

business class seats

Business class seating. So spacious.

I took a 5 week trip from the last week of October until the end of November that included a 4 day stop in Istanbul, 4 weeks in Bishkek and 30-odd hours in Bangkok. I also flew that route in business class (my first time) at economy prices.

aya sofia
In Istanbul, I finally got to meet up with my long-time travel blogging buddies – Beth and Randy of! We took a Bosphorus Cruise, hung out at the Aya Sofia and stayed in a Roomorama apartment.

Car in middle of nowhere, Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek was a weird, yet awesome, experience as it was my first time back since 2008, and boy did it hit me. I spent the entire first week comparing the city to the city in my memories. My stay involved 4 weeks, or 80 hours, of one-on-one Russian lessons that fried my brain.

Media Trip to the Gold Coast

brooke in helicopter

Brooke in a Chopper

It turns out that one day after my arrival back in the country from my Kyrgyzstan trip, Pat and I were scheduled to set off for a 3-day media trip to the Gold Coast. Tired to the core from all the adjustments and travel, we still managed to pack in quite the adventure, eating at a buffet even better than the Paris in Vegas, staying in a chic hotel and going on helicopter rides.

Travel Massive Weekend Trip to Port Stephens

setting up for full moon party
After having not visited Port Stephens my entire time in Australia, I managed to visit it twice in a matter of a couple months this year! This time it was for a Sydney Travel Massive event — one that involved a full moon party and a viewing of the lunar eclipse. Sweet.

And, if that’s not enough, I’m about to head off on a camping trip in a couple of days to Forster up the coast. I’ll be avoiding the chaos that is New Year’s in Sydney and enjoying it from a somewhat quiet beach instead!

Although not the world-traipsing experience I dream of, it has been a very travel-filled year. Onto the next (and it’s going to be even better)!

So, tell me, where did you go in 2011?


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10 Responses to The Year in Travel: Where did you go in 2011?

  1. The World of Deej December 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Liked your pics from Vegas. Brought back good memories from our trip there last week…I zip-lined down Fremont Street. Totally not like me…

    Look forward to reading more of your adventures in 2012!

  2. Kristen December 28, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    I love it! I need to do one of these too. I’ve been looking at all my travel pictures tonight from this year and telling stories to my friends. Thanks for sharing:)

  3. Brooke December 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Just spent 18 days touring Christmas markets in Germany, Belgium, France, and Lux!

    Other than that, spent a weekend in Tahoe earlier this year, two day trips to Vancouver…… medical problems the first 6 months, so couldn’t do much until later.

  4. Fabio December 29, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    Hey! Always good to remember the places we visited! Loved the fact that u went to Central Asia again!

    I was in Brazil for Carnival, moved to Singapore, went to Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysiaand Thailand! Plus, 2012 will be only for traveling!!!

  5. Katina January 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Only just reading this, doing a mass catchup from the last fortnight! Haha I’ll go through mine in full because it’s among fellow travellers who won’t get as jealous or bored. And I’m awfully proud of myself for doing it all so soon after my first o/s trip in 2010…

    15 week trip April-August, 9 weeks solo and then 6 with family…

    In order:
    Singapore City
    Istanbul/Gallipoli (ANZAC tour)
    London (1 day for Royal Wedding – I was outside W.Abbey lol)
    Egypt tour: Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Abu Simbel
    Dusseldorf (went to the Eurovision final)
    Cannes (journalist for the 2nd week of the Cannes Film Festival, inSANE!)
    London (proper)
    Hebden Bridge
    Scottish Highlands (tour)
    Giant’s Causeway/Derry (tour)
    Killarney/Ennis/Blarney Castle/Cliffs of Moher/Dingle (and peninsula) (tour)
    Dublin again

    (you can tell I’m Greek from this point)
    Halkidiki Peninsula/Mount Athos (tour)
    Athens again

    And then a move from Adelaide to Dubbo here in Oz, seeing Narromine and Mudgee in NSW’s Central West as well before NYE. Phew! Think it’s all in there ;D

    • Brooke January 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

      Uhm… YOU DID SO MUCH IN THAT TIME! Are you tired 😉

      • Katina January 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

        I’ve had time to recover but it was tiring haha

  6. Elena January 31, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Love all the places you went in 2011! I’m going to Turkey in April.

    My 2011 –

    Costa Rica
    San Francisco
    Road trip from LA ->Utah-> Colorado



  7. Ariana September 25, 2013 at 3:41 am #

    The view from the Red Gum Lounge is fantastic! And I must say that Istanbul is such a wonderful place! You’re so lucky to travel the world and meet your fellow bloggers!


  1. A Year In Travel – How I Spent 2011 Traveling The World | - December 30, 2011

    […] 2011 comes to an end and 2012 sneaks quickly upon us, Brooke VS the World inspired me to do a little 2011 travel re-cap. In case you need a little refresher, this is my year […]

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