Top 3 Destinations With Sjana Earp

  • Life
posted by Sjana Earp

I haven’t experienced it all (yet). However, I have been lucky enough to have been able to travel a lot. Recently, I have visited some beautiful locations, immersed myself in different cultures, met amazing people, and tried a number of delicious cuisines. I’m the kind of person that gets in the thick of it; seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling everything I possibly can!

I love warm climates. I am a creature who prefers the comfort of sunshine and heat. Not to mention, sand, surf and salt-air. Until I had travelled more, I had convinced myself that nowhere cold or concrete would ever be a place I could love. Thankfully, I have proven myself wrong. I continue to be overwhelmed by the vast beauty that every place I visit possesses. Everywhere I have visited has been so beautiful and so different at the same time… The colours, people, language, culture and climate change. I’ve learnt to love our world for all of its unique cities and dramatic landscapes, and how it makes me feel as I continue to explore and see more beauty. For me, it’s these elements that define a destination, and make it easy to decide my very favourites.  Throughout my adventures my soul has been tugged harder by a few places…  Here’s my favourite spots travelled.

The Bahamas
On my last trip to the US a few months ago, I decided to venture slightly off-track and see the Bahamas. It was my first sole expedition! After flying through Miami, I jumped on a connection plane to Nassau. Before I even arrived, my soul was aching with awe.  I think it was flying over the ocean and watching the water change from a deep, dark blue to a vibrant, electric turquoise. I didn’t even know such incredible colours existed. I immediately knew, the Bahamas was my new favourite place. The connection plane was tiny and seated only a handful of people. To my concern, it was flying at full capacity, spitting and coughing the whole journey. But, landing into think heat, white sandy beach, lush green growth and amazingly warm waters, made it all worthwhile.  Despite the beautiful surroundings, it wasn’t the scenery that captivated my heart on this trip – it was the people I met and the experience I was able to share with them. I stayed with Sacha (@bahamasgirl_) and her welcoming family while on the island. I felt right at home, and was quickly accepted and loved as one of their own. As a young woman travelling alone, it really meant a lot. During my week stay, Sacha showed day-to-day island life. I found a new favourite food, Conq Salad, which happens to be a local favourite too. I saw discovered hidden islands with secluded beaches that you could only kayak to. I met a lot of different animals, from swimming with stingrays to a very clingy barracuda. I tried many new experiences including Jet Ski rides, water hoola-hooping and even became a mermaid!? And of course, a whole lot of new friends! Being such a small island, I managed to meet most of the people who live there.  In short, the Bahamas stole my heart and I can’t wait to return again soon!IMG_1618

This gem of a city is a bucket list kind of location.  Perfect blue skies, bright sunshine, black pebbled beaches, ocean so blue it blows your mind, quiet beachside streets and countless delicious eateries (and endless croissants!). I’ll never forget driving around on a Contiki bus with 50 other bodies, swerving around the curvaceous cliffs of The French Riviera. As we turned around the last corner, we were overlooking Cote D’azur and I couldn’t contain my smile. My entire body oozed excited and I formed a bond with Nice from then. I only got to stay in Nice for two nights, and in that time I did all the exploring I possibly could. I spent sun-drenched hour after sun-drenched hour in the sun, cartwheeling around the city. I climbed le Chateau too! I tried a lot of delicious French food, including frog’s legs and snails! Not to mention, the countless cones of pistachio gelato I consumed. I loved the culture in Nice – the carefree, laid-back attitude and the lack of concern for time. While I did find Nice quite expensive, it is definitely worth the price tag.IMG_2581

New Zealand
I know a lot of people assimilate New Zealand and Australia, and assume there is little different in culture or climate. I was guilty of this, until I recently visited New Zealand for the first time. While I was only visited the North Island for 5 days, I think I experienced more than a lot of people would in a year. Here’s (more than) a handful of things I experienced, and recommend you should when you’re next in NZ:
– Harley Davidson motorbike tour to the summit of Mt. Eden
– Dinner at the reputable, and very popular American-style eatery on the Auckland Harbour
– Bungey jumping
– 5am boat rides
– Sea Plane ride to Waiheke Island
– Lunch at the famous Oyster Inn
– Wine tasting and vineyard tours (I managed to squeeze in a little bit of yoga at one of the vineyards)
– Helicopter flight to snow-capped volcanoes overlooking picturesque lakes and mountains
– Jet Boat ride at Huka Falls, followed by lunch at Huka Lodge (a favourite amongst the Royal Family)
– A tour of Hobbiton (where Lord Of The Rings was filmed)
– A traditional dinner at the Cultural Centre at Te Puia in Rotorua
I well and truly got a good taste of New Zealand and their amazing culture. Before I left for New Zealand, I wasn’t too sure if I would enjoy it much at all.. I knew it was going to be cold, VERY COLD, and habitually flinch away from any kind of cool climate. However, NZ exceeded all of my expectations and although it did discomfort me temperature-wise, the soul of the land and genuine kindness of all the people managed to warm me to it rather quickly! We only explored the North Island, but I am told the South Island is even more spectacular!IMG_3483
These are by far my most favourite places I’ve been lucky enough to visit, and all for very different reasons. The vast differences and experience each destination holds make me ridiculously excited about what the rest of the word holds and the other places I will visit and fall madly in love with!