Top 10 Travel Experiences of 2017 (Part 2)

2017 was a great year of travel, thanks to my continued accumulation and usage of miles and points. This post is the conclusion of my favorite travel experiences of 2017.

5. Sea to Sky Gondola

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Beautiful British Columbia
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The gondola
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The suspension bridge

 

From the moment I saw pictures of this place online, I knew it was somewhere I wanted to visit during my trip to Vancouver. It’s located outside of the city in Squamish, British Columbia, but there’s a shuttle available to/from Downtown Vancouver. My friend and I lucked out and went on a gorgeous sunny day. Riding the gondola high up the mountain and walking across the suspension bridge are not activities for the faint of heart. But you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the mountains and Howe Sound.

4. Cathay First & Qatar Business Class Flights

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Cathay Pacific first class LAX-HKG
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Cathay Pacific first class lie-flat seat
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Cathay Pacific business class HKG-JNB
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Qatar Airways JNB-DOH

My trip to South Africa made for my favorite/best mileage redemption of 2017. The Cathay Pacific flight was my first-ever international first class flight and it is easy to understand why so many people save up their miles to redeem for it. I also enjoyed business class flights on Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways. Being able to sleep in a lie-flat seat on a 15-hour flight is a game-changer.

3. Table Mountain

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Riding the cable car up the mountain
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Feeling like I was on top of the world
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Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

One of the highlights of Cape Town, South Africa was my first visit to one of the “New7Wonders of Nature.” Taking the cable car up to the top of the mountain is a great experience and the views of Cape Town from the top are magnificent. Unfortunately, I didn’t get those picture-perfect clear views due to some clouds. I hope to go back sometime on a clear day and possibly hike up the mountain.

2. Iguazu Falls

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View from the upper circuit
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View from the lower circuit
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Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo)

At the border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay are Iguazu Falls. This was my second visit to one of the “New7Wonders of Nature.” It has been said that Eleanor Roosevelt said “Poor Niagara!” when she saw Iguazu Falls. I have been to Niagara Falls and it is easy to see why she said that. Iguazu Falls is truly one of those “wow” attractions. It feels off the beaten path, like not something a lot of Americans know about unless you’re really into travel. I’m so glad I got to see it, albeit on a rainy day.

1. African Safari

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Impalas on a game drive just outside Kruger National Park in South Africa
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Watching an elephant eat “breakfast”
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Big yawn! Big teeth!

A once-in-a-lifetime experience for some, but I had such an amazing time, I hope to be able to go again (and again!). Seeing animals in the wild, in their natural habitat, I felt like I was in the middle of a National Geographic show. But it was real! It will be hard to go back to a zoo. Making this trip even more special was the fact that I traveled solo to South Africa. It felt like a real accomplishment to experience an African safari with no travel companion.

I am looking forward to an equally amazing 2018 in travel!

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