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Belize

I will be honest with you. I didn’t love Caye Caulker. I’m not saying that I disliked it but it wasn’t my favourite place in Belize either.

I think it all comes down to travelling to Caye Caulker with the right expectations – and my expectations were high. My whole trip to Central America had been inspired by a young adult novel called Wanderlove. I have read that book more often than any other book (even more often than Harry Potter), and a huge part of it takes place on a Caribbean island in Belize. While the island in the book is fictional, it was inspired by Caye Caulker.

So you can imagine my expectations when I got there. I had vivid images of tropical beaches and colourful houses in my head, the kind of place where you cycle through backstreets without seeing any other tourists.…

Honduras

Utila is a Caribbean dream. Full of white beaches, sandy paths and colourful wooden houses, this is how I always imagined paradise to be like. The region reminded me a bit of Bocas del Toro in Panama and just like I had loved Bocas, I loved Utila.

We spent almost three days here, exploring the island, floating in crystal-clear water and chasing colourful fish. Utila is known for its reefs and most people come here to either learn to dive, to become a diving instructor or to just spend a few days exploring the underwater world. And while I had gotten my diving certification in Thailand, it had been more than six months since then and I didn’t want to do a refresher course.…

French Polynesia

To say that I was mildly apprehensive about flying to French Polynesia was a big understatement. When I thought about the Pacific, all that came to my mind were overprized overwater bungalows that I could not afford and cuddling couples on honeymoon. It was less than a week since I had said goodbye to the guy with whom I had spent the last months and I was not in the mood for happy couples. Or cuddling couples. Or even unhappy couples – anything, really, that reminded me of the great relationship that I had just left behind to come here.

It did not help that I could barely find any information about solo travellers or backpackers in Tahiti. Most websites assume that you come here with your significant other, because why else would you travel to the Pacific?…

Asia

After a couple of days in Bangkok, my trip led me to the island of Koh Phangan in Southern Thailand. I knew that eventually, I wanted to learn how to dive, but I had always planned on doing that in Central America. It wasn’t until I changed my travel plans and ended up in Southeast Asia instead of Nepal that I suddenly found an opportunity to become a certified diver.

I couldn’t have chosen a better place than Koh Phangan. If you’re interested in diving, I can highly recommend this island that has so much more to offer than full-moon parties. To help you feel the excitement, here are five reasons why you should learn to dive on Koh Phangan.…

Vietnam

The water, I noticed as I ran into the ocean, was as warm as the air. I stumbled and fell face forward, my laughing only interrupted when a wave washed over my head. The beach was a nice change to the cities we had visited and a much needed break from the chaos we had explored the past few days.

Vietnam, with its never-ending traffic and chaos on the streets, can be overwhelming for visitors. Yet, it is a great country to explore, a world of contrasts ranging from giant cities to small beach retreats.

I did not get a chance to go up to Northern Vietnam this year, but here are some of the highlights waiting for you in Southern and Central Vietnam.…

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