The Passport Memorandum’s Best Travel Moments of 2017

2017 has been the year for changes, exploring limits, and learning about ourselves. In this article we're going to talk about what we've learned so far on our crazy journey, and what our favorite moments have been.

If you love cute dogs and epic landscapes, we wouldn't blame you for scrolling straight down to the photos!

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To say that this year has been completely full of self-discovery and development would be an understatement. Often, our busy lives back home didn't allow us the proper time and space for reflection. But not any more.

Through this amazing year, we've learned 4 main things in relation to our travels:

  1. Going with the flow... is usually not the best option for us. We like knowing a few simple things, like where we're going to sleep and how to get there. In the cases where we haven't planned both of these things well ahead of time, we've spent more money, and more time stressing. On the other hand, when we started I would plan everyday down to the hours — this wasn't great for us either. Now we approach our days with the few things we want to get done and improvise along the way, like hitchhiking to get to some random rice fields.

  2. We're capable of being much more flexible and patient than we ever thought. Our plans have have changed over and over this year (like my ankle incident in 2017 or Robert immigration issues debacle of 2018) and we've had to learn to approach the changes with a level head. And, as difficult as it is sometimes, enjoy all things as they come.

  3. Slow travel is our thing. Although we do love the occasional quick route to explore  several locations within a new city, we enjoy ourselves and the destination much more when we stay in the same place for a week or two. Doing this gives us the time to get closer to the culture, to work on this blog, our Instagram account, and to rest.

  4. The best part of our journey hasn’t been the amazing photos, the delicious (and mostly fried) food, or beautiful sights along the way — it’s been the incredible people we’ve met. We’ve been overwhelmed (getting goosebumps writing this) by all of the amazing people and positive vibes we’ve come across while traveling.

We’ve had countless incredible moments while traveling all of these months, but here’s a small collection of our favorite travel moments in 2017:

This is when it all started, back in Miami. All of the stuff that used to occupy our “1/1” apartment condensed into 4 bags.

 

Country #1: Norway 

 Norway spoiled us as a first stop — the views, the city, and the people. This is the viewpoint of Bergen after riding up the Floibanen cable car. 

Norway spoiled us as a first stop — the views, the city, and the people. This is the viewpoint of Bergen after riding up the Floibanen cable car. 

Country #2: Thailand

 Spending my birthday weekend with new friends going on improvised adventures at Railay beach, Thailand.

Spending my birthday weekend with new friends going on improvised adventures at Railay beach, Thailand.

 We made friends with a few elephants while in Thailand at the Elephant Nature Park, an animal rescue and rehabilitation center in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Below is one of the things that we enjoyed most in Thailand: the food.

We made friends with a few elephants while in Thailand at the Elephant Nature Park, an animal rescue and rehabilitation center in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Below is one of the things that we enjoyed most in Thailand: the food.

 Made many friends on this journey, and some will forever have a special place in my heart (especially if they have cute dogs). My ankle incident forced us to stay longer in Chiang Mai, which meant we got to spend unforgettable moments with this amazing woman.

Made many friends on this journey, and some will forever have a special place in my heart (especially if they have cute dogs). My ankle incident forced us to stay longer in Chiang Mai, which meant we got to spend unforgettable moments with this amazing woman.

Country #3: Singapore 

 Singapore was the magical place that we weren’t expecting. Part of the allure of this city was this 250-acre nature park known as Gardens by the Bay. We are dying to go back and take more corny pictures like this one. 

Singapore was the magical place that we weren’t expecting. Part of the allure of this city was this 250-acre nature park known as Gardens by the Bay. We are dying to go back and take more corny pictures like this one. 

Country #4 Malasia 

 Georgetown, Penang, won us over with its renowned street art, numerous authentic cafes, and its Indian influence. We found the city so cozy that we came back to it just a few months later.

Georgetown, Penang, won us over with its renowned street art, numerous authentic cafes, and its Indian influence. We found the city so cozy that we came back to it just a few months later.

Country #5: Indonesia 

 This is the owner of Mochi Lampion in Sukabumi, Indonesia. We lived with him and his family for 10 days, and the entire crew took us in as one of their own within hours of being there. We found this incredible opportunity through Workaway, and it was by far one of the highlights of our time in SEA.

This is the owner of Mochi Lampion in Sukabumi, Indonesia. We lived with him and his family for 10 days, and the entire crew took us in as one of their own within hours of being there. We found this incredible opportunity through Workaway, and it was by far one of the highlights of our time in SEA.

 Mochi Lampion friends and family. Everyone has amazing singing voices and immensely kind hearts. (In fact, this city probably has the highest singers-per-square-foot than any other.)

Mochi Lampion friends and family. Everyone has amazing singing voices and immensely kind hearts. (In fact, this city probably has the highest singers-per-square-foot than any other.)

 As you’ll soon see, Marta never passes up the chance to openly love just about all of the cats and dogs we run into. This is Dolly in Lombok, Indonesia; he (yes, Dolly is a he) is probably a little too big now for the hole in the fence he loves so much. 

As you’ll soon see, Marta never passes up the chance to openly love just about all of the cats and dogs we run into. This is Dolly in Lombok, Indonesia; he (yes, Dolly is a he) is probably a little too big now for the hole in the fence he loves so much. 

Country #6 Cambodia

 This is in our favorite of the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia, named “Ta Prohm.” This temple captivated us with its larger-than-life “kapok” trees and engrossing, maze-like layout. Part of a Tomb Raider movie was recordered here.

This is in our favorite of the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia, named “Ta Prohm.” This temple captivated us with its larger-than-life “kapok” trees and engrossing, maze-like layout. Part of a Tomb Raider movie was recordered here.

Country #7 Philippines

 This is the face you make when someone pretends to throw you into the ocean and you don’t know how to swim. The island hopping tours in the Philippines took us to some of the most inspiring views we've ever seen. 

This is the face you make when someone pretends to throw you into the ocean and you don’t know how to swim. The island hopping tours in the Philippines took us to some of the most inspiring views we've ever seen. 

 The Philippines, especially those in Makati, take Christmas pretty seriously. This light show happens every 30 minutes and is beautifully coordinated to a dramatic synth-symphonic score, fog machines, and of course, lasers. No show is complete without lasers.  

The Philippines, especially those in Makati, take Christmas pretty seriously. This light show happens every 30 minutes and is beautifully coordinated to a dramatic synth-symphonic score, fog machines, and of course, lasers. No show is complete without lasers.  

Country #8 Hong Kong

 Hong Kong is just as hectic and stimulating as you imagine it to be. Even after having spent 7 months in Southeast Asia, the 3 days we spent in Hong Kong felt like we had been transported to another world. This was taken at Nan Lian Garden, a small respite in the middle of the big city.  

Hong Kong is just as hectic and stimulating as you imagine it to be. Even after having spent 7 months in Southeast Asia, the 3 days we spent in Hong Kong felt like we had been transported to another world. This was taken at Nan Lian Garden, a small respite in the middle of the big city.  

Country #9 Spain

 Here’s where we start our European adventure, with the best views of the year. Needless to say, we’re really looking forward to it.

Here’s where we start our European adventure, with the best views of the year. Needless to say, we’re really looking forward to it.

Marta, Winning the world over, one doggo at a time. (Cats too!)


Did you travel someplace in 2017 that you really loved? Let us know in the comments down below!