Travels with Riley Throughout 2023

Happy December folks! Wow, has it been a year already? It feels like just yesterday I was packing my bags for my first trip of the year! As we get closer to 2024, I’d like to take a quick trip down memory lane and share with you my journeys throughout the year!

Osaka & Tokyo: A Whirlwind Through Japan

My year of travel began in the electrifying city of Osaka, Japan. From the moment I arrived, I was swept away by the energy and vibrancy of this incredible metropolis. The neon-lit streets of Dotonbori, with their towering signs and endless food stalls, were a sight to behold.

I spent my days exploring the bustling markets of Dotombori, indulging in delicious street food like takoyaki and okonomiyaki, and catching a glimpse of the iconic Dotombori Glico running man sign. I also had the chance to visit Osaka Castle, a magnificent historical landmark with stunning views of the city.

Next, I travelled to the captivating city of Tokyo, which offered a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern advancements. I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of towering skyscrapers and serene temples, such as the Sensō-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo.

One of my favourite experiences in Tokyo was visiting Akihabara, the electronics district known for its anime and manga culture. I wandered through the crowded streets, marvelling at the dazzling displays of electronics and anime merchandise. I also enjoyed exploring the trendy neighbourhoods of Shibuya and Harajuku, which are home to a vibrant fashion scene and a diverse range of shops and cafes.

Melbourne: A City That Stole My Heart

In May 2023, I decided to host a family trip to Melbourne, Australia and I still reminisce about the beautiful sceneries of the Australian city.

This dynamic city stole my heart with its buzzing cafe scene, its quirky laneways, and its stunning beaches. I spent my days soaking up the sun on Brighton Beach, sampling the coffee in Fitzroy, and exploring the art galleries and museums. Melbourne is a city where there’s always something new to discover.

I particularly enjoyed exploring the city’s hidden laneways, which are filled with street art, trendy cafes, and independent shops. I also had the chance to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, which are a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city.

Singapore: A Vibrant City-State

As my brothers are living in Singapore, I’ve been a frequent visitor to the country too. I think I’ve been to Singapore 5 times for the year! One could say it is my second home now. I was able to visit the beautiful Gardens by the Bay and the newly-opened Bird Paradise during my visits.

In particular, I really enjoyed their new bird park. Bird Paradise allows you to see various species of birds up close and you can have fun enjoying their educational shows in their amphitheatre! To add on, they have a number of cafes and restaurants for you to choose from if you and your loved ones are getting tired after your visit. Last but not least, I’d advise you to put on some sunblock as to avoid getting sunburned!

Memories to Last a Lifetime

Of course, as a food lover, I couldn’t resist trying all the amazing cuisines that each city had to offer. I had my fair share of delicious ramen in Japan, enjoyed some of the best coffee and brunches in Melbourne, and indulged in the incredible hawker fare in Singapore.

But beyond the sightseeing and the food, it was the people I met that made these journeys truly special. I made new friends from all over the world, and I learned so much about different cultures and ways of life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have travelled so much this year, and I can’t wait to see where my wanderlust takes me next.

Thank you for reading! Cheers to more travels in 2024!