Travel moments that sparked joy

When you close your eyes and think of your travels, those happy moments, those places that sparked joy, the smile that the memories create… where are you?

Here’s where those moments take me:

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

The moment I stepped onto the platform and saw the wide gushing falls I had to pinch myself. Here I was in South America, solo backpacking and seeing incredible landscapes like this! The Argentinian side was incredible too, but that was my second taste to the falls…

Read more about the Iguaçu Falls »

Prague, Czech Republic

Cathedral, stage and Easter markets in Prague

St. Patricks Day amongst Easter Markets in Prague’s town square

Sitting high on a seating platform, nibbling on cinnamon treats, listening to Irish music and watching dancers in Saint Patrick’s Day. This was my first real trip planned by me and a fellow student. We’d taken the train from where we were studying in Austria. We started nervous of the gypsies that we’d been warned about, but at that moment in the shining lights of the central square, sheer joy was enjoyed.

Read more about Prague »

Positano, Italy

Sheer beauty, can it get much better? Stunning Italian coastline with white washed buildings perched on a steep cliff. The joy was the surrounds… not the hike back up to catch the bus!

Chilling in the sun of Positano

Read more about Italy »

Montreux and First, Switzerland

Yes, a lake can be that beautiful. Whether it’s home to a beautiful Chateau or high in the mountains surrounded by clouds and snow. Switzerland is a spot that I often return to in my ‘happy place’ moments.

Chateau de Chillon, Montreux. Switzerland

Chateau de Chillon, Montreux. Switzerland

First, Switzerland. Copyright of Ngaire Ackerley, 2011

First, Switzerland.

Read more about Switzerland »

Rwanda, Africa

Honestly had to include the moment you walk through the bush after 3 hours of hiking to see a mountain gorilla group relaxing and going about their day oblivious to your presence. If that doesn’t bring a smile to your face imagining that then I’m not sure what would!

Gorilla eating

Gorilla eating

Gorilla in Rwanda

A baby gorilla in Rwanda

Read more about Rwanda »

Northern Lights, Tromso, Norway

Knee deep in snow, gazing up at dancing lights in the sky. It’s completely natural and a unique experience. Possibly once in a lifetime.

Northern Lights, Tromso

Northern Lights, Tromso

Read more about the Northern Lights »

Gliding above, paragliding, Vogel, Slovenia

The peace that comes when your feet leave the ground and the wind catches your parachute. The thermals glide you around the valley and lake. There’s no traffic. No sound. Just sheer peace.

Paragliding in Slovenia

Paragliding in Slovenia

Read more about my paragliding experience »

Snowboarding, New Zealand

That moment when you pause at the top of the mountain, a fresh cool breeze around you. Beautiful white snow covers the mountain ranges. Quiet beauty that comes before the exhilarating ride down!

View from Whakapapa skifield

View from Whakapapa skifield

Read more about snowboarding in New Zealand »

Snorkelling amongst the sea life, Galapagos, Ecuador

There’s nothing quite like it. I just wish back then I’d had more practice to keep up with the turtles and penguins. Not to mention the colourful fish!

Islote Tinoreras

Islote Tinoreras

Marine Iguanas on Islote Tinoreras

Marine Iguanas on Islote Tinoreras

Read more about the Galapagos »

Staring in wonder at Giza, Egypt

How the heck did they manage to make those pyramids and the Sphinx I’ll never really know. An incredible feat and wonder to enjoy.

Standing in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Standing in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Read more about Egypt »

Walking the Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand

Back home, on a road trip this was one of those locations that showed me this is where I’m meant to be. This is home. Such sheer natural beauty on snowy mountains, ice crashing from the surrounds, fresh icy air and sun beaming down. Amongst nature I’m often at my happiest.

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook

Read more about New Zealand »

Walking past the Royal Courts of Justice, London

When I first moved to London my daily commute saw me waking past the Royal Courts of Justice. While I don’t have a photo to share, close your eyes and imagine a bustling street and walking past incredible huge ornate grey stone gothic architecture that spans thousands of years old. This is your first real taste of living amongst such a historic city. These moments are those pinch me moments of my life. Like, my real life.

Read more about London »

Those are just a few on my moments on my travels that spark joy when I think back. They are memories I hold near and dear. Times that bring a smile to my face. In reality every trip I’ve been on has sparked some sort of joy, otherwise I wouldn’t have travelled there.

After all what is travel if not a chance to spark joy in your life?

Giraffe Sanctuary, Nairobi, Kenya

Giraffe Sanctuary, Nairobi, Kenya

For more of my favourite places, check out my Top 30 Greatest Travel Experiences »


This post is part of a monthly travel linkup, I hope it helps you to close your eyes and think of those stand out moments that spark joy from your own travels, whether they are near or far.

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