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2015 was an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING year for us! It was the year of big changes and epic adventures. In 2015, I finally got out of debt, allowing Max and I to quit our 9-5 jobs and pursue the life of full-time travel

In 2015, we traveled to over 15 countries across 4 continents!  Some of the places we visited, like Myanmar, Morocco, and Romania were new for both Max and I, while other countries, like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Australia we took the time to explore further than ever before.

Over the course of the year, we captured some incredible photos and created memories to last a lifetime! Here is a quick look at the best of our travels in 2015.

AUSTRALIA

We kicked off 2015 with a trip to the beautiful Hunter Valley, one of the most well-known wine regions in New South Wales, Australia.

Sunset in Hunter Valley, NSW Australia

Sunset in Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

En route from Hunter Valley, we visited Newcastle, a true gem and in our opinion the most underrated city in Australia.

That magical moment when the sun hits the horizon. Bar Beach, Newcastle. Australia

Bar Beach, Newcastle, Australia

In March, we ventured off on an amazing road trip from Brisbane to Sydney, exploring some off the beaten path towns along the Legendary Pacific Coast.

Rocky headlands at the end of Flynn's Beach, Port Macquarie, NSW

Rocky headlands at the end of Flynn’s Beach, Port Macquarie, NSW

In April, infatuated by the stories of the great hikes, enchanted by the beautiful coastline, we decided to take advantage of Easter holidays and spend some time exploring Tasmania.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain in the background, Tasmania, Australia

In May, we traveled to Western Australia, a region prime for adventurous explorers. Western Australia was an exhilarating state, packed with a bucket list of activities and picture perfect backdrops.

Hamersley Waterfall. Karijini National Park. Western Australia

Hamersley Waterfall, Karijini National Park, Western Australia

It was in Western Australia that we fell in love with the laid back town of Broome and crossed off one of the most amazing bucket items from our travel list – swimming with whale sharks.

Sunset camel ride on Cable Beach. Broome. Western Australia

Sunset camel ride on Cable Beach, Broome. Western Australia

Whale shark in Ningaloo Reef. Exmouth. Western Australia

Whale shark in Ningaloo Reef. Exmouth. Western Australia

In July, after many years of living in Australia (2.5 years for me and 6 years for Max, to be exact), we packed up our life our bags and said goodbye to our temporary home base in Brisbane, Australia. It wasn’t a decision we made lightly, but quitting our 9-5 jobs to travel the world had been our dream for many years and we were stoked to finally be able to set our plans in motion.

In August, we set off on our first long term trip that would take us from Brisbane, Australia, through South East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Northern Africa, all the way to Costa Rica where we planned to culminate 2015 by getting married! It was one of the most amazing trips of our lives!

SINGAPORE

We started our trip with a short visit to Singapore, where I spent 4 days eating my way through the best hawker dishes in Singapore and somehow managed to experience the best of Singapore without breaking the bank.

7 Hawker Dishes you Have to Try in Singapore

Chicken rice stall at a hawker centre in Singapore

INDONESIA

From Singapore, we made our way to Indonesia where we spent the rest of August falling in love with the region of Java, exploring Yogyakarta and its surroundings, witnessing the most incredible sunrise during the hike to the Ijen Crater, enjoying world-class diving in the Komodo National Park, and indulging in cheap and delicious Indonesian cuisine.

Turquoise sulfur lake of Ijen Crater. East Java, Indonesia

Sunrise at the turquoise sulfur lake of Ijen Crater

Max & Oksana at Mt Bromo at sunrise. East Java, Indonesia

Mt Bromo. East Java

Borobudur Temple at sunrise. Java Indonesia

Borobudur Temple at sunrise

Diving in Komodo National Park

Diving in Komodo National Park

Mie goreng with iced tea. Indonesian food

Mie goreng with iced tea – our favourite Indonesian meal

Malaysia

In September, we traveled to Sabah, Malaysian Borneo as guests of the Sabah Tourism Board. We started our trip with another amazing diving experience at Sipadan Island, followed by a few days exploring Kota Kinabalu, relaxing on the secluded beach in Mañana Borneo Resort, and then a trip over to Sandakan where we immersed ourselves into Sabah wilderness.

Sabah wasn’t a place we had ever heard of before, but we loved our time in the region and can now name so many reasons why Sabah should be on every adventurous traveler’s list.

School of jack fish at Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island. Sabah, Malaysia

Diving with a school of jack fish at Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island

Kota Kinabalu, view from Signal Hill Observatory. Sabah, Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu, view from Signal Hill Observatory

Hammock overlooking the beach in Mañana Borneo Resort. Sabah. Malaysia

Hammock overlooking the beach in Mañana Borneo Resort

Orang utan in Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Sabah. Malaysian Borneo

One of the many orangutans we had the pleasure of meeting in Sabah!

Myanmar

From Sabah, we traveled to Myanmar, one of the countries we’d been itching to visit ever since we first stepped foot in S.E.A. From immersing ourselves in street life in Yangon, to cruising beyond the tourist trail in Inle Lake, exploring temple in Bagan, riding on a scenic train to Hsipaw, and trekking to hill tribe villages in the Shan province,  we had a myriad of amazing experiences in Myanmar and our short 2-week stay wasn’t enough to explore much past the typical tourist route. We’ve added Myanmar to the list of places we would love to come back to!

Colourful buildings in Yangon. Myanmar

Colourful buildings in Yangon. Myanmar

Foating village on Inle Lake, Myanmar

Foating abandoned home on Inle Lake

Sunrise in Bagan. Myanmar

Sunrise in Bagan

Views from the train to Hsipaw. Myanmar

Views from the train to Hsipaw

In October, we paid a quick visit to family in Ukraine and had the pleasure of watching my cousin get married to a beautiful woman, who we are so pleased to now call family. Shortly after the wedding, we made our way to Morocco. 

Morocco

2 weeks of traversing across the country, we visited towns small and large, trekked in the cold Imlil, swam in the warm ocean in Essaouira, got lost in the blue city of Chefchaouen, shopped till we dropped in Fez and Marrakech, and drank copious amounts of Moroccan mint tea. Oh and then, of course, there was that time we lost our car keys in the Sahara Desert

Rolling hills of the High Atlas mountains, Morocco

Rolling hills of the High Atlas mountains in Morocco

Coast line in Essaouira, Morocco

Coastline in Essaouira, Morocco

Blue town of Chefchaouen, Morocco

Blue town of Chefchaouen, Morocco

Moroccan Mint Tea. Morocco

Moroccan Mint Tea

Sunrise in Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert. Morocco

Sunrise in Erg Chebbi desert

Romania

From Morocco, we made our way to Romania where we visited friends and spent an amazing 10 days road tripping through the Romanian countryside. We spent some time in the charming town of Brasov, roamed the cobblestone streets of Sighișoara, visited the virgin forests of Maramures County, drove along the famous Transfăgărășan Road and were rewarded with some breathtaking views of Balea Lake from the peaks of Făgăraș Mountains. 

Tampa Hill, Brasov. Romania

Tampa Hill, view of Brasov town after sunset

Entrance to the Sighisoara Cemetery, Romania

Entrance to the Sighisoara Cemetery

Beautiful forest road. Maramures. Romania

Beautiful forest road. Maramures Country

Transfagarasan, Transylvania, Romania

Transfagarasan, Transylvania, Romania

Balea Lake at sunset. Transylvania. Romania

Balea Lake at sunset

Florida, USA

In November, we made our way to North America, spending a good chunk of the month hanging out on the beautiful Anna Maria Island.

Sunset on Anna Maria Island, Florida. USA

Sunset on Anna Maria Island in Florida

Costa Rica

Our last destination for the year was (and continues to be) special in so many ways. After spending the month of December living in Costa Rica in preparation for our wedding, we have made the decision to make this our home base for 2016. And if you have ever been here, you’ll understand why. Great weather, friendly locals, lots of unexplored destinations and a Pura Vida lifestyle that we absolutely love.

Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Costa Rica was the perfect place for us to tie the knot in celebration of our love and to start a new chapter in our lives as Mr & Mrs on December 31, 2015.

Oksana and Max. Mr & Mrs. Wedding. Costa Rica

Mr and Mrs in Costa Rica the day after the wedding

Here is to another amazing year ahead! We can only hope that 2016 will be equally as amazing as 2015 turned out to be!

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2015 was an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING year for us! It was the year of big changes and epic adventures.

 

What were some of the highlights of your 2015? We’d love to hear what amazing adventures you embarked on in 2015.