The first time I visited Hamilton three years ago, I left with an impression that it was just like any other city and never gave much thought about it ever since.

Three years later, I recently returned for a weekend getaway up to the Tron City and I left feeling pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it – This time, it was a weekend well-spent with us venturing to several places slightly out of the city that I would definitely encourage you to visit if you happen to be there!

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It was only last week that a group of us ladies decided to have a dash of weekend fun up at Hawkes Bay, with wine and dine as our main agenda.

Home to many vineyards that produce some of New Zealand’s award-winning wines, we booked a winery-cycle tour with On Yer Bike Tours and had such a splendid time!

New Zealand’s North Island has seen some amazing weather over the past week, with clear blue skies coupled with a cool breeze that’s ideal for being outdoors!

We decided to take a drive out of town on one of those sunny days just to make full use of the good weather. As we cruised along the road leading towards the Manawatu Gorge, a surprise detour led us to discover an absolutely beautiful gem.

There is nothing short to do in both these vibrant cities but trust me, there are other places that are equally brimming with sights, tradition, culture and delicious food that’s less than an hour’s train ride  away.

With the convenience of having a 14-day JR Railway Pass and a travel itinerary that was well-thought out in advanced, we covered some cities outside of Kyoto and Osaka that’s definitely worth spending a day or even two, if you fancy. 

A week ago, I returned to the mountainous terrains of New Zealand’s South Island to tick horse riding off my bucket list, something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I was a little girl.

As a huge fan of the Lord of The Rings, it was a dream come true to ride through the plains of Dart Valley at Glenorchy, the very place that provided the scenic backdrop for the Misty Mountains and Isenguard!

Travelling solo to Sri Lanka was definitely a great adventure to start off 2017; it was an incredible feeling to be surrounded by such beautiful landscape, to immerse myself amongst rich culture, friendly locals and the options for different activities are endless! 

Here are some of the more memorable mischief I got up to, amongst many others, and I can only hope to inspire to make your way there pronto!

Every time I return home (as in, where I was born and raised), a truckload of people say that I am not just lucky, but privileged, and more often than not, there is one person who would conveniently pass me a remark that I am ‘one of those people’ who are living it up overseas while people back home are only capable of making ends meet.

Before someone else repeats that statement, this is what I have to say:

A few years ago, I first heard of this unassuming place from friends who wouldn’t stop raving about how beautiful it was. I guess, you could say that I had unknowingly fallen in love with this place ever since, even without having physically been there before.

After having been there myself, I can tell you that no picture has done enough justice to showcase the beauty of this quiet town in the South Island.