Moorea, French Polynesia

To say that I was mildly apprehensive about flying to French Polynesia was a big understatement. When I thought about the Pacific, all that came to my mind were overprized overwater bungalows that I could not afford and cuddling couples on honeymoon. It was less than a week since I had said goodbye to the guy with whom I had spent the last months and I was not in the mood for happy couples. Or cuddling couples. Or even unhappy couples – anything, really, that reminded me of the great relationship that I had just left behind to come here.

It did not help that I could barely find any information about solo travellers or backpackers in Tahiti. Most websites assume that you come here with your significant other, because why else would you travel to the Pacific?…

Sunset, Haad Yao, Koh Phangan, Thailand

After a couple of days in Bangkok, my trip led me to the island of Koh Phangan in Southern Thailand. I knew that eventually, I wanted to learn how to dive, but I had always planned on doing that in Central America. It wasn’t until I changed my travel plans and ended up in Southeast Asia instead of Nepal that I suddenly found an opportunity to become a certified diver.

I couldn’t have chosen a better place than Koh Phangan. If you’re interested in diving, I can highly recommend this island that has so much more to offer than full-moon parties. To help you feel the excitement, here are five reasons why you should learn to dive on Koh Phangan.…

Hoi An Old Town by night, Vietnam

The water, I noticed as I ran into the ocean, was as warm as the air. I stumbled and fell face forward, my laughing only interrupted when a wave washed over my head. The beach was a nice change to the cities we had visited and a much needed break from the chaos we had explored the past few days.

Vietnam, with its never-ending traffic and chaos on the streets, can be overwhelming for visitors. Yet, it is a great country to explore, a world of contrasts ranging from giant cities to small beach retreats.

I did not get a chance to go up to Northern Vietnam this year, but here are some of the highlights waiting for you in Southern and Central Vietnam.…