2013 – It was the best of years, it was the worst of years.
We started the year on a high note and welcomed 2013 on Lanzarote’s secluded beaches. Savi and I saw tons of active and nascent volcanoes and went for hikes on volcanic rubble. What’s more, we had food cooked on a volcano for the first time in our lives – it got us really excited Lanzarote was all about stumbling on geological oddities, hidden beaches, and local tapas bars.
Stunning volcanic landscape in Lanzarote, Spain
Welcoming 2013 in Lanzarote, Spain
In February, we flew to Dubai. Skyscrapers and malls don’t fascinate us in the least, so we were hell-bent on discovering the ‘other’ Dubai, one that is ignored by the media and most tourists. Savi and I spent our time perusing endless rows of colourful spices, sampling sweet Arabic dates, off-roading in a sturdy 4×4, and camping in the desert.
Colourful spices at the Spice Souk in Dubai, UAE
Dune bashing in the Arabian Desert, UAE
We welcomed Easter Break with open arms and decided to drive along one of England’s prettiest routes. The road trip from London to Cornwall needs to be experienced to be believed. Tiny villages populated with rustic cottages and tea rooms dot the scenery. We spent the holiday complaining about the English weather (0°C in April, seriously?), devouring dozens of Easter eggs and Cornish pasties, and exploring Cornwall’s fishing villages.
The two of us in Cornwall, England
Can you guess what we did in May? We succumbed to our friends’ threats (err encouragement?) and FINALLY started our travel blog, Bruised Passports. Before we knew it, we had fallen head over heels in love with blogging and sharing our adventures with all of you *does a little dance*
Soon after, we hopped over to Berlin, one of our favourite cities in Europe. Berlin’s laid-back vibe and subversive street-art had us swooning in no time. We spent our days hunting down works by street-art masters, discovering some really cool music, and exploring its beer gardens and vintage markets.
We shot a number of grungy outfits for the ‘Wears’ section of Bruised Passports. In fact, Savi managed to rope me in for a shoot and we shot our first post on Men’s Fashion in Berlin. Aah fun times…NOT!
Subversive street art in Berlin, Germany
The two of us in Berlin, Germany
May is a happy month. It’s Savi’s birthday. We celebrated her birthday by going on a cruise holiday with her favourite people – her family. I’ve known Sid and Savi’s mum and dad for 16 years now, so they’re all very dear to me. We had an amazing time hopping from port to port, lounging on our ship’s decks, indulging our passion for fine-dining, and staring wide-eyed in disbelief at the expansive ocean.
Culinary delicacies galore
All of us in Mallorca, Spain
In June we re-visited Rome for a few days. Savi busied herself with tales of gladiators and mysteries of the crumbling walls of the Colosseum while I was on a mission to find the best pizza in town. What can I say, that’s how we roll
As always, Savi got away with wearing some crazy looking shoes in Rome. Don’t believe me? I have visual proof
THE shoes in Rome, Italy
Revisiting Rome, Italy
As Audrey Hepburn famously quoted: Paris is ALWAYS a good idea. We couldn’t have agreed more. In July, Savi and I pranced across the Channel Tunnel into the romantic alleys of Paris with Gowithoh. Fluffy macrons, crusty baguettes, and endless walks by the Seine defined our days while evenings were made complete by drinks with close friends, panoramas of Paris, and partying with locals at Sacré-Coeur at midnight. It was our nth trip to Paris but it was on this trip that we discovered a secret abandoned railway line in Paris, explored the quirky neighbourhood of Belleville, and FINALLY made it to the Palace of Versailles.
Magical sunset in Paris, France
Mind-numbingly scrumptious crêpes in Paris, France
Look who got greedy ;-)
The madness continued in Spain. Savi’s brother, Sid accompanied the two of us on an epic road trip through Spain. We started in Malaga, Picasso’s birthplace in Southern Spain, and drove 1500 kilometres along the coast to Besalu, a tiny town in Catalonia.
We spent our days partaking in Spain’s annual ferias, drinking copious amounts of sangria, getting squashed (pun fully intended) at the world’s biggest food fight, sunning ourselves at Costa Brava’s stunning beaches, and hunting for Spain’s famous sunflower fields and medieval towns.
Sid and I in Cadaques, Costa Brava, Spain
Savi and I in Valencia, Spain
We celebrated my birthday in September with a travel-themed birthday cake (what else?!)
My birthday cake
In October we flew to the little island nation of Mauritius. Now, the mere mention of Mauritius conjures up images of pristine beaches and turquoise waters. So we packed our bags expecting decadent beaches and ornate hotels. On reaching Mauritius, we realised that it isn’t just about the luxury. Mauritius offers an extremly vibrant mix of culture, food, and adventure sports. From unique water sports to rugged mountainous drives, rum tastings to spicy Creole food, biking around tiny fishing villages to walking with lions, Mauritius has it all. Don’t be surprised if you find us packing our bags for Mauritius again in 2014
Breakfast in Mauritius
Absorbing Mauritian culture at Grand Bassin, Mauritius
This year ended on a somber note because our world was shaken in October. We lost Savi’s dad to a sudden stroke. Losing a parent is always tough, but it has been exceptionally hard for Savi because she was extremely close to her dad – he was her friend, confidante, mentor, and guide. It’s been a couple of months and Savi’s only beginning to get back to her normal self, thanks to the support of our incredible family and friends. We’re working on getting her smile back
This incident has forced us to come to terms with the unpredictability of life and made us even more determined to travel the world and collect experiences instead of material possessions. Savi gets her travel bug from her dad, who was Bruised Passports’ staunchest supporter. We will continue to record our journey on Bruised Passports in the hope that he is watching over us.
This year might not have been a good year for us (far from it), but we’re very grateful for the friends we made, places we saw, and things we experienced.
We hope the New Year is full of health and happiness for all of you. We’ll be back in 2014 with loads of adventures, offbeat places, bohemian fashion, culinary gems, and general madness You can subscribe to Bruised Passports on Facebook and Twitter to follow us on our travels
How was 2013 for you? Good? Bad? Tell us in the comments below