Bora Bora stole my heart & I don't think I'll ever get it back. Creatively, emotionally, everything, we just had the best time here swimming with sharks & spending more time in the water than on land ~ my kind of heaven.
Cuba is stepped back in time! When you get off the plane & walk out to the taxi rank, don't expect to see yellow cabs, expect canary yellow & flamingo pink convertible mustangs from the 60's! It's a country of beauty, with a lot of rich history, so best to delve a little deeper. What really blew my mind is that communism has only made the country more colourful, more alive & more artistic - Cuba still doesn't have public internet, so Cuba is CUBA - it's incredibly unique & BRILLIANT (after being cut off from the world)... & that is saying something!
We went to Tulum years ago & stayed in the Sian Kaan, the National Park just outside of Tulum (it's a one road in - one road out situation). We slept in a little beach shack on stilts for $30 a night & hung out in nature for a few weeks, fully disconnected (there was no signal at all... was bliss!) I recently went back & stayed in the little town of Tulum, which is packed full of smoothie shops, creatives & yoga schools - full chill out zone.
This place is absolute fire. One moment you're weaving your way through the souk haggling for vintage moroccan rugs, drinking mint tea with the locals & smelling every single kind of spice EVER KNOWN, the next you're recovering from the day in a restored riad among palm trees & wondering if this could possibly be the same city. It is so full of epic experiences, a must visit!
I just got back from Esperance & I am giving everyone a hot tip - this is one of the best & most insane places I have ever visited. If you are a beach, outdoorsy type, you probably will have a hard time leaving. I'm already planning my trip back.
If there is anywhere in the world I would swap Byron Bay for (not including any tropical island, *anywhere) it would be California. Chesh (my boy) & I explored Cali via van for 6 weeks a few years back & we absolutely loved it - among our favs were Joshua Tree, Big Sur, Yosemite National Park, The Slow Coast & San Diego (we especially loved Encinitas which is exactly where we would live if we could).
It goes without saying this country has some of the bluest, most pristine water I have ever experienced. The Maldives can be super luxe & delish for honeymooners, of course, but I definitely encourage everyone to consider it for an adventure trip of a lifetime - the surf is good, marine life is flourishing & you can spend most of the day in the water without even getting cold, it's that warm in there!
There is no better way to explain it other than... Hawaii & Bora Bora had a baby. It's lush, tropical, volcanic & STUNNING. The black beaches will really blow your mind, the surf is REALLY good (intermediate & up because it's also pretty heavy) & home to famous Teahupo'o which for me was so bucket list. We went out in a little boat to watch the giant waves (& crazy surfers) get towed into these waves, it's a really cool experience (even for non-surfers).
Seeing an African elephant in the wild should be on everyone's bucket list. There is probably not a more humbling or wild experience that I hope everyone has the opportunity to hold precious in their soul. Zanzibar is so exotic - from the spice markets in UNESCO Stone Town to the white sand beaches & its azure waters, this is really every tropical babies dream.
My home, a huge part of who I am today & one of the reasons @saltyluxe was born. Byron is full of creative, inspiring people, from buskers on the street living out their dream of music, to a new startup sustainable surf brand, the town is oozing with character, uniqueness & a very special vibe. The food is incredible (generally organic & always local), sustainability is a lifestyle (Byron Farmers market on Thursdays is LIFE) & the pace is just a little slower. If I'm home (since I travel a lot of the year) you'll find me getting around barefoot on my bike, grabbing a morning coffee & a sunrise, soaking it all in.