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My Five Favorite Vacations I've Ever Taken - Shreya Sachdev

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a nice day. For today’s blog post, I thought I would tell you guys all about the best vacations I’ve ever taken. As some of you might know, I’m quite a traveller and I will say that I’ve been to quite a lot of countries over the past couple of years and that’s something I’m really grateful for. There are definitely more places that I could travel to and places that I would love to visit, so we’ll see where I end up going in the future. A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Which Places Have I Been To Around The World?” and in that post, I just talked about all the different countries and cities I had been do, and I went from continent to continent so if you want to have a list of every single country I’ve ever been to then I would highly recommend checking that blog post out, since it’s quite organized and easy to follow. I’ll link it here if you want to read it: Anyways, I love taking vacations (who doesn’t?) because it’s such a nice way to just get away from everything and be in a new area, try out new food, wear new clothes, and meet new people. I’ve taken quite a lot of holidays over the past couple of years, so it was difficult for me to narrow this list down to my top five favorites, but it’s definitely true that there are some holidays that I enjoyed over others, and those are the ones I’m going to be talking about today. I just want to quickly say that by writing this post, I’m not trying to brag about the vacations I’ve taken, but rather I just want to share some times in my life that made me really happy and some moments that enabled me to experience another culture, and really changed my life. I also want to apologize for being away for so long, but as you guys know I’m really busy with college and I haven’t had as much time to post on this website because I’m still settling in and getting used to living in Toronto. However, I will have lots of new content for you very soon, especially focused on the topic of college itself. I hope you enjoy this post, and like always make sure to let me know what your favorite vacation that you’ve taken is! Without further ado, let’s get started. 

  1. Orlando and Miami, Florida:

    This is definitely a big one on my list, and that’s Orlando and Miami in Florida. I went to Orlando and Miami for my 10th birthday. So, the reason as to why I remember this holiday so well is because this was actually the holiday in which I took my first ever luxury cruise, and this cruise literally had everything. I mean, it had amazing food like all you can eat buffets, entertainment like stand up comedians, movie nights, and so much more. If any of you are wondering which cruise my family took, then I believe we took the Carnival Cruise. It was just such a nice cruise, and I remember this one night all the waiters did this dance for everyone on the cruise in which they stood up on all the tables and danced to “Low” by Flo Rida, and it was so entertaining and enjoyable. I still remember this one joke that the stand up comedian told on the first day of the cruise, and he said “Wow, when everyone heard the announcement for food on the cruise, everyone rushed like they’re some goddamn refugees” and for some reason, I found that to be so funny and I genuinely enjoyed the show because of how funny the comedian was. There were lots of flash mobs and dances throughout the trip that happened on the deck of the ship, and people there were so nice that it was just an unforgettable experience. The cruise basically went from Miami to Key West, and then back to Miami. In Key West, I remember going down under the sea in a submarine, and it wasn’t actually that exciting because it wasn’t as if I could see any sharks or dolphins, so that was actually kind of boring, but the cruise itself was absolutely astonishing. Unfortunately, I did get sick because I do get sea sick extremely easy, and on the last day of the cruise we were heading back to Miami and the waves were extremely rocky, and I ended up throwing up (you’re welcome for that image) but once we were off the boat, it was all okay. Once we were in Miami, it was actually the day of my birthday, so we spent the entire time just shopping for new clothes for me. We literally went from mall to mall, and it was really nice because we got to go to American shops that I had seen before on Youtube, but had never actually gotten to go to, so I remember going to Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Old Navy, Justice Girls, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and so many more places. There was definitely a lot more variety in the US, then I had been used to in Europe, and so it was a wonderful shopping experience for me. We also went to Orlando, and over there we went to Universal Studios, Sea World, Islands of Adventure, and many other theme parks in which we went on many roller coasters, played games, ate good food, and overall had an amazing time. I remember visiting this Harry Potter museum, and I actually bought one of Hermione’s wands, which was really cool. The museum was set up just like Hogwarts, and it literally felt like I was inside of the movie.

  2. Las Vegas, Nevada:

    I remember going to Las Vegas in the summer of Year 5 (fourth grade) which basically means that I was 10 years old when we went. This was the trip in which I walked on the glass floor of the Grand Canyon, and there’s actually a really cute photo of me and my older brother posing on this glass floor, and it’s one of my favorite photos ever. In fact, the photo used to be my phone lock screen. If any of you are wondering what it’s like to walk on this glass floor, then from what I remember I really enjoyed it, but then again, I do not have a fear of heights. If you have a fear of heights then it may not be the best experience for you, especially since you also have to take you shoes off and walk in these plastic shoes which makes you feel like you’re even more vulnerable and exposed. Nevertheless, it’s always great to face your fears, so even if you are scared of heights I would actually encourage you to go for it! Even though I was really young, there are certain things I remember about the trip. For example, I remember walking inside of this mall that was designed to make it appear as if it was actually an open market, so the ceilings were covered in clouds and bright stars, and it was just a really pretty mall. I remember we did some shopping, and then when we went back to our hotel, there was a gigantic casino downstairs so my parents went to this casino to gamble, and my brother and I stayed upstairs in our hotel room and watched “Snow Buddies” since we obviously weren’t allowed in this casino. I don’t know how I remember us watching this specific movie, but I just do. I think it’s because my brother and I spent so much time arguing over which movie to watch that when we found one we could agree on, it was unbelievable and that’s why I remember the name of the movie. I still remember my parents coming home that night and laughing as they us that they had lost some money, but that it wasn’t such a big deal since they hadn’t put in a lot of money. Overall, Vegas was a great experience and it was super nice to see the liveliness, lights, and night life of the city. I would love to go back there some day.

  3. Los Angeles, California:

    So, I’ve made it pretty clear on this blog that I love LA and that I definitely want to live in LA sometime in the future. I’m probably going to do a Masters in Screenwriting either at USC, UCLA, AFI, LMU, or some other LA film university, so I’ll definitely live in LA at some point in my life. This obsession with LA started when I was really young, and I think that’s just because ever since I was a little kid, I knew that I wanted to do something in the entertainment industry and since I knew that most television shows and movies were filmed in LA, I really wanted to go and visit. On top of that, I remember watching the “Drake & Josh” movie where Drake and Josh accidentally send Megan to LA since they put her on the wrong flight, and Megan ends up loving LA and she stays at this amazing hotel where she gets massages and even orders some delicious room service. In that movie, you can really see the most iconic sites of LA and I remember watching that movie and being so obsessed with LA. Luckily for me, I have some really amazing parents who knew and understood how badly I wanted to go there, so for my 11th birthday I visited LA. It was such an amazing trip. I remember staying at the Mr.C Hotel and the Beverly Hills Hotel. If any of you are wondering why we stayed in two hotels, then that’s because our holiday actually consisted of us traveling to LA, and then flying to Hawaii (which I’ll be talking about down below!) and then flying back to LA. Therefore, when we came back to LA the second time, we stayed in a different hotel because we wanted to be closer to another area so we could explore a new area that we hadn’t gotten the chance to see the first time. Anyways, I remember doing so much in LA. One thing that you should know about me is that when I was 11, I was obsessed with Miranda Cosgrove. If you guys don’t know who she is, then she played Carly on “iCarly” and even Megan on “Drake & Josh.” You might also know her from “School of Rock” in which she played Summer. Thus, before we went to LA, I actually watched a video in which Miranda Cosgrove talked about her favorite places in LA, and I made a list of each place she wrote down so that I could visit those places and hope to meet Miranda there. Unfortunately, that did not happen but I still got to visit some great places thanks to her. I remember visiting a restaurant called “The Hungry Cat” where they sell seafood, but I actually hate seafood so when we stopped there for lunch I barely ate anything. However, I remember writing a letter to Miranda Cosgrove as I sat in the restaurant and actually giving it to the waiter, and telling him to give my letter to her. He was really kind about it and promised me that the next time he saw her, he would give her my letter. To this day, I don’t know if that ever happened but I highly doubt it, which is a shame since my father tipped one hundred dollars to make sure that Miranda Cosgrove would get my letter. Then, we visited a store called “Amoeba Music” because apparently Miranda Cosgrove goes there all the time, and even though I didn’t see her I’m still glad I went because this store was filled with different records, CDs, and music that it really made me realize just how much of an entertainment city LA is, and it made me fall even more in love with the city. I also remember taking a tour in which they show you celebrity homes, and I remember seeing some beautiful homes during that tour. I don’t remember all the names exactly, but I do remember Jenifer Aniston and Katy Perry because they were one of the really big ones. Then, I remember going to places like The Grove, Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, and Santa Monica. We went on a lot of tour busses as well, which meant that if we really liked a specific location, we could get off for a few hours and then get back on the bus to see the next location whenever we felt like it. I also remember going to the Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre and Madame Tussauds, which were all extremely cool experiences. Even though I did not get to see Miranda Cosgrove in the end, I did actually see Jennette McCurdy (she plays Sam on iCarly and Sam and Cat) from a distance, because we visited the Nickelodeon Studios in downtown LA, and it was cool to see her, even though I couldn’t say hello since she was entering the studio. 

  4. Honolulu, Hawaii:

    Like I said above, we went first to LA and then we went to Hawaii and then returned to LA. So, to be perfectly honest I actually remember being a little bit upset that I was going to Hawaii only because I loved LA so much and wanted to stay there for my entire vacation, but once I reached Hawaii I was so happy and absolutely loved it. So, I know we went to Honolulu, and we went to another island as well but I’m blanking out on the name. Anyways, Honolulu was literally paradise. We stayed at a really nice resort, and everyday we would go to the beach or we would go swimming in our hotel’s pool. People would bring drinks and food over to us, and it really felt like a holiday. I also remember that we went to this open market, and they were handing out oyster shells with pearls inside, and the pearls were so beautiful that both my mother and I decided to get one. We also bought those classic Hawaiian shirts and the flower necklaces because that’s something that’s part of the tradition, and we didn’t want to miss out on that. Aside from all the beach and hotel stuff, we also took some tours to see the active volcanoes in Hawaii. I remember my father booked us for this tour that took us around each different volcano, and the driver would also speak about the history and the science behind the volcanoes, which I actually found so interesting that I even considered doing a project on volcanoes for my class, or something, but that didn’t happen in the end. Overall, Hawaii was extremely relaxing and very educational as well. Even though I loved Hawaii, I did prefer LA a bit more just because I had such an obsession with the city. 

  5. New York, New York:

    So, I’m not actually mentioning a specific time when I talk about New York City, because my family and I have been there a few times, especially in my childhood, and each time we’ve went we’ve absolutely loved it. The last time I went to New York was actually when I was thirteen or fourteen years old (in the year 2015) and it was to go see Columbia University, since my family and I were taking college tours for my brother during that time. For that visit, we didn’t get to see much of New York since that trip was specifically only for universities, but we did go to New York some other times in which we specifically got to see the city. I remember going there for New Years, and I’m not sure what year it was but I do think it was again very early in my childhood. I remember that there was a ball that was going to drop from the Empire State Building once it was going to be New Years, so many people had been sitting for days on end to see the ball drop and were even sleeping on the streets to make sure that their place didn’t get taken. When New Years came, my parents went to go and try to see the ball and the countdown, but then they just came back to our hotel because they said it was too crowded and we watched the countdown together on the television as a family. What I love most about New York is Times Square because it’s so lively and cheerful. You’ve got good food everywhere, skyscrapers, and shops that have amazing clothes and shoes. I’m really glad that I now live in Toronto and my university is only ten minutes away walking from Yonge-Dundas Square, which resembles Times Square in New York quite a lot. Moreover, New York itself is really close to Toronto, so I’m sure I’ll go there sometime in the next four years during my stay here. Overall, that’s it for my top five favorite vacations I’ve ever been on. As you can see, all my favorite vacations were in the US and that’s just because growing up, the US was where my family and I always went to and it was a place that I always loved, so I’m really glad that I got to see so many places and take so many vacations. I have been on other amazing holidays like Male in Maldives, Kandy in Sri Lanka, Milan in Italy, Thailand, Dubai, and lots of other European countries, but I could only pick five vacations, so the places I have listed above are the places that I chose. If you want to have a complete list of where I’ve been, then just check out the link I posted in the introduction of this blog post.

Shreya Sachdev