2015 / PERSONAL
AROUND THE WORLD
Top 6 Places of 2015
This year has proven to be one long and very exciting journey. I managed to visit 15 different countries and cities so you could say it’s been an incredible year for travel. Something I’ve been working towards for so long and one subject that I have truly enjoyed documenting for you, both here and on my Instagram. Natalya did her fair share of travels too this year, but she still has a way to go to catch up to her big sis, (don’t worry Nat, you can try to beat me next year!).
We really wanted to put together a post to share some of our favourite places of 2015 with you. There are a few equally beautiful and amazing places which have been left out, such as Greece, (we visited Athens, Mykonos, Crete and Messenia between us this summer), Singapore and Italy, but we wanted to narrow it down to our highlights of the year and keep it casual by using mainly images from our Instagram.
We really hope you enjoy this post. It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come since January, both in work and personal lives. I’m entering a year in which I will officially become a wife, I’ve launched a new company which I can’t wait to take into full swing in 2016 (and share so much more of that with you), plus on a creative note, we upgraded our camera back in April, so since some of the below, the quality of our work has grown so much. It really makes me wish I could have known all the things I now know back then, but it’s all a learning curve. Plus, a great excuse to head back to the Maldives, right?
LOCATION- THE CONRAD
Visiting The Maldives was one of the most memorable experiences of our year. Natalya keeps begging me for a repeat visit with her, but I’m kind of inclined to hold out for my honeymoon.
We visited at the very beginning of the year with our mum and stayed at the beautiful Conrad, Rangali Island (you can see more posts here, here and here). It was the ultimate mother-daughter bond and we loved every second of it.
Besides being in what felt like paradise, we also got to tick off seeing dolphins in the wild, and snorkeling in the Indian Ocean off of our bucket lists, but I think the ultimate highlight had to be Natalya falling off the leaning palm tree. If only I was on Snapchat back then.
LOCATION- TORASSIEPPE REINDEER FARM
The best trips are always the least expected. Since Jenai and I started dating over 6 years ago, we’ve always spoken about making a trip to see the Northern Lights and this year we finally did it. It was such a surreal experience and one I will never forget.
We stayed on a super cute reindeer farm in Northern Finland and had the most quaint little cabin to call home. We filled our days with attempts at ice fishing (unsuccessful), cross country skiing (very unsuccessful) and every night we’d eagerly await a sight of the lights. Finally, on our last night, the Northern Lights put on the most incredible show for us and I did my very best attempt at photographing them. You can see more from my Finland trip here, here and here.
LOCATION- SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
Natalya has been living in Dubai for over 3 years now, and our family, even longer. However we’ve somehow never managed to make a trip to Abu Dhabi.
During one of my many visits to Dubai this year, we decided to hit the road with our mum and finally visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We’re all very spiritual women and visiting the mosque has been on our list for a really long time, but we never expected to be met with this much grandeur and tranquility.
It was one of the first places I visited after purchasing our new camera and was so excited to capture some of it’s beauty (you can see more images here). If ever you find yourself in the UAE capital, you must make a trip.
LOCATION- ROYAL PALM MARRAKECH
So this trip was a very important one for me this year. Jenai and I took a few days off after Fashion Month and visited Morocco for the very first time.
I’m not sure if many of you are aware of this, but Natalya and I actually grew up in Africa, so going back was very special for me. Marrakech is all about vibrancy, colour and culture and I adored the city.
We stayed in what is now one of my favourite hotels (see more here, here and here) and spent the majority of our days exploring Marrakech. I’m not quite ready to tell you exactly why I was there, but I’m sure you can give it a good guess.
DANANG, HANOI & HOI AN
LOCATION- FUSION MAIA DA NANG
I finally got to visit Asia for the first time this year back in April when I went to Singapore, so when I went back last month to visit Vietnam, I felt insanely lucky.
I was in Vietnam for a week of relaxation, yoga and healthy living. All the content is pretty recent, so you might remember a lot of it (here, here and here) but it was incredible and so worth adding to my ‘highlight reel’ of 2015.
I adored visiting different areas of the country (Hanoi and Hoi An will be featured soon) and experiencing new things such as a visit to a Buddhist orphanage,
real street food and the importance of switching off, (still working on that last one).
I get questions all the time on my Instagram and Snapchat (reemkanj) about this trip, it was by far one of your favourites of the year.
After a hectic few months of travel, New York was the last on the list for 2015. Natalya and I planned this trip super last minute. We’d both been before but never together and we couldn’t wait for it. We always opt for a beach break so visiting a city together was high on our list.
I had a few hectic months of solid (almost back to back) travel before New York and it finally took it’s toll on me at the customs desk in JFK where I fainted. Yes fainted. It was a scary experience and definitely not the way you want to start your vacation but the good news is from then on it was all plain sailing. You can see more of our trip here, here and here.
We stayed in Midtown and enjoyed eating and walking our way through Manhattan and Brooklyn. We’re seriously in love with New York City. Hands down best food ever, (beats Dubai and London) amazing shopping (we both might have impulsed at Dior and Balenciaga) and unbelievable doughnuts, like unbelievable.
I loved it so much that I’ve decided it has to be one of those cities (like Paris and Dubai) that I just have to get to know more. I can’t wait to head back to NYC in 2016.
Happy New Year!
Thank you so much for all your support this year. After having finally joined Snapchat (follow us @reemkanj and @natalyakanj) a couple of months ago, it’s officially become our favourite social media platform and we’ve loved receiving all your messages and videos of love and support. We wish you health, love and of course lots of travel for 2016. We can’t wait to bring you along with us for some more of our adventures in the new year.
Reem & Natalya x