You know what I mean - 'pinch me' travel moments are those life changing moments when you're standing somewhere that you never in your wildest dreams thought you would be, or seeing something you never thought you would see, except on TV maybe. They are moments that can change your perspective forever and make you feel alive.
Since I started travelling I've been lucky enough to experience more than my fair share. And I've become a bit of a travel addict to be honest. The more places I see, the longer my travel bucket-list seems to grow.
Here are five of my personal 'pinch me' moments...
1. Visiting MoMA - New York
After finishing my degree I spent almost 6-months in the United States working in San Francisco and travelling as much as I could afford (thanks Mum for helping me finance this trip). One of my first real 'pinch me' moments was visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York and seeing original paintings and photographs I'd spent the last four years studying, including The Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh and works by two of my favourite photographers William Eggleston and Bill Brandt. I remember being completely 'art struck', amazed and inspired all at the same time.
MoMA interior and sculpture garden, New York - 2004
2. Moving to Japan
My first month in Japan was my most memorable. It was a 'mixed emotions' time where on some days I still couldn't believe I'd actually moved to Japan. Everything was so strange, I didn't understand a word of Japanese and it felt a bit like staring in Lost in Translation. I loved every moment.
couple in traditional Japanese dress - Bentenjima, Japan - 2006
3. Laying eyes on the Taj Mahal - India
When I arrived at the Taj Mahal I was sick (think Delhi belly), tired and feeling quite harassed to be honest. But seeing the white marble tomb rise up to great me was one of those moments in time when everything else stopped to exist. Such a majestic piece of architecture.
Taj Mahal, Agra - 2007
4. Being proposed to in Venice - Italy
What can I say - having the love of my life pop the question in one of the most romantic cities in the world will be something I'll never forget. Hubby had it all planned - beautiful hotel and suite with a private balcony overlooking the Rialto Bridge, bubbles on ice and a ring already chosen.
Gondola ride, Venice - 2012
5. Swimming with Basking Sharks - Scotland
Feeling utterly and totally helpless as the second-largest living fish swims directly towards you with it's mouth wide open.
Basking Shark off the Isle of Cole, Scotland - 2013
Thanks to Rebecca, Emma and Kelly for this great travel link-up.