2016 was the BEST year for Vanilla Sky Dreaming so far! I accomplished and did things that I’m still dreaming about. It’s amazing to look back at your year or life and see what you have done. There are those moments where you wondering if you’re doing enough, if all your hard work is paying off as a travel blogger or just simply, as a person, this year it definitely did! So here is my best moment of 2016, not in any order because I really couldn’t put a number on any of these. They were all unique and special to me in their own way.
Finally Sleeping in the Ice Hotel
Seriously the coolest and craziest thing ever. I still can’t believe I survived the ice hotel and managed to somehow sleep in a -5’C winter wonderland. I even got a diploma for it from Kemi’s Finland Lumi Snow Castle.
If you missed it, here’s a recap Sleeping In A Ice Hotel – SnowCastle (Kemi, Finland)
Sleeping in a Glass Igloo
Absolutely amazing! I was lucky enough to do it twice and if you ever want to sleep in a glass igloo Kemi is the place to do it.
Related Link: Sleeping in a Olokolo AKA Glass Igloo: Kemi, Finland
Finally seeing Glaciers
I have been waiting to do this for years, I thought I’d have a chance to do it in Iceland, but turns out it was pretty complicated, so I thought the next place I’d do it would be in Antarctica. Little did I know that Kemi, Finland does it on the Sampo Icebreaker that makes you feel like you’re actually in Antartica, although you’re in the Arctic Circle. I even saw seals just hanging by themselves on glaciers in the middle of nowhere. The Sampo Icebreaker was a dream come true. DO IT!
Trying Zip Line for the First Time
Obsessed! Can’t wait to do it again! I did this in Punta Cana and oddly enough I wasn’t scared, I was actually laughing the whole day with the biggest smile on my face while watching the sunset from high above in the jungles.
Swimming with icebergs
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be swimming with icebergs in the Arctic Circle or in general, swimming in freezing cold water. It’s just a whole other crazy I never realized existed until I was offered to do it and there was no way I could have said no. The truth of the matter is that when I first looked at Kemi, Finland and saw the Sampo Icebreaker, I thought it was completely nuts, scary and out of this world and showed it to my best friend because I thought she’s the only person who I know would do it. However, in reality, it wasn’t that bad at all. The only part of my body that was beyond freezing were my fingers because the gloves that were sewn into the survival suit were made out of thin rubber. I was scared to get a frostbite, so them moment I felt like I couldn’t feel my fingers I go out.
The Husky Safari in Kemi was seriously one of my favorite things I have ever done in my entire life. Hands down. I can’t even explain it but I was in just a complete awe the entire time.
Being on the cover of a newspaper
Being on the cover of the Israeli newspaper was a dream come true. It was something in the works for a few months and was pushed back a few weeks and when it finally happened I felt a sense of success. Which is always nice and rewarding considering how much of my life and day to day I dedicate to my blogging world. It’s moments like these that make you realize that all your hard work is actually going somewhere and that it’s all worth it at the end, even when times are hard.
I know I promised to get it translated into English and I will as soon as I have some time because it’s a 4 page article.
Abseiling in Sri Lanka
Let’s just say that out of all the things I did this year, this was the scariest of them all…and probably one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life. I nearly had a nervous breakdown as I was tied onto a single piece of rope, which I was in charge of, hanging over a 200ft cliff while standing onto a crazy stream of waterfall. I almost didn’t do it. One wrong move, step, forgetting to straighten your legs or letting go of the rope and it was bye bye for Kim Cohen. But the moment you finally make it down the waterfall cliff, it’s such an exhilarating feeling. I’m so happy and proud I followed through with it.
Getting my first article printed in a magazine
I was so excited and happy to see my work this year on print AKA a magazine. Although my writing is all over the internet, there is something so cool and badass in seeing your stuff in a magazine. When I was little I used to always dream of writing for a magazine, so it was pretty cool and I got to write about one of my favorite experiences through my travels, the northern lights. I’m also happy to say that I was offered another section in their upcoming magazine!
Thanks Boomer Magazine
FINALLY writing for The Huffington Post
Getting an article accepted into the Huffington Post is like trying to get accepted into an Ivy League school, I swear. I have tried about a dozen times in the past 2 years and got rejected. Never give up! The moment I got my post approved I was at an awe! I was jumping with joy, I guess it pays off to live in a house with no furniture to get accepted into the Huffington Post lol. Kidding. 😉
Huffington Post Article: I Chose To Live In A House With No Furniture To Travel The World
Making More Money as a Blogger
Anyone can have a blog, but actually getting paid for it, that’s a whole other ball game. This year I made the most out of my blogging career and I am so happy and excited about that. Again, hardddd work pays off.
Becoming a Geisha
I have dreamt of being a Geisha for the past 11 years, since Memoirs of a Geisha came out in theaters. Not only did I dress up as a Geisha in Japan in a kimono, but they REALLY dressed me up! I was like a fancy geisha goddess. I had 2hrs of hair and makeup done and another 15mins of actually getting the whole outfit put on me by 2 women. There was about 4 or 5 layers to my outfit and well…it was amazing. I could have walked around the streets of Tokyo all day wearing it. Although the walking part would have probably been hard because of all the layers. If you going to Japan ladies, do it! So fun and glamourous.
Watching the Famous Plane Landing in St.Martin
I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to do this for and it happened so randomly. My brother was working on a TV show production in Anguilla and the production needed someone to bring over some important hard drives, so they picked me! and in return, I got to see 2 countries and get paid for it. Although I wasn’t there for long and was really short on time because of my departure time. I decided to get to the airport an hour early and took a taxi to Maho beach. It’s the beach where you see the planes land over your head. I believe I saw about 11 planes land in that hour, many were small private planes, so they weren’t as cool to watch but the big ones were amazing.
Bucket list item CHECK! Harajuku was crazier than I ever expected it to be, it was amazing. I didn’t see as many Harajuku-style clothing shops as I thought I would, but I just LOVE the fashion and all the amazing cafes in Harajuku – Tokyo. On top of that, I also got to dress up like a Harajuku girl which has always been a dream of mine. I love you Tokyo and can’t wait to see you again.
Quick Guide: Becoming A Lolita Harajuku Girl In Tokyo, Japan
Visiting all the amazing Themed Cafes in Tokyo
I have been dreaming of visiting all the crazy themed cafes of Tokyo for so long now, you don’t even know. It was my highlight of my trip to Tokyo, Japan. Owl cafe, Lisa Frank cafe, bunny cafe, Alice in Wonderland cafe and more!
Hanging out with Owls
I never knew just how amazing owls were until I got to have some coffee and hang out with them in Tokyo! Seriously, life changing!
Meeting the Little Mermaid
I can’t remember how old I was, but I think I was about 7 years old when I first saw the little mermaid. Later my mom told me it’s a true story (lies) and that there is a statue of it in some country in the world, that would be Denmark mommy. It was something I always wanted to see as a kid, because I mean, come on, who doesn’t love Ariel. While I figured the statue was probably going to be super small and not so impressive in real life, I promised myself not to get disappointed. When I saw the beautiful little mermaid statue in Copenhagen, I fell in love. She was small of course, but super shiny and very well kept. She didn’t look a day over 16.
Finding a new love for Palm Springs
Palm Springs has gotten so much hype over it in recent years because of Coachella. To me, it was always this boring city in the middle of nowhere AKA the desert, where old people hung out. That’s all because when I was little I used to go there alot with my family and when you do things with your family they sometimes are boring or different as an adult, kinda like Vegas. But oh no! Was I wrong. Palm Springs is my perfect weekend getaway. I became so obsessed and inspired by it that I actually themed my whole house around it. I also made an inspired video story of it which is still my favorite video I have ever made, I called it “Desert Storm”. It was originally inspired by Lana Del Rey’s “Ride” music video, probably also, my favorite music video ever made. Link below.
Visiting a Yoga Retreat
I’ve always wanted to visit a yoga retreat center and unexpectedly did in Sri Lanka, I wrote an article about just how magical this place was, Ulpotha; The Best Yoga and Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka. Although I did get to do a full week retreat it was just enough to get my curiousity going even more so now than before.
I’m still sitting here wondering why no one told me that Stockholm, Sweden is an amazing city. Why I never hear it on people’s list of countries to visit. I completely fell madly in love with this city and so happy I visited there. It’s probably one of the most underrated cities in Europe along side with Budapest. Can’t wait to go back.
Finally seeing the amazing artwork in the Stockholm Subway Systems
I never really got to write an article about the amazing artwork in the subway systems of Stockholm, but now I remembered that I should and will. Stockholm subway systems are well known all over the world for being the most artistic. Almost every subway stop is packed with a different theme and artwork. If you’re ever going to Stockholm this is a must see, even if you don’t like subways. Their subway systems give a whole new meaning to subways and they are kept super clean. If you love photography this is the place to go.
Anguilla was amazing! I never had plans to visit Anguilla until my brother offered me a free ticket there. So happy I went, it’s probably one of my top favorite Caribbean islands, alongside Dominican Republic. Beautiful beaches, friendly locals, small and cute.
Getting Free Stuff
I’m not gonna lie to you, being a blogger has its perks and getting “free” stuff is one of them. I wouldn’t necessarily call them completely free, there is work that needs to be done for them and besides that I have worked for free on my blog for a few years to happily enjoy some fun products. However, I never promote products I don’t like or believe in, just to clarify that.
Visiting the Arctic Circle
Before I went to Finland, I don’t think I really ever cared or thought of visiting the Arctic Circle. For those of you who don’t know, the Arctic Circle is the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. On my last day in Kemi, Finland or more like my last few hours, I went on a Husky Safari and met a group of doctors who decided on the spot that they wanted to go there to visit Santa’s Village. I had a flight just a few short hours after the Husky Safari and wasn’t really sure if I’d make it in time to catch my flight to begin with. They somehow convinced me to go with them and I did! and it was pretty cool! I technically visited the Arctic Circle a few days before on the Sampo Icebreaker Ship, but we heard that if we went, we would have a greater chance of seeing the northern lights. We didn’t end up seeing the northern lights after trying a few times, the weather was just too crazy to see anything, but still, it was alot of fun and I made a few new friends.
Surviving the coldest weather I’ve ever been in and not getting sick
Probably one of my greatest accomplishment of 2016! Master cold weather! I’ve learned the hard way on past trips that getting sick while traveling can ruin a trip, so this year, as I traveled to the coldest places in the world. I promised myself it won’t happen anymore and yay! Mission accomplished! I survived being in -20 degrees, sometimes even worse.
If you want to know more about how not to get sick in the freezing cold, I made 2 videos on it.
So there you have it! My most memorable moments of 2016! Join me on another amazing year of travels in 2017!