If you were to ask me "At what point in your life did you fall in love with travel?", I would definitely have to say the year-end of 2013. More specifically, the time I visited Cardiff with my cousin to see my sister who was studying there.
This trip was one of many firsts for me. It was my first time going to Europe, first time flying without a parent or guardian, first time getting detained at the airport (and hopefully my last ?) and also the first time I got to visit one of the world's most famous prehistoric monument - Stonehenge.
My excitement shot through the roof when I found out that this iconic landmark was part of our 10-day long itinerary. As someone who has perused through plenty of National Geographic magazines and admired pictures of the Stonehenge on paper, this was an attraction that I looked forward to the most.
So, as the days of villages, castles and museums went by on the trip, it was finally time to make our way to Stonehenge.
Before the sun could even clock in, we boarded a train headed for Salisbury from Cardiff Central where we caught up on more sleep during the 2-hour journey. If you happen to be travelling from London, take the South Western Railway Line at the Waterloo Station to Salisbury, which is the closest train station to Stonehenge.
From there, all that's left to do is hop on a Stonehenge tour bus, just like we did, and enjoy the scenic countryside view before getting dropped off at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.
Tip: You can also choose to visit the Stonehenge through a guided tour with a bus that travels from London straight to Stonehenge - while more convenient, do keep in mind that this will take longer.
Once on the site, the three of us made our way to a designated line for visitors who had already purchased their tickets in advance. While it's not necessary to do so, I would definitely recommend it since the queues can get really long which is a huge no-no for me.
We also skipped out on walking to the Stonehenge (a very much doable walk) and decided to ride the shuttle bus instead since we were a little tired from all the travelling.
Taking only a couple minutes, we finally arrived at the Stonehenge and boy, was it a sight to behold! Seeing the massive stones up close was truly a surreal moment for me. It was a kind hard to believe that this popular landmark that I was looking at in a magazine just a few months prior to the trip has now materialized in front of me.
While we were lucky that the place wasn't overly crowded, it was slightly challenging taking pictures of the monument without a person or two being in the picture or crossing in front of the camera. So, we walked around the perimeter of the rocks, waited for a spot to open up and snapped away ?
Leaving with a contented heart, I must say that this experience has undoubtedly cemented itself as one of my most memorable travel moments and also inspired the ever-growing bucket list that I have today.