My Favorite Places In The World (So Far)
I'm so grateful to those of you who follow me along my travels. It makes me feel even more connected to the travel experience when others feel excited for what I'm doing, too. Hopefully it's inspired you to take a trip of your own, because life is short but the world is huge so it makes seeing all of it difficult. But it can be done, it's my goal to go as far and wide as my legs (well, and planes) will take me. Now that I've got a handful of countries under my belt, I want to share some of my favorite places and why. Hopefully it'll get you on your way to somewhere new.
1. Bergen, Norway
I visited a few cities in Norway, all equally lovely. On my first night in Oslo I met a young man who was off to Otta to hike Trolltunga and asked me to join, so I did. We ended up in Bergen before parting ways which was such a beautiful and fun city I wouldn't have known about it it if wasn't for him. It's definitely my favorite of the three I saw. Norway in general offers breath-taking nature that allows any adventurer an entire playground of outdoor opportunities. If you'd rather catch the club scene, go in the summer. They usually stay open until 4 am and it never gets darker than dusk. It's easy to lose track of time this way - it's like being sucked into a different portal of time when the sun never truly goes down, enjoy!
2. Stockholm, Sweden
Oh Sweden! One of my favorite places I've ever visited. I was here for a travel blogging conference where I got to mingle with individuals living out the life I've been dreaming of. I stayed at City Backpackers Hostel which is literally the nicest hostel I've ever stayed in. It helped that I met an amazing group of people here who became great friends practically overnight. Everything here is incredibly clean and beautifully maintained. There was a really great vibe to the city - always something to do at any moment.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
Again, this place became a personal favorite because of the wonderful people I met during my stay here. It was nearly two years ago and all of us still talk and encourage one another's travels to this day. Aside from meeting them, Prague is a beautifully, old city. None of it was destroyed during World War 2, so you really feel like you're taken back in time to an ancient escape. The town's center reminds me of being inside of a fairy tale. All the buildings have such intricate craftsmanship and many are painted different colors. This would be a wonderful place to go with a loved one because of the romantic vibe, but whether you're single, with friends, or with a lover, this city should definitely make your list.
4. London, England
My dream is to move to London one day, but until then I will make sure I visit this amazing city anytime I'm nearby. It helps I have friends here who I've met through traveling since it certainly isn't a cheap destination. But the old feel, gorgeous accents, and charming people make London one of my favorite places. There is always something to do - tours of it's ancient history, delicious food (although it helps to know a local to find it), and booming night life give it an A+ for checking off all my needs in a city.
5. Cork, Ireland
Ireland is such an amazing country. The people here are some of the nicest people I've ever been graced with meeting. There is so much to do and see! The history of Ireland is so old it's almost hard to grasp just how old. I began my trip in Dublin which is a great city, but Cork (only a few hours by car) offered a really cool experience. It's not quite as big as Dublin, but the vibe of the city is very young and free, I had the time of my life here and met some really amazing people. The emerald island of course will show you every shade of green you never knew existed. Be sure to check out The Giant's Causeway and The Cliffs of Moher. The island is so small you can easily cover the entire thing within a week or two's time depending on your pace.
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
I was born about a two train ride from Amsterdam, so maybe I'm partial, but this is one heck of a city. It's apparent that if you like a good party and to observe obscurity in a place, then this is the place for you. But aside from it's draw of being a semi-dark, crude city, it's actually very lovely. There is nothing more fun than paddling down the canals in a boat with some new friends - it's a unique way to soak in the city off of it's busy streets. It's known for being a bicycle friendly city, it is indeed, it can be even be intimidating just how many people come in herds on bikes. Be sure to always look both ways before crossing anywhere. Some of the best nightlife I've experienced was here, but there are numerous museums to enjoy, and huge parks where you can soak in some summer sun and enjoy a beer like the locals.
7. Tokyo, Japan
I came here with three generations of my family to explore the land and hometown of my grandmother. I learned so much about what made her the way she is. Tokyo is a brilliant city, full of lights, noise, and swarms of people. If you get claustrophobic in crowds, this may be too much for you - especially riding on the subway. But I loved the elegant and ritualistic nature of these people. I admire their practices they continue from their ancient ancestors, like taking your shoes off before entering your home and bowing after entering and exiting a temple. The ancient Buddha temples have been by far my favorite religious relic I've ever seen. It's helpful to know some of the language before you go since they don't speak very much english, but if you want to feel very far away from home, experiencing the eastern cultures are perfect.
Travel has revealed to me that sometimes you end up somewhere in the world at exactly the right moment and meet the people of a lifetime because you took a chance. I can't imagine my life now had I never gone out exploring the world. The beauty, the culture, and the people are a trifecta to your experience.