I have been to 69 countries and 46 states. And people often ask me – “what is my favorite?” For those that love to travel, you know this is an impossible question. However, I can get closer to an answer if I start to break it down into smaller categories:
Favorite Cities: London, Washington DC and Istanbul are probably my three favorite cities. Budapest would be a close runner up.
Favorite Skyline: I think Prague has a beautiful and romantic skyline that always turns me into a dreamer. And frankly I can’t decide if I would prefer to sit on the Charles Bridge looking at the Castle or to sit at the Castle looking at the Bridge and the town center. As I have said before, I love the DC skyline, especially as you cross the bridge in from Virginia with the Capital on your right and the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Memorial on your left with Georgetown and the National Cathedral in the distance. Moscow also has a gorgeous skyline that I would like to see again in person.
Favorite Location for Wildlife & Nature: Alaska, Tanzania and Rwanda while very different were all amazing locations to see wildlife and be out in nature. Iceland would also be on the shortlist for nature and beautiful scenery.
Most Exotic: As much traveling as I have done, I felt out of my element and very exotic in Morocco. Everything was new and made other places look tame in comparison. It was also the hardest to “fake” a language as the locals usually speak three languages but unfortunately both my Arabic and French are pretty bad.
Something for everyone: I loved the diversity of Southern Spain – trips to Alhambra, Seville, Rhonda, Cordoba, and Gibraltar, in addition to the beach, golf, and shopping.
Favorite Food/Cuisine: Italy, Balkans and Germany are easy choices. Poland would be a close runner up.
Awe Striking & Better than I dreamed: Hands down winner was Petra, Jordan. I knew I wanted to go but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. I spent all day there and wished I had planned 2 or 3 days more to allow for hiking and more exploration.
Places that got under my skin and I dream of going back: Lake Ohrid, Macedonia; Cyprus; Chiang Mai Thailand and Paris, France.
Friendliest People (based on those I met): Kosovo/Albania/Macedonia and Nicaragua.
Favorite airports for a long layover: Atlanta, Netherlands, and Dubai. All three airports are comfortable with lots to do and see to kill time. And in if you have a long layover, it is easy to go out for the day (or night) to see the city in Netherlands and Dubai. This is also true in Sydney and Singapore. Of note, Madrid is a horrible horrible airport to be stuck in overnight and I would spend extra money and time in order to avoid it.
Trips currently in some phase of planning: This fall I will go to S. America for the first time and plan to visit Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. For 2017 I have begun to make plans for Cuba; Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire; as well as a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway. In 2018 I want to see Doha and Oman; maybe Belize and Guatemala if I can fit it in; and I would like to take a multi-week solo trip to either hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain or travel through South East Asia. As you can see, I love to plan.
Short Bucket List: I want to go everywhere, see everything and then go back again, so it would be impossible to list them all. But those at the top of the list include a trip to the Baltic’s (I want to fly into Helsinki, take the ferry and then wander through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania). I have been dreaming of a safari along the Okavango Delta in Botswana for years. I have never been to Malta or Sicily. Lately I have begun itching to visit Central Asia to see Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and maybe even Uzbekistan while there. Kathmandu, Tasmania, and Timbuktu continue to pull at my dreams to explore the far edges of the earth. Peru, Easter Island and the Galapagos are also high on the to-do list as is the desert of Namibia. In North America, I need to finally get to Portland Oregon and Albuquerque New Mexico and I would like to see more of Central and South Western Canada. Of course there are more, but these are the ones currently keeping me up at night!
What is on your list??