My last blog post about travel envy was kind of a bummer, so I decided that I needed to write something a bit more positive before the week was over. Instead of dwelling on the fact that I’m not going to Istanbul with Aaron, I started thinking about the 10 countries I’d most want to visit. My only criteria for the list was that 1) I had to include countries that I’ve never been to before, and 2) they had to be places I’d want to visit in the near future (i.e. in the next 10 years or so – not when I’m much older and less adventurous/active), which was pretty easy because I haven’t been everywhere… yet.
Below is the list that I came up with, with the countries listed in alphabetical order:
Up until very recently, Cambodia was totally at the top of my must-see list. Throughout our honeymoon in Bali & Vietnam, we met several other couples who just raved about the food, beaches, friendliness, and cheapness of Cambodia, not to mention the complete awe of experiencing Angkor Wat. However, another travel blogger that I highly admire recently wrote about why she thinks that Cambodia has recently changed, and not for the better. Kate really knows her stuff, so I believe her when she says that she didn’t love her latest experience there. I’m hoping though that things will turn back around for Cambodia, so I can get enthusiastic again about visiting it.
Aaron and I had so much fun backpacking around South America in 2009, but we felt a bit amiss that we didn’t make it to Chile. Ideally, our trip there will include experiencing cosmopolitan Santiago, snowboarding in Portillo, surfing in Pichilemu, and a few days exploring Easter Island.
Aside from wanting to see the Galapagos Islands, I’d never thought too much about visiting Ecuador; that is until my friend Jen came back from a trip there last year and had the best time ever. She promised that she’d one day write a blog post about her trip (right, Jen?), so I’ll leave it to her to tell you why she fell in love with the country.
The Blue Lagoon, live music, Northern Lights, Einstock beer – what’s not to like? If there were direct flights from Reykjavík to Dublin, we would have combined Iceland with our Ireland trip last summer.
My family friend visited Mauritius during her Semester at Sea, and as soon as I saw the photos of the perfect turquoise water and bleached white sand, I knew that I’d have to go there some day. It was definitely in the running as one of our own honeymoon destinations, but we’d like to combine it with a few weeks in South Africa as well, and we didn’t think we’d be able to do all of that right after the wedding. I guess it will just have to be the destination for a special anniversary trip, right?
As soon as I can find the time to spend a week in Marrakech, I’m going to make it happen. My friend Daniel was lucky enough to spend this past NYE at this insanely beautiful estate, and said that he just thought the whole area was really beautiful and interesting. Also, my mom and sisters got to ride camels near Tangier a few years ago which looked really fun.
One of my friends from college has lived in a handful of foreign countries since grad school, and although she’s currently living in Kabul, she is supposed to head back to Yangon soon. Only recently a tourist destination, she says that traveling around Burma is like going back in time. Aaron and I want to see what that’s like before everything becomes too modernized.
Aaron and I are hoping to island-hop around the Philippines for a few weeks this December! We got the idea from my best friend who was supposed to spend her honeymoon in Boracay last November, but they had to change all of their plans due to Typhoon Haiyan. (Don’t worry, they ended up having a great time in Costa Rica instead!) Between the gorgeous beaches, good food, and relatively cheap prices, it seems like a no-brainer for us.
Another country that we were highly considering visiting last summer was Portugal. My friends had a great time there on their honeymoon, and how could we not fall in love with Lisbon if it’s supposedly so similar to San Francisco? Also, a sailing trip through the Azures would be a must.
After reading the Travel Envy post earlier this week, my sister was quick to point out that I hadn’t mentioned the fact that she was going to South Africa in a few months and my brother is going to Brazil for the World Cup. Yes, Elisa, that thought crossed my mind! Aaron and I would absolutely love to visit South Africa one day, too, although for different reasons. I want to go on safari, visit the beaches, do some winetasting, and maybe some shark diving, but Aaron’s biggest priority running the Comrades ultramarathon. But seriously, who wants to run 56 miles while on vacation?!
If you’ve been to any of the countries above, I’d love to hear your recommendations! Feel free to contact me with your best travel tips.
Have a great weekend!