Several weeks ago, my friend, Meg, asked me to name the five places I would go if given the opportunity to travel abroad. She is quite the avid traveler herself, and always finds these sorts of discussions fascinating. Although I do not share her exact level of wanderlust, I have begun to really love traveling over the past few years and have been fortunate enough to visit a number of new places both at home and overseas: Israel, France, Switzerland, the Bahamas, Jackson Hole, Charleston, and Utah to name a few. So, when Meg asked me this question, I not only appreciated it but also had a fairly complete response in mind.
My top five places to travel abroad are:
Strangely enough, the first country on my list is the only one that I’ve already been to! This past summer, Tyler and I went to Switzerland and France for extended periods of time. Knowing how much I wanted to visit Italy though, Tyler made an effort to arrange a stop there between the two other countries. (So sweet!) As a result, we spent about a day in a half in Venice, which I loved. My appetite for Italy has definitely not be satiated; however, I don’t think I will ever get enough of the food. And, I am still craving a visit to hills of Tuscany and cobblestoned streets in Rome and Florence. Because of my background with Spanish, I also was quite taken with learning Italian and was quite proud when I could loosely translate the road signs for Tyler.
To be completely honest, I am most interested in visiting Greece because of the movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. While I am slightly ashamed of this, the movie makes the coast of Greece look absolutely amazing – clear water, beautiful beaches, pristine architecture and gorgeous weather! I’ve also never had Greek food, but my friend, Marina visited and took some amazing foodie shots, which have definitely piqued my interest. Oh yea, and I also hear the Greeks make some amazing hand-made sandals!
3. The United Kingdom
I know I am kind of cheating with this one, because the U.K. encompasses a number of regions. But, in my defense, I am equally interested Ireland, Scotland, and England. I’d be happy going to any of them! That being said, I am interested in each place for different reasons. Scotland (above) look like an amazing setting for hiking; Ireland has magic (leprechauns!); and England offers a nice combination of both city and country. Plus, the English have wicked awesome accents and my friend, Stevie, lives there.
4. New Zealand
I never thought of going to New Zealand before I met Tyler, but he is pretty much obsessed with the island and his enthusiasm has been contagious. Despite the lengthy air travel required to get there, the combination of beaches and hiking in New Zealand has me sold. Plus, I’ve never been anywhere near that part of the world, which makes it extra exotic/appealing.
As the person who is “obsessed” with New Zealand, I feel compelled to point out that it is made up of two major islands.
My love for Sweden stems from my love of American Girl dolls. Sounds strange, I know, but one of the original dolls, Kirtsen, was an immigrant from Sweden. Each doll had a set of stories about her life in America, and my sister Rachel and I loved to read Kirsten’s stories and learn about her Swedish heritage. Sweden is also the land of IKEA. Half of our apartment is furnished by IKEA so I’m quite enthused about checking out the company’s homebase. Finally, I’ve just heard awesome things about the Swedish approach to life (more relaxed, down to earth, etc.); I think it would be enjoyable to experience firsthand and hopefully bring a renewed sense of purpose to my own life.
*All images were taken from Wikipedia.