193 UN-recognised countries in the world, not enough time to visit them all!
That’s the school of thought I usually subscribe to. Every time it comes to selecting a destination to visit, I usually tend towards someplace I haven’t been before.
New cities to visit, new sights and sounds to experience, new cultures to immerse myself in, new food to stuff my face with!
Yet there are a few places that definitely warrant a return. As part of the Top Destinations to Go There campaign hosted by the folks over at Booked.net, here’s my list of top five destinations, in no particular order, that I would love to return to.
- Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul will always hold a special place in my heart. I visited in October of 2012 with the love of my life; we were on our honeymoon. We loved the city so much we didn’t feel the need to go anywhere else. We spent ten lovely days in Istanbul eating kebabs, drinking Efes, visiting mosques and palaces, shopping in bazaars and just strolling the streets. It was slow travel, and it was perfect.
I’d like to return, maybe on our wedding anniversary. To relive those beautiful memories, and maybe make some more!
- Barcelona, Spain
In September of 2011, I travelled to Spain with some friends. We visited Madrid, Sevilla, Ibiza (go figure), Barcelona, and we also squeezed in a road trip to Algarve on Portugal’s south coast. The city that I spent the least time in is the one that blew my mind. Barcelona is beautiful beyond words, and spending just a day and a half there was a grave injustice.
With such limited time, we took a Hop-On-Hop-Off tour around the city, and most of what we saw was from the bus. The rest of our time was spent shopping and drinking in an Irish bar on Las Ramblas.
I want to go back. I want to gawk some more at Gaudi’s creations, stroll through Park Guell, and actually go inside the Sagrada Familia. I want to eat more of the food and explore the historical food markets. And I want to do it with the mister in tow.
- Paris, France
I have a confession to make. Paris didn’t seduce me. Paris didn’t even charm me, not even a little bit.
I hated it, in fact.
I visited on a family trip back in 2009. We spent 10 glorious summer days falling in love with London, and were in no mood to leave. But Paris was our next destination and we had no choice but to board our pre-booked overnight bus. To say that it was a journey from hell would be putting it mildly. It was too cold and too cramped. My mum and I had seats right next to the on-board toilet so of course we got absolutely no sleep, which remarkably defeated the purpose of taking an overnight bus in the first place.
We arrived in Paris, tired and cranky. This was long before I became a Research Ninja, so our hotel turned out to be in a suburb of Paris closer to Versailles than to almost anything else of interest. Oh, and we almost got mugged in the metro our first evening there. We wanted nothing more than to just leave.
But over the next two days, we soldiered on. We went up the Eiffel Tower and admired the City of Light twinkling below us. We took a cruise along the Seine at night and watched the tower’s 20,000 light bulbs light up the hour; and we walked along its banks during the day. We visited the Louvre, Notre Dame, Sacré Cœur, the Palace of Versailles; we ate Ice Cream. But we did it with our blinders on.
That’s why I want to revisit Paris. I want to try and experience the enchanting city I have read about in books, and seen in the movies. I’m ready to give Paris another chance.
- London, United Kingdom
London is by far my favourite city. I’ve only been once, and over five years ago, but I still can’t stop gushing about it. Even a visit to New York earlier this year didn’t temper my loyalties. I love how multicultural it is. I love how rich in history and steeped in culture it is. I love the architecture, I love the parks, I love the theater. I love the prospect of all that food to sample my way through. And more importantly, I love how well connected it is. The whole world is just a short plane ride away; and Europe is literally at your doorstep.
So yes, I want to return to London. But no, I don’t want to just re-visit. I want to move there. That bucket-list that everyone seems to be going on about? If I had one, this would be right there on top. If I can live in London, even just for a year, I’d die a happy person.
- Goa, India
Forget wanting to visit it again, this is the one city I have probably gone back to the most number of times in my life. As has probably every other Indian. It’s our undisputed champion when it comes to all things sun, sand and sea. It’s hip, it’s young, it’s electrifying during the peak season but lazy and laid-back during the off-season, and it’s paradise for foodies. Need I say more?
Goa, along with Mumbai are two of my favourite cities in India, after my home town of New Delhi of course. I’ve been to Goa during its peak-season, I’ve been to Goa during its off-season months, I’ve been to Goa for destination weddings, I’ve even been to Goa on a company offsite.
But beyond the beaches and the parties, there’s a whole new element of the city that I’m now eagerly anticipating experiencing. Goa is a former Portuguese colony, and there’s a smorgasbord of culture and heritage here that I haven’t even scratched the surface off on any of my previous visits. The Churches of Goa are listed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, and I can’t wait to return to Goa so I can visit them and come one step closer to my 30-Before-30 UNESCO Challenge!
So there you have it. My choices for destinations I would love to return to. I’d love to hear yours so feel free to leave a comment and let me know your choices!
This post was part of a campaign created by Booked.net – Top Destinations to Go There, for a contest they have been hosting the past few months. As part of the campaign, I’d like to nominate these five other bloggers to also take part:
So, where are you off to today?
I’m linking this post up to the #WeekendWanderlust weekly link-up, co-hosted by some awesome bloggers.
You can link your travel posts here or here, or you can join the party by following #WeekendWanderlust on Social Media!