I have not been everywhere, but it is on my list! In the meantime, here are some of the places I have really fallen for during my travels. You’ll notice that all of these places are located in Europe or South America. It’s not that I don’t think there are any beautiful destinations on other continents, just that I have not had an occasion to visit yet!
Jujuy Province – Argentina
I spent one year living in Buenos Aires between 2014 and 2015. I had the chance to travel around Argentina during that time and one of the trips that really stood out was my end of semester trip to Jujuy Province up North. The arid multicoloured landscape around the beautiful little towns of Humahuaca, Purmamarca and Tilcara (my favourite) is gorgeous, and the people are amazing! Plus you can take a cab on a serpentine road up the Andes and visit the impressive “Salina Grandes” (salt flats).
Sarajevo – Bosnia and Herzegovina
From the moment that I set foot in Sarajevo I knew I was in love. I’ve been again twice since then and my love for this city has only grown. I’m not sure what exactly draws me to Sarajevo. Maybe it’s the East meets West atmosphere. Maybe it’s the coffee culture with its Turkish tea, Bosnian coffee and delicious baklava. Maybe it’s its people (I’m dating a Bosnian guy after all!). What is certain is that I will keep coming back and that you really should experience this city for yourself too!
Bruges – Belgium
Belgium was my first “real trip”, and Bruges was its highlight. I’m a huge chocolate fan, and have a sweet spot for
French Belgian fries with lots of mayonnaise so I was bound to enjoy Belgium. But Bruges, with its canals, cobbled streets and medieval buildings really stood out.
Rio de Janeiro – Brasil
Carolina, my Buenos Aires roommate, is originally from Rio de Janeiro and I had the chance to visit for a week before moving back to Canada. I was somewhat worried that a whole week in Rio would feel like “a waste of time” since there is so much I want to visit in Brasil and so few opportunities to go. But oh was I wrong! Rio is amazing and one week was not even enough to explore all that it has to offer. The city is vibrant, the nature is blooming, fresh fruit juice is found on every corner and the beach is perfect to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Porto, Braga & Guimaraes – Portugal
I decided to go to Northern Portugal on a whim, without much research. So I had no expectations but ended up loving the region very much. The Bom Jesus of Braga is very impressive, I loved Guimaraes’ old castle, Porto has great street art, and all of these cities have in common beautiful architecture, especially the tiled churches. Plus port wine is scrumptious and I’ve heard great things about the Douro Valley.
Colonia del Sacramento – Uruguay
Colonia del Sacramento is a picturesque little town, first founded by the Portuguese on the shore of the Rio de la Plata. With its charming cobbled streets, colourful flowers and beautiful white and blue street name signs, it is the perfect day trip from Buenos Aires. I have been twice during the year that I lived in Argentina and it made a strong impression on me both times.
Bay of Kotor – Montenegro
The 10 days that we spent in Montenegro last summer were the highlight of our 2 months trip to the Balkans, and the Bay of Kotor from above is one of the most beautiful scenery I have ever witnessed. Kotor itself is a beautiful fortified town that is cheaper to visit and feels more authentic than Dubrovnik, though it is often overrun by cruise ship tourists. If you need a break from tourists head to the quiet little town of Perast with its island monastery or go on a tour to the Njegos Mausoleum (I usually stay away from tours but in this case it was the most practical option. It also allowed us to step out of the bus and take so many pictures, among which the one above! I can recommend The Great Montenegro Tour http://www.hostel-kotor.me/great-montenegro-tour).
Perito Moreno & El Chalten – Argentina
I skipped university for one week to go to Patagonia, and don’t feel guilty one bit. First because the hikes around El Chalten are gorgeous, especially the one to the Laguna Capri. The reflection of the mountains in the lagoon is so perfect that I once held up a picture from the scene, not understanding why the mountains were ever so slightly blurry… Until I realised that it was upside down and that the blur was caused by it being the reflection! And second because hiking the Perito Moreno was a dream of mine and that the actual experience absolutely met my expectations.
Valencia – Spain
I currently live in Spain and offered my SO plane tickets to Valencia for his birthday, though it did not reach the top (nor the middle) of my personal “Spain must visit” as all I knew about it was that it is home to the City of Arts and Sciences. But he had wanted to go for years, and I am not one to refuse to go on a trip. So off we went, and I fell in love with Valencia! It does not have a lot of attractions, but has the best clementines I’ve had in my life, a cute old town, an amazing art deco market, a beach, great street art and real paella (which by the way does not contain any seafood).
Hvar Island – Croatia
My experience with Hvar is special because my SO’s grandparents live there during the summer. They own and rent beautiful apartments by the beach in a bay away from the craziness of Hvar town or Dubrovnik. When in Hvar we spend our days swimming, snorkeling, drinking homemade lemonade and soaking up the beauty of the island.
I have a page in my travel journal dedicated to my all time favourite destinations, and it is one that I love referencing!