The thing with traveling is that the more you travel, the more you want to travel. It’s truly an insatiable thirst – both a blessing and a curse. You’ll be out taking the typical coming-of-age backpacking through Western Europe trip, having the time of your life, when out of nowhere, you meet a Moroccan on the train and you’re straight-up like “Hm, Morocco? Never been on my ‘list,’ but let’s go to Morocco!”
In 2015, I visited many cities I’ve had on my must-see list for years, like Cinque Terre or Lisbon for round two. I also visited many more cities that were nowhere near any must-see list – take Ljubljana, Budapest, Krakow, or Miami for example. In 2016, it’s all about visiting the places that once seemed so far away when I first started out traveling just around the big cities on the East Coast. Take a few of these for example.
Thailand. South Korea. Japan. I need to get to that part of the world. There’s something that strikes me about Tokyo especially. Tokyo to me is probably what most foreigners think of New York. It’s massive, it’s futuristic, and very, very different from the Western World – or so I think. I want to drink green tea and eat sushi while kneeling at a table with my shoes off, all with some bamboo on the table and zen music in the background. Yeah, I need to get to Tokyo; my trips to MUJI just won’t suffice.
Rio de Janeiro
Take me to Rio, São Paulo, or really anywhere in Brazil. It’s known as a colorful country of sexy people with nothing but good vibes. Although I’m not a huge fan of samba (*gasp*) or eating meat, I am a huge fan of the informal, friendly nature and awesome energy that most Brazilians innately have. Like, I have yet to find a Brazilian introvert. I also have yet to find an açai bowl for less than $7, so again, get me to Brazil cuz I’m sure they’re probably like $2.
I know, at this point, I’m more than double-dipping, and honestly, I don’t even feel guilty. There’s nothing wrong with revisiting a city that means something to you. To me, that means visiting Paris every year, and probably moving back one day. There’s no city I find more traditionally beautiful than Paris, with its classy, elegant, black and beige themes of the Haussmanien architecture. Knowing that so many great writers, authors, and others in the arts passed through Paris at some point adds to its magic – as if it needs more help as you walk down the Seine, Eiffel Tower in sight, boulangeries dominating streetcorners, and the French language rolling off tongues of passerbys.
It’s time for me to give San Francisco, or SF, as everyone seems to call it, another chance. Last time, my stay in the Tenderloin (yes, there’s a neighborhood called the Tenderloin, just like there’s a neighborhood in New York literally called the Meatpacking District) was not so pleasant. I’d say I’m a pretty rough rider when it comes to dealing with sketched-out places, but Ellis Street, San Francisco takes it to the next level. Now that I’m living in LA, a quick 8-hour bus trip can get me up there, and this time instead of focusing on my horrific hostel, I want this next trip to be about Alcatraz, the Victorian architecture, fog, steep hills, and the hipster Mission district.
I’ve never met a Swede that wasn’t charming, friendly, attractive, well-dressed and extremely fluent in English. I mean, have you? How can the same geographical grouping of countries (the Nordic countries) consistently rank not only as the happiest countries in the world but also as the countries with the best standards of living? Like, every place I’ve ever lived where there’s a harsh winter, the people seem miserable, yet, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway are over there like, life is great! I got to go see what the deal is over there in that mysterious utopia.
What’s on your travel bucket list for 2016?
All photos belong to clearly amazing photographers on Flickr. I suggest you check them all out!