Motivation

2016 Travel Wish List

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.

Tokyo

tokyo-bookstore

tokyo-man

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

brazil-casa

brazilian-bar

rio-de-janeiro-beach

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.

Paris

typical-paris

sacre-coeur-35mm

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.

San Francisco

golden-gate

sf-food-fishermans-wharf

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.

Stockholm

swedish-woman

swedish-dog

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!

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  • Veronika

    My suggestion to you is to visit Vilnius. With its one of the most magical old towns… And the language that will challenge you. I mean, it’s really hard, but such an interesting one.

  • Amina

    you guys should come to Finland ! It is right next to Swedan only a boat ride a way!

    • I’m all for it. We once met a Finnish girl in Mexico and she was just so…herself. She was so real it was refreshing!

  • Oscar Lara

    Los Angeles, CA
    Denver, CO
    Virgin Islands

  • I relate to how you feel about Tokyo, and I hope you get to go! If all goes according to plan, I might be studying abroad there this time next year!

    • That city just seems so year 3000 to me. Maybe I’ll meet you there!

  • Adhari Adhari

    Any chance you two coming to Turkey? I am an Indonesian studying there. I assure you it is a worth-visiting place!!

    • Indonesia and Turkey: both on my long-term travel list, for sure!-

  • Mary

    Really cool travel wish list. I´m astounded that anybody would actually want to come to Sweden! It´s so fricking cold that I contemplate on dropping of high school every single day in the winter, just to advoid going outside. It does have it perks though school (including college/uni) and healthcare is free!!

    But anyway, Stockholm is really cool and if you come in the spring/summer you should definetly go to the amusement park- it´s called Gröna Lund. Otherwise I would recommend the museums, I think most of them are free and don´t forget the Old Town. Check it out!

    If ya´ll need a place to crash for a few days, you´re more than welcome. I live in Nyköping which is 1 hour away from Stockholm and also the place where the airport is, if you fly with Ryanair.

    • Are you serious! We have such a positive view of your country from the US! It seems so idyllic over there – aside from the cold, that is! Every Swede I’ve met is so friendly, cultured, and educated! Y’all are doin’ something right over there!

  • Shay

    I so want to pay a visit to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. I’ve been wanting to visit Japan for such a long time, too, Damon! But my travel bucket list also includes Sydney, Australia…I’d love to go there

  • Ikaro Vieira

    Yeah, an açai bow in here does cost $2 or R$8 and please, come to Brazil!

  • N F N

    The world acts like Africa doesn’t exit.

  • Laura

    If you want to see more traditional Japan (forests, temples, etc.) I’d recommend Kyoto 🙂 especially in autumn because it’s very pretty colours 🙂 If you’re going in winter go to Sapporo snow festival 🙂 and my favourite place in Japan would have to be Okinawa!

  • Yakub

    Finally a non-western country! I doubted you guys were really travellers because you seemed so euro-western centric. But it’s great you guys are visiting Japan, it’s a great introduction to East Asia. I went on exchange to Japan and it was the. Additionally, you should see Kyoto and Osaka. The food and cultural capitals of Japan. Also it’s a good thing to learn Japanese prior to visiting. The language barrier is massive and it’s a nice change from European languages

    • Jee thanks! We can’t think of one country that is truly off-limits for us; it just takes time and money to get there.

    • Canderlust

      “I doubted you guys were really travellers because you seemed so euro-western centric”
      Agh, what’s wrong with that? I love travelling and my main interest in Northern Europe, especially the city. Does that make me less of a traveller?

      • Yakub

        Well firstly … sarcasm. Secondly, they advertised as a travel show however they remained in Europe thus they limited the scope of their content. You might as well be called ‘Rick Steeves best of Europe’. Also travelling through Europe isn’t the same as going through India or Kenya. But I still love damon and jo though. Yeah it does make you less of a “traveller”.

        • A lot of our content has been Europe-centric thus far because it’s made the most sense for us. That doesn’t make anyone more or less of a traveler.

          First off, we dreamed of Paris and Rome and many other European cities, so we prioritized them and went there. Secondly, most flights to Europe from the East Coast where we were living were cheapest, so we went there. Thirdly, we speak French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and German, so logically, we went to Europe.

          This doesn’t mean that we won’t see the rest of the world, or that we’re advertising something we’re not doing. We will get to Asia, Africa, Oceania, and other parts of the world one day very soon, but for now, we’re happy with every place we’ve visited.

      • Same.

  • Rhaller Duarte

    Venham para o Brasil Damon e Jo! Come to São Paulo too, i’m sure you’ll like! 🙂

  • Hailey Browning

    Please come back to San Francisco! And as someone who lives in San Francisco now and was lucky enough to visit a few times before moving, the Tenderloin is not where you want to be (sketch-meter on high at all times if you know what I mean).

    One of the coolest neighborhoods in the whole city is the Mission, but if you’re looking for a good place to stay, the Sunset/Outer Sunset neighborhood is really nice if you’re looking for something that’s quiet and not in the middle of everything. It’s a little far out, but public transportation in the city is super easy and Uber is all over the place. Sunset is also right by Ocean Beach which is a good place to chillax and has killer sunsets, hence the name of the neighborhood.

    One of the cool things about San Francisco is that the touristy things are cool enough that even locals go see/do them as well, so don’t be afraid to be that guy/girl/traveler and do the cheesy stuff! Chances are there will be a group of locals there doing the same thing.

    • Yes! Last time I was in SF, I did make it to Mission, but I only had enough time to discover a random Mexican restaurant popping out of an alleyway. Weird, but totally my kind of thing. Trust us, we will be back!

  • Andres

    I’m on a current plan to save around 3750 Euros (each), how well you think we (a friend and I) can survive if we travel throughout all Europe (including Turkey and Malta) but skypping the Nordic countries (I heard they are expensive AF, But I’d love to visit Iceland). Also I don’t need to buy a plane ticket because I get if for free. The duration of the trip is 2 months (expected).
    Me and a friend are trying to do what you did during your trip to Europe, any suggestions of money spending or how possible is it to survive with that amount?

  • Laura C

    Stockholm is on my list too. This year I’m planning on visiting Riga, Copenhagen, Bangkok (and other places around Thailand), Warsaw and hopefully Moscow and St Petersburg.

  • Mariangela

    Hi Guys!!!
    I’ve been following you for a while but I’ve never written something here…
    I really enjoy watching your video and reading your blog <3
    I’m Italian and I speak English, Portuguese, Spanish and French and God bless the day I found your videos on YouTube because it seems I can travel with you and you're really funny.
    I’m moving to Edinburgh next week, so this is a super event! New life coming soon!
    I’d like to visit:
    Brasil: Rio de Janierio – Braslia – Florianopolis
    USA: San Francisco, LA, New York
    Singapore
    Stockholm

    • Hi Mariangela! Aw, thanks for keeping up with our blogs and YouTube videos, and also for showing the love! So happy for you and your decision to move to Edinburgh to start a new life!

  • xx

    I went on holiday to seoul last march and it was sooooo amazing! Wayyy more affordable than tokyo but shares the same magic! Would totally recommend it.The language is really easy, you can pick up basic hangul reading and writing in day! I’ve been watching you guys for years now and its great to see how far you’ve come. You’ve made me fall in love with paris and ended up visiting it last summer (before i wasn’t interested in france at all now im obsessed with the language) im from london but always thought your travels were some whats western and eurocentric so i’d love to see your reactions to the other half of the world. Love yaaa

  • Rémy

    Stockholm vaut vraiment le détour! C’est une ville magnifique, proche de la nature, calme, les gens y sont très bien habillés, ils sont beaux… Mais il faut faire attention à cette illusion.. Les gens sont très peu sociables.. Pour se faire des amis c’est une galère incroyable(ce qui est très étrange car ils sont très gentils à la première approche, à la première discussion..). Il y a beaucoup d’articles sur ça. Après, si c’est juste pour discuter un petit peu, ils sont très sympas!
    Mais si on vient juste pour faire du tourisme, c’est juste le pied! C’est le bonheur! L’été les gens se baignent partout. Il y a une énorme culture du café avec ce qui s’appelle le “Fika”(on prend un café et une brioche aux épices). Mais après, c’est cher.. A côté de Stockholm, Paris est une ville tellement “bon marché”. La Scandinavie c’est, de toute façon, à faire au moins une fois dans sa vie. 🙂

    Cette année, pour moi, le grand voyage sera de retourner vivre à Paris avec mon copain. La ville, nos amis, l’ambiance, toutes ces choses nous manquent trop! Mais pour visiter, on aimerait retourner aux Etats-Unis, sur la côte Ouest: San Francisco, LA, … Ce serait sympa! Ou alors l’Italie et Rome.. 🙂

  • Audrey

    Please visit tokyo! I’d really like to see tokyo from you perspective since i haven’t been able to go there yet..

  • Amina :)

    I wish I was independant here in Morocco, I’d definitely welcome you in my home…

  • I live in Europe but i haven’t seen anything other than the western side. So this year I want to travel to eastern europe, like Budapest, Prag etc. Hopefully it will all work out because right now I am not even sure where I will be living three months from now.

  • liz

    Yes!! I can’t wait for Asia! You can go to south Korea from Tokyo for about $70 – 100 with peach airlines. I take which ever city (seoul/tokyo) is cheaper from lax then I go on from there~ Seoul is so crazy and fun! I can’t wait for u r blogs and vlogs!

    • Ahhh! Seoul is def’ a 2017er I think! We live in Koreatown, LA – the largest Korean population outside of Korea – so we already get a glimpse of what it’s like!

  • Jess Morgan

    You should check out the city Riga in Latvia. Latvia is such a beautiful country, and I think you guys would love the capital city Riga (especially vecriga) with it’s narrow streets, beautiful buildings, traditional food and local stalls.

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