10 Best Places I Traveled

Everyone always asks, “Where is your favorite place to travel?” Choosing one favorite is an impossibility but narrowing it down to 10 is, well, at least a little easier. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

The four words you need to know about Menorca? Go. There. Right. Now. (Here are a few pictures to convince you as to why.)


Cala Mitjana, Menorca

Cala Mitjana, Menorca

 

2. Rwanda

The country that suffered an unspeakable genocide in the early 1990s is now a leading example in not only Africa but the world as to how countries can and successfully do rebuild themselves. While many cities in the US and Europe cannot get it together to do something as simple as ban the plastic bag, Rwanda was the first country in the world to do so. Couple this type of ingenuity with amazing people, gorgeous landscapes and Rwanda being one of the few remaining homes of the Mountain Gorillas and really if you do not love it there, I don’t think you will love it anywhere.

Best Places to Travel? Rwanda

A Gorilla, Rwanda and I

3. Costa Brava, Catalonia

Costa Brava is the Mediterranean coastal area that starts a bit north of Barcelona and ends at the border of  France. Many unknowing visitors to Costa Brava stick to the bigger (and still beautiful) beaches of the area,  but the secret is in getting to Costa Brava’s tiny beaches or ‘calas’. These calas often require a little easy hiking to arrive at them, but when you do you find a small beach, in a tiny cove waiting for you, your snorkel and the very few others who ventured off the beaten path.

Getting to the calas requires renting a car. Car rental prices are reasonable but be wary of the gas prices (around 7 US dollars a gallon). Hefty gas prices are one of the reasons so many Catalans drive small environmentally friendly cars such as the Smart Car Brabus and why you should definitely try to rent a car-ito while there.

4. The Galapagos, Ecuador

Imagine snorkeling with penguins and scuba diving with hundreds of hammerheads, schooling turtles (yes, who knew there was such a thing), eagle rays, manta rays and oh hell, was that a killer whale that just breached? Yes it was. While you are at it imagine sea lions nipping at your head, dolphins giving you an underwater stare down and iguanas that swim. All of this is only experienced by those brave enough to put on a full head to toe wet suit and enter the not-even-close-to-warm waters and their very strong currents, but for those who are willing there is an underwater paradise that shows all of what nature can be when protected and reveered. Whale shark sightings very possible June thru November!

5. Sipadan, Malaysia

You know that footage you see in Natural Geographic specials of underwater worlds where you think no one short of a film crew with a Hollywood mega-budget could ever witness? That is Sipadan.

Buffalo in Yellowstone National Park

Buffalo in Yellowstone National Park

6. Yellowstone National Park, United States

Yellowstone National Park is to dry land what the Galapagos and Sipadan are to the underwater world. On a recent trip to see the wolves we were stopped countless times on our way by herds of buffalo, elk and antelope. It is not uncommon to see bears (grizzly and brown), coyotes or eagles. And of course, this is just the wildlife. Yellowstone is also the world’s largest collection of geysers. Try to go in the spring or fall to avoid the tourist hysteria.

7. Masai Mara, Kenya

Just as people go to Yellowstone National Park to see the wildlife and are stunned by the land the same happens when people visit the Masai Mara in Kenya. My opinion? Go to the Masia Mara to see the land and consider it a bonus when the lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes and baboons interupt your view of it.

8. Telluride, Colorado, United States

The Western town you thought no longer existed complete with old saloon-like architecture, a feeling that the place lives by national laws at its discretion and an outdoor lovers happy place  as it is surrounded by the giant walls of the Rocky Mountains (complete with a waterfall cascading down right at the end of town). People think of Telluride for skiing, but if you want a real slice of Telluride go for the 4th of July Parade.

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands

A major European city with all of the fixings – stunning architecture, wonderful and diverse people, culture, music and art — all of which happens at the speed of 30 year old rusty bicycles.

Best Places to Travel? Picture Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

10. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan, United States

Located in the upper pennisula of Michigan an 11 hour drive from Detroit, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is perhaps even more appealing than other National Parks and areas as is its remoteness is a practical guarantee in maintaining its natural wonderland. Imagine walking through pristine forest to arrive at sandstone cliffs that plummet into Caribbean blue freshwater AND not a soul around. It is far north and the temperature of the water is quite far north-ish, however many of these sandstone cliffs have ledges that jut out about 12 to 24 inches below the water. With the sun heating the underwater rock ledges and those ledges then heating the nearby water your only sign that you are not in the Caribbean is there are no cruise ships and there zillions of passengers around.

What is on your list of best places to travel? Give me some tips for future travel plans in the comments section below!



12 thoughts on “10 Best Places I Traveled

    • That is a great question. I think there are a lot more people who go there who are not divers than those that go who are divers. Some of what I did was snorkeling (e.g. snorkeling with penguins). There is also a lot of great land trips in the Galapagos — to see the birds, iguanas, landscape, the turtles etc, etc which are amazing. Being on a boat out there alone is incredible. Perhaps a search on http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ecuador/the-galapagos-islands and poking around their Thorn Tree user forum could give you some ideas as to tour operators,etc.

    • I went to the Galapagos the summer of 2011 on a four day boat trip. We only snorkeled. No scuba. We saw most of the animals that Deliciousday mentioned.

      It was a great trip, although not as active as I would have liked. Our guide’s next trip after us included snorkeling, hiking, biking, and kayaking. Would love to have kayaked.

  1. Great list! I really want to go to Rwanda, that picture of you with the gorilla in the background is amazing, Linda!

    As for tips for future travel, Ladakh in Northern India is definitely one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been. Shangri-La is the word that comes to mind. The Ladakhi people and culture are beautiful, and the high altitude desert and Himalayan landscapes are supernatural. Particular places of interest are Nubra Valley, Pangong Tso lake, and all of the ancient monasteries that are scattered throughout the region. Leh is the largest town/district in Ladakh and though it’s definitely overflowing with foreign backpackers, it’s really lovely and serves as a good base for exploring other areas since they are all so remote and require several hours of driving…

    • Tara! You so should go to Rwanda. I think you would fall madly in love with it. Great to hear about northern India. India gets a bad rap a lot of times but I think in the end it is like anywhere in the world (especially enormous countries) where you just have to know where to go to find the magic. I look forward to making it there someday. I will definitely look to you for more intel when I am planning! xo.

    • Well, the bad rap is definitely deserved in certain respects (the way Indian men react to and treat western women, for example), and the big cities are way too much (for me, anyway). It’s also pretty filthy in some areas, but you get used to that. But there are lots of AMAZINGLY, astoundingly beautiful places to visit there…like everywhere else, it’s all about getting off the beaten path! I too will be talking to you when I pull the trigger on Rwanda (actually, many of the places on your list are on my list of places to go!). 🙂

      Thanks for sharing such great info!
      xoxo

    • Yes, I have heard that and especially with the tragic news as of late it is really coming out in the open. What happened to that girl is unspeakable but the only hope is that her tragedy is no longer allowing India to hide this from the world. I am sure it is making travelers second guess the place. Hopefully change is coming soon. Would love to chat travel with you! xoxo.

  2. Amazing list! You and Jane Goodall might have a lot to talk about. It’s wonderful to hear first hand that Rwanda is really rebuilding itself after so much tragedy. Thanks for the letting me vicariously and virtually visit these beautiful countries through your writing and photos.

    • Would be so wonderful to spend an hour with her wouldn’t it. A huge example of the power of one person. Glad you liked the list!

  3. Yugoslavia, Istanbul, Rome, Paris, Scotland, Ireland, London. Hongkong, Thailand, Gangzou, Great food, friendly people. Make an effort to speak the local tongue, be respectful of local customs. You’ll have a great time.

    • Love that list! Always looking for good recommendations! Thank you! Thank you! Scotland and Ireland are definitely on the top of my list. David wants to go live in Thailand one day. We will report back in time. I am sure your list will have grown by then. 😉

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