Our last post was strictly numbers about our trip, but it didn’t really cover what our favourite places were. We’ve had this question a lot since coming back so we thought we’d address it. ‘Favourite place’ can mean a lot; a sight, city, or even a whole country. Here are our top five places (each) to give you a taste of what we enjoyed – can you guess who liked what?
- Sri Lanka – This country is incredible! It is beautiful, great on your wallet, has delicious food and doesn’t seem to be a staple on the tourist/traveller circuit (yet!). The locals are so kind, and even sort of curious as to why we were there. It was a picturesque country that completely recharged our slightly worn down travel battery as we indulged ourselves with countless hours gazing at the sea and sky from the stunning beaches.
- Budapest – We went against our travel mantra and raced through Eastern Europe, spending a few days here and there in various cities. We definitely enjoyed Prague, but then there was Budapest. Budapest made us realize how saturated Prague was with tourists; the Hungarian capital is far less concentrated. It is absolutely beautiful, and it seemed that there were more things to do that appealed to us. When we left Prague we were content with all we had seen and done, and yet we had a list of things we hadn’t been able to do when we left Budapest.
- Turkey – There is just an overwhelming amount to do and see; an incredible history including everything from Roman ruins to lavish Ottoman palaces, unbelievable natural sights, amazing food, and gorgeous Mediterranean beaches. No matter what kind of traveler you are this country is a must see!
- Boston – Looking back, Boston’s placement on this list could arguably be a result of us having a few days there after six months in Latin America. There was customer service! The streets had no dog poop or litter! We could read signs and understand when people spoke to us! Food selection ranged beyond just meat and carbs! But despite these reasons, I am confident that Boston would still be a favourite for us. The parks were immaculate and well used by locals and tourists alike. The city is dripping with history, much of it is free and accessible to enjoy and learn about. And the people were just so incredibly kind and friendly that Boston is certainly amongst our favourite US cities.
- Peru – Hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu was one of the only set plans we had before leaving on the trip. We had it booked months in advance and as such our anticipation and expectations were high, it did not disappoint. But Peru has far more to offer than Incan ruins. We lounged in a laid back fishing village popular with surfers, we explored the sights in the bustling capital of Lima, we went sandboarding down dunes at an oasis, we checked out the floating island towns on lake Titicaca, and more. On top of all that the prices are reasonable and the food is delicious, it’s a traveler’s dream country.
- Salar De Uyuni – Easily one of the most spectacular things we’ve ever seen. Every day we spent on the tour felt like we were exploring new planets. From an enormous desert of salt to multicoloured lakes, to a field of geysers, you really get a sense of how wonderful and fascinating earth really is.
- Buenos Aires – This city has an amazing vibe, it feels busy and bustling but at the same time laid back and cool. There’s a ton to do and see as a tourist but you just want to chill in a park with yerba mate and a book or drink some fernet in a bar and people watch. It’s one of those cities that makes you seriously consider abandoning the rest of your trip and staying there.
- Mexico – It mystifies us that so many North Americans will only stay in resorts in Mexico. This country has SO MUCH going on! It’s incredibly close and remarkably easy as well as inexpensive to get to. Sure, we can’t deny a week lounging poolside isn’t a bad thing, but we implore you to at least explore once and visit the magical ancient ruins littering the country or learn about the history of the country by exploring some of the fantastic museums. There is no doubt we will be back in Mexico and we can’t wait to more thoroughly comb this nation!
- Paris – We’d been to Paris before and were apprehensive our love from 10 years ago was going to fizzle out once we spent three weeks there as we waited for our Indian visas to come through. Instead, we saw a whole lot more of the city than we’d been able to see before. We stayed in an apartment in an arrondisement that gave us a flavour of living with and like the locals (including une chat fou!) and our happiness was only bolstered with bliss as we had family join us in our exploration of the city.
- Santiago – We originally only had plans to dip into Chile for a short time but we ended up staying for a month, partly because of how smitten we were with Santiago. It may be because we rented an apartment for our time there, but it felt like a city I want to live in. It has a picturesque mountainous backdrop but then it’s also a short drive from the coast. It’s a very walkable city and there are huge pedestrian friendly stretches in the downtown. Also, the food is amazing and that’s always a way to endear me to a city.
What was your favourite place you visited in 2014?