It’s been a hectic few weeks. With school starting, I have been slammed with homework, studying, and projects. Unfortunately, with everything going on, I wasn’t able to get a post up last week, and, I had a thought-provoking article ready to write. However, after spending the week writing about “though-provoking” topics, my brain just needs a break, and I assume yours does too. So, instead I thought today I would lighten things up and offer a little escape. Travel.
I think everyone enjoys traveling. Whether it’s a thirty-minute drive or twelve-hour plane ride, getting out of your hometown helps to put perspective on the world and free your mind of worry. I am extremely fortunate to have a family who has not only given me the opportunity to travel, but also the passion for it. When I get older, I truly hope that I will be able to continue my travels and go as far as the world will take me. With that being said, as teenagers we are still so young. There will be plenty of opportunities to tick off places on your travel list, and we don’t need to worry about making it to these places any time soon. Today, I am just writing a list of places the I believe are worth going to. Again, I want to preface this list by saying that I have not been everywhere, so of course, I cannot take into the account the countries I have not visited. Just keep that in mind, and come along as I take you through some of the continents.
NORTH AMERICA : CANADA
Yes, everyone knew I would start with North America, it’s my home! Personally, I live in the US so I don’t want to name it as my top choice for this continent. Although America has some amazing places to visit… big cities like New York, Las Vegas and San Fransisco along with natural wonders and various national parks, I ultimately decided to choose Canada. Since many of my readers are from the US already, Canada is a perfect place to go. Why? For starters, it’s quite close and from certain areas will only take you about three hours to fly. In addition, you can rent a car and drive from place to place. With breathtaking views in Banff/Lake Louise and The Canadian Rockies and quaint towns like Quebec, Canada has so much to offer. One of my personal memories from my visit(s) to Canada is going swimming in Radium Hot springs. This is the first hot spring I had ever visited, and I was shocked that there was a huge hot tub that was filled with real mountain water. Canada is definitely worth visiting, you’ll never run out of things to see!
SOUTH AMERICA: CHILE
This one was a tough choice. In the past few years, my family has visited South America multiple times. Everywhere I have been has turned out just as incredible as the last and choosing between the rushing water of Iguazu fall, bustling Rio de Janeiro, and Mach Picchu, Peru is almost impossible. The very first South American country I went to was Chile. For some reason, Chile just stuck out to me. It was remarkably diverse and you could drive from end to the other, seeing vastly different things. My favorite places in Chile included Torres del Paine National Park, Valparaíso, and the cultural capital of Santiago. Still, if there is one thing I am going to stress when it comes to Chile is…The Atacama Dessert. This dessert is nothing like I’ve ever seen on Earth. The Atacama region, “known as the driest place on Earth” will really make you see the world in a different way. Waking up early to visit the geysers on salt flats and having a picnic at Valle de la Luna (moon valley), has to be one of the most wanderlust experiences of my life. And, if you do end up visiting Valle de la Luna, look out for the elephant sleeping on its back. 😉
This might be considered a basic or obvious answer, but I can’t help myself. Europe is one place where every country has a feeling of living in an art show. Life is simple, but exciting and elegant. Italy is no exception to this. I went to Italy with my family in 2013, and loved every minute of it. If you are an art fanatic, Italy is the place for you. Hundreds of years of art is available to you in this boot-shaped country. Even if you aren’t a big art person, I fell in love with Italy for the culture. Warm nights walking on cobblestone streets, being serenaded riding a gondola in Venice, and the combination of salty prosciutto with sweet melon made Italy so memorable. When visiting, be sure to see the Colosseum, Vatican and of course, the Trevi fountain all lit up at night. I promise, it will make you feel like you are the center piece of life’s great art show.
This recommendation is meant to be take a bit more lightly, considering it’s the only country in Africa I have visited. Even so, I didn’t want to exclude it because, Egypt is a place that I will never forget. I can still feel the eeriness of the Valley of the Kings and smell the fresh baked pita at the bazaars. To me, Egypt may have resonated with me because it felt somewhat similar to India. Of course, it was also different in many ways, but it radiated long-lived customs and traditions. I visited Egypt in my spring break of 2018, when I had just learned about the ancient Egyptian civilization. This allowed me to enjoy it to the fullest, because I could understand and fully absorb what I was seeing. There was just something magical about witnessing events that had happened so long ago, and structures that are still standing today. In Egypt, it is vital to see The Pyramids of Giza, The Great Sphinx, Luxor’s Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel, and if you can, take the Nile River Cruise. Keep in mind that going to a place like Egypt is going to be quite a cultural shock, but keep an open mind and while you’re at it, try some Ful Medames, it’s delicious with tahini!
Last but definitely not least is Asia. I left this for last because it’s my favorite. If you ask me out of all the places i’ve been which is my favorite, It’s going to be Japan. Honestly, I could probably write an entire essay on Japan and why it’s worth visiting, but I’ll keep it brief. Everything about Japan amazed me from the minute I arrived. The sights are breathtaking. If you go in the spring, you’ll find fragrant, pink cherry blossom trees all around you. Drive a bit, and snow-covered Mount Fuji will leave you speechless. But, more than that, it’s the whole package. The people for one, are so sweet, accommodating and understanding, bowing every time they meet you. The food… incredible, with sushi, ramen, and boba tea, it’s everything you can want. And, if you’re into shopping, the Ginza shopping district is full of stationary, clothing and more. To end this, I’m going to return to my time in Japan and tell you about one of my experiences. The onsen, or public bath is an area where people of different ages, cultures and body types essentially go…skinny dipping. At first, this seems awkward or weird. But, when you are surrounded by every kind of person, it really represents what Japan is to me…cultural, diverse, and accepting.
As for Australia and Antartica, I have not yet been to either, so I can’t really give an opinion. Australia is absolutely on my list though. I hope that this post could be a little light in boring times, something that can transport you to a new place, even though right now, we are stuck at home.
“Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell.” -Paula Bendfeldt
Happy Living 🙂
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