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My Top 5 Favorite Places

I keep a list of the places I visit and I just recently started to put them in order of my favorite to least favorite. I say “places” instead of “countries” because sometimes I’ve only been to one city in a country and I don’t feel like it’s fair to judge a whole country based on one city.

Also, I know this list technically has more than five places on it…

But I was thinking in terms of places one would go in a single trip, so some got grouped together…and maybe I had a hard time narrowing it down…Anyways! My top 5 favorite places I’ve been to:

5. The USA!

Surprised to see America on here? I think there is SOOOOOO much to see in my own country! America will never climb to the top of my list though because it’s expensive to travel here and it’s not easy for backpackers/budget travelers (lack of public transportation, lack of hostels). That being said, our country is vast and vibrant!

Most people want to see New York City when they visit America, which is necessary I suppose, but of the places I’ve been to in my own country, I’ve found these three to be my favorites:

New Orleans

favorite place: new orleans

Oh my gosh the food!! Jambalaya, boiled crawfish…Beignets!! New Orleans is a really intense city. It’s sort of falling apart in places (as I’m sure you’ve heard) and there is a lot of poverty and crime there, but there is also a really colorful culture. Great jazz and blues music, interesting people, some of the most talented buskers I’ve ever seen, a charming historic quarter, and a very very boisterous nightlife scene.

 

Miami

favorite place: miami

I went to Miami for the first time during Spring Break of my senior year of college. We drove down from Athens, GA, ALL TWELVE HOURS, and stayed in an AirBnB place somewhere north of South Beach (North Beach?). I don’t think the *glamorous white hot* side of Miami is for me, but I really love the beach, the tropical weather, the art deco, and that awesome Italian villa in the middle of the forest called Vizcaya.

 

San Francisco

favorite place: san francisco

I haven’t been in aaages but I’ll always remember San Francisco fondly. I went to visit my cousins there when I was 16 or 17 and stayed with them in Marin County (so I think I got to avoid the notorious fog of the city). Great hiking, the sea, the weather, the alternative culture.

 

4. Barcelona and Portugalfavorite place: lisbon

I know these are two different countries but I have a really hard time separating them in my head because I visited them both in one trip, and I haven’t been anywhere in Spain besides Barcelona. I LOVED Barcelona, and I LOVED Lisbon. Just two really freakin awesome cities. They have the beach-and-city combo, fun nightlife, laid-back cultures, Mediterranean climate, interesting and colorful architecture, are cheaper when compared to other western European destinations, and Sintra has CASTLES! I enjoyed Porto as well and wow is it beautiful there but Lisbon stole my heart.

 

3. New Zealand

favorite place: new zealand

Because it’s empty! Seriously, outside of the cities I remember feeling like we were the only ones around, which is lovely when you’re camping. I went to New Zealand in 2010 with my French housemates and their friends during a school break while I studied at Sydney Uni. We did a bit of the north island and then essentially drove the perimeter of the South Island, camping in our campervan next to beaches and glacial lakes.

New Zealand is BEAUTIFUL. The geology is fascinating and extremely varied, especially between the North and South Islands. Lots of outdoor activities. I remember enjoying the accents and the nice people and all them delicious golden kiwifruit.

 

2. Turkey

favorite place: turkey

No surprises here. As you may or may not remember, I f*cking loved Turkey! And I was there in wintertime!! It has epic geology – it’s basically a land of ancient volcanoes, meaning lots of cool rock-related things like hot springs and fairy chimneys. It’s an affordable place to travel to, is filled with friendly Turkish people, and Istanbul is historical and multi-cultural. I imagine if you go in the summer, the coast and beachy places are stunning.

 

1. Thailand

favorite place: thailand

Maaaaybe I’m biased because I spent so much time there, but Thailand is a pretty awesome place to visit. It’s my number one favorite place I’ve been to because it’s beautiful, interesting, and a whole lot of fun!

Other qualities that tempt me DAILY to buy a one-way ticket back to Bangkok: it’s affordable, tropical, the beaches are lovely, the geology is interesting, the locals are extremely friendly and warm, the food is spicy, and the backpackers are the best! SCUBA diving, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, drinking, dancing, singing, eating, MASSAGES, elephants, monkeys, wats, streetfood, speaking Thai, shopping…I mean really I could go on forever.

So I guess all in all I’m super into crazy rocks, the ocean, and nice weather when it comes to travel destinations 😀

What are your top 5 favorite places you’ve been to?? Let me know in the comments so I can work on my travel wish list!

38 comments

  1. Seth says:

    Dominican Republic for the beaches, local dancing, and surfing. Peru for the backpackers, the food, and of course the mountains.

    • mishvo says:

      YES TO THE DR. It’s been on my list for a while actually but I don’t know much about it besides: beaches.

      At some point I’ll get interested in South America and want to explore the backpacker trail but it hasn’t hit me just yet…

    • mishvo says:

      I can’t deal with the weather in England overall but I enjoy London’s culture. I’ve never been to Kerala but gotta add it to my bucket list now!

  2. Elena says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Portugal – it is at the top of my favorite places too. In regards to the USA, you mentioned some cities, but how about some wilderness? North West is amazing (hiking all 1100 miles of Pacific Northwest Trail for starters), Death Valley with its ghost towns and colorful rocks worth a visit too. Speaking of Spain, my favorite region there is Andalucia. Another relatively seldom mentioned place that is definitely worth a visit – Sicily.

    • mishvo says:

      You’re spot on with the States – I NEED to see more of the wilderness and West for sure. Hoping to do a cross-country roadtrip someday! I have only been to Barcelona but definitely need to explore the rest of Spain. Speaking of hiking, I’ve been super interested in the Camino de Santiago – have you done that? I’ve heard it’s beautiful and quite the pilgrimage. We went to Sardinia this summer and given how much I enjoyed that, I would be open to Sicily! Thank you for the suggestions 🙂

  3. John Rodgers says:

    I lived in New Orleans until Katrina and now it makes me too sad to go back often. I guess my top 5 would be from number 1. Mongolia 2. Laos 3 Rio Carnival 4. Nepal and 5. Romania. Hope that gives you some thoughts.

  4. Ana says:

    I have to visit at least 1 city in all the 50 states in the USA. I’ve only finished 7 states on my bucket list since past 2 years, so still a long way to go. Then New Zealand is the other country which I have to explore and yes, a Euro trip is must! 🙂

  5. Joanna says:

    I admire you for being able to make a list with your favorite places in the world. I couldn’t! I have seen so many beautiful places and had amazing experiences. I can’t chose which one I liked best, they were all special to me. 🙂

  6. Shounak says:

    Glad to see a place in Asia as number one in your list. I agree. There is so much in Asia . Although – I think Canada and the Nordics have their own beauty as well. New Zealand is of course on a league of its own

  7. I definitely agree with New Orleans, San Francisco, Lisbon, and Barcelona. I haven’t been to the other places that you mention but New Zealand is high on my list. For me my favorite places (aside from my hometown NYC) are Paris, Tokyo, New Orleans, Cape Town, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro. (I know that’s six but I need one for each continent!)

  8. Pier says:

    I’m from Thailand, and am so glad you included Thailand on this list! 🙂 I definitely agree with a lot of the things you wrote on here, and the world is so big, I can’t wait to travel to as many places as possible! 🙂

  9. Janine Good says:

    My top 5 would be London, Sydney, Edinburgh, Beijing and New York City 🙂
    I do agree with some of your top 5 as I really enjoyed Thailand and Miami 🙂 I enjoyed Turkey while I was there as well. Istanbul was an adventure!

  10. Komang Ayu says:

    bali no List? Emmm … but it does not matter, your choices are good too. I also want to try a vacation to different places. maybe I would have liked somewhere other than Bali.

  11. Jenni says:

    I’m going to New Orleans and Miami on my next cruise so I’m glad to see they appear in your list as I can’t wait to go. Turkey is also one of my favourites especially cappadocia

  12. Liana says:

    I guess there are so much places to see in the world, and there are not one I could mention right now… or maybe yes. But you’re right, there’s so much to see in your own country. New Orleans is so interesting due to the culture, and I bet Thailand was one of a hell of an adventure! I’m dreaming to go! Next destination for sure!

  13. As a Louisiana native, I was super stoked to see NOLA make your top 5! But I agree with you, a destination that close to home can never take first place for best places to visit (but hey, it is still home!)

  14. Tamshuk says:

    I am not surprised to see Thailand at #1. It has been my #1 for quite some time until recently when Indonesia took over 🙂

    Also about Spain and Portugal, the same you have mentioned here. Both countries are similar in a few aspects.

    New Zealand will always remain my final frontier, until the time I actually get to visit this beautiful country

  15. Alberto C. says:

    Glad to see Barcelona in your list, it’s also one of my favourite cities in Europe! Turkey is also in my top 5 I’d say, such a beautiful and diverse country, I can’t wait to go back and visit the Mediterranean coast this time

  16. Tae says:

    I’ve been to all but Turkey and now it seems like I have to go 🙂 love Thailand for the same reasons that you list too!

  17. Aditi says:

    Turkey and Italy tops my list, I just fell in love with everything in turkey while I was there and this year it would be my second time going back to turkey! Thailand is also on my list, I went island hoping which was SO much fun!!!

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