I remember it was sometime in 2008 that my desire for travel was ignited. Perhaps it was the onset of the Piso Fares or the extreme need to go away or it could be the desire for constant change that made me just want to go.
So far, I have been to 27 countries, and out of these countries, I am sharing with you my top 5.
I would not even think of coming here if it was not part of the cruise to Russia during our #ScandiTravels2014. But Estonia was a pleasant surprise for both Babs and I. We were there just for two days but would have loved to stay longer. The locals are friendly (but rather direct!), food and drinks are amazing and the place felt like you are back in the medieval times.
When in Estonia, try out:
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Babs’ #bucketlist ✅ : Visiting #Bhutan and the climb to the #TigersNest. Not in photo: 6 hour journey to and fro; multiple stops to catch our breath (mine is after 20 steps or so); several horse poop; breathtaking ascent 3000ft above the Paro Valley. #gandjtravels #igtravels #ig_bhutan
Ah, Bhutan. If it wasn’t for Babs, I would not have gone to this little dot. Bhutan has been a one-of-a-kind travel experience for me. Going around places in Bhutan felt like I was in the Philippines but it has a different aura to it. Tagged as the “Happiest Place in the World“, the locals seem to aim more of the spiritual than the physical and material. They are friendly but not overly so and they leave you be. Words can’t describe how my visit there uplifted my soul; perhaps it’s the proximity to heaven (i.e. we’re on the foot of the Himalayas!), or the peaceful vibe you get from the locals but it’s definitely a must visit especially to those who long for peace and quiet.
When in Bhutan, try out:
- Momo (Dumpling)
- Chili Cheese with the Fat Pork
You can only enjoy the country if you close your eyes and kiss your $$$ goodbye when paying for things in Switzerland as everything is extremely expensive there.
This pit stop was part of my #30for30 (30 countries by 30 years old – at 32, I’m still 3 countries short sadly!) #SoloTravels back in 2016. Switzerland is beautiful in winter – ice-capped mountains, lovely little Swiss villages – each and every view is a cure for the eyesore.
When in Switzerland, try:
- Visiting Interlaken and Jungfrau
- Confiserie Sprüngli (Zurich)
I’ve only been to Hokkaido but it’s more than enough reason to go back to Japan over and over again. I have friends who visit the country 5x a year! No explanation needed on why Japan is on top of my list.
When in Hokkaido, try:
- An outdoor Onsen in Noboribetsu (especially when it’s snowing outside)
- Visiting Otaru for a day or two
I fell in love with Austria the moment I stepped out of the train station in Salzburg in 2016 during my #30for30 #SoloTravels. I’ve been in love ever since and I’ve been back a couple of times (second time was to take Babs around!).
I’ve got nothing else to say except go visit Austria. There is always a surprise at every turn.
When in Austria, try out:
- The cafe culture (go cafe hopping), especially in Vienna
- the Opera
#33at33 in 2019!
My next goal is to match the number of countries I’ve been to my age. So as soon as I hit 33 countries at 33 years old, then it’s time to settle down.