THERE’S A WHOLE WORLD OUT THERE: How I choose where to go

A couple of years ago, my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to visit every European country. The plan was to go somewhere every month until we’ve seen it all.

Two years later and we’ve had some amazing times: we saw the northern lights in Iceland, discovered Ljubljana is really nice, had a fabulous time in Prague, and much more!

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So far I’ve been to 24 European countries (there are around 50 depending on how you count it, but we use this list here). But we also spend a lot of time going back to places we love, or travelling further afield, outside of Europe.

I read a lot about travelling, and inevitably I add more and more places to my wishlist. I also change my mind about where I want to go: somehow I’m really keen on going to Japan at the moment, but the country didn’t really interest me before!

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But mostly I’m always happy to hop on a plane (or a train!) and go somewhere for the weekend. I’m in no rush to tick every country off my list – I’m in it for the journey!

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I WANT TO LIVE THERE: What I say every time I travel

My dream was always to live abroad. Many years of hard work and a Master’s degree later, I succeeded! I left my home country and never looked back.

Funnily enough, moving countries actually put me off doing it again, so I have no plans of relocating. But I can’t help myself – every time I visit a new place, I immediately start imagining how great it would be to move there!

Here are three places where (I daydream) I could live:

 1. Marrakech, Morocco

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Growing up I wanted to live in Paris. The French capital was the first place I visited in Europe and it completely changed my world view.

Then a few years ago I went to Marrakech and got that same feeling all over again: now I’m absolutely obsessed with the place (I’ve been four times), the souks, the food, the amazing energy.

How I wish I had a whole riad to decorate!

2. Berlin, Germany

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It took me a long time to go to Berlin, and I so shouldn’t have waited!

The city is absolutely great – there’s so much to see and do. There are lots of different neighbourhoods where you can spend days finding new interesting places. And there’s so much to learn about the country’s history, with remnants of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie serving as reminders of how much the place has changed.

Get a flat in Prenzlauer Berg for the best Sunday brunches ever.

3. Belgrade, Serbia

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I visited Belgrade at the end of my Old Yugoslavia tour. The city is very understated, so it’s not as if there’s tons of things to do.

But then we hit the bars, and it was THE BEST. There are so many places around, from cocktail bars to French bistros, and the prices are amazing!

A great place to buy a little flat and hang out a few weeks per year.


Where you would move to if you could?

WISHLIST: New York

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I went to New York over 12 years ago, in 2002. It feels like that trip was a lifetime ago.

Back then I wasn’t even above the legal drinking age yet (!) and the city was still very much recovering from 9-11.

But I still remember how much I liked the place. At times, it was like stepping inside a film: everywhere you went there was another highlight I’d seen on tv many times before.

Somehow I never went back – for a long time all I wanted was to be in Europe as much as I could. Now that I live in London, I feel like another visit is well overdue.

Plus the city has changed too: Williamsburg is now all the rage, and the High Line seems amazing!

Where would you go back to?

WISHLIST: 3 amazing and unusual stays

I usually book my holidays thinking about all the things I’m going to see and do. But sometimes hotels can be destinations in their own right. Here are three amazing stays that I would love to visit!

1. THE BALANCING BARN, SUFFOLK, ENGLAND

Photo by Living Architecture

This place is part of Alain de Botton’s project Living Architecture. It looks absolutely amazing – who wouldn’t love to spend a few days in a floating silver barn with a swing right underneath it?

2. CAPPADOCIA CAVE SUITES, TURKEY

Photo by Cappadocia Cave Suites

Turkey has been on my wishlist before – there’s just so much to see and do there. Staying in a luxury cave hotel where you can watch hot air balloons go by? Count me in!

3. A TREE HOUSE IN FRANCE

Photo by Cabane dans les Arbres

Well, this is a bit more than a tree house: it’s a tree house modelled after a French château. Perfect for a romantic getaway, as you can relax sipping French wine in the hot tub.

Amazing!

WISHLIST: Have you heard about Philae recently?

Philae has been all over the news recently because it’s the name of the spacecraft that successfully landed on a comet.

But Philae is also this amazing island in Egypt:

Photo by Ivan Marcialis (https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcialis)

It is a Unesco Heritage site, which was relocated in the 70s because of the construction of a dam.

I had never heard of it before the comet landing, but now this place is definitely on my list!

WISHLIST: Train journey through Transylvania

Photo from Wikipedia

I’m already dreaming of all the places I’ll visit next year. The list is already longer than my holidays allow, but there are just so many places to go!

One place I really want to visit is Transylvania: Dracula’s castle, medieval villages, beautiful countryside… and all of that by train – sounds perfect!

Fly to Romanian capital Bucharest then make your way to places like Brasov, Sibiu and Sighisoara, stopping along the way. There are lost of Unesco Heritage sites in the region as well.

Image from Wikipedia

Instead of going back to Bucharest, head to Hungary to end your trip with a relaxing break in one of the thermal baths of Budapest.

I can’t wait!