I have been very blessed all my life to have had the opportunity to travel to many places around the world. It may not be an extensive list compared to many people, but here is the list of countries (24) that I have been to: Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Czech Republic, Dominica, France, Grenada, Hungary, Isla Roatan, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Monaco, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.
If you are curious, I have been to 7/10 provinces in Canada (British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scocia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Quebec) and 20/50 states in the United States (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Main, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington). To be fair though, I did not count the places where I was only at the airport for a layover. My rule is that I need to at least have left the airport for it to legitimately count on my list.
Before I go into my list of top places that I visited, I would like to give honourable mention to Monaco. This is definitely one of my favourite places to have visited. I think what happened is that I was not old enough (14 years old back then) to really appreciate the country for what it has to offer. So I do plan to revisit again in the future.
5) Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
I actually was fortunate to have lived in Australia (Canberra) for one summer when I was 10 years old, as my dad taught at a university. During our stay, we made a trip to Sydney and Melbourne, though I definitely had more fun in Sydney. It was an exciting time when we were there, because they were gearing up for the 2000 Summer Olympics. I really enjoyed walking along the Sydney Harbour.
We were in Australia while it was winter there, so we did not enjoy the best weather, it was still a little chilly every day. Even so, we did get a chance to go see the wildlife, so I did get to run next to the kangaroos and see the koala bears!
4) Paris, France
How can Paris not be on the list? We hit pretty much all the key tourist spots. Just a quick recap some interesting notes. The view on the top of the Arc de Triomphe was probably the best view of the city. There are arguments that it is even better than the Eiffel Tower view. Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, The Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral were all nice to see. Outside of the city, there is the Palace of Versailles, which I actually might have enjoyed the most. Though I am biased, because I really like to see castles and palaces.
The one recommendation is to not cheap out on public transit. The public transit system is actually very affordable, convenient and efficient. Unfortunately, we cheaped out by doing more walking. In reality, what we should have done was take public transit in one direction and walk back the other way.
3) Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
I’ve actually been to Las Vegas twice now. Once when I was in elementary school (stayed the Excalibur hotel), and again a few years ago (stayed at the Palazzo hotel). I’m not a gambler, but I love to see the lights of Las Vegas. One of my favourite spots in the city was standing in front of the Bellagio and watching the water fountain synchronized to music. Best of all, it’s free! I also got the see the show O, which I definitely recommend.
The first time I went to Las Vegas, I saw a lot of construction projects going on, and I already felt excited to visit again to see the new developments. The second time I went, it was pretty exciting to see how different it was.
I would recommend to take the public transit (and not cheap out), while in Las Vegas, so that you can get around more easily to be able to visit more places. What we did was take the public transit in the morning in one direction and then walk back to the hotel.
2) Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States
I have not seen too many natural wonders of the world, so I may not have too much to compare with, but the sheer size of the Grand Canyon (Arizona portion) was really was of the most memorable places that I’ve been. It was truly breathtaking and I even felt like I was on another planet. The area is just so large and vast and it is so different from what I am used to seeing. I strongly recommend visiting the Grand Canyon at least once in your lifetime. The chilling feeling you get from seeing it once is something that will stick with you forever.
1) Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
This may sound cliché, but Hawaii is hands down my favourite place in the world. The biggest reason why it is my favourite place to visit is because if I had to choose one place to live in the world, it would be Hawaii. Even if I don’t end up living here, I do plan to visit as often as I can. So you can be sure that I will constantly be racking up the miles and points for my trips.
I lived there when I was 1 years old for a full summer. I learned how to walk and talk there, as well as learn to go to the restroom without dippers! I have zero memory of that experience, but I got to go again in recent years. One of the things that I liked most about Hawaii is that they have a no advertisement rule. So you will not see any signs or billboards around town, to preserve the appearance of the State.
I suspect that my list will continually change over time. For now, this is my current top 5 list.
How does your list look like? Please tell us in the comment section below!