Okay, I haven’t really been everywhere. I haven’t even hit all the continents yet. But on quiet days like this, hunkered down in my little apartment, my mind can’t help but wander to the places I’ve been and the places I haven’t yet crossed off my very long list. Take a stroll down memory lane with me, won’t you?
P.S. – I’ve awoken from winter hibernation (hopefully) so please excuse my long absence…hoping to get back to more regular posts this spring!
Favorite places of all time:
Iceland: (like you didn’t see that coming…see The Iceland Effect for more on where my fascination with the “land of fire and ice” began). The country with the northernmost capital city in the world is also home to more than its fair share of active and non-active volcanoes, glaciers, and frequent Northern Lights activity. Also, did I mention that instead of having one fat Santa at Christmas time, they have 13 mischievous Santa-like dudes called Yule Lads with cool names denoting their bad habits, like Hurðaskellir (door-slammer) and my personal favorite, Þvörusleikir (spoon-licker)? Many Icelanders also believe in elves and other folk tale creatures…and to be honest, given the long dark winters and other-worldly terrain, if I lived there I just might, too. It seems to me that the Icelanders march to the beat of their own drummer, and for that I think they are pretty awesome.
Need I say more?
Bermuda: So close to NYC and yet so drastically different, it feels much further away than the less- than-2 hour flight it takes to get there. In addition to absurdly beautiful pink sand beaches and musical tree frogs, this little island is home to some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I know people from islands are ubiquitously known for being friendly, but Bermudians are in a league of their own. They are so pleasant and classy, I want to bring them back to New York with me en masse and maybe boot out some of our more uncouth citizens (kidding, kidding…).
Gozo, Malta: Malta is a small country hanging out in the middle of the Mediterranean with a fascinating history and a rugged terrain. Like many countries in the Mediterranean, they’ve been invaded by virtually everyone, and as a result, they have some pretty good food and a unique language (derived mainly from Arabic and Italian). On clear days, I’m told you can see Africa from the coast, which is actually closer than mainland Italy. While there is a lot to be seen on the main island of Malta, I’m partial to Gozo, the next largest island…not only because that’s where I stayed and where my close friend and her family have a house, but also because it’s far less developed and to a total outsider, seems less touched by tourism and the usual hubbub that goes along with it.
Prague, Czech Republic: Do you like places that look like they jumped out of a fairy tale, if that fairy tale were read to you, say, in a Slavic language? Then Prague is the place for you! Seriously though, there are castles with real moats, Gothic architecture galore, canals, and for the more morbidly inclined, the infamous “bone church” in nearby Kutna Hora.
Big Island, Hawai’i: I must have a fascination with volcanic islands…the newest island in the Hawaiian chain, the Big Island is the largest island (and still growing). You can experience all four seasons in one day on various parts of this island, and the lunar landscape (thanks to all the lava) can make you feel even further away than being in Hawaii already does.
Close contenders: Sydney, Australia; Sorrento, Italy; Bath, England; Montreal, Canada; San Francisco and Yosemite National Park, CA, USA.