There is not a day that goes by I do not think about traveling. I think there is no better education than travel, I can read about history, see movies and go to museums, but nothing matches actually being at the Sistine Chapel and looking up seeing the work of Michelangelo. I am constantly fantasizing that a friend calls me and declares we are about to go on an impromptu trip and I have an hour to pack my bags and meet them at the airport. Unfortunately, this has yet to happen, so I am stuck day dreaming and mentally planning vacations to countries and cities around the world.
My list of destinations includes almost every country in the world, even the ones I have already been lucky enough to visit, but I want to experience as much as possible and see how different the world can be. Still, there are few places I cannot stop thinking about.
1. Budapest, Hungary When I was studying abroad a few people in my program visited Budapest, all of their stories and photographs made me instantly regret not making time for a visit. The city was established in 1AD and combines influences from the Romans, Ottomans, Germans and the Italian Renaissance. Budapest is known for its thermal baths, incredible museums, the house of terror and hundreds of cafes, but seeing the gothic architecture of the Parliament building in-person is reason enough for me to visit the city — just look at it in the photo above!
2. Ik Kil, Mexico I have never been to Mexico and never thought of it as anything more than a spring break destination, then I saw photos of Ik Kil and my jaw dropped. It is one of the most beautiful and pristine places I have ever seen and I needed to know more. So, I immediately googled it and Ik Kil is actually a cenote, a natural sinkhole resulting from collapsed limestone that fills with ground water, on the Yucatan peninsula, which is also home to many Mayan ruins. This is a Mexico I am desperate to see.
3. Stockholm, Sweden Aside from being known as one of the best places to live in the world, Sweden also happens to be filled with beautiful architecture and natural beauty. Stockholm, the country's capital, has been on my list for many years. You can travel the city by foot or using public transportation, but I want to see it by boat and through the SkyView, a gondola-like structure that takes you up the tallest circular building in the world to give you get a complete panoramic view of the city. I love
4. Sao Paulo, Brazil I have never been to the southern hemisphere, but what better place to start than Brazil? I really want to go for the World Cup this summer, but I have not started planning and there is always that small issue of money. Even without the World Cup, Sao Paolo has a lot to offer, Carnival, when the entire city is a party for four days, a huge historical center, a bike path along the Eastern shore and an amazing nightlife.
5. Phuket, Thailand There are plenty of things I would like to see in Thailand, but first I would like to eat my way through the entire country. After eating every noodle, every soup, every fish and the many other delicacies of Thailand, I want to relax on the beaches, ride an elephant, explore a wildlife sanctuary, see the Big Buddha (it is really big) and maybe even go to a spa. It would be an island adventure unlike any other.
What vacations keep you day dreaming?