9 Unforgettable Places That Will Motivate You To Pack Your Bags Today!
18th March 2018
What makes you attracted to a place? Is it people, food, architecture? What’s your favorite place on earth?
I believe every trip leaves a permanent mark on our personality and affects and transforms our thinking. If we feel connected to a place, we can miss while we’re away, just as we miss another human. That’s why traveling is such an enriching experience; it helps us grow in the same way as meeting new people or learning new skills develops us as a person.
So what are the places you miss and would like to come back to? Cities or countries that helped you grow? Where do you feel at home? Why is that? I’m sharing my list, hoping to inspire you for your next trip.
San Francisco – vivacious heterogeneity
This is easily my favorite US city. Spectacular landscapes, lush greenery, and amazing architecture wind up and down the serpentines of crazy-steep streets. The concoction of cultures, languages, colors and rich cuisine blends into a bright patchwork in the blistering California sun. San Francisco is buzzing with energy, but at the same time, it is such a profusely green city. I can’t help it. I adore this place.
2. Tokyo – the city of paradoxes
Tokyo is a contradiction. It mingles the ultramodern with the traditional; intertwines the spiritual with the debase and human. Clashes incomprehensible, unabashed nature with controlled, contained robots.
And it does it all in perfect harmony.
Tokyo is a state of mind. It’s so transformative, and yet it’s hard to grasp what exactly makes it so unique. By making you realize that you don’t belong here, Tokyo makes you want to belong.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Tokyo, check out my article. It may help you with your trip planning.
3. Jerusalem – a place of emotional appeal
Each year several hundred people are diagnosed with the Jerusalem syndrome. I can’t blame them. I’m not a person of faith, but my trip to the Holy City has been a source of an incredible spiritual experience for me.
The beauty of this place is almost oppressive. The fierce sky that casts its pink light against the venerable walls of the city reinforces the impression.
Every single cobblestone of the old city carries the gravitas of shared history and separate religions, and the memory of past and current bloodsheds. To me, this visit was one of the most emotional and informative I’ve ever experienced.
4. Goa – keep calm and go to Goa
Goa is my heaven on earth. Whenever I need some peace of mind, I evoke the memories of its neverending, vast beaches, thick greenery, and the most kind, welcoming people
That’s actually all I need, but Goa has so much more to offer with its rich and turbulent history. Apart from dozens of magnificent Hindu temples, you’ll find old mosques and some of the most spectacular Christian churches in the region, a memory of the brutal Portuguese Inquisition.
If you’re looking to relax, but grew tired of sunbathing and long beach strolls, you’ll easily find a place to practice yoga, dance till the break of dawn, or enjoy your favorite water sports. Goa has it all.
5. Hel – a Polish gem by the sea
The Polish seaside is terrific – rough, unspoiled, and wild! Our sea is quite shallow, pretty safe, and almost sweet, while the sand is fine-grained, soft, and white-to-yellow in color. If you’re not fussy about changeable weather and chilly water, you’ll marvel at the beauty of the Baltic Sea in Poland.
Jastarnia, Krynica Morska, Sopot, Jastrzebia Gora, Wejherowo – there are dozens of charming places along our shore, but Hel Peninsula is one of my favorites. Hel is a teeny-weeny town at the very tip of a narrow peninsula, about 20 miles from the mainland.
I adore this place because it’s peaceful and dramatic at the same time. You’re at the very tip of the land, so the place seems like a world’s end, which gives it a bit of an apocalyptic angle. The storms here can get quite nasty. Yet at the same time, the broad, scenic beaches with grassy dunes seem so calm.
Tip: If you’re traveling with kids (or if you’re a frantic animal lover), check out the sea center (Fokarium). It’s not exactly the most spectacular oceanarium in the world, but still, it makes for an enjoyable visit, and you’ll be able to see mammals that live in the Baltic Sea. www.seapark.pl
Tip: Only a few hours ride and you can reach Slowinski Park Narodowy, an unordinary national park covering vast stretches of gigantic sand dunes and quicksands.
6. Kos – a green jewel in the scorching sun
You got me there. Yes, I do have a soft spot for breathtaking beaches. It’s not because I’m lazy. I just adore the contact with the nature and the sense of tranquility. No wonder, the Greek island of Kos is another place I often evoke in my mind.
Again, Kos delights me because it combines superb beaches with abundant vegetation. Add a pinch of Greek food into it, and pepper with Greek temper, and you’ll get a place that’s impossible to resists.
Tip: Kos offers much more than just sea and sand, with its history of a strategic port of the Roman Empire.
Tip: The island overlooks the gorgeous Turkish city of Bodrum, and you can take a delightful one-day trip by boat (no visa needed) to see the place.
7. Wuhan – beguiled by the hospitality
A business trip to Wuhan, Hubei province in China, was my first visit to Asia. The moment I set my foot on the Beijing airport for transit, I regretted that I hadn’t traveled to the Far East before. The buzz, the sensation of the unknown, the crowd – I adored every bit of it.
Wuhan probably hardly counts as the most beautiful Chinese city, nor the most exciting. However, it marked my first contact with Asia, and I was enraptured by the local hospitality. Although most people did not speak any English and Wuhan is not the most tourist-friendly of all places, on each step we were welcomed with smiles, attentiveness, and assistance.
And after a few days, I learned how to discover tiny jewels in the city that at first sight had not seem appealing to me. After a while, I found it fascinating and thrilling.
8. Nice & Cote d’Azur – the joie de vivre
Call it a cliche. French Riviera? J’adore! Just look at those colors, the dazzling sun splattering against the banana yellow villas of the old city.
Nice has everything you could ask for: imposing hills, magnificent monuments, azure sea, scorching sun, savory food, vivid flowers, and chilled-out people.
The city is well-maintained, clean, and leisurely. It is beaming with summertime energy and good vibes. If you are looking for an antidepressant, take Cote d’Azur. It has one downside though, like all stimulants, it comes with a price tag.
9. Dalkey – my second home
To me, Ireland as a whole is one of the most amazing places on the entire planet. I lived there for almost a year, and – for numerous reasons – I’ll always hold the Emerald Island dear.
There are hundreds of breath-taking places in Ireland that I miss on a daily basis. But if I had to choose one place, and one only, that appealed to me the most, it would be Dalkey.
A very affluent neighborhood, stretched along several harbors, home to the local seals that often come out to the shore and bask in the sun, Dalkey is eye-candy, and one of the most peaceful places in Ireland I have been to.
When I used to live there, I’d come to Dalkey to walk around, admire the quaint, colorful houses, breathe in the atmosphere of the calm sea, and watch the gulls playing in the sky.
Tip: If you visit Dublin in the summer, reserve a day or two to visit the neighboring towns, Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove, Dalkey, Bray, or Howth. You can reach them very quickly from Dublin center by the DART train. They are delightful, with spectacular views and relaxing walking trails. They also offer some great swimming spots for the brave ones (even in the summer, the water is quite cold)!
Thanks for reading. As always, happy to help you with answers and suggestions on the above trips!