One of the most popular questions I get asked is about my favorite place to travel. Everyone always wants to know about my favorite destination. The truth is, I don’t have a favorite place. There are simply too many places in the world to pick just one. Every place has something different and unique, and being asked to pick your favorite country is like being asked to pick your favorite child. You just can’t do it. But, here are six of my favorites.
This is usually my default answer to the favorite country question. If I had to pick one favorite, Thailand would be it. There are some many reasons to visit Thailand. The food is great, the people are friendly, it’s cheap, the beaches are stunning, and most importantly it is always warm. (I hate winter!) A perfect day for me would be eating some Thai curry on the streets of Bangkok and enjoying a beer with my friends in the evening.
Despite the fact that every time I visit Australia I get pulled aside for extra questioning and security screening, I still love it here. It’s not cheap to visit. A 6 pack of beer is $16 dollars, and hostels tend to be around $25-30! The locals, however, are welcoming and the landscape is breathtaking and serene. There’s also the Great Barrier Reef, incredible surfing, and Ayer’s Rock to while your time away at. Plus, the locals know how to drink, and throw great BBQs.
I’m a Japanophile. I love everything Japanese. Remember that song from the 80s about turning Japanese? I’m pretty sure they wrote that song about me. I’d eat sushi for breakfast every day if I could. The people are friendly and very respectful. There’s no where else in the world where you could leave a wallet on the subway and have someone bring it home to you! I even love Japanese architecture (If I ever get a home, I’m going to design it around this theme). And did I mention the sushi? Japan is just awesome.
From the moment I saw Paris I fell in love with all things French. Then I saw more of the country and I fell in love with France even more. Plus the French language is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, and nothing melts my heart faster than listening to a French girl speak. I can’t put my finger on it, but France is marvelous.
I love The Netherlands because it reminds me a lot of home. I like the no nonsense attitude of the Dutch, the red brick buildings, and the fast pace of life there. I liked The Netherlands so much that I lived in Amsterdam for a few months back in 2007. I love how all the cities are lined with canals; I love the tulips that dot the fields, and flat earth that lets you see forever.
Everything about this country is beautiful: the countryside, the cities, and especially the people. There are plenty of reasons to visit Sweden. It may be expensive, but it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world. I love how the buildings blend so well into the natural surroundings, how the mountains rise into the sky and how the rivers look like glass. If it didn’t have such a bad winter, I would move there.
I can always find a reason to love a place. Even thinking of just six, I think that I could love Italy for the food, and Costa Rica for its jungles. New Zealand is also an amazing country! The list could go on forever really. But, if one day, someone told me I could only go to six countries for the rest of my life, these would be the winners and while I might miss others, I wouldn’t regret having these destinations as my top choices.
Behind the Backpack
Matthew Kepnes has been traveling around the world for the past four years. He run the award winning budget travel site, Nomadic Matt. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian UK, and Yahoo! Finance. For more information, subscribe to his blog.
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