Growing up in New Zealand, one of the farthest countries away from just about everything (or as Mr Kiwi put it’ once you fly out from Australia, it feels as though you’re flying off the edge of the world) it seems like an unimaginable dream to be able to pop over to another country for lunch (in our case, Paris that is!).
Someone’s very wise Dad (I’m not sure who, my memory is getting incredibly bad) quite rightly pointed out that we’re the first generation who can take full advantage of travelling. No kids, fairly good jobs, good transport infastructure and a yearning to explore. Over the years I’ve been privileged to travel to a few so far, but cheers to hopefully a few more!
(And they say Kiwis can’t fly!)
1. New Zealand – the land of my forefathers, and one of my dearest homes. It totally counts.
2. Australia – With a couple of trips as a kid, and a rather hilarious 5 hour stop over in Melbourne, I’m pretty sure that we need to turn more attention to Australia – but this will have to come in time.
3. Singapore – My first adult taste of travel and possibly my most fascinating taste of the wider world. I step from off the flight into a wall of humidity. The walls and
windows lining the airport terminals are draped in exotic tropical
flowers, heavy with a scent I can’t place. My nose twitches, before
being overwhelmed with the realisation that locals are chattering in a
language that I don’t understand.
4. England – the land of my fore-forefathers and the second of my dearest homes. Where do you even begin to sing British praises?
5. Scotland – We simply haven’t explored enough of this enigmatic, mist shrouded country of kilt wearers.
6. Wales – Living in another country gives you a different viewpoint. It spurs you
on to explore parts of the world that might not normally be of interest,
and sadly Wales sadly seems to be one of those places. Viewed as a wild
and woolly corner of the British Isles, it’s underrated in my foreign
7. Northern Ireland – A city with a fearsome history, and several surprising gems (we had a Michelin star lunch for £20!).
8. Ireland – t’be sure the emerald green isles sparkled in early summer sunshine for us. We traveled through the luscious Irish Country side, kissing the Blarney Stone, sipped on an ice-cold Guinness next to the Liffey, marveled at the incredibly dramatic Cliffs of Moher, transversed Dublin’s ha’penny bridge, explored the enigmatic ruins of Charles’ Fort and marvelled at the gluten-free offerings of Ireland.
9. Czech Republic – Mysterious, cheeky and serves the best beer in the world, Prague was my first taste of Europe, and what a way to start!
10. France – languid summer lunches, slowly tricking rivers, free-flowing wine and sun-drenched tomatoes. I’m in!
11. Belgium – home of chocolate, the quirky Mannequin Pis and remarkably only took us the same time to train over as a trip to Oxford.
13. Germany – We spent a wintery long weekend in Berlin exploring the humbling Jewish Museum, one of the most evocative buildings I think I will ever encounter, beautifully lit Christmas markets in the shadows of Church bells and stumbled upon tickets for Handels Messiah, at the Berlin Philharmonic.
14. Spain – Oh how I wanted to adore Barcelona, but the Gaudi buildings aside it didn’t rock our world for some reason.
15. Norway – We simply fell in love with Norway from a height of 30,000 feet. Flying from
Olso to Tromso, a small island city 200 miles into the Arctic circle, we
couldn’t believe our eyes as volcanic plateaus, fjords and deep green
ocean unfolded from our small aeroplane window.
16. Holland – life lived on the canals, unique architecture, brownies and world conquering pirates. What’s not to love?
17. Japan – Simply indescribable. Old, beautiful traditions and a new modern
world adapting itself to the future.
18. America – Over the top, delicious, friendly and the widest roads perfect for an inexperienced driver. I never thought about America as a destination (the crumbling ruins of Europe held far too much glamour) but we adored our 10 days in New York & Florida. We have so many plans to return…
I’m very excited to say that we’ve several booked or in progress in order to achieve my 101 in 1001 goal. I’m currently sunning myself near a pool in Morroco, Switzerland beckons and Abu Dhabi is pencilled in returning from our New Zealand Christmas. There are also a few more trickling through the pipeline – a long long weekend in Poland, possibly popping in for a touch of Portugese summer sunshine and maybe another country or so. We’ll see.
I think I might just have turned into a travel addict. (If you’re not sure, take my highly scientific test ‘16 signs you’re a travel addict‘…)
How about you?