Asking me what my favourite holiday destination would be is akin to picking a favourite child. I'll summarise a few of the places I've been to which really stood out to me (all of which I visited with my parents due to my youthfullness and all), before coming around to the places I really want to visit in the future.Vienna
Vienna is an absolutely magical place. Being a coffee lover, it would have been unthinkable for me to not enjoy this city. Almost everything about the city incited love; the people, the culture, the city structure, the architecture which, at times, made me feel like I wished I live in the 19th Century during the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I still attest that, overcoming the language barrier (which I hope to overcome one day), if there was anywhere I'd want to live in in Europe, it'd be Vienna. I'm definitely going to return in the future, preferably on my own, so I can really
enjoy the city.Belgrade
Being a Serb, Belgrade seems like an obvious choice. But, all bias aside, and given that I've lived all my life in Australia, the cultural, economic and political centre of my fatherland has always possessed a sharp intrigue. Even so, it's a wonderful city for any visitors, regardless of whether they're Serbs or not. The architecture reminds me of Vienna, but because of the mish-mash culture of the area, you can always sense a feeling of Slavic Russia, pockets of communism, especially if you branch out into the suburbs, where there are entire suburbs filled with great, socialist-constructed apartment blocks
. Although they're evidently not aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it's quite surreal, especially to those with an eye and interest towards history, watching the juxtaposition from the airplane landing at Belgrade airport of old with new. Also, I always found particularly interesting looking at a few remnants from the NATO bombing in '99; as recently as 2008 (which is the last time I went; not sure whether it's still there), there are destroyed buildings which have been left untouched as a tribute and memorial to those who lost their lives in the bombing, and to those who lost their lives in the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in general.
Furthermore, the city has a kick-ass nightlife (which I didn't get to experience since I only went to the city as a child), an insanely passionate sporting (especially football), and it's not excessively large, and is easy to get around. Definitely worth a visit if anyone is thinking of going on a trip through Eastern/Southern Europe in the future.Bay of Kotor/Boka Kotorska
There is no doubt in my mind that, when my retirement comes around, I'm going to park myself in one of the towns around the Bay of Kotor. It's a fantastic place to relax, especially in summer, and for tourists it's neither overly expensive nor a dangerous part of the world. Most of Montenegro's economy revolves around tourism, so they make a special effort to look after visitors; some of the villas around the Bay rival those found along the Italian or French rivieras. It's also part of the same coast-line which Dubrovnik fits along (the two aren't that far apart), and culturally the cities' heritage is almost identical, except the largest town (Kotor) is considerably smaller than Dubrovnik.
On a side note, a trip throughout the former Yugoslavia is worth every penny. Again, not saying this because of my familial links, but I genuinely believe it's genuinely one of the most fascinating and interesting places one could visit. There's a good reason Dubrovnik was posted earlier.Dubai
Do I need to explain why Dubai is cool?! It's Dubai. Incredible place. The things the Arabs spend their money on is insane. I could be completely wrong, but I recall driving past a house which seemed as if it was made entirely of gold. Gold and marble. With a Phantom casually sitting in the driveway. Dream-like wealth.
Moving onto places I'm dying to visit:US
I'll make this really broad and just chuck the US as a whole here. Maybe it's because I've grown up in a heavily Yankophilic country, but the US has always had a special place in my heart. I can't imagine any other country with as much cultural, demographic and geographic diversity as the US. From LA to NY to Miami to Seattle to the Mid-West and everything in between, I think I could literally spend my entire lifetime exploring every nook of the country... while leaving plenty unexplored.
In 2015, two friends and I are going on a road-trip through the south-western states; we've selected summer 2015 since, by this time, we'll be 21. We'll be driving from LA, San Diego, Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Vegas, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, and back to LA along the Pacific Coast Highway. Assuming we spend a few days in each city, the trip will take up 4 weeks or so which, given uni constraints, is the most we can afford time-wise. Regardless, we've been planning this trip since 2008, so I'm pretty chuffed about going.
A special mention should go to the Mojave Desert. There's something about the desert which has intrigued me more than any other geographical spot on the planet. Its American Indian/Mexican heritage, its solitude, its barrenness... I dunno, there's just SOMETHING about it I love. I'm not even a desert person, and I possess no specific intrigue in other deserts, but there's just something about the Mojave which draws me towards it... Aside from the road trip above, once I just want to drive (while well supplied, of course) through the desert for a few days on my own. It'd be like a philosophical journey where I can define myself as a person and expose my mind completely to freedom. It'd be the type of place I go to to re-find myself at any time. I really, really am amazed by it. (This probably sounds really tacky to someone who lives in or near the Mojave and the south-west, but I can't help it).
There are so many places I've set aside as must-visit places, which I'll go into later in more detail in another post. One of them is Ireland; my best friend as a kid was Irish, with a very Republican and patriotic family, and I suppose that that has instilled a desire to visit the Emerald Isle in me. All the scenery I've seen of it has been majestic (like the background of the photo which TPFS posted), and being a whiskey lover, I think I'd enjoy the country greatly. One of my friends is a massive Irelandophile (if that wasn't a word before, it is now
), and he just went on his second trip to Ireland a few months back, and looking through the photos of his Facebook album reinforce my desire to go there.
Great idea for a topic, btw.