I’ve been busy doing research on all the places I want to visit on my around the world trip. The hard part isn’t finding places I want to visit, I want to see everything, the hard part is narrowing down the list to accommodate my time and budget.
So far I’ve been able to narrow it down to these eleven places. Granted, most on the list are countries so I’ll need to thin it out some more based on sights and cities I want to experience. I love history, castles, and ancient ruins. You can bet the list will weigh heavily to favor destinations which have them.
SpainFor some reason, I never really considered Spain before I started researching my trip. Now I can’t wait to get there. Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo, Granada – the list goes on and on. The Alhambra, Medieval Castles, and white washed mountain towns in southern Spain have caught my attention.
Rome, Venice, the Cinque Terra. A few days exploring the Roman ruins in the city and a side trip to Pompeii should cover my history and ancient ruins fix. I plan on visiting the Vatican as well. The Cinque Terra villages are an amazing photo opportunity and quaint old towns to explore. Venice, what more do I need to say. If I have time I may mix in a stop in Florence as well.
GermanyI’ve always had a desire to see Germany. Munich, Berlin, and the Rhine Valley are tops on my list of places to visit in Germany. I’d like to hit a few sites from WWII including Check Point Charlie and the Eagle’s Nest. Also a somber visit to one of the concentration camps. Of course, I’ll hit up Neuschwanstein and any castles I can find on the way. Plus a few steins of good German beer.
Speaking of good beer, Czechoslovakia is home to the original Budweiser. Though not the reason I decided I want to visit Prague, I will surely be doing a taste test while there. I’ve heard great things about Prague from a few friends that have visited and the photos I’ve seen of the city and castle give me an itchy shutter finger.
Austria, home to Freud, Mozart, and Conan the Barbarian, but I’m more interested in the palaces, cathedrals, and architecture. A few days in both Vienna and Salzburg are on the itinerary. I may decide to get my Sound of Music fix and head up to the Austrian Alps. And I’m totally going to find this Wiener Wurstl stand for an authentic Vienna hot dog. Looks like they sell beer there too. Yum, Yum. What can I say, I’m no foodie.
I’ve been to Thailand more than a few times and it has been one of my favorite places to visit so far. Even with those trips under my belt, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what the country has to offer. I’m thinking of traversing Thailand from North to South. I’d also like to go back and visit some of the main attractions I covered in my first trips such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. If I can get a multiple entry Visa, I’ll make Thailand my base of operations for exploring the rest of South East Asia.
Vietnam has been on my mind since I was a kid. Born just after the Vietnam War ended, my childhood was filled with people, stories, and movies about the conflict. The plan is to visit Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) then head north to Hanoi stopping at a few of the cities of significance along the way such as Hoi An and Hue.
The Philippines is another destination I hadn’t considered much about till I had a coworker whose family was from there. He wrote down a list of the top ten places in the Philippines he thought I should visit. From the busy metropolis of Manilla to the beautiful island of Boracay, I’ve got a full list of places to see.
Indonesia – Bali
Indonesia and specifically Bali first caught my attention when I saw photos of an amazing looking temple complex set out over the water. The more I looked into the island, the more I wanted to go. Sandy beaches, tropical jungles, volcanos, temples, and ancient archeological make this a place I really want to explore. Depending on the logistics involved I’d love to head over to Java and see the Borobudur Temple.
The epicenter of Bruce Lee movies has been on my radar of places to visit for a while. I’m looking forward to exploring one of the globe’s most populated cities. It’s a great place for photographers and I hope to get some trophy photos of the Hong Kong skyline from Victoria Peak and across the Bay.
If there has been one country that has captivated me since I was a kid, it would be Japan. Growing up during the ‘80s I was caught up in the Ninja craze. I ran around in my ninja suit, studied martial arts, watched Samurai movies, and started reading about Japanese history and culture. Thankfully I finally outgrew my ninja suit, but not my love of Japan. I can’t wait to get there and finally see it in person.
For now, those are my plans. But a year is a long time to plan ahead for. I may add or remove destinations as things reveal themselves to me. While I could fit in more places in the course of a year, I want to take it slow, linger in a place if it makes me happy, move on quickly if it doesn’t. I’d also like to settle down in Thailand or Bali for an extended period. I’ll just have to see how things go.