Travel Tuesday: The Top International Places I Want to Visit ASAP
With last Friday marking two weeks since I received my COVID jab, I am now officially fully vaccinated! As you might imagine, this milestone has me once again getting excited about a return to travel. Granted, it doesn’t seem as though international trips will be a go just yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from making plans in my mind. Plus, after recently reading the book Die With Zero, I’m very anxious to add some “experience points” to my tally by finally visiting cities and countries I’ve been wanting to see for some time.
On that note, in celebration of a hopeful future, I thought we’d take a light-hearted look at the top destinations I want to visit as soon as possible.
Every so often, a video from the Singapore Airport goes viral. You know, the one with the big dome that has a waterfall-esque feature in the center and a monorail going by? It’s awesome.
Yes, I’ll admit that part of my excitement for visiting the city-state involves that wild-looking airport, but I’ve also been interested in traveling there for much longer than that. I remember my parents going on a trip there when I was a kid and coming back with souvenirs that said “Singapore is a FINE city,” with some of the famed unlawful offense fines then listed out. More recently (but still more than a decade ago), my dad actually took a one-day trip to Singapore just to retain his top-tier airline status.
Anyway, these anecdotes don’t really explain my fascination with Singapore, although they do help explain where the spark likely started. Since then, my desire to visit has only grown. In fact, I’ve even considered tagging on a Singapore excursion to the end of several past trips, but these plans have always fallen through. Thus, when the time comes to travel internationally again, Singapore is definitely near the top of my list in terms of destinations.
Speaking of airports, I’ve technically been to Korea thanks to two layovers at Incheon International Airport while traveling to and from Hong Kong. Sadly, though, we never had the chance to step foot outside of the (gorgeous) airfield. This is something I’d definitely like to correct in the near future.
From what I’ve seen, South Korea has a combination of natural beauty and a modern aesthetic that I find so appealing. Plus, the food also looks pretty amazing (even the bibimbap I had aboard Korean Air was good, so surely the real version must be fantastic). So, whether we make it part of a larger Asian trip or head straight to Seoul, I’d love to explore Korea in the near future.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to go to Australia. I guess I wasn’t alone in that as my dad actually got to visit for the first time just a couple of years ago. Thus, as the world begins to open back up, there’s a part of me that really thinks it’s time to check this one off the list.
One advantage of visiting Australia versus some of the other destinations on this list is the lack of any real language barrier. Considering that I’d want to spend some significant time there, this could be a big plus and could take some of the stress out of the whole thing. Know what else would surely be a de-stressing experience? Petting a koala — my all-time favorite animal. I don’t know if that’s a thing I can do but boy do I want to!
Of course, the challenge of an Australian trip is that it’s a big country… or a continent, in fact. Because of this, I’m not quite sure where to start or if I’d want to hop to multiple cities during my time there. Once I figure that out and can block out the time to do it right, you can bet that I’ll be heading down under.
Similar to how I consider adding a Singapore leg to whatever Asian adventure I’ve embarked on, it’s always come to my mind that I should hop on a train while in France and see other parts of Europe. Once again, this never actually happens. Part of that is because there’s so much of Europe I want to see that it makes it difficult to choose a destination. However, I’ve narrowed down my top choice slightly here as I want to visit at least one of the countries in the Nordic region.
Truth be told, Norway has a slight edge here mostly thanks to its EPCOT pavilion. I also have an affinity for Sweden that’s only partially tied to their mastery of pop music. Meanwhile, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark also seem great, which is why it might just make sense to try to see a bit of all of them. As a result, this scattershot trip is a little lower on my list but is still solidly on my radar.
More of Japan
Finally, if there’s any regrets I have about my past trips to Tokyo, it’s that I didn’t get to see more of Japan. Perhaps it’s time to change that. In addition to seeing other big cities such as Kyoto (which, fun fact, is an anagram of “Tokyo”), I’m curious to visit more rural parts of the country — although this could be challenging unless I brush up on my Japanese.
Even though I’m a creature of habit and like to head back to past places I’ve enjoyed, I do think I should try out some other countries before returning to Japan. However, when I do make it back, I’ll be making a point to venture outside of what I’ve already come to know.
Realistically, there are a multitude of factors that will likely dictate when I get the chance to take these trips and which order I end up doing them in. Still, it’s always fun to dream and even more fun to start researching potential plans. So, while it may be some time before I make all of these trips a reality, rest assured that I have every intention of doing all of them and many more in due time.
Also published on Medium.