They say travel is good for the soul. Or maybe "they" don't, but I do. Travel is good for the soul. And I think whatever makes your soul happy is what you ought to do.
While I haven't seen the world (yet) I have been fortunate to see a respectable amount for someone who lives on an island in the Atlantic Ocean which sees more fog than just about any other weather phenomenon. Newfoundland is not the easiest (or cheapest) place from which to travel. So, in my 28 years, here are the passport stamps I've racked up, starting with the most recent. (Full disclosure: not all of these places gave me stamps in my passport, many are just cool cities in the U.S. and you don't get stamps for those).
Oh, the Windy City. I simply adore you. The shopoholic in me thrilled at your Magnificent Mile. The journalist in me thrived breathing the air where Oprah got her start. The granddaughter in me delighted to visit my grandmother's birthplace. The Beatles fangirl in me went giddy to see and hear Paul McCartney. The (somewhat reluctant) baseball fan in me loved singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch (we also went to a White Sox game — both the Cubs and the Sox won :). I could go on and on about the coolness of Chicago. It's a must visit, in my opinion.
2. Vegas, baby!
To be honest, I thought I would hate Vegas. I'm not the biggest party girl, I'd rather spend my money on expensive skincare than gambling and Celine Dion wasn't playing during my visit (Britney wasn't even on the radar at this point — April 2013). But let me tell you, Vegas was amazing. I think everyone would love it. It's clean (a surprise to me), not as rambunctious as I imagined and not as sad as I feared (gamblers losing all their money, drunkards falling all over the streets). My four best gal pals and I ventured to the desert during a snowstorm (again, I live on a rocky, cold island in the Atlantic). The weather was beautiful, the shows were incredible (Cirque du soliel's Love. We also saw Shania Twain... she was OK) and the shopping was on point. We did the helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon and fun was had by all. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
3. California Dreaming.
My boyfriend, Chris, and I flew into LAX and after a few days exploring L.A. (saw the Hollywood sign, the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are held, the Friends set at the WB studios and, my personal favourite, the Getty Center) we rented an SUV and drove up the Pacific Coast Highway. Just. Glorious. We made stops along the way, of course (Carmel stole the show), and finished our journey in the Bay Area. I did, indeed, leave my heart in San Francisco. My dad told me I'd fall in love with the city and sheesh that was an understatement. I felt at home in the foreign city. It was chilly and foggy (something I am familiar with and try to escape at any opportunity) and it didn't matter. The sights, the museums, the food, the people, the architecture. If you ever get the chance, PLEASE take the amazing drive and visit San Fran — I can't imagine anyone would be disappointed.
4. Turkey and Greece.
Another trip with two of my best friends (one I've known since pre-school — age 3 — and one I met in Grade 1. I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have them in my life). We did a Contiki tour and ventured to a far off land. Since this was all the way back in 2011, and it was two and a half weeks, I don't have all the details at the ready. But we saw the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sofia, the Grand Bazaar, Troy, Santorini and so much more. It was the most unique trip and one I'll never forget. My girlfriends and I went to Istanbul (via Paris, I might add :) a few days before the tour started so we could enjoy the city on our own terms. One night we shared a bottle of wine on the roof of our hotel, overlooking the ancient city. The call to prayer rang out and it was a surreal experience. I will cherish that memory for the rest of my life.
5. New York, France, Italy etc. etc. etc.
Ok, I've been to New York for every season (except "Christmas" — and I'm DYING to do that) and went to France with school in Grade 10 and Italy in Grade 12. I've been to other cities/states in my youth (including an amazing visit to Dollywood — look it up) but the majority of my adult travelling is what stands out the most. They're the trips I chose and planned. They're the trips I went on with my favourite people. They're the trips that give me the wanderlust.
Now, where to next?!
Hello! I'm Anna, a former journalist with a whole lot of love in my heart and thoughts in my head.
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