I have a constant need to try new things, visit new places, and meet new people. I’m a fan of novelty, although once I’ve decided I truly like something, it sticks with me for life. This, of course, translates to my taste in travel. Although my dream would be to continue visiting new places, I would have no qualms with visiting certain places again and again. Thanks to a nomination from Courtney (Cartas de Courtney) to partake in the Booked.net – Top Destinations to Go There promotion, I’ve decided to list the top 5 destinations I would be thrilled to visit again.
1. Havana, Cuba.
There’s something absolutely surreal about Cuba’s capital city. Anyone who’s ever been there will relay the same message – it is a city that is simply not a carbon copy of any other place. There are far too many cities in the world that resemble each other, and while they all may be great, Havana’s distinctly Cuban vibe is what sets it apart for me. I’ve visited Cuba on two separate occasions, but Havana was during my second trip to the old-school country. I had already gotten a feel for resort and country life, so to come to this busier, livelier, and more modern-seeming version of other towns made me realize how distinctly rich Cuba’s history really is. As a person who has always been interested in how a place is shaped by its history and politics, Havana seemed like the perfect example of how obvious these factors can be in the manifestation of city life. I sometimes think about going back, but in a very journalistic sense. When I went to Havana, I was 19 years old, and nowhere near ready to write about it. Now, I think if I were to go back, I’d have a hard time not spending my days photographing the city, trying to soak up stories from locals, if only to gain a better understanding of Cuba’s past. Havana remains to be one of those cities that’s enchanted me in an unforgettable way.
2. Berlin, Germany.
My attraction to Berlin is, in short, similar to why I like Havana. There are few cities in the world that compare to Berlin in regards to political intensity felt and represented in a city’s landscape. The divide and difference between West and East Berlin is still immensely evident, and is reflected in many different ways. Berlin’s the type of city that can be described as “gritty” and “dark”, but not in a gloom-and-doom sort of way. Berlin, to me, represents darkness and how it can be overcome. Its current residents would describe it as a landmark in itself, and I would be inclined to agree. It is also one of the few cities in the world where I’ve imagined myself living in, although it isn’t the most glamorous place in Germany. It’s an exciting city for anyone who’s young, although many of its residents are quite older.
3. Dubai, UAE.
Dubai was the first city I wrote about on my blog, meaning it sparked my intent to write about travel. It wasn’t the first time I visited a new region, but it somehow inspired me in a different way. The city itself is much more modern than what I may normally prefer, but this is actually well in-line with my personality. I consider myself a future-oriented person, and what better place to be in than the “city of the future”? Although I was moderately impressed with Dubai the first time I went, I’m convinced that it’s one of those places I need to return to. As I once said, I’m not really interested in shopping, but there’s more to the city than that. If for nothing else, I would return for a drive through the desert.
4. Madrid, Spain.
This is perhaps the most obvious mention, as Madrid is, by far, the most special city on this list. You may disagree, and I wouldn’t oppose to that, but considering I spent two years in the Spanish capital, it remains close to my heart. It’s really easy for tourists to see a very shallow version of Madrid whilst on holidays, but those of us who have lived there for an extended period of time know that the city has a ridiculous amount to offer. It’s fun, yes, but also a great place to live. It’s safe, exciting, constantly boasts new events, and has some of the world’s best futbol teams. What I particularly love about Madrid is that it’s an international city, but also very clearly Spanish. Should you be interested in meeting expats from all over the world, you can do so in Madrid. Should you be interested in speaking to only Spaniards who have never traveled outside of Spain, you can do so in Madrid. So on, so fourth. This city has it all, and that’s why it attracts people from everywhere. I’m also a fan of Barcelona, but forget what a lot of ignorant travel-lovers say – Madrid is not the city you skip in favour of the more touristy Barcelona. This is especially true if you want to see a more Spanish representation of big-city life in this part of the world. Barcelona is not Castilian Spain.
5. Tangier, Morocco.
One of the reasons I chose Tangier over Istabul was because I barely remember the Moroccan city in comparison to the Turkish giant. I visited Tangier when I was 19 (that was a great year!), and while I do remember bits of the trip, my time spent there was far too short. What I do remember about the city was that it was beautiful, unlike anything I had seen before that. Tangier has an ancient feel to it, with very few traces of the modern world. Despite its reputation as a coastal city near Spain, and therefore influenced by its northern neighbours, it felt wholeheartedly different from Spain. I barely scraped the surface with this one, and often wish I could have explored its sights a little more. So, while I could have easily listed Paris, London, Barcelona, New York City, or anywhere in California for this last choice, I choose Tangier for the mere fact that it’s still a mystery to me. An added benefit to revisiting it would be to see more of Morocco, and experience it for what it really is.
So, while there are still many places I want to see for the first time, the five cities I’ve listed are places I would actively visit again if given the chance. That, of course, is a testament to their intrigue, and my need to learn even more about them.
Do you have an inkling to re-visit any places you’ve been to?