As I child I believe I took traveling for granted. Thus, in the first half of my 20s I made sure to venture on to see the parts of the world that were left undiscovered from my childhood.
In those first five years I went to 25 cities that each hold a very special place in my heart. They've all changed me, made me, and inspired me more than words could say at 25 years young. Hence, I'm sharing my favorites with you, so that maybe you could truly be altered by them too:
25. Atlanta, Georgia
Favorite part: The Bloody Best 32oz. Bloody Mary at The Nook by Piedmont Park.
24. Dallas, Texas
Favorite part: Eating at Wolfgang Puck's spinning restaurant with a 360 view of the city.
22. Houston, Texas
Favorite part: Perusing the Buffalo Bayou after some down-home southern cooking.
21. Austin, Texas
Favorite part: Attending SXSW and eating tacos from a food truck on 6th Street.
20. Washington DC
Favorite part: Walking along the Tidal Basin encircled by cherry blossoms in the Spring.
19. Chicago, Illinois
Favorite part: Learning about Chicago's history on the River Boat Architecture Tour.
16. Key West, Florida
Favorite part: Shot gunning a beer at the southernmost point in the United States.
15. New York, New York
Favorite part: (It's cheesy) but you can't beat the walk along the Brooklyn Bridge or a NYC bagel.
14. Los Angeles, California
Favorite part: Hiking Runyon Canyon and eating mouth-watering food afterwards.
13. Copenhagen, Denmark
Favorite part: Skipping through all the dazzling Christmas markets during the holidays.
11. Madrid, Spain
Favorite part: Overeating tapas and sipping sangria in one of the city's main squares.
10. Paris, France
Favorite part: Climbing up the Eiffel Tower using only the stairs, and a glass of rosé to celebrate.
9. Annecy, France
Favorite part: The beautiful boat ride on Lac D'Annecy in the middle of Summer.
8. Geneva, Switzerland
Favorite part: Admiring the flock of swans and the fountain on Lake Geneva.
7. Chamonix, France
Favorite part: Breathing a sigh of relief (and amazement) from the top of the Swiss Alps.
5. Barcelona, Spain
Favorite part: Touring through every single mind-blowing building designed by Gaudi.
4. Nashville, Tennessee
Favorite part: Singing along to country music via every spot on Broadway.
3. Yvoire, France
Favorite part: Sipping a rose-flavored cappuccino in the quaintest town in all of France.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Favorite part: In all honesty the view from Alfama itself takes the whole cake.
Picking a favorite was incredibly hard to do, but I am sure you will find your own favorites in each of these cities too.
While all of the above seems amazing on its own... It's still just not enough for my wandering soul. Because every time I see something wonderful I think about everything wonderful still left to see.
And I think that's a brilliant thing, you know; it's brilliant to know that there is a world full of wonderful things forever left to discover.
It's our duty as living, breathing human beings to wander and see all that this world has to offer. So while my list is long, it is always growing. Here are 25 more places I want to go in the second half of my twenties:
25. Honolulu, Hawaii
24. Asheville, North Carolina
23. Boston, Massachusetts
22. Flagstaff, Arizona
21. San Diego, California
20. Savannah, Georgia
19. Charleston, South Carolina
18. Seattle, Washington
17. Portland, Oregon
16. Denver, Colorado
15. San Francisco, California
14. Vienna, Italy
13. Bangkok, Thailand
12. Tokyo, Japan
11. Sydney, Australia
10. Dubrovnik, Croatia
9. Istanbul, Turkey
8. Amalfi Coast, Italy
7. Rio, Brazil
6. Lima, Peru
5. Buenos Aires, Argentina
4. Bali, Indonesia
3. Dublin, Ireland
2. Santorini, Greece
1. London, England
Will I make it to all of these by 30? Probably not. Will I make it to most? I surely hope so. And I hope I go to places I never thought I would. Whether it's before 30 or years afterwards.
I hope there is something spontaneous in the next few years that my passport isn't expecting. I hope I am inspired more than expected, eat more than intended, laugh more than anticipated, and fall in love with more places than one could ever dream of.
Because what is there not love about the magical world we live in? What is there not to look forward to when there's always somewhere new to go? So I will keep on daydreaming until I'm in the airport leaving, yet again.
In the end, the ability to travel is a gift we are given and it's up to us to find a way to consume it. Go use that gift to see the world, and go find your truest self on the other side of it.
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