Day 1,461 of Traveling the World | Favorite Places in the World | February 1, 2022

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…Brown paper packages tied up with string…These are a few of my favorite things!

FOUR YEARS! Four! – of traveling the world! 1,461 days! Uh – that is, minus two years for a global pandemic that has prevented us, and most people, from traveling outside their home countries. So, let’s say – four years of being homeless and possessionless (outside of necessities). February 1, 2018, is the date we started our mad experiment, our dream of being less than one-half of one percent of the world’s population, to give up our home and all possessions outside of what will fit in a backpack – and go for it! We had a great and packed first two years, and completely circumnavigated the globe. BUT – when we walked out of our hotel in Barcelona on March 14, 2020, and all the stores were closed, and the streets devoid of cars and people, we sadly realized we likely should return to the US, as the Covid pandemic had parked itself on our doorstep.

If we can travel again soon – and it seems likely – we have set plans for 2022 and 2023. We know what we would like to do in 2024, but are just waiting to see what the world is like. Like most of our traveling friends around the world, we are just waiting for the green light to move ahead.

So, being in California for a tiny bit longer, we have no new place to post. But we wanted to commemorate our four-year anniversary today, so we are posting some photos of our favorite places. We have many more than these, of course, and we can even make the case that everywhere we have been have had places, and memories, that would put them at the top. Almost anywhere in Europe would make The List, as well as almost every island we have explored. But we have now given two presentations on our weird and wonderful lifestyle, and one of the first questions is always, “What is your favorite place in the world?” The places below almost always come up, and we find it interesting that in looking through them, most involve oceans, rivers, lakes, and fountains! While we have many, many favorite places in the US, we are only listing international destinations so that this post isn’t too cumbersome.

And so, in no particular order, our favorite international places are:

  • The South Pacific (Oceania), represented here in a photo of Moorea
  • Anywhere in New Zealand
  • Anywhere in Australia
  • Singapore
  • Bali, Indonesia
  • Prague, Czechia
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Rome, Italy
  • Pompeii, Italy
  • Anywhere in Spain
  • Plitvice National Park, Croatia
  • Quebec City, Quebec
Moorea in French Polynesia (and 12 miles from Tahiti) is, in our estimation, the most beautiful island on earth, with other-worldly flowers, beaches, and trees, and also because the views are of the layers of the gorgeous, sky-blue, turquoise water that you can see in this photo. There are thousands of islands, and thousands of miles of scenes just like this throughout the South Pacific.
South Island, New Zealand. It is one of the friendliest and most picturesque countries on the planet, with mountains, fields, lakes, a long coast, and tens of thousands of sheep!
Sydney Opera House. Australia is yet another friendly and breathtaking destination, one of our most anticipated each time we make plans to return.
We know this is Singapore….the only city with a Sky Ride that passes through a building! Singapore truly is the “City of the Future” promised by Disneyland about 50 years ago. It is a very hot and humid city, but it is an astounding destination.
Probably the hotel we talk about most…the Hilton Bali, on an island we talk about a lot. Bali is friendly and inexpensive, but with jaw-dropping natural and human made wonders. The pool system at the Hilton Bali has a lot of bridges, a few waterfalls, and a sand bottom (!). With all of this and rooms having views of the Indian Ocean, it is quite memorable.
Vienna, Austria, has so many cultural delights, from great orchestras like the Vienna Philharmonic, to a magnificent Opera House, several castles, great food, beautiful squares and shopping areas, and even an amusement park. And we have great friends who live there. Vienna has it all.
The capital city of Prague in Czechia, along the Vltava River (the Czech National River, as it is called). The river splits the city into the Old Town and New Town, connected by the gorgeous Charles Bridge.
Riga, Latvia, is known as the Art Nouveau Capital of Northern Europe. The city has gorgeous architecture, interesting food, and a glorious city hall. It is worth a visit!
Pompeii, Italy – an ancient mosaic in the foyer of a home still remains: “Cave Canem” – Beware of Dog! This photo was used on “Jeopardy!” a few months ago, asking for the translation of the Latin. Pompeii is one of the most fascinating places in the world to see. The sophistication of their culture is amazing, and it is heartbreaking to see how it ended on one fateful day in 79 AD.
Rome, Italy. One of our favorite buildings of all time is the Pantheon, where the dome has an opening to the sky. Yes, it rains inside the building, but the water flows out through tiny holes in the floor. Yes, the opening makes it cold in winter and hot in summer. Yes, it is fabulous.
Royal Alcazar Palace, Seville, Spain. Seville is representative of all of Spain, with a warm climate, lush foliage and palm trees, ancient history, and beautiful sites to visit.
Quinta da Regaleira Palace, Sintra, Portugal. Sintra on its own is worth a trip to Portugal! It has four palaces/castles and an ancient Capuchin Monastery up in the mountains. This photo shows one of the miniature castles erected for child’s play! The garden is huge and filled with hidden passages, wells, staircases, and structures. It is one of the most fun places we have ever visited.
Plitvice National Park, Croatia. All of Croatia was quite lovely, and it even has its own Riviera! But Plitvice has repeating cascades of water, and lakes, as you walk farther and farther up and into the park. It truly is breathtaking and memorable. We want to go back here on a day when it isn’t raining, though!
A fitting image for the end – Quebec City at sunset. Quebec City is the only walled city in North America, and we have returned several times to enjoy the Old Town. Sitting on the St. Lawrence River, it feels very European, but is right next door in Canada.