10 Favorite Destinations, Year 5

Hoi An Japanese Bridge at Night

Covered bridge in Hoi An, Vietnam.

For the first time, our annual list of favorites consists of all overseas destinations. Last spring, after four years touring the U.S., we traded our RV for backpacks and set out to explore the rest of the world. While circumnavigating the globe—a first for us—we found ourselves in some pretty amazing places. Here is a list of our favorite destinations from our fifth full year of fulltime travel. Where applicable, the destination header links to the original blog post on the topic. 

Seville, Spain

Orange trees at Seville Cathedral

How could we not be seduced by Seville, a sultry city that enveloped us in sunshine and the scent of orange blossoms.

Elephant Nature Park, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Thailand-36

We would never consider riding elephants, a popular pastime in Thailand that perpetuates a horrific torture process that’s used to break the will and the spirit of these majestic creatures. Instead we had a sleepover at the Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary for the rescued animals in a beautiful jungle valley outside Chiang Mai.

Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne, France-1

A visit to this impressive hilltop stronghold in southern France came with a reminder that we’re lucky to still have “touristy” places like Carcassonne, which was almost lost to indifference and the wrecking ball.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An Street Scene with Bicycle and Lanterns

Near-constant rain didn’t dampen our stay in this atmospheric former trading port. Hoi An’s beauty was rivaled only by the heartwarming hospitality we received all around town.

Paris, France

View Original Post

Next to our home metropolis of New York, Paris just might be our favorite city in the world.

Girona, Spain

The Stairs of Girona, Spain

Unlike the other medieval towns we visited in Spain, Girona’s ancient cobblestone streets and rough-hewn stone buildings are softened and accented by greenery and leafy plants that sprout from almost everywhere. When we arrived at dusk, a light mist clinging to both leaves and battlements, the city felt like something out of Camelot.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Watching a sunrise over Angkor Wat is a bucket list staple for a reason—an experience we would have missed if not for a persuasive young tuk-tuk driver.

Loire Valley, France

Chenonceau, France

Because…castles.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

A microcosm of Scotland, the Isle of Skye packs into its small acreage almost everything for which the country is famous—sheep grazing amid centuries-old ruins, sheep causing traffic jams, a whiskey distillery, a castle, sparkling lochs, heather-covered hills, and variable weather that ranged from sunny skies to dark and stormy days.

Mount Saint Michael, Cornwall, England

Mount Saint Michael

Similar to its French namesake, an abbey atop a rock surrounded by water, this castle stands on its own island off the coast of England and can only be reached by boat during high tide. With palm trees swaying in the breeze and turquoise water lit by the sun, the landscape here seems more like the Caribbean than Cornwall.

———-

And in case you missed them, here are our favorite destinations from our first four years of travel:

Favorite Destinations, Year One (East Coast U.S.)
Favorite Destinations, Year Two (Mid U.S. and Central America)
Favorite Destinations, Year Three (Western U.S.)
Favorite Destinations, Year Four (U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, and Spain)

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21 Comments on “10 Favorite Destinations, Year 5”

  1. vannillarock May 20, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    thoroughly enjoyed revisiting some of your favourites and so pleased Carcassonne was right up there.
    you might get a comment or two about the ‘e’ in scotch but i enjoyed those skye sheep so much i’ll let it pass- just joking!
    look forward to your next ‘chapter..

    Like

    • Brian May 20, 2015 at 9:04 am #

      Ha-ha. Although I didn’t think a true Scot called it “Scotch” either, just “Whisky” to them (because there ain’t no other kind worth drinking, and I kind of agree 😉 )

      In either case, you say whisk(e)y and I say “Bottoms Up!” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bulldog Travels May 20, 2015 at 8:50 am #

    Those are some epic choices for sure! Mont Saint Michael would be on the top of my list to visit!

    Like

    • Brian May 20, 2015 at 9:17 am #

      Mount Saint Michael was a bit of a surprise. In many ways we liked it better than the larger version in France, which we had visited a few months earlier.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bulldog Travels May 20, 2015 at 9:22 am #

        Very cool. I’ve been there too and I fell in love with it. I am very intrigued to see its English cousin. 🙂

        Like

  3. clara@expatpartnersurvival.com May 20, 2015 at 8:53 am #

    Beautiful pictures – I particularly like the one from Vietnam.

    Like

  4. lovetotrav May 20, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    I was in Hoi An years ago and have been worried that ‘tourism’ has altered it incredibly. Nice to see it on the list as it must still have some of its authentic character which is so important to me.

    Like

    • Brian May 20, 2015 at 9:15 am #

      There’s no doubt that Hoi An is a touristy place these days, and we’ve heard some folks complain that it’s too much so now. But we loved it all the same.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kim Bouchard May 20, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    I can’t believe I have actually been to one of your favorites: Mount Saint Michael, Cornwall, England. Nine more to go…

    Like

    • Brian May 20, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      Hey Kim!
      And of all the places listed, I’d say Mount Saint Michael is probably the most under the radar – so congrats on finding a place we thought was somewhat of a hidden gem.

      Like

  6. Where's Zoe Now? May 20, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    I’m unashamed to admit I always read these sorts of lists as a challenge to myself: “how many of these amazing places have YOU been to??” Anyway, in this case it’s only Paris, but Seville looks great and I’m starting to think it’s about time I go to Spain… Hmm…

    Like

    • Brian May 20, 2015 at 9:13 am #

      Travel inspiration is certainly one reason we write things like this. And yeah, we’d agree on bumping Spain up on the “to do” list. It rivals France as our favorite country to visit.

      Like

  7. annetbell May 20, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    Reblogged this on TalesAlongTheWay and commented:
    Beautiful places, beautiful pictures. . . . .

    Like

  8. libertatemamo May 20, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Some of my own favorites in here, and a few I haven’t been to.
    Nina

    Like

  9. OyiaBrown May 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

  10. Jason May 21, 2015 at 6:43 am #

    Love your annual ‘best of’ guys. Thanks for taking the time once again to put this post together 👍
    Cheers,
    Jason

    Like

  11. allisonmohr May 21, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

    Thanks for the list. We’re trying to figure out where to go next time. Girona is looking good.

    Like

  12. Mallee Stanley June 2, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

    Love the Scottish sheep

    Like

  13. faujji June 6, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    Reblogged this on ranjuaery and commented:
    truly spectecular

    Like

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