I awoke from the deepest, darkest sleep on the softest pillow and found myself staring out the window of a hotel in disbelief as the last red rays of the sun drifted below the clouds. Wow, I thought, that’s the most beautiful sunset I ever saw. But the bed was unfamiliar and it was far too early in my mind for the sun to be setting. Hang on a second, I thought- where am I?
I am often asked where I have been. But over the years I have done so many oodles of trips that the answer is blurry- several countries I have been to several times, with little rhyme or reason- sometimes I’d need to travel for work, sometimes I followed my heart someplace and sometimes my heart yearned for someone I’d met on a distant continent. I make this list as a little catelogue of memories and moments as much for myself as for you.
Please note I have defined a visit in the most literal sense of the word. I have noted in the list below if it was just a few hours or a transit.
Born and raised in Sydney, you can take the boy out of Australia but you can’t make him drink… or something like that. Comfortable with the Australian wildlife despite several unfortunate encounters.
Lived and worked in Portland for 18 months and did research in Delaware for 6 months. Went on an Alaskan cruise. If you are where you’ve been, then I’m approximately 8% American, based on time spent there.
Only visited Tijuana once as a kid. I remember having fun though. I must rectify this situation.
Too many visits to count. Probably the place I was least interested to travel to but a revelation of history and culture and now one of my favourites.
Three or four visits. Met friends there that I will never forget but will never see again.
Visited once; got notification of my TER (final highschool grade) here.
Visited once as a kid, walked through the red light district of Amsterdam with my parents.
Worked for several German companies, too many visits to count. Visited for Oktoberfest. One of the most historically interesting places and home to one of my favourite capitals- Berlin. Doing my best to learn the language.
Three visits for work and play.
Three visits and home to Venice and Rome, probably the most exotic places in all of Europe.
Visited three times. Broke my wrist here snowboarding. I can recommend the hospital system.
Three visits. All of them completely crazy and resplendent with unexpected adventures (both good and bad).
Two visits, travelled extensively. Coming from Australia, I was intrigued by this other-world of mountains and ice. I’ve been almost everywhere from the party South to the wild North, during both the cold dark winter and the glorious summer.
Visited once, extensive travels there as well. Many good parties.
Four visits including an epic roadtrip adventure from Malaga to one of my favourite cities, Barcelona. An acquired taste for me, like a good red wine.
Too many visits to count. Stopovers, friends living there, work colleagues living there. Check out Confiscated Toothpaste’s definitive guide to the island city-state.
Visited once, spent 10 days living on a boat and surfing.
Visited Copenhagen once and drank a lot of Danish beer.
Having a Finnish ex-girlfriend meant several visits including living there for brief periods. And extensive travels, from Helsinki in the South to Inari in the North. Had my best Northern Lights experience here and also went dogsledding.
Visited twice. Tallinn is a wonderful city and very interesting due to its modern history.
Visited once, threw coconuts around. I was supposed to be there for a couple of days longer, but my flight from LA had to turn back midair due to a cracked windscreen. So instead I spent some more time in LAX instead. Joy.
22. Cook Islands
Short transit while on my way home from Tahiti hungover and tired early morning, but wow! Imagine a stunning forested volcano with the runway on the beach and the breaking waves right next to you as you taxi to a terminal the size of your loungeroom.
Visited once, loved it.
Worked with several Chinese companies, 4 visits, and stayed with a family in a regional area a few hours drive from Shanghai.
Fiancee is Brazilian. Four visits and will get married there in 2014! Rio is one of my favourite cities and has some great surfing.
27. Czech Republic
Visited Prague once for the weekend, incredible place.
28. New Zealand
One visit, roadtripped both islands with an ex. Plenty of amazing places but Queenstown is my favourite.
Been twice to Vancouver. Does that count?
30. South Korea
Visited 3 times for work, but South Koreans know how to party and there was plenty of that done as well.
31. New Caledonia
Visited once on a South Pacific cruise from Sydney.
Transited on way to/from Brazil.
Transited on way home from Brazil.
Visited twice and found the more traditional Arab areas fascinating. Check out my 10 Cool Things to Do in Dubai.
35. North Korea
Only visited North Korea by crossing to the the North side of the UN conference room in the Joint Security Area in Panmunjeom. Would love to visit properly some day.
I would love to know if you have been to any of the above, what your favourite countries are, and where I should travel to next??