I love traveling.
GOD I LOVE TRAVELING.
The thought of not being able to travel for a couple of years (such privilege, I know...) stresses me out like an overly inflated balloon about to pop. You see, my family is overseas, and lately I have been missing them more than ever before. The time when we start deeming 'what is necessary', and what is, well, NOT, has made me appreciate my beloved and slightly imperfect family a million times more.... To keep my mind off the bummer that is being worlds apart from them, I decided to list my favorite places I've traveled to. Why THAT, you ask? Well, why not!? We could all use a bit of an escapism, and besides, it's my daily blog so I can do whatever I want with it. (don't believe me? Start your own.)
So, in no particular order other than what popped in my head, here are some of my favorite places I've been to in the world:
1. Everywhere, Portugal
I can be specific and mention Lisbon, and Porto, and Aveiro, and everything in between....but there's no point. This country is incredible everywhere and anywhere. The scenery of coastal European charm, the west coast feel weather, the countless stunning medieval castles and churches and the unbelievable LIGHT that seems MAGICAL. Oh, and the food, the fado music, the people, the witchy poetic mode are all part of the magic that is Portugal. Seriously, I'm hooked. And I haven't even been to the Azores yet! I could go on and on about Portugal but there are more places to list so....
2. Koh Phangan, Thailand
This island rocked my world for a week back in September 2018. A tropical island is always a good idea for a vacay, but add some thai massages, all the coconuts in the world, and wild monkeys to the mix and you are set. Koh Phangan has become more touristic over the years, but seem to still have this undiscovered beachy feel, with some beaches being remote and only accessible by boat. I can't wait to go back and spend some island time in Koh Phangan.
3. Petra & Wadi Rum, Jordan
Petra blew me away. An entire city hidden in red rocks that was accidentally discovered in the 1800s.
The celts believe that rocks have spirit in them...Well, Petra convinced me to consider this belief as true. Or maybe it's the years, effort and love that was put into these rocks that still live on all these years later.
The nearby desert of Wadi Rum is a must visit. That is, IF you want to know what Mars may look like. I felt like a complete martian in Wadi Rum. Which is actually where the film 'The Martian' was filmed in. Make sure you stay overnight to gaze at the stars in a Beduin tent while you're there.
4. Everywhere, Italy
Yup, Italy can have its own page. Wait, no - it's own BLOG. How can I choose one place in this glorious country??? It's like choosing sauce for homemade pasta. There is no comparison - THEY'RE ALL GOOD. Venice is a legend that I'm shocked still exists, a visit to Florence is like entering a poem, hours in Rome move so fast because they are spectacular, the Amalfi coast is easily where I'd like to end of my days (I'm not picky but Praiano is a solid choice. Or Positano. Or Ravello. Or....never mind. I'll take them ALL), San Merino was like being in a castle on a cloud (San Merino is not Italy technically, sure, but I'm not occupied with facts here. Again - write your own blog if you want this to be 'right.'), stumbling into the town of Commacchio strangely prepared me for the beauty of abandoned cities (that is not an uncommon sight right now) and skiing in the Italian alps drinking hot chocolate is my idea of 'the good life'.
All that - and I haven't even talked about the FOOD. Yeah, I am all amore for Italia...
5. Big Sur, California USA
The first time I drove up the PCH (the famed highway 1) I cried. The tall cliffs, the winding roads and the impressive red woods everywhere...I had no words for them. Only tears.
I feel incredibly lucky to live fairly close one of the prettiest areas in the world (says me).
6. Old City Jerusalem, Israel
This one is not an easy one for me to add to this list. So don't take it for granted people! You see, this is where I grew up, and growing up in the old city of Jerusalem, surrounded by holy sites, tourists checking the holy land off their bucket list, and an incredible amount of HISTORY sure made me feel like a fish out of water. Add to it the fact that my family is secular (even atheistic much, I'd say) and all my neighbors growing up were devout Hasidic Jews, muslims, christian monks and nuns and probably some other religions that don't advertise themselves as well as those three. Well, today I am proud of my 'fish out of water' identity. It gives a pretty unique perspective, and I am proud of the place I come from that is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating places on earth. Nestled in desert mountains, and spans history of 3000 years, this city of gold is one for the books. And by that, I don't just mean bible books.
7. Tokyo, Japan
Okay, full disclosure: I have ONLY been to Tokyo once, and for three days only, and haven't seen the rest of what seems like an extraordinary country. But Tokyo left such a mark on me that I must revisit it, and since I can't travel right now, let me revisit it here. What struck me most about Tokyo, aside from the obvious video-game feel of it all, was the cleanliness and efficiency of this city. I lived in New York city for a decade, so I'm very adapted to cosmopolitan cities - and maybe this says more about NYC than Tokyo - but I expect some mess and dirt in a big city, and Tokyo wiped that expectation off my mind the second I landed. But cleanliness isn't everything, right? (Well, actually, it might just be because, you know - COVID) The sushi, vegetation that is so unique to this part of the world, the Japanese culture and tradition, the buddhism (that I easily say is my favorite religion - that is if I HAD to choose one), and above all - the Japanese design and mindset that shows in everything. How the trains run, how the clothes are tailored, how thousands walk in Shibuya, and so on. Go to Japan and Arigato me later.
8. Tulum, Mexico
Runner-up is Sayulita which is another special place, but Tulum, oh Tulum is a Caribbean dream. (the only Caribbean I've been to, sadly, but still - a dream). The cenotes, white sand beaches, tropical jungles, mayan ruins and scary good (and pricey as f$$k) shopping and foods are the reason this spot is loved by so many. This is a great 'combo' spot because it has so much to offer. It would be a great place to quarantine in actually. Sigh.
So pack a suitcase and go somewhere in your DREAM! Our world is beautiful, diverse and fascinating, and if you are not much of a dreamer - try some virtual reality world tours, or watch Anthony Bourdain travel food shows, or write about some places you love, or would like to travel to! ~Just some advice from a self proclaimed global citizen.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman