It’s been six months that I’ve left the States for my world adventure; at times that seems impossible. I hate to sound cliché, but seriously, where has the time gone? Since the end of June I’ve been to parts of: Iceland, Wales, England, Greece, Egypt, Tanzania and Malta. I’ve been very blessed to have seen some amazing historic sites, animals living free of cages, to experience different cultures and gaze upon some of the wonders of the world; to tell the truth, if it all ended tomorrow, I’d cry a river of tears and find my way back to living life on the road again. People were not created to be slaves to the work force and live a robotic existence, well, not me anyway. Some people are happy never to leave their home town. Whatever floats your boat right, as long that you are living happily.
Most of us want to travel somewhere; regardless if it’s that weekend getaway to rekindle your spirit or romance, a week’s vacation during the children’s spring break, or a gap year to enjoy life before rejoining the work force, that is, until you save enough to have another go-around. Traveling to far away destinations fills us with bubbling excitement and wonder during the planning stage, and if we enjoyed where we went, images pop up from time to time that inspires us to go to that same place again or to venture to another dream destination.
I’ve been trying to decide where my favorite country has been out of the ones I’ve listed above. Each one has offered me something spectacular.
The natural beauty of Iceland with its jaw-dropping scenery: waterfalls, black sand beaches, volcanos and it’s crime free. Other than the price tag that come with it, Iceland is fantastic. It is not my number one place to see, but I do highly recommend going there, especially for those of you who are afraid to travel outside the USA.
Castles galore, welcome to Wales! It’s a funny thing traveling to a country for the reason that it’s in your flight path, making your ticket cheaper and you also have a friend living there to visit; then discovering it should have been at the top of your must-see list. I have always loved the thought of seeing a castle outside of Disneyland, but going to the UK was not high on my list. I mean, they do speak the same language as I do (well, kind of), so where’s the adventure?
I’m addicted to castles now. Even if it’s just a ruin, checking out what remains and learning about the history is fascinating. Wales has the highest number of castles in the United Kingdom and I will see everyone, over a few trips here.
The downside of Wales, it rains a lot, nearly every day at some moment. Thankfully, it’s usually in the wee hours of the morning, before sun up, but do expect rain during your time here. No matter the season, take your umbrella and get out and go explore. You won’t melt.
I only popped into parts of England; taking a long weekend trip into Cornwall to see places where King Arthur has legendary history in, spent a night in Saint Mawes then drove to Saint Michael’s Mount and to the very farthest point, Lands End.
Leaving the United Kingdom, I flew out of London and what a treat that was! I never expected to like London, yet fell in love instantly. Since I only had one full day to explore without my backpack on, I saved going into the Tower of London until my return trip. For my birthday celebration I returned to this glorious city the last weekend of November.
Zeus, Aphrodite, Hades….. The thought of these Greek gods conjure up many tales. While Greece itself did not disappoint, after a while looking at historic sites, I felt like “oh, looks like all the other pillar temples.” With that said, I really, really like Athens. That is, after I looked past the dingy sidewalks that had too many feces left on them. Clean up after your pets people! Though, with all the homeless cats in a concrete jungle, there’s bound to be crap where you walk.
I was in Athens twice. During mid-August in the heat, which I didn’t mind, then again in mid-October. Of the two, if you like wearing pants, go in October. If you don’t mind hot weather chose August. I’m not a fan of crowds and the only place I noticed too many people was at the Pantheon and that was due to tour buses.
Egypt is full of wonder. The mystery behind the pyramids, Egyptian pharaohs and ancient culture can entice even the dullest person. I ignored warnings from governments and well-wishers without regret. This country needs to be at the top of your list. Hire a private guide to stay safe and make it easy to see the attractions. If I tried to do this on my own, I wouldn’t have had such a marvelous time. Cairo is beyond chaotic.
Originally I was pulled to Tanzania to volunteer. That desire ended when I saw the country wanted me to pay $200 to volunteer and organizations wanted me to pay them for my room and board – like the School of St Jude in Arusha. Yeah, this girl doesn’t play that game. I believe in a win-win situation. A great choice is Mama Simba’s in Moshi, they will connect you with the local school. She can set you up to help alongside the teacher or do some reconstruction work on a classroom.
When people think of Tanzania they think of safari. I did do this and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.
I also went to a coffee plantation, a waterfall and an oasis.
Going to Tanzania pushed me past my comfort zone. I was traveling from location to location by bus. Which by the way, was a very good experience and I recommend.
It was only a five-days stay in Malta and definitely not long enough. I admit I knew nothing about the country before setting foot on the island. It was a pleasant surprise. The Maltese have gone through a lot over the course of history, I had no idea. It’s all very interesting and I wonder why it’s not taught in school.
These islands, Malta and Gozo, offer that European feel I desire and the weather is one I prefer. I will be going back in 2018 and I cannot wait.
Egypt has to be at the very top of my list for mind-blowing history and sights; making it the country I say you should not miss. Is it risky going there, maybe, but so is traveling to anywhere these days. My suggestion is to book with a private guide or if you prefer a bus tour. It might sound pricey hiring your own guide, but it’s not, guides will work with your budget. Egypt is a cheap country to visit, even with a personal guide and having one will take away any anxiety, plus you will see more.
Wales/England is my second choice, due to history and so much to see. When you come here, plan on staying as long as possible or numerous return trips. I cannot say that Cardiff is a pretty city. It is however, perfectly positioned for day trips around the south of Wales and a big area of England; it’s only an hour and half to Bath. Fly into Bristol, England it’s about forty-five minutes away.
*I’m finally where I have a strong internet signal, so stay tuned. I have a lot of new post coming 🙂
Okay, your turn…
Have you been to any of these countries? Did my recommendation surprise you?