I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world in a short period of time. I’ve been to over 30 countries in 26 months.
My travels have inspired me to write about the lessons I’ve learned. We’ve all heard the saying, “Travel changes you” and it’s true. It does change people. I’ve noticed my world view has evolved and my growth as a human being has been exponential. During my travels, I realized life is too short for negativity, whining, and hating.
The world has been around million of years. The dinosaurs have roamed earth. There was a mass extinction. The world is made of 71% water. There were wars fought in this world. There were monuments built in ancient times. There are buildings that reach to the skies. There’s a bigger picture of life. It truly makes a person feel like an insignificant dot in the world. It’s a good feeling.
As of 2017, here are my top 15 destinations in the world:
- Kyoto, Japan – Kyoto is one of the most pristine locations on the list. The multiple temples and shrines are beautiful. The Japanese’s attention to detail is second to none. There are still geishas walking in the old part of town; in addition, Kyoto is considered the cultural capital of Japan. It’s the only city in Japan that still preserve old traditions and customs.
- Rome, Italy – The old capital of the Roman Empire. The city is filled with monuments and landmarks. It’s like walking through a museum but the objects are larger than life. The city’s landmarks and narrow laneways makes it one of the best cities in Europe to visit.
- Athens, Greece – The old capital of the Greek Empire. It’s just like Rome in that the city is filled with monuments and landmarks. Acropolis can be seen from anywhere in the city and the laid back Greek culture is something to appreciate.
- Luxor, Egypt – The old ancient Egyptian city is another world. The landmarks are scattered throughout the city and the tourism industry has decline since the revolution of 2011. The Egyptian people are hurting because of the weak economy. However, the Egyptian ruins are still maintained in hopes to have more visitors in the future.
- Cairo, Egypt – Cairo is an insane city. The city is chaos and old customs are still in place. There is nothing more spectacular than feeling insignificant next to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. It’s one of the destinations in the world that is a must.
- Beijing, China – China has become a world economic power. The old is being driven out with the new; however, the government is keeping a lot of its monuments and landmarks. Beijing is a great city to visit in China cause the Great Wall of China is only an hour away from the city center. Let’s not forget the Forbidden City and the Temple of the Sun. Lastly, the cost for food is cheap outside of tourist trap areas.
- Reykjavik, Iceland – The one of the few preserve natural wonders of the world. It’s home to thousands of waterfalls and un-populated acres of land. It’s a trip of a lifetime cause I was able to see the Icelandic waterfalls, the black sand beaches of Vik, and Northern lights within one day. It’s incredible.
- Jerusalem, Israel – Jerusalem is the religious capital of the world. The city’s occupation has changed hands since its existence. It still fought over today; however, there’s a certain that comes when walking through the Old City. It’s definitely a must.
- Petra, Jordan – The ancient city carve into stone. Petra is the Jordanian’s main tourist attraction. The ancient city is a mile from the main gate and only accessible through a narrow canyon. The city dates back to 300 B.C.
- New York, United States – The Big Apple. It’s one of my favorite cities in the United States. It’s one of the true metropolitan cities in the world with its subway system, skyscrapers and dense living conditions. The city is a true wonder to visit.
- Hong Kong, China – Hong Kong is another true Metropolitan city. The port city is denser than New York and the skyscrapers reach higher then New York. The old traditions sits comfortably next to the new customs. It’s one of the few cities I’ve visited more than once in my life.
- Istanbul, Turkey – Istanbul took me by surprise. It’s East meets West and the people could not have been more welcoming of tourists. The prayer calls that go from one mosque to another throughout the day is amazing to hear. The mosques’ detail and architecture is breathtaking.
- Havana, Cuba – The city that’s still living in the 1950s/60s. Havana is in its purest form right now. The city looks like a war zone; however, the Cubans still enjoy life. They still up until morning dancing in the streets and hanging out on El Malecon.
- Mexico City, Mexico – The Mexican capital is a cultural haven. The city is filled with old architecture alongside modern skyscrapers. The city has a large art community, the food is exploding, and it’s become a hipster city. With all those things, Mexico City makes my list of places to visit for 2017.
- Barcelona, Spain – I fell in love with Barcelona during my Europe trip. It’s an amazing city and the culture is second to none. It’s one of my top 3 destinations for food. The Spaniards are notorious for their amazing tapas culture and afternoon siestas. I would consider it the food capital of Europe. In addition, the European style architecture sit next to old Gothic structures makes every inch of the city picturesque.
That was our Essential Travel Destinations For 2017 list. Let us know if there is any city we should be considering in the comment sections! Safe travels!