...the gift of an education that cannot be taught in school or learned in books, rather experienced through the beauty of unfamiliar people and culture.
The last decade found me in nearly every corner of the world; places that seemed would remain on my bucket list forever and places that had me saying “I can’t believe I am really here” on repeat. Yes, ten years found me all over the map, from turquoise waters in Bora Bora to the ancient city of Petra and back to the cliff-hanging villages of the Amalfi Coast.
Some of the places I call my own and should be on the bucket list for all:
1. The Maldives – This chain of 1200 islands is located Southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. The gorgeous waters of the Maldives surround each private island lending to the feeling of being somewhere exotic and far from home. Some of the most vibrant and memorable scuba dives of mine were in these blue waters. A romantic destination that I’d recommend for couples.
2. Petra, Jordan – One of the Seven Wonders of the World, this ancient “Rose City” is mysterious and will even have the most seasoned travelers channeling their inner Indiana Jones. Petra holds strong at the top of our “best of” Spring Break adventures. My family loved the early morning trek into the ruins to enjoy the sunrise over the Monastery.
3. Amalfi Coast, Italy – Villages along the famed coast are set cliff-side and boast the most beautiful colors in every direction. Treat yourself to the Italian cuisine and dramatic views at the notorious Lé Sirenusé hotel and restaurant. The most romantic place in the world in my opinion. You’ll need to save your pennies for this one but will be worth every one of them.
4. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Rivaled only by Iguazu Falls in South America, Victoria Falls is one of the largest cascades of tumbling water in the world and will remind you just how small you really are. A must-do activity for thrill-seekers is taking the plunge into Devil’s Pool. This small pocket of water quietly deceits as it sits just feet away from the falling waters.
5. Easter Island, Chile – A UNESCO world heritage site, this mystical and almost cryptic island finds you exploring some of the 1,000 sacred statues called Moais in both awe and bewilderment simultaneously. My favorite of the Moais was “El Gigante” which is the largest on the island at 72 feet tall. Another highlight of my family’s adventure was hiking around the Rano Kau crater and the views of the Pacific Ocean she offered.
6. Sahara Desert, Morocco – Luxury camps, along with the Berber hospitality will satisfy the adventurous traveler and those who seek to unwind. Activities might include trekking over sand dunes to find the perfect view for sunset,
caravanning the desert on camels and my family’s personal favorite; sand-boarding!
Each place I travel is personal and leaves more than a stamp in my passport, they leave an imprint on my heart. They are the gift of an education that cannot be taught in school or learned in books, rather experienced through the beauty of unfamiliar people and culture. They are the gift of belonging somewhere new, a place to call my own. Perhaps one of my “places” will inspire you to find your own. And when you do find your place, you might just find yourself.