I planned an unforgettable trip to Hong Kong to mark 21 years of existence in this world. I still remember the excitement and nerves as I sat in a cafe on campus booking the tickets with one of my best friends and planning our travel itinerary.
My parents were understandably concerned I was travelling to the other side of the world considering my previous holiday destinations were mainly Blackpool and Weston Super-Mare. Caravan trips to Ludlow and trips to Stourport in Shropshire were the closest I had ever come to experiencing the Riviera. I had never even set foot on a plane before and here I was planning to fly home solo after the trip of a lifetime. The trip passed in an ecstatic blur of noodles, sushi, plazas and drinking fruit smoothies in humid rain! Soon enough I was sitting at home behind dreaming of future adventures behind my laptop keyboard. I have since experienced my first taste of European culture a few years ago on a holiday to Porto. Having a partner with Portuguese heritage has its perks!
I have lost count of the maps I created on Sta Travel as I dreamed of travelling again. Now I have responsibilities and a business it is even harder to pick up and leave the country for a few weeks of soul-searching and quiet reflection.
I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love knowing it was going to be cheesefest (because Julia Roberts is in the film version right?). Romantic clichés aside I revelled in the tiniest of details about life and routine in an Indian ashram, the food of Italy and the beauty of Bali. The descriptions of sitting in quiet meditation intrigued me. I have always maintained a sense of healthy scepticism for spiritual holidays but I found myself dreaming of this fictional characters travels. So in the spirit of Eat, Pray, Love here are my top 5 travel destinations. Read,dream and share!
I have always wanted to go to Rome ever since I studied the Romans in year 3. I remember visiting the ruins of a Roman settlement in Gloucestershire on a school trip. I bought a faux Roman coin from the museum and held it all the way home on the coach. My obsession seemed to grow as I got older especially after watching Roman Holiday. I just want to capture the city on film, gorge on Italian food and wonder in awe at the architecture.
My fondness for Vienna hit a new high after watching Before Sunrise. The film follows a young couple after they meet on a train have a huge conversation and fall in love. I have always been a fan of its artistic and cultural heritage so if anyone wants to pay me to write or take photos of Vienna I am TOTALLY up for it.
3. Paris, France
I wasn’t really massively into Paris until I watched Amelie and Funny Face. Then two things happened. I wanted to talk philosophy in Montmartre and take a picture in disguise in a photobooth on the Paris Metro. Living the dream!
4. Boston, Massachusetts
Whenever I see the name Massachusetts the Bee Gee’s song starts to play in my head. The soundtrack to all the long car journeys of my childhood. It is the home of the infamous Boston tea party, the fine minds of MIT andHarvard University and the Institute of Contemporary Art. If I could live anywhere in America it would be Boston.
I never knew the Northern Lights existed until I read Phillip Pullmans Northern Lights. As an adult I realised you can go on trips to SEE the actual Northern Lights. Maybe I have been watching a little bit too much Stargazing Live but Iceland seems like a country on the edge of the world (quite literally) and I love the idea of escaping into a snowy wilderness and seeing the Northern Lights in all of their glory. Thank you Professor Brian Cox for keeping my Northern Lights dream alive!