There are so many places to see, so many people to meet, adventures to be had and memories to make while we explore everywhere we possibly can. Traveling should teach you lessons. It should help you better understand the world around you. And it should make you want to plan another adventure as soon as one ends.
As a flight attendant, I have been to a lot of different places. Too many to count actually. Believe me, I’ve tried to count. However when I think about all these places, near or far, that I have been to, a few stand out. Those few are Paris, Budapest, Venice, Rome and London. I want to share with you why they stood out to me as well as why they should be on your travel bucket list as well.
My Top Bucket List Destinations
The first international trip I took once getting my wings was to Paris, on a whim my college best friend and I packed our bags. This trip was checking off the top of my travel bucket list.
As a former fashion major and lover of everything couture, Paris, was like a pilgrimage to my very own motherland. This was it. It also didn’t hurt that we got to fly there in Business Class and that our hotel was on the Champs de Elysee. Paris was a dream. Mornings filled with coffee and pastries, afternoons in museums and art galleries, evenings watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle with champagne in hand.
Paris was where I learned that you could be homesick for a place you have never been to. I was homesick for Paris. My whole life Paris had been the dream destination, the one place I had to see, and it was so much more than just a place on my bucket list. It forever changed me.
Before Paris, I was unsure of so much about myself, unsure if I was on the right track, and just like magic, I breathed in the crisp cool air and looked around at all the people so unapologetically themselves and knew I was going to be okay.
Budapest is the most recent destination I have had the pleasure of meeting. I crossed every bridge twice, swam in all the baths, soaked up every ounce of the culture.
From swimming in the Gellert Baths – these amazing mineral baths that make you feel as though you are in a Wes Anderson film – to dancing in Soviet area ruin bars. Grab a bottle of wine or a couple of beers from a corner store and walk the streets (fun fact – you can drink publicly in the streets!). Ride one of the dozens of river tour boats and see the magic of the city from the river at night.
Budapest transported me to a time I had only read about in history books. A time filled with war and pain. But out of all this destruction came a beautiful and wild city filled with laughter and love.
Italy – Rome & Venice
For me, Italy is it. Having been to Rome and Venice, I have a deep love for all that I have experienced in Italy. First of all, I love carbs and wine. However what I wasn’t anticipating was how fun and friendly everyone would be.
I went to Rome after visiting Paris and in Paris, you are not welcome, locals only. I didn’t have a problem with that it is just the vibe, and I accepted that. In Rome, however, everyone is welcome, the more the merrier. The city is loud and boisterous. There is always a low rumble in the air even at night or early in the morning. You marvel at the architecture, the people, the life happening all around you with every step you take. You feel exhausted at the end of the day but you know you have only scratched the surface.
In Venice you slow down, you escape the ordinary and the known for a city floating in the ocean. You are greeted with Limoncello. The city is peaceful, quiet, with stunning views around every corner. You can disappear down streets and find cute gondoliers to show you the city by water. Or trapeze up to the roofs of the buildings and look out for miles and miles. There is happiness in the chaos and life in the peacefulness.
These two cities are the best of both worlds.
London will always have a really warm spot in my heart because it is the first international trip my boyfriend and I took together. Also, I am like most everyone else and am slightly Royal obsessed.
London was sort of like Paris for me. I realized the minute we stepped off the train that I had been longing for this adventure. I had so many items to check off my list. And while we accomplished most of them, the magic was found in the unexpected twists and turns.
We got lost, we wandered down interesting looking streets, and we even ate tacos and did tequila shots. There is a certain kind of freedom that comes when you just let yourself soak (quite literally because it down poured) up a new city. On every street we were whisked away to a different time in history. We were shown incredible architecture, delightful treats, and it didn’t matter that we were soaking wet.
The life of a city is found even in the dark places if one remembers to turn on the light (if you know you know).
The truth is…
I could give you a list of all the things to do and see in these cities. I could map out an itinerary based on what I did. However I think that would take the fun out of it. Do your own research. Make a list of what you hope to see. Then just let the trip happen. Let tourist attractions be your guide, but not your only mission.
Traveling is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Get out of your comfort zone, fall in love and find adventure as often as you can.
Blyss is just a 20 something girl who likes champagne and tequila, loves a good book, and a hard Pilates class, who is trying to figure out how to adult one life lesson at a time. Catch her if you can because she spends most of her time amazing adventures all over the world.
Personal Blog: www.curatedblyss.com