One of the coolest things about travel blogging is the fact that people start to ask and trust in your expertise (as if I actually know what I’m talking about). “How should I pay for a flight to …?” “Where should I go for my 2 week vacation?” “What was it like in …?” “How can you afford to travel so often?” And of course, the inevitable million dollar question … “Which city or country was your favourite?”
For a long time, I played the neutral card. I made the analogy that choosing a favourite city or country was like a parent choosing a favourite child. But realistically, I’m my mom’s favourite (Duh!). She may not admit it to my siblings, or even herself, but way deep down, in the dark depths of their souls, they know. Well, it’s the same thing for my travels and I. So, without further ado (You read that in an English accent, didn’t you? If not, you just re-read it in one. Got’cha!) …
Welcome to My 5 Favourite Destinations In The World!Boracay, Philippines:
Debauchery. That’s 1 of the few words that instantly come to mind when I think of my time in Boracay, the Philippines. And you should expect no less if and when you make your way there. Teal blue water, fine white sand beaches, palm trees, sunshine, music, beautiful people and liquor, lots of liquor. No. Take a few seconds to understand just how much liquor I’m talking about, then times it by 2. Not to mention, the locals were extra cool and hospital (except for that 1 TSA agent at the airport, if you’re reading this, quit being a ball buster, dammit). I made real friends in Boracay. Friends that I think and care about. A rare set of people who can cause a smile to manifest on my resting jerk face whenever their names come to mind. How could I not love the place? Oh, and one last thing, lady boys.
Rome is special for more reasons than I can count. I set the bar pretty low in terms of travel expectations: don’t die, be able to eat, have a roof over my head (this 3rd one is negotiable). But if I had set the bar ridiculously high, Rome would’ve slayed. First, that whole thing about Italians being impeccable dressers, it’s not just a thing, it’s as factual as the sky being above our heads. Men, women and children alike, look sharp. Next, thousands of years of history packed into 1 walkable, jaw-dropping, beautiful display of architecture. Last, but never least, the FOOD is mouthwateringly tasty. The pasta, seafood, gelato, wine, bread and anything else you allow to bless your palette will not disappoint.
PS: Talking with your hands is pretty fantastic.
Thailand is or at some point has been on everyone’s list of places to go. Even people in and from Thailand are often more prone to traveling through their home country before going elsewhere. I don’t blame them. It’s literally one of the hottest places on the planet. If that’s not enough to get your attention, it’s home to one of the most beautiful arrays of temples you will ever see in your life. Do not debate this with me. What else makes Thailand awesome? A couple of things come to mind: mega affordability, Full Moon parties, Khao San Road (biggest tourist hub in the universe), laid back vibes, home of Muay Thai, and some of the most beautiful islands, views and ocean water in the world. Go. Now.
Almost forgot, this is my single favourite international location. If my travels were stuck on an infinite loop and I had to live one trip over and over and over again, it’d be this one. I met some of the world’s best human beings there, and that means a lot to a guy like me.
What’s not to love about a place that carries the nickname The Island of Enchantment? I mean, seriously, what is this Aladdin? The weather is gorgeous, the people are warm and charming, the beaches accommodate surfers and regular human beings alike, the art is remarkable, the food makes you want to kidnap the chef and force them into a lifetime of servitude. But we all know how unacceptable that would be … don’t we (at least some of us do)? Fun fact: I wear black 9 days a week, 378 days a year, but I wore all sorts of light colours in San Juan. The homes in Old San Juan look like someone bottled a pastel coloured rainbow, rented a helicopter and turned the entire town into a personal arts and crafts project … and then won first place in an international competition. I loved San Juan so much that I seriously considered not returning to Montreal while I was there. No, for real, I enquired about jobs.
Serenity. That’s why Kyoto will forever have a place in my heart. I loved Tokyo for the giant technological orgy of a city that it is. But the tranquil, slow and steady pace of Kyoto better suits my chilled Caribbean personality. Okay, so remember a few paragraphs ago when I said Bangkok had some of the best temples in the world? Well Kyoto’s neck and neck with it. But there are 2 things that Kyoto has in spades that no other country rivals: humility and devotion to craft. I’ve never seen so many people function so well as a collective. Kyoto, and Japan in general are so clean that it’s a little spooky. The people are polite even when they dislike you. And the country as a whole runs like a brand new well-oiled machine. Other cities and countries could learn a thing or ten from Japan.
What are your favourite destinations? Do we have ay in common? Share a brief story about your favourite places in the comments below!
Until next time,