When people meet me and the conversation naturally moves to travel, one of the questions I am asked most frequently is: what is your favorite place to visit? Well…in 24 years I have been to 24 countries and I can truly say that I never met a country that I didn’t like. There have been times when I didn’t enjoy myself, or struggled with travel troubles; mostly those times were caused by outside circumstances and no fault of the country. Still, there are some places that standout and are listed here in no order of priority. Everyone is #1 for a different reason.
- Morocco: because the traditional homes (turned into hotels) are amazing and palatial, because the Sahara is awe-inspiring, because the spices transform every dish into succulence, because the villages haven’t changed — ever!
- Vietnam: because Vietnam balances the ancient and the new, the simple with the luxurious, Halong Bay with long white beaches, the memories of war with a peaceful attitude, because I so enjoy seeing the traditional clothing.
- Turkey: because I love Turkish baths–the traditional ones, not the new fancy spa types, because the vastness of Cappadoccia is breathtaking, because I love their rugs–from simple to silk.
- Italy: because no one does art, architecture, fashion, design, food, wine, and religion with such flare.
- Ireland: because driving is not just a mode of transportation, it is a form of entertainment and humility, because I love sheep and rolling green vistas and the songs of both silliness and sorry.
- Portugal: because of the rugged coastline, stories of the explorers, needlepoint rugs, whitewashed houses trimmed in sky blue, sardines grilling on a sidewalk hibachi, port and madeira wines.
- Galapagos: because walking, as Darwin did, among the blue and red footed boobies, tortoise, penguins, iguanas, flightless cormorants and fur seals is jaw-dropping.
- Cambodia: because of the temples, large and magnificent, and small and stark, because I love the slow cruise up the Mekong, because I love small ships and good food, because of the floating villages and happy children.