I recently tried to add up all the countries I’ve been too, in hope that I was close to achieving 30 countries before I turn 30 next year.
I counted 18.
And with my 29th birthday looming (April 9th people, put it in your diaries) I think it is unlikely I will hit up 12 new countries over the next year. But whilst writing out my ‘Countries I’ve been too’ list, I realised there are still so many European destinations I am yet to visit. One extremely lucky thing about living in the UK is that we have Europe on our doorstep, something I think us Brits take for granted. Especially me, I have not seen as much of Europe as I should have. And with such cheap flights and hotels on offer, via sites and apps such as ebookers, I really should be taking Europe by storm (… except without the storm part, that might ruin the trip, depending where I’m going).
Here are five places in Europe I’ve got my eye on:
Despite not being a fan of the cold, I am desperate to get to Iceland for a number of reasons, the first being the Northern lights. I’ve no doubt it would take my breathe away to see this dazzling display of solar activity and would probably be the most magical thing I have ever seen. I’d also love to head into an Ice Cave, see a hot spring, and swim in the Blue Lagoon. I’ve no idea if any of these things are in close proximity, or if I would have to travel up and the down the country, but that would make it all the more adventurous! Anyone whose watched ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ knows that Iceland is a beautiful country to
skateboard, cycle, jump of a chopper, travel through.
Whilst I’ve driven through Northern Ireland, I can’t add it to my ‘Countries I’ve been too’ list because a) it is technically part of the UK, the country I live in, and b) I didn’t technically visit it. To win a place on the list I have to have at least had lunch in the country or done something exciting, even if I was only there for a few hours (which is why I can’t put Malaysia on the list; I didn’t actually leave Kuala Lumpar airport. Sad Face). But the reason I want to go over to Northern Ireland is because it’s right there! I grew up in Liverpool, I was practically living across the street from Belfast and yet I never popped over to say Hello. Scotland? Tick. Wales? Tick. I’ve even been to Ireland, but never Northern Ireland. It’s time I put on my Walking Boots, attempted my very best Northern Irish accent and hopped over there to do some exploring.
I love the idea of visiting Italy for a quiet break away that would involve just three things: eating pizza, drinking wine and taking in the fabulous sights. Every time I think of Italy I imagine beautiful women dressed in 1960’s fashion, cute couples riding round around on old fashioned Vespa’s, and groups of friends wining and dining at beautiful outdoor restaurants lit up by candles. I’m not sure if Italy actually looks like this, or if I’ve watched ‘Eat Pray Love’ one too many times, but I really hope it is. I’d love to visit Venice why I was there, Florence too, not to mention tick the Leaning Tower of Pisa off my bucket list (and of course do the classic ‘Look what I’m holding up’ photo). Wow, the more I type, the more tempted I am to book a holiday to Italy right now – this one looks perfect.
I plan to go to Belgium to eat! I’ll make it my first ever foodie holiday. Home to the waffle, the connoisseurs of chocolate, and with its own national cookie (a spiced shortbread biscuit) I would quite happily pack away a few pairs of stretchy pants for a weekend of sitting down and gorging on yummy Belgium bites in pretty cafes (when I say bites I mean mouthfuls). I don’t think I could go for more than a weekend for fear of piling on the pounds. I’d most definitely have to do a Pre-Belgium diet and post-Belgium diet, because I really do intend to eat a lot why I’m there. I’ve already researched a few other foods that Belgium is famous for and there are several dishes I wouldn’t mind having a sample of, including Carbonnades Flamandes, a beef casserole type dish made with not wine, but beer – yes please!
Whilst I’m much more of an active/backpacker type traveller these days – ignoring that paragraph above – as appose to a laze-on-the-sunbed-all-day type person, I wouldn’t say no to a hot sunny holiday in Portugal. But I couldn’t spend it lazing by the pool everyday, not when Portugal has an amazing history to learn about, fantastic culture to indulge in, stunning beaches and plenty of ancient caves to be checked out. Portugal is also surrounded by the stunning clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean where you can apparently swim with Dolphins, something I’ve been meaning to tick off my bucket list for a long time. I could quite easily spend a week exploring a town in Portugal (maybe the town with the hot springs in!)
There are plenty of other places in Europe I’m keen to visit too, Switzerland, Hungary, and don’t get me started on the rest of the world; Brazil, Canada, Mexico! I have so many places I want to go. I may not conquer 12 new countries in the next 12 months, but I can most certainly give it a whirl, and at least with the ebookers.com Bonus+ programme I will get rewarded when I book flights and hotels, including cash rewards and upgrades, which will most certainly be a bonus in itself when it comes to planning and budgeting trips.
Where in Europe do you want to visit? How many countries have you been too?
Oh, and in case you were wondering what my ‘Countries I’ve been too’ list looks like (probably not) here it is, in chronological order:
United states of America
This post was written by Tink Jayne and brought to you by ebookers.com