I’ve been pretty lucky to have explored a fair bit over the last few years. Travel is, and always will be, one of my favourite things to do in the whole world, and it inspired me to move overseas last year so that I could see and do more from a new place in the world.
Whilst this list is definitely not exhaustive and I have a lengthy list of places I’m yet to see, I thought I’d capture some of my favourite travel destinations and why I loved them so much. You’ll notice I’m a stickler for the sun, but give me a lounger, a cocktail, and a sea view and I’m pretty happy.
Melbourne is often overlooked by its older sister – the rather more vibrant and iconic city of Sydney, but this isn’t to say it should be. I loved Melbourne and its European vibe, beautiful Victorian architecture, narrow streets serving some of the best coffee you’ll try, and the Parisian, tree-lined road of Collins Street. Some of the highlights of my trip were seeing the iconic Flinders Street Station, the street art of Hosier Lane, and taking trips to both the beautiful Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles, and seeing the tiny blue penguins of Phillip Island.
I’d always wanted to visit the tropical Caribbean, having always known it as a paradise destination for those wanting to get away and escape from the hubbub of every day life. I was lucky enough to stay in an all-inclusive hotel for the first time not far from the beautiful Shirley Heights and St. James Bay, which was truly amazing – all the cocktails, barbecue food, and exquisite a la carte dishes you could possibly want. My highlights were snorkelling in the turquoise waters, eating delicious burgers on the beach, and sailing to a private island past the homes of celebrities including Oprah Winfrey.
Despite having Dutch relatives and Holland only actually being a 45 minute flight from my previous home in England, I only recently visited beautiful Amsterdam. I have great memories of the wonderful canal house we rented, cycling along the narrow streets, partying until dawn, taking in the colourful tapestry of tulips in the markets, and eating all of the pesto gouda and mustard we ever thought possible. There are some great museums too – we went to the Van Gogh museum to see his artistic creations, the Rijksmuseum for the dolls houses, and shed a tear or two at the Anne Frank House – there’s no other city quite like it.
Another bucket list travel destination for me, I can’t begin to describe the sheer beauty of this wonderful Hawaiian island. The scenery is truly picturesque, with black sand beaches and tropical palm trees on desolate beaches, and the cuisine is bursting with fresh fish tacos, steak, and of course, compulsory Mai Tais. My highlights were driving the Road to Hana in a Jeep, taking a boogie board to the waves, and indulging in plenty of sunbathing. The sunsets are simply divine, so I’d highly recommend walking along Kaanapali Beach and soaking in the view from the comfort of your own hammock.
Having gained wonderful notoriety as a party island for millionaires who rock up in their yachts, Hvar’s reputation proceeds itself. It is the most idyllic island in the Adriatic Sea, and for me, part of the appeal is that it’s not the easiest place to get to – once you fly into Croatia, you need to get a ferry from Split. Once you’re there, it oozes glamour in the form of beautiful, young people, yachts, wealth, and the promise to give partygoers a good time. The best bits about my trip to Hvar were lounging by the pool with a cocktail, eating some of the most spectacular lobster spaghetti and other glorious seafood, taking a dip in the cool, clear ocean, and partying into the night at the seaside bars and island nightclubs. It’s certainly the place to go for people who know how to enjoy themselves.
Lake Louise, Canada
Although not the typical holiday travel destination you might picture, Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada was the dream trip. Never before have I really encountered so much snow, and it really was pretty magical waking up to a view of frozen lakes for ice skating – it doesn’t get much more Canadian than that. I loved snuggling up in my coat and heading out for a snowy hike, before heading to Banff National Park for the hot springs, or simply just to the pool’s hot tub. I’d highly recommend it for those looking for a holiday with a difference in such natural beauty.
San Diego, California
I was lucky enough to travel to San Diego for a work trip, and had never visited before. Despite getting pretty close on numerous trips to San Francisco and other areas of California, I fell in love with the city in the short glimpse of time I had both downtown and in La Jolla. Escaping our meetings, we set straight for the coast, walking along the beautiful beaches and taking in the incredible Hispanic architecture. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of the seals basking along the shore. Before you leave, definitely grab a cocktail and some fish tacos – ideally with a view overlooking the beach.
Oregon Coast, USA
You might find it a little strange that one of my favourite travel destinations is a coast, but trust me here. Since moving to Vancouver, I’d seen plenty of pictures of the many beaches scattered along the coast of Oregon, and decided I needed to go and see it. Hopping into a Jeep and driving from Vancouver to Portland, we encountered some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. They say ‘west coast, best coast’, and if this can’t convince you, I don’t know what will. The incredible wide beaches and mystical Pacific lapping up against the shore makes for an awesome trip where you can choose to stop wherever you like. I’d certainly go back – and remember, no tax in Oregon!
Ibiza is the most incredible island and I’ve visited twice as I simply couldn’t get enough. Whilst a lot of people just associate the White Isle with trashy people and tacky clubs, I can assure you that is a small minority of the island. It actually offers a lot of classy partying in some of the world’s best nightclubs, and you can see world class DJs, from Guetta to Aoki. For clubbers, you could visit a mega club once a night for several weeks, or, if you fancy a more relaxing holiday, the island certainly caters for that. Book a stay at a luxury Ibiza hotel for all the pampering and pre-party treatments and dining you could need, but don’t leave the island without a trip to Ibiza’s sister island, Formentera – to this day, I’m yet to see a more impressive blue ocean in my life.
St Ives, Cornwall
This travel destination is a little closer to home than the others, but no less of a favourite. The UK isn’t necessarily known for its holiday destinations, but Brits do love our seaside towns. St Ives is like no other place in the country – I’ve never seen such tropical looking blue water that looks like it belongs to the Caribbean. There’s nothing quite like a beach walk before fish and chips or a cream tea. It’s the perfect place to relax and explore the quaint cobbled streets of the town and watching the boats bob up and down in the harbour – of course, that needs to be done with a Cornish ice cream!
That’s my round up of some of my favourite holiday destinations – where are yours?