Welcome to my “Destinations” blog category!
Here I will be sharing the impactful experiences I have had in cities, regions, and local attractions and events. Hopefully a few or more of these posts will inspire you to design your own travel experience, whether you are looking for a vacation, a cultural experience, or a healing journey.
When I choose my destinations for long haul travel I usually have a specific purpose (historical, health, etc) and then I design a rough itinerary to meet a few other objectives (meet friends and family, food tour). Why not, if you are investing in a 6+ hour flight and using up a bigger travel budget?
For example, traveling to just one European country is difficult for most of us when a completely different culture and landscape exists just a 3-hour train ride away! Leveraging your vacation days with a multi-city or even multi-country itinerary while preventing fatigue and burnout is quite a challenge. How would I know? In 2016 I visited 4 cities in Italy in one week then flew to Lisbon for another week of local and day tripping. In Italy, I had travel companions, one who visits annually and knew her way around, so I gladly followed but rushed through certain areas. (I need to go back). In Portugal, I visited a friend and colleague and had a few days of solo city exploration and “wanderfully” getting lost in the local culture. Both were great experiences! But this is a way to really discover a place and at the same time, discover a few things about yourself!
In this first post, I thought I would share with you a memory of one of my favorite destination countries, Portugal. Pictured here is the Tower of Belem (pronounced “bel-EIM”). It is the 16th-century fortification of St Vincent in Lisbon, majestically built and strategically situated on the northern bank of the Tagus River. It was used to defend the city. It was a relatively hot September day and I hopped off the Hop On Hop Off bus to take a tour. Crowded in the mid-afternoon! I wish I arrived in the morning! I took in some views on the mid-level deck then gave up on the long lines. The stairway climb to the top consists of waiting at each landing to control crowds. So, depending on what time of year and day you go, be prepared with water, good shoes, and a few snacks. I had to move on to a few other places that day, but will definitely return again to finish the tour. The cost was about 6 euros.
How do you choose your destination countries when planning a trip? And within that destination, what inspires your daily itinerary? Food? History? Events?
Please share in the comments below! I am sure someone may be inspired by an idea.