You probably guessed by the name of my blog, but I REALLY love to travel. There’s just something about dumping myself in the middle of a strange place and wandering around semi-aimlessly whilst trying to order food and buy things in the local language that fills me with unspeakable joy. This love of travel, of course, means that there are A LOT of places I’d love to visit, far more than I could list in a single blog post. But that won’t stop me from trying!
So, without further messing around, here’s 7 countries on my ‘you absolutely must visit here’ list that I haven’t gotten around to yet.
In my mind this doesn’t even need an explanation. The more I learn about Iceland, the more I’m drawn to it. There’s something about all that rock, ice, and wilderness that really deeply appeals to me. Also the Northern Lights. Also I can wear coats all year. Also it’s stunning. Do I need to say more?
You’re going to notice a theme, which is that I like the cold, mountains, and places that have a lot of green. I’ve wanted to go to Norway since I read one of Roald Dahl’s autobiographies when I was younger, where he talked about growing up in Norway. It’s such a dramatic country, surrounded by deep fjords carved by ancient glaciers with equally breath-taking mountains and picturesque villages scattered over the landscape. Or so I’ve heard. I’d love to take the train journey from Oslo to Bergen and witness the Norwegian landscape first hand.
Yes, another of the Scandinavian countries. What can I say, it’s an area of the world that really appeals to me. I almost went to Copenhagen on my exchange, and whilst I don’t for a moment regret picking Edinburgh, Denmark is still someone I want to really experience, not just spend a few days there.
More European mountains. Honestly though, after watching the Sound of Music is there anyone who didn’t dream of frolicking in the Austrian hills? I have technically been to Austria, but I don’t really count a few hours on a quiet Sunday afternoon in Linz and the bus ride between Italy and Munich. Austria, particularly Vienna and Salzburg, have always held a pretty special place in my heart, and it will be a dream come true to visit them one day (hopefully with A in tow).
This might be a bit of a weird one, I’m not entirely sure. Russia’s another one of those countries that I’ve been captivated by. It began with my love of Russian classical music. As someone who grew up playing the flute, and therefore surrounded by A LOT of classical music, ‘the Russians’ (Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Stravinsky, Shostakovich) always stood out to me as clear favourites. When I began to learn about Russian history at the end of high school, I was hooked. For a long time it was what I wanted to specialise in, and I even spent two years learning Russian. Although I think academically I want to go down a different path, there’s still something magical about Russia that makes me long to visit. Probably once it’s a bit safer, though.
“Finally out of Europe”, I can hear you all thinking. I won’t deny it, I am particularly drawn to Europe. But I also want to visit Canada. I’ve never really been interested in visiting America (and whilst now I’d go to visit my US friends it’s still not high on my list of places I want to visit), but Canada has always seemed so different to me. Again, it has glorious mountains and stunning scenery, as well as cities I’ve heard are pretty cool and people who are supposed to be lovely.
Finally for today, Japan. It may seem like a bit of a wild card, and I suppose in a way it is, even for me. I’m interested in Japan, but (aside from Hayao Miyazaki’s brilliant films) not the pop-culture aspect of Japan most people seem to find fascinating these days. Being the history nerd I am, I’m more interested in the history of Japan, it’s traditions, religions, and relations with its neighbours and the West and how they evolved. I also really want to visit Hiroshima and learn more about the impact dropping the atomic bombs had from the Japanese perspective. And, I mean, I LOVE Japanese food, so that won’t be too bad either.
So there you have it, 7 of my ‘must visit’ countries. Let me know if you like this sort of thing and I’ll do more of them!