The other day, my housemate and I watched a video called 30 Cities to Visit Before You’re 30. (It’s a great video—lots of pretty pictures and fun facts about the cities.) My housemate and I both love to travel, and she’s been to a bunch of places I haven’t (mainly in Asia), so together we were able to check off a number of the cities on the list.
√ – Lucy
√ – Brea
- Reykjavik, Iceland
Iceland is sort of on my radar. It’s probably somewhere I’ll go eventually, but I have no immediate plans to do so. Minneapolis and Reykjavik are airline buddies via Iceland Air, so getting there would be easy enough.
- Budapest, Hungary
To be honest, I’m wary of the Central European and Baltic countries because I kind of despised Scandinavia, and the pictures I’ve seen of Budapest remind me of Copenhagen. But maybe I’m wrong! Is Budapest the city as awesome as the George Ezra song? Is there good food there (or will I go hungary)? Let me know in the comments!
- Dublin, Ireland √
Grey and flat.
- New Orleans, USA
This is already on my list. Thanks for affirming my decisions, Buzzfeed!
- Paris, France √
Not quite as magical as Ratatouille makes it seem, but still pretty great.
- New York City, USA √√
As iconic as Paris, but if you’re choosing between the two, 100% go to Paris. You could spend weeks in Paris without seeing everything, whereas I feel like you could see most of the worthwhile stuff in New York in a weekend. Plus all the museums in New York cost like $40, and the subway system sucks.
- Munich, Germany
I’m surprised that Munich is on the list instead of Berlin, since I always hear about Berlin. Brea and I agreed to visit Germany and its castles together one day.
- Honolulu, Hawaii √
Brea: Well, actually I’ve been to Kauai. But close enough.
- Venice, Italy √
While Venice is extremely touristy, if there’s one place I recommend going in Italy other than Rome, it’s Venice. It’s like no other city I’ve ever been to; it’s one of the few places I’ve visited that felt truly magical.
- Bangkok, Thailand √
My housemates spent six weeks near Bangkok working with a program called Shear Love International, which helps women who have come out of trafficking. They loved the country and the people they worked with (just not the street vendors that sell bugs), and I know they would like to return one day.
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Tokyo, Japan √
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands √
I loved Amsterdam. Every street was like an Instagram picture, and the food was wonderful.
- Sydney, Australia
- Cape Town, South Africa
This Instagram by a marine biologist who went to school in Cape Town completely sold me on it. I’m scheming about going there this winter, but it’s still very much up in the air.
- Cairo, Egypt
- Barcelona, Spain
- Nice, France
Another weird/random addition, in my opinion, since Paris is already on the list. Vacation spots are hit-or-miss for me, but since Nice is known for being an artsy city, and I loved St. Ives (the much, much smaller Cornish equivalent), it seems like Nice would be worth a visit.
- London, England √
Of course I love London, and now it feels like my home away from home, but my impression of it the first few times visiting was “stressful.” London means running through the station to catch your train. It means struggling to find a place to eat in the middle of town (there’s always the McDonald’s near M&M World!) and receiving the worst service ever. It means hanging out in Victoria Station for the awkward hour between the time that the shops close and the time that your bus leaves. It means no free toilets and expensive coffee and a maze of underground stations.
But it also means the skyline across the shimmering Thames by night; late-night dinners in Soho; galleries on quiet roads in Southwark; the garden-lined walk from Trafalgar to Buckingham; and Hyde Park in the fog of dawn. For me, it was a slow-growing love.
- Vancouver, Canada √
- Hong Kong
- Lucerne, Switzerland
I haven’t been to Lucerne, but I have been to Geneva. Switzerland was one of my favorite places to visit.
- Tulum, Mexico
- Santorini, Greece
I’m itching to go to Greece, but I’m skeptical of Santorini. Pictures of it remind me of Capri, Italy, which was beautiful but in a fake, almost too-perfect way.
- Los Angeles, USA √
The best part about (sketchy) downtown LA was In-N-Out Burger. I would have liked to get away from Sunset Boulevard to climb to the Hollywood sign and drive the Pacific Coast Highway. I also think San Francisco is a much prettier city than LA.
- New Delhi, India
I would love to go to Singapore (and then leave it and its population crisis behind when vacation time is over). Utopia, here I come!
- Havana, Cuba
I’m dreaming of working with sea turtles in Grenada at the moment, but admittedly that’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to Cuba.
- Rome, Italy √
Rome retains a good deal of its ancient landscape, art, and architecture as a reminder of what once made it the center of Western civilization. But it also feels like a sparklingly modern city in places (I did a lot of shopping there…). It’s a must-see, in my opinion.
Out of the thirty places this Buzzfeed list suggests you must go before you turn thirty, I’ve only been to nine of them. That leaves twenty-one, or nearly three per year over the next seven years! I don’t know about you, but (sadly) my budget won’t support that kind of jet-setting.
But maybe fifteen over the next ten years? After feeling a minute of stress, I was relieved to remember that life isn’t over when I turn thirty. I hope to keep traveling for many years after that.
So here’s my own “15 before 33” list:
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Solway Coast, Scotland (just watch episode 2×04 of Homes by the Sea, and you will understand)
- Tokyo, Japan
- Melbourne, Australia (and Sydney)
- Athens, Greece
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Vienna, Austria
- Berlin, Germany
- Cusco, Peru
- Beijing, China
- Seoul, South Korea
- Toronto, Canada
- Anchorage, Alaska
How many places on Buzzfeed’s list have you been to? Which ones surprised you? Which ones do you think are missing? What’s at the top of your own list?
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