I was very lucky in 2011/2012 to have a job that paid well and gave me all Fridays off, which meant that I could do a lot of traveling that year, and the year after was the year I moved to live abroad (London!) for two years, so when asked about hobbies I tend to put ”traveling” rather high up on the list!
As I am currently spending way too much time daydreaming about traveling (essay writing is an extremely boring task, and the dreariness of rural Sweden is quite conducive for growing one’s wanderlust), I thought I should write about my favorite destinations so far, and some of my dream trips, that might very well be on the cards in the foreseeable future…
So, without further ado – let’s start with my four favourite destinations already visited:
- London – of course I had to put London on top of my list! It is my second favourite city in the world (the first one being my hometown – well, soon again – Stockholm)! A vast array of museums and theatres for the cultural crowd, lovely bars (with a drinkable cider, as opposed to the sickingly sweet Swedish stuff), excellent restaurants and clubs for the party crowd, very good shopping for the one with a kind credit card, and loads of lovely sights. If you haven’t been – go visit!
- Berlin – another favourite. I was in Berlin a late March weekend, and, through a stroke of luck, I had temperatures above 20 degrees all weekend, so it was a very pleasant stay indeed. For someone who is interested in the Second World War (as I am), Berlin is a treasure trove. Great restaurants (I especially enjoyed the Delicatessen (or Feinschmeckerabteilung) at the large department store KaDeWe (Kaufhaus Des Westerns). There is also a huge amount of night life, though I chose to forgo all that for early nights at the hotel (could also have something to do with the pit stops I made whilst walking for wine and a nibble 🙂 )
- New York City – Well, do I really need to motivate NYC? Multicultural, pulsating with energy, New York truly is ”the city that never sleeps”! I had a lovely time there when I went in August 2013 (but maybe August isn’t the best month to visit, as it was extremely warm!) and I do very much want to return. Something worth remembering is that there’s more to NYC than just the hustle and bustle on Manhattan! I found the New York Transit Museum, as well as a splendid restaurant and some really quirky shopping in Brooklyn.
- Helsinki – I think Helsinki must be the city I have been to the most times, if you don’t count the places I’ve lived. I cruise a lot (no, not like that, get your mind out of the gutter! By the fantastic ships M/S Silja Serenade and M/S Silja Symphony) and most of my cruises go to Helsinki. You can find a lot of good shopping in Helsinki (and they do killer sales!) as well as a few decent museums, Churches etc. Stay tuned for a list with my tips for the budding Helsinki-traveller! It is, in general, a very good city for a 36-hour break, and I heartily recommend traveling by sea from Stockholm!
- Washington, D.C. – I have, technically, already been to D.C, but that was on a conference trip through my college, and so we had ”baby sitters” with us all the time (not saying anything against that, letting 17-18 yo kids out on their own in a major city they’ve never been in before is probably a logistical nightmare). Ever since the first time I saw West Wing, I’ve been wanting to return to this mecca for all us politicos (yes, I actually have a ”spad” entry on my CV too, the first full-time job I ever had was as a political advisor to a municipal councillor in Södertälje, a town 60 kms south of Stockholm) I’ve been wanting to go, and now I feel it’s time!
- Rome – As someone who’s identifying as (Anglo-) Catholic or Anglican Papalist, The Eternal City has a special place in my heart, as the place where one can find the Vatican (and, thus, the Successor of St Peter). Me and the ex did talk about going, but apparently it is a dangerous city if you look Asian, as they tend to be targeted by pick-pockets and the like. Now that I’m single again, Rome is very high on my list of places to visit!
- Paris – Believe it or not, despite having lived in London for almost two years, I never took the time to take the train to Paris! The ex and I discussed going to Paris too, but apparently the local crooks tend to target Asians there too 😦 Paris was very high on my list of places to visit, and still is, but after the atrocious terrorist attacks in November, I feel like i want to wait a little while for things to quiet down.
- Queen Mary II – admittedly this is more of a dream than something that is doable in the near future, but I have been wanting to take the Queen Mary II on a cruise Southampton-NYC-Southampton as long as I can remember. Will need to save some money first though, both for the tickets, and to buy a nice dinner jacket 🙂