I have read 1000 Places To See Before You Die, 100 Places Every Woman Should Go, as well as a myriad of other books on travel and adventure. My reasoning for travel was and is very simple: I felt like my life was stagnant and I was not sure what my purpose was in life.
I did not know whether or not traveling around the world would help or worsen my issues.
All I knew is one thing, I was not comfortable with where my life was at that present moment and I sure as hell wasn't going to wait around the same job, routine, and life that I was presently at.
I am so incredibly thankful and grateful to have been able to see so much of the world at such a young age and I cannot wait to see what kind of adventures I will go on in the years to come.
Below I have listed 10 places that I have personally gone to, and the reasoning why you need to visit the city, state, or country, as well.
Above: Top to bottom (Fruita, Ridgeway, Grand Mesa National Forest).
Colorado is known for its diverse landscapes and geography. Whether you are into alpine mountains, deserts, sand dunes, canyons or lush forests, this state is for you.
Tip: This state is best seen with the access of a car. I feel like 90% of the tourists only go to the Denver area in Colorado, which I must say is a beautiful area, it's only a little slice of what Colorado has to offer. There is so much exploration and adventure to be had in this state with so many different types of landscapes and history to offer.
Above: Top to bottom (Venice, Rome, Florence, Bologna).
I spent 2 amazing months in the stunning country of Italy as an au pair. This experience allowed me to totally immerse myself into the Italian culture. The richness of history and timeless beauty is unique, unlike any other place I have ever visited.
Tip: Transportation is amazing here and traveling the country without renting your own vehicle is tremendously easy. Take advantage of not needing a car. I recommend using Blablacar (long distance version of Uber), Flixbus, and trains.
Above: Top to bottom (Machu Picchu, Salt Mines, Cusco).
I lived in Cusco, Peru for 2 months while I was volunteering at a local special needs orphanage. This was my first time being away from family and friends for such a long period of time. This trip was a much needed and deserved trip that I had planned and saved up for for a years time. I met so many beautiful people from all over the world that taught me so much about life, relationships, love, and what truly matters in life.
Tip: When you go to Machu Picchu, take a bus up those damn stairs. It is NOT worth walking up the stairs. I was exhausted by the time I got to the top and wanted to crawl into a corner to sleep.
Machu Picchu is a MUST.
Above: Top to bottom (Nice, France).
Nice is such a beautiful city. The ambiance, people, and weather made my 3-day trip here amazing. I stayed at an Airbnb in the city and was able to get everywhere walking.
Tip: Getting to the second smallest country in the world, Monaco, is also very easy while you are in Nice and can be done within 1 day. Take a bus for 1.50 euro to the country and explore the country on foot.
Above: Top to bottom (Munich/Bavaria, Germany).
I knew I would love Germany before I even arrived. The food, culture, people, history, and beauty made me fall in love with the country in the 3 days I was there.
My dream is to move and permanently live in Germany one day, so we will see where the future takes me.
Above: Top to bottom (Zurich, Switzerland).
I was only in Zurich for 1 day (I know, so terribly short) but I made that 1-day work. Zurich is not at ALL affordable, so I'm happy that I only stayed for 1 day. I bought a small ice cream cone for $12, so that can tell you how expensive it is there.
Tip: Go to the grocery store and stock up on food from there. Zurich is not cheap whatsoever and there is not a way to work around it.
Above: Top to bottom (Sydney, Australia).
Sydney and the surrounding towns of Sydney in Australia remind me so much of the U.S. The diversity of cultures, fashion, landscapes, and animals make this place one of my favorites in the world so far. I cannot wait to come back and visit Australia again, especially since I only have visited a small portion of the country.
Tip: Sydney can be very expensive as well, so stay in hotels, hit up the grocery store, and take advantage of the buses, trams, and other transportation options.
St. Louis, Missouri
Above: Top to bottom (St. Louis, Missouri).
St. Louis is my home, so, of course, I have to include it in my favorite places to see. St. Louis gets a bad rep from outsiders, but do not let what they say fool you. The people, food, culture, and ambiance of the city are the reasons why St. Louis will always have a special place in my heart.
Tip: There are so many FREE things to do in St. Louis. Take advantage of the freeness. CITY MUSEUM IS A MUST. I am not exaggerating when I say there is not a place like it anywhere else in the world.
London is being added to this list, with Las Vegas being pushed out. I went to London this month (November 2016) and it has got to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen (OK, I might have said that before), but it was also one of the cleanest cities EVER.
Tip: Get a hotel in central London, so you can walk everywhere. Transportation is amazing here, and it's very easy to get to where you need to go.
My mom and I went on one of our mom and daughter trips to Seattle. It was actually a last minute trip because we were on standby on another flight and the flight ended up being completely booked. Needless to say, Seattle will forever be one of my favorite places and I can even see myself living here one day.
There is beautiful lushness everywhere. The air feels so fresh and clean unlike anywhere else in the world.
Leavenworth is a MUST. I cannot wait to go to this city during Christmas.
Tip: Rent a car and explore the state. You will see hidden beauty from your car that you would not see otherwise.
As I mentioned above, I am so incredibly grateful to have been able to visit so many places at such a young age. I inherited my wanderlust from my dad, who passed away when I was 14. He explored so much of the world and had such a positive, vibrant outlook on life. I hope to make it to Egypt one day like he did in this picture below.
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