Around the World in 5 Countries: 5 Places that should be at the top of your bucket list!
Updated: Mar 10
When I was 8 years old, my family and I took a Europe tour. Being 8, I was less keen to soak in the beauty of the art and architecture, and more grumpy about the fact that we had to wake up at 6 every morning to get into our tour bus and hit the town until dusk. So I snoozed through most of that trip, but when we reached the Eiffel Tower, our tour guide turned to my parents and said, “Wake her up. This is a moment she is going to want to remember for the rest of her life.”
As I groggily awoke from my slumber and watched the golden Eiffel Tower amidst the dusky Paris sky, the starry lights glimmering throughout the structure, I realized how right he was. And, since then, I’ve been fortunate to take in moments of as many as 28 different countries.
Unfortunately, now the pandemic and its many travel restrictions has made it harder to jetset as easily as we once did. So for all those out there eagerly making a mental list of countries to visit once travel conditions are safer, I took the liberty to narrow down 5 countries you should definitely check out, based on my own experiences:
1.Thailand: Flora, Fauna and Fun!
If you’re looking for a place that is as naturally beautiful as it is jam-packed with activities, then look no further than Thailand. The nation’s capital Bangkok is an urban hub of museums, markets and tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace. Also consider visiting Chiang Mai to explore Buddhist temples and beautiful mountainous sceneries and, getting to canoe at the beautiful James Bond Island near Phuket! (The island derived its name after being featured in the 1974 Bond movie: The Man with the Golden Gun).
Taking in the beauty of James Bond Island while posing “candidly” for a picturesque photo.
2. Serbia: Wineries, White Palace and Wilderness
When I think of Serbia, I remember my 21st birthday, and celebrating being of legal age to drink alcohol by sampling Serbia’s sweet red wines from its many wineries. Belgrade, the country’s capital, is a great place to explore Serbia’s rich history from visiting Belgrade Fortress and The White Palace to taking in the beauty of the Neo-Byzantine church St. Mark’s Church, and trying a wide array of dips and seasoned meats.
3. Kenya: Sand, Safaris and Sacred Traditions
When you think of visiting a country in Africa, safaris are indubitably the first attraction that comes to mind and for good reason! Kenya is filled with rich wildlife and animal species from bison to water buffalos to the majestic lion. Make sure to view the Masaai tribe doing their cultural dance and visit the restaurant The Carnivore if you’re a meat lover, so that you can sample exotic meats ranging from crocodile meat to ostrich meat!
Visiting Kenyan tribal villages is a great way to learn more about the rich history and culture of the tribes.
4. Sri Lanka: Culture, Clothes and Charm
Visit Sri Lanka to see the famous Sigiriya, Lion Rock, a designated World Heritage site, a 200 M tall rock structure consisting of various gardens and reservoirs. Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka also has different museums to learn more about the country’s rich history, and the Dambulla Cave Temple is a treat for the senses to explore Buddhist spiritual traditions. You can also delight in a Sri Lankan massage or visit a Sri Lankan clothing factory to see their rich tradition of fabrics and tie around skirts!
Sri Lanka’s garment industry makes use of multicolored fabrics, and they were gracious enough to outfit me in one!
5. Georgia: Mountains, Monasteries, and Meat Soup Dumplings
The first thing that will really take your breath away when you arrive at your resort in Georgia are the lush green mountains that surround the landscape. For one moment, the world collapses around you, until all that remains is you and the snow-capped mountains in front of you. I would suggest doing a private tour so that you can really go around the mountain roads with your tour driver and stop taking pictures at your leisure. A must-try in Georgian cuisine is khinkali, a soup dumpling stuffed with meat. Delicious! Also take the aerial tram ride in Tbilisi to have a glimpse of the city from above and check out the majestic architecture of the Georgian fortresses and cathedrals.
If you get the chance, opt for a photo in the Georgian woollen coat and hat, with a dagger. Makes for a great keepsake, and helps your inner warrior feel represented!