What is your Favourite Travel Destination?
This is a question I have been asked many times and I would imagine many of you have as well. Of course, there can’t be just one single favourite, Or can there be?
Once I really started to think about the question “What is your favourite travel destination?”, I realized that everyone must travel for different reasons. Now, I always answer that question with questions of my own such as: “What are your interests when you travel?”, and “Do you travel primarily to meet people, to study the history or the culture of a destination, or to observe its wildlife?” This makes it easier to answer their question by zeroing in on a place that I have visited that may have some of the elements they are interested in and would like to incorporate into their travels.
While I admit that I have done a fair bit of traveling, there are still many places I hope to visit and I continue to look for new and exciting places to visit that pull me for a purpose. Each trip I take is planned around something special I am hoping to see or experience.
As a child we received the National Geographic Magazine monthly in our home and from there grew a desire to travel and experience the world first hand.
Wildlife at home in its natural environment has always been high on my list. Travelling to South Africa taking a safari and seeing animal’s wild, free and in their native habit was the primary reason for my trip. On a recent trip to Alaska, which is so much closer to home, I realized that spending time in Denali Park was equally exciting when we saw grizzlies meandering along the side of the road right next to our coach, a cow moose with new born calves and two wolves take down a snow hare. IT all feels like you are in the middle of a National Geographic moment and a witness to nature at its finest.
Last year in India, I met my first red panda. Last year in India, I met my first red panda. Native to the Himalayas, this little fellow does not look like a panda but rather like a red raccoon with a striped tail.
Next year I hope to see the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.
I love the hustle and bustle of big cities. Here you find experiences unique to each cities, their history and culture; museums, theatres, shopping and dining are all part of the excitement and energy that I enjoy.
High on my list of things to see and do were climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower, standing under L’Arc de Triomphe and Big Ben, looking at New York City from inside the head of the Statue of Liberty, walking through the Taj Mahal, standing in Moscow’s Red Square, Bejjing’s Tiananmen Square and walking on the Great Wall.
Recently, when I was in China, after walking the Great Wall with my tour group, we sat down for lunch and discussed how amazing it was that we actually did it. Wow!
One big highlight on all my travels is the people I encounter. In each destination I meet locals, hear their stories, sample their cuisines and walk away knowing that laughter, tears and smiles are all universal. Those individuals that I am lucky to travel with have enriched my life through a shared adventure and have in many cases become friends for life.
Written by: Joan Niemeier