It’s been over a year since this pandemic has started and everyone is already itching to travel the world. Bea Alonzo, for example, released a vlog about her top ten destinations. I, too, am dreaming of the day I can travel freely again sans face masks or face shields. As I watched her video this morning, it made me reflect on the places I’ve been to and the countries I want to visit next. Her video gave me the inspiration to write a blog entry about the top five foreign cities I’ve visited in the past few years. I haven’t been to a lot of countries like Bea did so it is only rightful that I choose the cities instead as there are times I’ve travelled to different cities within a country. So, having said that, I want to make it my life goal to visit 20 more countries in the next ten years. So here goes my “hot list,” or Aimee’s top five cities:
- Seoul, South Korea
It was September of 2018 when I went to South Korea with my family. My mom, I guess, enjoyed this trip the most. I was happy to have shared this experience with her. We went to see a lot of tourist spots in the morning and would go out at night either just drinking outside a convenience store ala K-drama scene or going to Myeongdong for shopping. Of course, we never missed out dining in some of their local restaurants, allowing each one of us to have an authentic taste of their food. I guess the best part of this trip was when we went to Everland.
2. Medellin, Colombia
I’ve always wanted to go to South America especially Brazil. But I guess that is for next time. My trip to Colombia was planned on a whim. I was there for a quick getaway. At that time, I was feeling burnt out from too much working and lucky for me, there was a seat sale at the now defunct Insel Air Aruba. The moment my friends and I arrived at Rio Negro, I knew I was gonna enjoy our stay. The drive to Medellin reminded me so much of the drive going to and from Baguio. Although there were blind curves and sharp turns and roads seem dangerous because of that, the scenery from the mountains make it worth the drive.
While in the city, we managed to stroll and explore on our own. I’ve had the best tasting Bandeja Paisa while drinking Colombian beer, ate Frisby chicken with honey, and also tried Mofongo. We’ve been to other nearby tourist areas like Guatape El Peñol. I’ve also done some crazy things in Medellin like touching the private parts of a statue in Botero Plaza. HAHA! and I’ve managed to ride a cable car and be seated next to the window (have I ever said I have fear of heights?). We managed to squeeze in some shopping too aside from clubbing.
3. Las Vegas, USA
Oh this trip is definitely one for the books! My friends and I did some crazy stuff here and we weren’t even sure at that time that our file for back to back days off would be approved. Lady luck, however, proved to be on our side because most of us had our requests granted. We flew to Vegas although we could have travelled by car from Tucson but time is of the essence, we didn’t want to waste any. As soon as we landed, we went to take a pic at the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign. We stayed at the strip so it’d be easy for us to get around. Although all of us would stroll in the morning despite the lack of sleep from previous night’s partying (yes, I partied in Vegas! I’ve never went to clubs and bars her in Manila but I did while I was living in the US), it turned out though that I was the only one who had the will to wake up early and stroll! Well, until I convinced Lou to walk along the strip. At night, Vegas is so alive that most of my friends would rather sleep in the morning and then go out at night. But I chose to do both. And even when I alreadu had the initiative to be touristy in the morning, I still missed out on going to the stratosphere. I haven’t even been to the M&M store and whatnot. But with the crazy friends I have travelled with, I have danced with a stranger for the first time in a club, paid to watch Chippendales (which I’ll never do again) and went to a gay bar with bartenders only wearing boxers and suspenders. So yeah! Definitely one for the books!
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
I’ve prayed for this trip to happen! I was in transition to another workplace when I went to Amsterdam. Lucky for me, my aunt decided to meet me there. At least, I would not be traveling solo and would be with someone. It was winter already. I arrived there last week of November. I was not used to the cold weather. The only time I have experienced winter was when I was living in Arizona. It was only one season and the cold was bearable. Amsterdam though is different. The weather is bipolar and it only goes from cold to colder. Then again, I still managed to enjoy the city. Despite not being able to read and speak Dutch, I was able to commute to and from the airport, take the tram to Dam Square and get back to our hotel without much problem. One thing I enjoyed the most from this trip is the walking tour. I was happy to find out a lot about Amsterdam. I found it very interesting and informational. We went to the Anne Frank’s museum and Van Gogh museum as well and both experience was just way too enlightening. I wish I had more time there honestly! We weren’t able to do the canal boat trip but we did get on the hop-on hop-off bus tour. I also got to drink a beer or two at the Heineken factory.
5. Kowloon, Hong Kong
I’ve been to Hong Kong a lot of times already. I’ve visited Disneyland thrice and I guess, the reason I’ve put this here on my list is because of its familiarity and sentimental value. Hong Kong is the first country I’ve ever visited. I’ve gotten myself familiarized with MTR and I can read their city map very well. I’ve also explored Mong Kok a lot to buy souvenirs, and walked the streets at night to stroll. I’ve experienced traveling to Hong Kong with family members, and also experienced going solo. Either way, I had fun and Honk Kong was always a good country to explore.
I honestly haven’t been to a lot of countries compared to other travel enthusiast. So in the years to come I still wish to explore more cities and countries and still on my list are Peru, Brazil, and France. Who knows? Maybe this entry will have a part two and will morph into Aimee’s Top Five Countries. 😉