While these posts don’t get clicks I treat them as a sort of diary. It’s nice to see how my interests have changed (and how infrequently I actually get to visit the places I list…). But I will be combining all my tops into a single post this year!

Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2022

Let’s start with the countries, which have simultaneously changed a lot and not changed much at all. Some have very familiar names and a few I’ve never before mentioned.

Egypt

It seems to be a trend that I find one country each year to become totally obsessed with. In turn it has been Guatemala, the Faroe Islands, and Uzbekistan – countries I still have not managed to get to (despite much planning).

Egypt has ruled my 2021. Beginning rather innocently in March, I started reading some archaeology magazines. From there I watched, rapt, an entire lecture series on Wondrium from a highly engaging professor. Next, I watched YouTube Timeline series, read books and articles, listened to podcasts, and totally spiraled.

I am hoping to go to Egypt this year, perhaps in May, but so far it isn’t looking good so, hopefully some other time. To the naysayers who note that Egypt is often the most-regretted country for people to visit, I’ve done my research. It seems clear that if one has a guide the entire time, you’re likely going to have a good time. Not every country is meant to be seen by yourself, unfortunately.

abu simbel

Faroe Islands (Denmark)

This has been here many a-time and it shall remain here until I finally actually see this place. It’s not the easiest to get to, it’s expensive, but at least in all of this time waiting I have now turned 25. This means I can stop trying to figure out public transport and just rent a car! Huzzah!

Denmark would be cool to see as well, and I would probably see some of it on a Faroe’s trip. Almost all flights depart from Denmark.

This will also cut down on my costs because I can just park the car at a campsite and sleep in it. In the meantime, I am hoping to catch one of my favorite singers (Eivor) in Chicago at some point. It’ll be a taste of the Faroes before I can get to the amazing archipelago with the even more amazing natural sites and formations.

Perhaps it is my desperation to see these incredible sites that leads me to my next choice.

pond in the middle of grassy mountains

Iceland

Iceland has always been there, in the back of my mind. But I’ve lately been watching a lot of YouTube videos from people who live there, and read the book How Iceland Changed the World. So now I think it’s high time I went to Iceland.

Iceland has just as many amazing sites as the Faroe Islands and a deep literary culture that I have long been interested in. I’m considering making my focus in Linguistics on nordic languages, if I can swing that. The volcanic landscapes convinced me, as did all of the spas, of course.

The good news is that my family now lives in New York, making a trip to Iceland much more feasible at just about any time that I can get everything together. Hopefully, I can make it work this summer. I want to test out all the spas!

black sand beach with a volcanic rock

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is still here, still waiting, despite dashed plans due to Covid. I will see this Silk Road country someday. The incredible architecture, the even more incredible food (I’ve started cooking a lot of Uzbek meals lately – a new way I’ve discovered to connect with countries I wish to visit), and the historic sites.

Despite finding it depressing, I’m very interested in seeing the remains of the Aral Sea, and riding on a train throughout the countryside. Currently, there are no plans in the works to visit here, but hope springs eternal.

Taiwan

This is the country I have tried….three? Times to visit. I’ve cancelled flights twice, hotels and hostels, intricate plans…all because of Covid. Originally, I was honestly going because of convenience – Taiwan is close to Korea meaning it’s a short flight. But then I became far more enamored with the country as I looked into it.

Gorgeous views, architecture, food…and tea. I love tea. And as a consolation prize for not going to Taiwan I got super into Taiwanese oolongs, which are probably the best teas I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to actually visit Taiwan to try them in the local tea shops.

I am hoping to get a scholarship that would see me back in Korea in the summer of 2023, if I get that then I’d be able to hop over to Taiwan as well.

view of Taiwan and islands

Greece

Greece has occasionally moonlighted on this list, but it has risen several spots. This is because I am in love with Italy. And what does that have to do with Greece? you might ask. Well, they have a similar climate and amazing food and I thought before I settled down totally with the idea of Italy as my future home, I’d best visit Greece.

It’s also looking reasonably likely that I might go to Greece this summer. Which has, of course, prompted much research. I’ve always been interested in Delphi and sailing around the islands, but now I’m fascinated by the monasteries and beautiful views Meteora affords and Mycenea’s archaeological sites.

meteoria monastery in the mountains

Guatemala

Guatemala has slipped down a ways, primarily because I don’t see myself going there any time soon and other places feel more tangible but I still really want to go. My interest in archaeology has grown since I discovered I can go inside tombs now.

While my main draw to Guatemala was Lake Atitland and yoga/spirituality courses, I now want to explore the jungles and the ruins that are hiding in them. But I definitely still want to head there for peace and relaxation. I imagine a trip here would have to be quite long for me to get the full experience, so it will have to be left for later! Luckily, it is a cheaper country that is quite close so it might be perfect for a winter vacation.

Spain

Those who know me may be shocked to see this on my list. After all, having spent ten hours there I came away (literally) with a bad taste in my mouth. But since then, I’ve watched Anthony Bourdain’s episode on southern Spain, my interest in the Basque region has grown, and all that’s left is to plan a trip!

One of my close friends speaks Spanish quite well so I hope when she’s finally free from her quarantine prison in Korea that we’ll be able to take a trip together along the southern coast (and maybe dip into Gibraltar and Morocco if I get my way :P). I want to experience tapas, religious celebrations, and the Moorish architecture!

Originally, I was hoping for Spain this summer. Now, it’s not looking too good as my friend is trapped in Korea and she’ll likely want to use her vacation days to visit her family and me in the US, rather than abroad. But you never know!

view of Moorish architecture

Peru

Peru has long been in the back quarter of my mind, waving its hands eagerly. And I’ve just ignored it. Perhaps it has something to do with the fresh-faced sick presenters at my school who had just got back from a dig site – with sinus infections from breathing in dead people dust. Icky.

I’ve since been working hard to overcome my fear of dead things and this seems…less terrible (but still pretty terrible). I’ve long loved reading articles or books on exposing the Peruvian jungles and if I can get my stamina up, I’d love to take a long trek through the hidden palaces and temples. And I love llamas so I’d be thrilled to see some!

Jordan

Jordan came about while trying to plan a trip to Egypt. Many companies pair the two together…and so many people said they loved their time in Jordan more than Egypt! As a bit of a history obsessed person this is almost unfathomable…until…

I watched Dune. I’m not a sci-fi person, I’ve read the book and didn’t like it all that much. But the movie. Visually, beyond stunning – the prettiest movie have ever seen. So much so I went back to the theaters to watch it three times, which I have never done. It just belongs on the big screen.

And it was partially filmed in the deserts of Jordan. Now I want to visit those deserts, see Petra, and figure out what everyone loves about this country!

Country I Most Want to Revisit

I struggled to decide on this one. I’ve been lucky enough to revisit the places I’ve wanted to over the years (much more success than my top 10 list) I returned to Italy and Korea. And while Italy is always going to be a resounding “Yes” from me, I wanted to shake things up a bit.

Scotland. Scotland is one of the most stunningly beautiful places I have ever been, and I only spent 6 days there. And I was primarily in Edinburgh. While I loved Edinburgh, I want to explore the highlands more than anything.

After returning from Ireland, I couldn’t help but compare the two countries in my head. And I want to be able to compare them fairly and that means making it up to my top destinations of Orkney and Shetland. Let’s see if the luck of requesting to return to a place holds!

highlands
highlands

Top 5 Places in the US to Visit

Santa Fe

This place came to me on the recommendation of someone else. They hadn’t been but they have wanted to for a long time. Curious, I started looking into it.

And wow I can see why this would be a top destination! Not only is there some stunning natural and historical stuff to see, there’s a big focus on art and outdoor sporting. It just seems like a fun place to explore in and around in my quest to see all the US National Parks.

New Orleans

I’ve been putting this on my list for years. I feel like the “vibe” of New Orleans would fit in well with my interests. I especially want to see the nightlife and experience some of the party culture. Exploring the nature is also on the list and I’m curious to see how similar it is to Florida.

Add to it some delicious cajun food and I’m sure I’ll have a great time!

Utah

Yep, and entire state. Utah has so many things I want to see, primarily in the National Parks area. I’ve never been to a more “desert-y” place so this would be a first for me. Moab, Arches, Zion, and then places with alluring names like Fiery Furnaces and The Narrows. It all sounds amazing!

I briefly looked into applying to a school here, but I figure living in Utah is probably not the best for my travel-minded self!

The Keys

I have briefly been to the Keys when I was younger. But as I get older I find the urge to explore these myself. There are also two National Parks that I haven’t been to here.

Part of me loves Florida, especially for the nature, and the other part can’t stand it. So I plan to “finish” Florida and put it to rest in my traveling mind.

Chicago

At least this one is completely attainable. In fact, I’m hoping to see this city in the next month or so if weather and a new job permit. Chicago is one of those…”close but no cigar” places. Much like Spain or Switzerland, I’ve only glimpsed it from layovers and flight delays.

Being a famous city I’d like to go and explore myself. I’m hoping to time it to an event of some sort because, well, I love to go see shows and my little town doesn’t have many. I’ve also missed going to museums? So I’ll be hitting up as many of those as possible.

US Spot I Most Want to Revisit

Wyoming. I have been wanting to get to Wyoming for a couple years. Primarily spurred by the Longmire books but also for the incredible nature and “cowboy” phenomena.

I finally got to go this past July and absolutely fell in love. The incredible nature, friendly people, and fresh air have lured me in. I only got to see half of Yellowstone and none of the Grand Tetons so I absolutely have to return for that. I also hope to do some kind of long horseback ride over several days if available.

view of jade water in a canyon

And that’s that for what I’m hoping to accomplish travel-wise in 2022!

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