Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Not your typical tropical getaway

I have never been a hot weather kind of gal.  I would much rather go explore the rocky slopes in Montana than dive into the ocean in Bora Bora.  Don't get me wrong, tropical places are beautiful.  But I prefer broad landscapes, mountain cliffs, and that crisp chill in the air.  I have compiled a list of places that I have added to my travel bucket list (or checked off), and I really think you should too!

1.)  Iceland
I most definitely credit my desire to go to Iceland to the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  If you haven't seen that movie, go see it now.  It was the most wonderful story, a great soundtrack, and has the most beautiful landscapes I've ever seen.  Said to be one of the safest countries in the world, it is easy to get around whether it be by car, bike, or by thumb!  If booked early, a flight from New York can be as cheap as $200.  Located right on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a geothermal hot spot.  Most residents have access to cheap hot water, heating, and electricity.
2.)  Tulip farms, Netherlands
Flowers are always beautiful up close, but an aerial view of the tulip farms in spring reveal a beauty that can only be appreciated from above.
3.)  New Zealand
Made up of two islands, New Zealand has a very diverse landscape.  From the alps in the south that sweep down into deep fjords, to one of the world's most active supervolcanoes in the north, saying that New Zealand is beautiful is an understatement.  Not to mention the awesome accents!
4.)  Scotland
Again, time to give credit where credit's due.  I love the movie Brave.  Also, I'm kind of a nerd, I enjoy watching the behind the scenes footage.  While watching that, I found out that Disney sent ALL of their animators over to Scotland, to make sure they truly encompassed the Scottish landscape and culture.  If I could only ever visit one more place before I die, this is it.  I love the music, and I hope to one day hear it playing over the Scottish highlands.
5.)  Norway
Known for their beautiful lakes and enormous fjords, this is a definite must visit if you're not a fan of the tropical scene (like me!).  Just make sure you don't wander off of a cliff!
My travels

6.)  Mont St. Michel (France)
This place is super interesting.  I didn't much care for Paris, but I absolutely loved the french countryside.  I won't bore you with a history lesson, so here's the jist!  A monastery was built on the island Mont Tombe around the 8th century after an Archangel instructed the bishop of Avranches to build a church on the rocky island.  Possession of the stronghold changed hands quite a few times, but the monastery still stands!
Here's the cool part: at high tide, it becomes an island!  If you wanted to go visit it, you had to hurry out during low tide so you wouldn't get washed away.  The church is at the top and requires a bit of hiking, but the base is lined with shops so it won't be a boring walk!  The walkways also look just like Diagon Alley from Harry Potter, which is a freakin' awesome!

7.)  Portofino (Italy)
Alright here's a place you only want to visit for a day, unless you want to break the bank, like, literally.  This is the place where the wealthiest people in the world go, hence the yaughts (picture below).  They have many areas fenced off so that people can't just waltz right up to the UAE Prime minister.  Here you'll have some of the best food in Italy, you have to order the seafood!

8.)  Cinque Terre (Italy)
This trek isn't for the faint of heart.  Cinque Terre is made up of five towns: Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, and Corniglia, many of which can only be reached via LOOOOOONG hike.  A long HOT hike.  But it is so worth it.  In one of the towns, there is an amazing restaurant built directly into the side of the cliff.  Stunning.  My apologies, I can't remember which town, but I'm sure you could easily figure it out by asking around.  This place was made famous for pictures featured in National Geographic, and for good reason.
In order from left to right: Cinque Terre, Portofino, Mont St. Michel, Mont St. Michel shops

I firmly believe everyone should leave the country at least once, if they can.  Experience what's out there!  Meet all different kinds of people!  Try the food!  Taste the wine!  That's something you won't be exposed to here at home.

"The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page." - Saint Augustine


  1. Nice list of amazing places to visit, Allie.
    I've been in more than 30 countries around the world, but I miss all the places you mentioned.
    My next one will be Norway or Iceland.
    Great pictures of Portofino (I'm Italian)! ;-)

    1. Thank you! I loved visiting Italy, the people were so friendly. I'm glad you enjoyed this post, be sure to take lots of pictures of your trip to Scandinavia!