My over-zaelous-ness with flags and stickers invites a lot of people to ask ‘why?’. When I explain that all the countries I bear are ones that I’ve been to, their reactions typically are ones of ‘awe’, quickly followed by the question “Well, which is your favorite?”
…. DAMN YOU ALL!
Do you know how difficult that is to answer? Anyone who has/does travel, whether over seas or within their own nation, will know that this question is impossible. Each one offers so many different experiences that they can’t be compared!
But, in spite of all the banter, I’ve decided to create this list that will serve as my go-to when answering this question.
The ever exotic Iceland. The country that everyone wants to go to, but few actually do! My time there was limited, only because – thanks to Icelandair – I was able to do an extended layover while flying to London. But wow, am I glad to go at all. There’s something soothing about knowing that you’re on an island country that’s in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean alone. The weather was brisk, the air was clean, and the people were as friendly as could be. It was a nice pre-trip adventure before embarking across Europe.
How could you not choose Germany?? The always alive – always vibrant – always friendly nation. I’m fortunate enough to have been twice, and both times were off-the-charts awesome. Beer gardens, bratwurst, and football games** are always a recipe for success.
**disclaimer: I am a bandwagon fan. I was not an FC Bayern Munich fan until I went there the second time.
Now we’re getting into the sentimental part of the list. I will always hold Mexico near and dear to my heart. Bro (my grandpa) lives in Cuernavaca, and so every once in awhile I get the opportunity to go visit him. I’ve been to and from Mexico a guestimated half-dozen times and each time is a new experience. When I went this past summer, my entire family and I visited Bro and had a blast. We visited ancient Aztecan ruins, played golf and tennis, and ate FANTASTICALLY.
The first time I was in Switzerland was mid-January, with my dad when we attended the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference. We spent a few nights in Geneva, and then travelled farther along Lake Geneva to Montreux and Leysin. My friend Michael (the one on the left in my Germany picture) actually went to boarding school at the Leysin American School so we visited him. I happened to mention to Mike how awesome it would be to go skiing. By coincidence, he had an extra pair of ski pants that fit me, so there we were! Impromptu ski trip in the Swiss Alps. Dad let me rent some equipment and off we went. I’ll never forget that one.
My first trip :’) ! Where the wanderlust began. Summer after 8th grade, my mom took me to Finland, where out ancestry hails from. My grandmother was born here so our family there is relatively closely related! I feel like I got the true Finnish experience. Our family picked us up from the airport in Helsinki and immediately drove us to their town of Hankasalmi, where we met up with the rest of the family. Almost within the same minute, we were in the sauna, and then next thing I know, I’m butt naked in a freezing lake! For the rest of my life, this trip will be embedded in my brain and heart as the one that started it all. I’m glad my brother will be able to experience the same thing this upcoming summer.
There it is, my list. STOP ASKING ME NOW! It was hard to narrow it down, but I did. There were a few that JUST fell short, including Italy, Austria, Georgia, and the Netherlands. No hard feelings, bud.