The Classic Brunette: Top 10 International Travel Destinations You Have To Visit

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Top 10 International Travel Destinations You Have To Visit

I've been lucky enough to travel so much in my short 21 years. I've been to 16 (soon to be 17) states and 10 countries and through it all I've seen some wonderful places that have taken my breath away. This list is international in the sense that I'm including both places within the United States as well as outside because I feel like I wouldn't be giving you the best places to travel if I ignored either one of those categories! 


New Orleans, Louisiana

I went to New Orleans the January before last for a week long trip for a class and it instantly became one my favorite cities in the world. There's so much history in the city, and there's something there for everyone. I expected to like the city, but didn't expect to have such a great love and appreciation for it. When you're strolling through Jackson Square listening to live jazz music (even if you aren't a huge jazz fan, it really is amazing!) everything just feels more alive. Of course I recommend getting beignets at Cafe Du Monde, but I thought I would suggest a few other things that might not cross your mind. I highly recommend taking a swamp tour. It was by far one of the best parts of my trip, and the best part was that the driver of my boat let us hold a baby alligator! I went with a place called Airboat Adventures and had an amazing experience. I also recommend taking some sort of "spooky" tour, whether it be a vampire tour, a ghost tour, a voodoo tour or even book yourself a haunted hotel room. You're in a city where the history is a little crazy, might as well go for it! If you're up for it, I also recommend taking the trolley out to the Garden District to do a little shopping and look for your dream house. Oh, and take a little trip to Sucre bakery and get yourself something sweet. Trust me, you won't regret it. And lastly I recommend walking out to the Mississippi River and just getting that little sense of nature and calmness within the city. Yes, there may be some passed out drunk people laying out on the rocks, but it's an interesting experience to go directly from lively city to vast river in a block's distance. I loved this city so much that I decided to base my senior thesis on one of the major aspects of the town, Voodoo! And if everything turns out right, I'll be visiting the Big Easy again in January.

Sydney, Australia


I haven't been here myself, but my best friend did a summer study abroad there two summers ago. She said it was a truly amazing city, and brings it up all the time. I haven't met a person who hasn't gushed about the city, its people, and the wonderful experiences they had. I asked her what she recommended someone do while traveling in Sydney and immediately she said the Bridge Climb. She's pretty terrified of heights, but said it was one of her favorite experiences of the trip. It comes with amazing views, and a great story to tell your friends and family back home. She also highly recommended a breakfast place called Pancakes On The Rocks for the breakfast food of your dreams.

Cinque Terre, Italy


Cinque Terre is a group of small cliff cities in Italy that you can only get to my boat, foot, or in some cases by train. When I studied abroad in Rome last summer my friends and I took a day trip to hike through the cities and I'm so glad I went. I had never heard of the towns before, but they are incredibly beautiful. The buildings are painted bright colors and are seemingly stacked on top of each other. The water was bluer and clearer than I've ever seen, and the wine tasting was basically incredibly, and that's coming from someone who doesn't exactly like wine (Please hold your gasps). Although the towns don't have too much to do, I would recommend walking around, trying the local food, and taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. Also, if you plan on doing the hike, fair warning, it's not for the faint of heart. They say it's a hard hike, and what they mean is that it's pretty dang difficult. Also, don't be like me and forget to pack walking shoes and decide to wear a dress. #facepalm

New York City, New York


Of course NYC is on this list! It's another one of my favorite places in the world, and I couldn't not put it on a list of must see travel destinations! I'll keep this one short by saying a few of my favorite things about the city. I recommend heading to the Top of the Rock instead of the Empire State building so you can get it in your pictures! Also, if you stick around in the Rockefeller Center gift shop, you might just score yourself some free tickets to one of the shows that tape there. I luckily got to see a Jimmy Fallon joke-testing show when I was there. Is anyone else totally in love with  obsessed with Jimmy Fallon?

Dublin, Ireland


If you've been reading my blog for a few months, you may remember a post about my travels in Ireland and Scotland. I wish I had more time to travel up the Irish coast, but unfortunately it was a quick trip. The city itself is full of history and tons of friendly people! Take a trip to the Guinness Storehouse if you're into beer, or even if you're just interested in an amazing view of the city. My friends and I also discovered an amazing little restaurant called Mocha Land that doesn't seem like much more than a coffee shop, but if you grab dinner there, you'll see that they make incredible food. I also highly suggest that you check out the Museum of Modern Art, although we never went inside, we got to see the old royal garden that is right beside the building, and it's free!

Edinburgh, Scotland


Edinburgh was the gothic town of my dreams. I felt like I was living in the 16th century while walking around, and for a history major, or anyone who likes old cities, it was absolutely incredible. Warning, if you plan to go in the winter, you will likely freeze your butt off without proper layers and portable hand warmers. If you're looking for some amazing Scottish comfort food, i.e. savory pies, I highly recommend heading to a restaurant called Mums! In terms of locations I loved walking through Greyfriar's Kirkyard (Cemetery) for some eerily beautiful graves and a sad, yet heartwarming story of a local dog. I also really loved touring Edinburgh castle and wandering through the city's many many hills!

Scottish Highlands

Image from tourist-destinations.net
I'm also adding the Scottish Highlands as a part of this because my friends and I took a day trip to the highlands, glencoe, and loch ness. I felt like I was transported to Hogwarts, y'all. They filmed a lot of the Hagrid's huts scenes out in the Highlands and the views are incredible. I still want to happy cry a little inside just thinking about how beautiful the views were from the bus tour I went on. Trust me, best decision of the trip was booking a tour to see the countryside of Scotland. Although the picture isn't one I took myself, that was the types of view you got everywhere.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Okay, maybe I'm just adding this one because of the huge history and Ben Franklin nerd that I am, but I loved Philly when I visited a few years ago. And yes, that is a picture of my looking up at my hero B Frank at UPenn. If you're a history buff like me I would definitely put Philadelphia on your list of future travel destinations so you can check out Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, or where Nicholas Cage had his nerd moment in National Treasure, The Liberty Bell, and anything related to colonial america. Also, be sure to have a cheesesteak for me!

Brussels, Belgium

Image from xpats.com
Although I went here way back in 4th grade, I remember it being an incredibly beautiful city. My favorite memory from visiting was climbing the bell tower in Bruges (I thought this was in the city itself, although the internet tells me my memory is wrong and that it's outside the city in a town called Bruges!) and eating some delicious Belgian waffles with lots of chocolate sauce. Also, a little fun fact that I remember from the city is that there are no french fries, because all fries are really Belgian fries!

Rome, Italy


I tried not to put two cities within the same European country on this list, but I had to include Rome. It's my favorite European city, not just because the Lizzie McGuire movie was filmed there (although it does enhance it's cool factor) but because everything you see and everywhere you go is filled with history. Okay, maybe not the hoards of people trying to sell 2 euro waters or cheap trinkets, but the buildings are full of character and charm. There are a few obvious places to go like the Colosseum and the Vatican, but there are some places that not many people recognize are worth visiting. A few of these are the Galleria Doria Pamphilj, the Borghese Gardens (you can access them by climbing up the Spanish Steps than taking a left and walking all the way up to the top! Much easier than accidentally stumbling up a hill to get there.) and if you're looking for the best gelato in the city, head to Giolitti's.

What are your favorite places to travel?

25 comments:

  1. I'd love to travel to any of these places!
    xo, Syd
    anchoredinthesouth.com

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  2. I love this list! Definitely want to go back to NYC and currently planning a trip around Europe after graduation !!

    Great post Sami,
    Gabby
    theswirlblog.com

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    1. Thank you! Yes I really really want to go back to NYC (and possibly move there...) and yay I really want to do another Europe trip, but my wallet cannot afford that at all lol

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  3. You have to make it to Australia, we visited Brisbane. It was SO amazing!!

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  4. Cinque Terre and Australia are definitely on my list. I hope we make it there soon!

    Floradise

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    1. Seriously Cinque Terre is absolutely amazing, and surprisingly not many people know about it compared to the other bigger Italian tourist spots!

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  5. Such a good list! I want to go to Australia so so badly!! Brussels and Rome are two great places I went while abroad!! I love Barcelona, Budapest, Copenhagen and Marfa, TX :)

    www.mollyonthemoveblog.com

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    1. Thank you!! I really want to go to Budapest, I've had a lot of friends go and they loved it there!

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  6. I want to go to all these places! Especially the ones out of the US of course!

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    1. Haha, yeah traveling abroad is so fun and such a great experience!

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  7. I want to go to them all. I have only been to New York!

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    1. You'll make it to these places eventually! :)

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  8. I started watching Outlander last year and ever since then I have been DYING to visit the Scottish Highlands!!! Definitely want to go. Also I feel very accomplished having been to a lot of your picks! I loved my time in New Orleans, Sydney, NYC, Philadelphia, and Rome!
    XO Amanda | www.glitterandspice.com

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    1. Haha I'm glad you've been to so many and know how awesome they are! The Scottish Highlands are so so SO incredible. Definitely one of my favorite places in the world, I've never seen a place that's just so naturally beautiful.

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  9. These places are all beautiful! They are definitely on my list :)

    XO,

    Hannah from HMS Jewels
    http://www.hmsjewels.com

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    1. Happy traveling, hope you make it to all these spots!

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  10. Woot woot, Philly!! I am also pretty crazy about Jimmy Fallon! I'm hopefully going in July to see a show taping! This list was awesome, I can wait to travel!

    Sunny | astoldbysunny.com

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    1. I love Philly so much even though I was only there for a day! I definitely want to go back, and I'm so jealous you might be going to see Jimmy Fallon, seriously I have a crazy obsession with him haha!

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  11. Great list - in fact, this seems a lot like my own list. NOLA is something that I've really wanted to visit in the US. And the European destinations are gorgeous esp Scotland and Ireland!

    Abby | Life in the Fash Lane

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    1. Haha we both must have great taste then! ;)

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  12. Totally agree with this list! Although I have yet to go to Sydney. I want to go back to Edinburgh and the Highlands so badly.

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    1. Thank you! Edinburgh and the Highlands were truly amazing, sometimes I wish I never left!

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  13. The places I saw here are really wonderful, celebrating a special event like this with the beauty of nature is really cool. When you are in this place, there's nothing you can do than to be happy. I really liked event venues here.

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