Which 5 places would you like to visit again? Lists like this are always tricky, because they invariably mean eliminating many worthy candidates which don’t make the cut. However I was nominated to write this list by my Twitter followers, so who would I be not to heed the call? In compiling this list, I have tried to be fairly eclectic, and there were five ‘honourable mentions’ which I bumped down the line. Here, in ascending order, is the list of the five places I would love to visit again!
5. Kolkata, India
I only spent a day in this photographer’s paradise. At once traditional and edgy and eccentric, frozen in time yet progressive and exciting. Bohemian, friendly, fun and with a unique culture and cuisine, Usha Uthup’s song gets it right when it screams “Kolkata, you sexy!”
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I love this place – it’s like Singapore and Bangkok had a child, and we’re all invited to its coming out party in Dubai. Malaysian food is om nom nom, the weather is amazing (if you like the heat), the shopping is spectacular and the culture interesting. I would go back just to stroll through the Islamic History Museum one more time!
3. Northern New South Wales and the Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
This place reminds me of family holidays as a child. Twisting roads, verdant rainforests punctuated by waterfalls, sweeping vistas across the hinterland to the populated coastal strip, quaint roadside fruit stalls run on an honesty system, alternative lifestyles, mountain retreats, and all a stone’s throw from civilisation; as an adult, this place could be a romantic’s paradise.
2. Tuscany, Italy
Ahh Tuscany. The food, the views, the people, the culture. Seriously, apart from how cold it was when I visited there last year, there is nothing about this place that I wouldn’t go back for. On our last night in Siena, we followed a religious procession through the city, clapping and chanting with the locals. Simply beautiful.
1. Passu, Pakistan
Heaven on Earth. No words can describe the sheer beauty of this place, and I haven’t been anywhere which compares. The mountains of northern Pakistan are just that little bit closer to heaven, and you can feel it; fruit orchards line glaciers, friendly villages cling to mountainsides, natural springs glisten in the alpine sunlight, all below a canopy of jagged, snowcapped peaks.
Bhutan, because 3 days simply isn’t enough for this little patch of paradise.
Maldives, because I’d love to spend some time truly understanding its unique Indian Ocean culture.
Oman, because like a memorable calm before the storm, I last visited there just weeks before some major changes in my life.
France, because I would love to live in Aix en Provence for a while and catch the très cool vibe; and of course, back to the magical memories of Paris.