Oh, the places you’ll go!

Look at that! Two blog entries in one week! This must be some sort of world record! I kid, I kid… But before I dive into today’s blog, I just wanted to let everyone know – because obviously, my blog sees loads of regular visitors, so that’s why I’m using the word “everyone” – which reminds me that I haven’t set up Google Analytics on this new domain yet – that I reread my previous blog entry and made some edits to it. My blog entries are statistically unproven 99% word vomit, which means I don’t reread or edit my blogs after I click “publish”. Apologies if you’ve noticed any pronounced grammar errors in my past entry!

Anyhow, I met up with two of my longtime friends today, and on my way home, the get-together made me daydream about all the places I wanted to visit in my 20s and 30s.

I have been friends with these two ladies since I was 13-years-old. We first met online on a Neopets forum called “Dizzy Cafe”; in later years, it was called “Delirium” and “Aura”. They were the first ever online friends I met in person. This was back near the beginning of university, in 2007 or 2008. Now, at 25-years-old, the three of us are moving into a brand new stage of our lives. I recently graduated; Jess just finished teaching her first year in Korea; and Niki just got engaged. On my way home from the get-together, I counted the years that we’ve known each other, and I couldn’t believe that I have known these two women for over a decade of my life. We met up today because we all recently came back from a trip overseas, so we decided to meet up so we could catch up on each other’s lives. At The Drake Hotel’s Sky Yard patio, we chatted Hungary (Niki), Korea (Jess), Brazil (me), along with general updates about our lives.

It was the discussion about the countries we recently visited that stood out to me the most. Ever since I’ve been back from Brazil – it’s been a month since I’ve been back! Can you believe it? – I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. Today’s conversations really had me thinking: What are the top places I want to visit before I turn 40?

So on my way home, I made a mental list, which I will publish here, in no particular order:

  • Australia: Mostly because I really want to visit the Great Barrier Reef!
  • Egypt: I want to do a double whammy of both Cairo and Alexandria. Alexandria because I was obsessed with the Ancient Library of Alexandria when I was a kid. How grand it must have been, to carry so many culturally important scrolls and documents within its rooms. Although it’s no longer standing, it still fascinates me (and saddens me) that so much was lost in that fire. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could somehow time travel to a day in time when the library was still standing? Its semi-replacement, Bibliotheca Alexandrina looks to be a worthy of a visit though. I am not entirely sure why I want to visit Cairo, but for some reason, that Egyptian city fascinates me too. Also, Egypt has the pyramids! An obvious must see.
  • Tibet: I have an impression of Tibet being a naturally stunning country. I am not sure if it would be an ideal place to visit when I am young and loving cities, but from the photos and videos I’ve seen, Tibet just looks beautiful!
  • London, England: Their long history and their modern culture are so interesting! Plus, London is a rather short flight away from Toronto. Very do-able for a 20-something-year-old.
  • South Korea: Food. I love Korean food. I also want to get LASIK surgery done there.
  • Japan: I think I might leave this place until after my 40s. I’ve heard Tokyo is very expensive, and I don’t think I can afford that right now, especially with OSAP payments coming up!
  • Greenland: I definitely want to visit Greenland one day, and hopefully before my 40s too. The photos and videos I’ve seen of the country are absolutely stunning, and it seems like one of those naturally beautiful places that would take your breath away!
  • Hong Kong, China: I have never visited Hong Kong since immigrating to Canada when I was a kid, so I have no recollection of what it is like as a city. As a city lover, I define Hong Kong as the city of all cities. Its skyscrapers, huge population and superb transit system are things I would like to experience. Plus, I can almost speak the language fluently, so that’s a huge advantage for me!
  • Shanghai, China: I have heard stories about Shanghai’s smog problems, but regardless, I would still like to visit the city. It looks like a stunning, up-and-coming city in China, so I want to be able to be apart of it as it grows! I also want to visit a city where I can learn and practise my Mandarin.
  • Taiwan: Mainly because of their food.
  • Sao Paolo, Brazil: I wasn’t able to leave the Sao Paolo airport when I visited Brazil this summer, but because I’ve heard lots of great things about it as a city from my friends in Brazil, it has entered into my list of places I want to visit! I hear that it is the most multicultural cities in Brazil, and is much much bigger than Toronto in size. I love cities, so these characteristics are something I want to check out!

The list is obviously incomplete because I am sure there are dozens of other places I’d like to visit but I can’t think of them right now! What do you guys think of my list? I’ve contemplated on adding places like Venice or Rome on to the list, but I feel like they can be left for a later stage in my life rather than in my 20s or 30s.

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Instagram

  • Imagine living here. You'd be completely undisturbed, with nothing but pure nature around you. Such a beautiful country. 🏞️ (Throwback, obviously.)
  • When it's the last day in #Porto, and you want to take some final photos of the beautiful square in the city, but you don't have time to check your photos, and it isn't until you're on your way back to the hotel to grab your luggage so you don't miss your flight (which ended up being delayed for an hour), do you realize that the sun was so bright that afternoon, the best photo editing you can do is to make the photo black and white. #RunOnSentence 🇵🇹
  • Dinner. Brussels sprouts and a bowl of mussels cooked in white wine sauce. 🤤
  • This is not really the typical photo I share on my Instagram account, but because I liked the experience so much, I decided that I want it as a permanent photo on here.

This photo was taken just after I alighted from the metro train at the airport station. I sat by the window as it rolled into the station, and was able to watch the futuristic style architecture of the airport building stream past the window. I also really liked seeing the train tracks be directly embedded in the grass all the way from the last station to this station. The whole futuristic look of the building in the background behind the green grassy train tracks is such a pretty aesthetic. Kudos to the exterior designers who planned this. ✈️🌱
  • 70+-year-old port wine from Portugal. 🇵🇹 (Not really a fan of port wine, but this is decent.) #WineTour
  • Oh god, this dinner was so heavy. A full glass of green white wine (filled to the brim, as I've already drank most of it), a francesinha (a classic Portuguese dish; a layered meat sandwich dish coated with cheese and a slightly spicy gravy (?) sauce), and then with fries. 😵 As I mentioned in my Instagram Story, this is peak Portuguese, as I was watching a football game (@slbenfica losing 2-0 to a 13th ranked team) on a TV screen at the same time. 🥴🇵🇹 #DrunkWithCarbs

P.S. I'll have you know, Anthony Bourdain paid a visit to this restaurant during a trip to Porto. Legit. 💁🏻‍♀️ #AnthonyBourdain