My top 5 travel destinations

Yep… it’s official. 2015 is almost over. And just when I was getting used to writing 2015 instead of 2014! Is it just me or did this year whiz by faster than the Formula Rossa?

So for my very last post of this year, I figured I may as well hop on the reminiscing bandwagon and share my top 5 destinations of all time. It was no easy feat to narrow it down to just 5. Not to mention I still have soooo many more places to tick off my bucket list. But let’s get started, shall we?

  • Greece

“I left a piece of my heart in Greece.”

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How could you not fall hopelessly in love with that view?

Greece is, by far, my all time favorite spot on the planet. Given the opportunity I would gleefully abandon husband and home to settle in Greece. No offense, hubby darling. You know I love you. Just not as much as Greece apparently.

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Just another evening in Santorini

But seriously. Somebody offer me a job in Greece. Like right now. You will have my eternal, undying gratitude.

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Sighhh…
  • Spain

I have yet to visit a place that I feel is more ‘vibrant’. There just isn’t a better word to describe good ol’ Espana.

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Granada in all her glory

There is an underlying current of energy that seems to pulse through this country and its inhabitants.

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You know you’re going to love a place when their McD looks like this!

The buildings, the people, the clothes, even the food! – everything is bursting with color and dimension. Spain made me feel like I was seeing in 3D for the very first time. Then again, that MIGHT just be all the Sangria talking!

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What’s a Spanish meal without some Sangria?

 

  • Vietnam

If you are a traveler who is open to off the beaten path experiences, Vietnam is your nirvana.

No human beings have ever touched our hearts and made us feel more safe and welcome than the people of Vietnam. Time and again we were blown away on that trip by one eye opening lesson after another. Vietnam was a study in humility and in counting life’s blessings.

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A morning out on the Mekong delta

Not to mention Vietnamese cuisine is one of the best I have ever tasted. PERIOD. I would willingly fly back there just for a sip of their creamy, sweetened coffee and to gobble up some lemongrass skewer barbecue. Crazy much?

Vietnam 5

  • Seychelles

Seychelles. Where the oceans had enough shades of blue to rival any multicolored rainbow. Where the waters were so crystal clear we could see a crisp outline of our shadow on the seabed.

Seychelles
Where clear skies dotted with puffy clouds took our breath away

Where we sampled the local cuisine at everything from multiple starred restaurants to roadside food stalls. Where every turn on a hiking trail had us gasping in pleasure at the panoramic views spread out at our feet. 

Seychelles 2.jpg
Following the trails at Jardin du Roi

Where the locals are so warm and inviting they think nothing of regaling you with their life story for 30 minutes when you stop to ask for directions or of hopping into your car for a lift. Where precipitous cliff roads wind so close to the ocean that waves splash onto your windshield. Thank you Seychelles for memories to last a lifetime!

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Bonnes vacances indeed!

 

  • India

I am going to cheat on this one and round off my top 5 with India. As an Indian, I am ashamed to admit that I have not given due credit to my own country when picking travel destinations. Grass is always greener on the other side and all that jazz.

kerala

But a lifetime spent exploring this country would barely scratch the surface. A land of mist draped mountains; meandering lagoons, emerald valleys and sapphire lakes. And this is just in Kerala, a tiny state of southern India. Don’t even get me started on the pristine snow-clad peaks of the North, the national parks of the East and the bustling metropolises of the west.

A rich and fascinating history, warm people who will adopt you as a family member at first sight and never forget – the FOOD! (That seems to be a recurring theme, doesn’t it?).

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Houseboat in Kerala, India

So there you have it. My top 5 in an ever changing list. Lots and lots of warm, fuzzy memories.

Here’s wishing you and your families a blessed and joy-filled 2016. May love, laughter and light follow you wherever you go.

Stay blessed!

Until next year…

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42 thoughts on “My top 5 travel destinations

  1. Great round-up! Definitely agree with Greece…and I dream of the day when I’ll just be able to spend all summer lounging around on a Greek Island. Have visited Spain and Vietnam, but only just scratched the surface and definitely need to spend more time…but have to agree about Vietnamese food. Lol…that’s half the reason why I want to go back!

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    1. Sighhh… a summer on a Greek island would be a dream come true 😀 And yes… I too would gladly spend more time in any of these places 🙂 Each holiday is just a few days and barely enough to sample all that the country has to offer 🙂

      What are your favorite places from your travel list?

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        1. Hehe yes I can imagine how tough that was. It took me quite some time to finalize my list too 🙂 But I always love hearing recommendations from other travelers. My wishlist keeps growing that way 😉

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  2. Hi Diya! We haven’t been to either of your top three. Greece and Vietnam are on our list. Someday, perhaps. 🙂 I would have probably placed India first. There are so many fascinating places, secluded, and isolated from popular tourist sites. The northern and north-eastern circuits are among are firm favourites. We’ve been to Kerala on multiple occasions mostly visiting family. Basil’s mum is from there. 🙂

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    1. So many places to see and so little time. Like they say “I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list!” 😉

      I did read somewhere on your site about the South Indian connection and I wondered if you were from Kerala 🙂 Hope you’ve enjoyed your visits there 🙂

      Like you I love the idea of settling down somewhere remote in the lap of Mother Nature. I’m just concerned if I’ll experience techie withdrawal symptoms 😀

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  3. Gasp ! You are from India !!! And to think I introduced the meaning of the world Diya to you 😛 *facepalm* Excuse me please 😀 I thought you were a native of UAE. And please do not tell me you are from Kerala as well. That would be the heights !!!!
    And as for the destinations, undeniably Greece is on my list but I must say your inclusion of India is a twist. I am from Kerala and places like Munnar or Alleppey which is normal for us, when seen from the other side is quite spectacular. I did not quite realise it till now.
    That picture of Santorini. ❤ ❤ Which month did you visit? I have heard Santorini is quite crowded but you have managed to capture a real beautiful one with all its inherent beauty 🙂

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    1. Lol… You’re not going to enjoy this but yes, I am from Malluland! 😛 😀 If it makes you feel any better I would never have guessed from your picture that you are from Kerala 🙂 The name had me confused though 😉

      And yes, India is highly underrated by us Indians. Such stunning places right in our backyard and we give them no credit. Muttatha mullakke manam illa 😉

      We visited Greece in April. Santorini was gorgeous no doubt but a tad bit too touristy. I’m glad we left before the peak season which would have made things much worse 🙂

      P.S. I am envious that you get to live in the US – the land of fantastic road trips 🙂 How long have you been there?

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      1. Whaaaa O_o . Thank you for jolting me out of my sleepiness with this “profound” information 😀 Ohh boy ! And now that I have processed it all, I am really excited to know where you are from. Let us get chatting 😉 Do mail me through my contact form 🙂

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                    1. heehehee..purake nadan shalyam cheyunu enn vicharikaruth 😛 I know one of my friends in the UAE, who is toooootally like you. But for the description “I am an introvert” in your About me, I would have thought you are her !!! And also I know she doesn blog but still 😛 the similarity is uncanny. Even the way you chat and write is like her. Both English and Mallu !!!

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  4. I love how varied your list is! Often when I see a list it’s all Asia or all Europe. I like that you are including countries that are not just geographically, but also quite culturally diverse. They each present vastly different experiences too. I consider myself reasonably well traveled but I’m actually happy that I have yet to visit 3 locations on your list! Always more of the world to see 🙂

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    1. You know I hadn’t quite thought about it that way before! I picked each of these places (after much deliberation) based on some special meaning they hold for me. The diversity is purely coincidental 🙂 Thank you for pointing it out 🙂

      I do need to drop by and read more about your ‘ramblings’ 🙂 And you are so right… so many places to see and not enough time 😉

      P.S. What are the 3 pending ones for you to visit?

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      1. My ramblings require some updating…. but I have a few drafts that I just never got around to posting. But I’m back on the blogging wagon now!
        My 3 top places to visit that I haven’t been to are Bhutan, India and Peru. And Iceland

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        1. Same here. I’ve lost track of all the poor, abandoned posts languishing in my Drafts folder 🙂

          One of the top things on my travel bucket list is to see the Northern Lights. Fingers crossed that I will get there some day 🙂

          I hope you manage to make it to your dream destinations too. All of those places are absolutely stunning!

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  5. Hey Diya,

    Loved the way you described all destinations, especially Vietnam; it made me to go through more on the Vietnam Tourism.

    I’d recently visited Manali and I’m truly in love with this peaceful place. You’ve well said that we Indians ignore the beautiful travel spots within our country. And, yes, Kerala is next on my travel list, may be sometime this year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sara! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂 If I can get even one reader to look into any of these places, my work here is done 😀

      Manali is on my wishlist too. Hubby is dying to do the Leh-Ladakh trip sometime soon. So many places, so little time 🙂 I do hope you manage to make it to Kerala. Totally worth a visit 🙂

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      1. Haha… my hubby is trying to confuse me with options of leh-ladakh trip… he’s more into visiting cool places and I’m into greener… surely will share my experiences..

        And try not to visit Manali between December to mid-March so that you can go till Rohtang

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  6. I am so keen to travel to Greece too. And Seychelles.
    But, then you came to India, and I forgot everything else. 😀 You’re so right…. just don’t get us started on Incredible India. 😀
    I’ve been to Kerala but only the southern side (Kovalam). Haven’t been to the Cochin side yet.
    Currently, planning a mommy-daughter trip to north-east in May. (goes all dreamy-eyed)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Greece is absolutely worth a visit. And India of course is a must on every serious traveler’s list 🙂

      The mommy-daughter trip sounds like fun!! I do hope you’ll write about it so that the rest of us can live vicariously through you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. How am I supposed to choose a holiday destination when you make them all sound so tempting? 😛
    Since you seem to insist on Greece, though (and it’s top of the list, after all), I might consider that first… I do love Spanish food (+ sangria) and Vietnamese food, though!
    What time of year did you go to Greece?

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    1. Lol… They are in my favorites list for a reason 🙂 Greece is my personal favorite but both Spain and VIetnam possess their own charms.

      We visited Greece in April – what is called the shoulder season. The con is that the weather is hit and miss. We were blessed with decent weather but I imagine a beach holiday might be ruined if it were too cold to go swimming 🙂

      The pro is that you get super deals, particularly on accommodation, which can get quite pricey in places like Santorini. Not to mention you avoid the hordes of visitors (and trust me there are tons of them!).

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  8. Oh Diya…i love your post. Have you visited all these places ? Have I missed reading about them in detail on you blog?
    You are responsible for introducing Greece to my travel bucket list….lol
    We have been planning to visit Spain since last two years and it doesn’t materialize for some or other reason.2016 may be the year of Spain…ha ha
    You are so correct abt writing that we Indians neglect the beauty of our own country.

    Wishing you a Happy new year and may 2016 be the year where you explore more beautiful destinations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mini! Thank you so much! You always make me feel soooo good about my posts 🙂

      And yes, these are all places we’ve visited in the last 2 years or so. Long before I started this blog. Maybe I will eventually get around to writing about some of them 🙂

      I unashamedly declare that Greece should be on everyone’s bucket list. Pretty please if you’re going take me along? (bats eyelashes innocently) 🙂

      Seriously though… I think everyone has ONE country that is their ultimate dream destination. Looks like yours is Spain 🙂 I do hope you manage to get there this year. I’m sure you will love it!

      Have a great 2016 hon! God bless!

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