My Favourite Travel Destinations of 2019
Last year, I visited 19 different countries, many of which for the first time. I know that I’m a bit late to the party with my list of my favourite travel destinations of 2019, but I’ve been wiped out with another 8 day week at work. I also fell asleep way before midnight so I’ve realised that I’m officially old now as well.
2019 was such an amazing year for travel for me. I visited nineteen different countries, seventeen of which for the first time. I had some absolute disasters with cancelled flights, tickets not being issued properly and a suitcase that fell into a pool of urine (it was in the toilets at the airport, don’t judge me). But I had some awesome experiences as well! So, my favourite travel destinations of 2019…
1. Petra, Jordan
My absolute favourite destination was Petra, in Jordan. Petra is one of the Wonders of the World, and you probably recognise it from Indiana Jones. The city is carved into rock, and was lost for hundreds and hundreds of years. Walking through it was one of the most breathtaking experiences I’ve ever had. In fact, the entirety of Jordan was just something else, from the lonely expanse of the Wadi Rum desert, to the bustle of the capital city Amman.
Whilst accomodation in Amman can be quite expensive, I’d recommend the Sandy Palace Hotel. I also spent a treat yo’self night in the W, which was insanely luxurious.
2. Salem, USA
Salem was such a cool destination, and somewhere that I’d wanted to visit for ages. I just visited for the day from my base in Boston towards the end of October, which as you can guess is the peak season for Salem. The Amtrak train from Boston took around half an hour and was only $10 for a return ticket.
Salem is known for its infamous Witch Trials, and it was so interesting to learn more about this whilst I was there. But the city is so much more than this, and there was so much to discover. I wish I’d spent more time there, but I’m thankful for the amazing time that I had all the same.
3. Boston, USA
I only had a limited amount of time in Boston too, having chosen to spend most of my time in New York. If I could, I’d do it the other way around because I enjoyed Boston way way more. It’s a big city with a small town feel, and despite visiting during Autumn, the weather was really good as well. Pretty much everyone I met was so friendly and the city had such a warm vibe to it.
As a history nerd, walking the Freedom Trail which follows the founding days of America was really insightful. It was really great to learn new information as well as seeing historic buildings and monuments that I’d spent years reading about in person for the first time.
4. Brussels, Belgium
I’d wanted to visit Belgium for quite a while, and I always had Bruges in the back of my mind. But with £15 flights to the capital, I couldn’t really say no. From what I’d heard about Brussels from other people, my expectations were low, but I was blown away. I’d been told that Brussels was run down and dirty. Whilst there were areas like this, like any other city, Brussels was rich in culture with so much to discover.
I pretty much went in blind without researching what to do beforehand, just relying on the not too positive experiences from other people. Really, the whole trip was an entire revelation. I’d definitely go back to Brussels, just a couple of days there really wasn’t enough.
5. Bergen, Norway
My final trip of 2019 was also one of the best. I love those straight to TV Hallmark movies where the New York based CEO has to visit a small town snow covered town somewhere at Christmastime and falls in love with a farmhand, or Father Christmases daughter or something like that. Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, is definitely that.
Bergen is dominated by wooden buildings, quiet and colourful side streets and the most welcoming of people. I had the most amazing stay at the Radisson Blu, right in the middle of the historic Bryggen district. It was ultra-affordable in the off-season, and to be honest, visiting this time of year meant that was even more to do. Seasonal attractions that I enjoyed included the amazing Christmas Market and the Gingerbread Town.
Overall, I had some amazing trips in 2019 (and some not so great ones – looking at you, Morocco), but I can’t wait to get stuck right in 2020!