The top three places I’ve visited

The+streets+of+Cirencester%2C+England

The streets of Cirencester, England

Over the past few years of my life, I have traveled to some truly magnificent places ranging from the gorgeous views of our own Great Lakes to foreign countries. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, and going to both small towns and monumental cities has given me memories I will carry with me through the rest of my life. As difficult as it can be to put these trips in order due to the vastly different experiences they were, I will attempt to do my best to rank my top three favorite places I have visited.

3. New Mexico

I first visited New Mexico last summer; the trip was a birthday present as I got to fly out by myself and see family. During the first trip, I stayed in Albuquerque and took a tram up to the top of the Sandia Mountains. The view was one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen, and it was well worth the wait. Despite the relatively barren landscape, everything around holds a vast sense of beauty to it that is difficult to capture in other places. 

The enchanting views and village were breathtaking, and I only wish I could’ve stayed longer.”

My most recent trip to New Mexico, my favorite by far, was my Thanksgiving trip for a family get-together. We stayed in a small town called Angel Fire, which is at an elevation of 8,400+ feet. Although they didn’t have many stores and restaurants within close proximity, it was well worth the drive. The enchanting views and village were breathtaking, and I only wish I could’ve stayed longer.

A view from the Sandia Mountains

2. The Netherlands

A windmill at Keukenhof, one of the largest flower gardens in all of Europe

In the weeks leading up to this trip, I convinced myself I’d be able to learn enough Dutch to understand people there. While this sounds foolish, and even with the knowledge that no one can learn an entire language in two weeks, I still attempted it.

Once the trip started, I could talk about people and food at an elementary level after many hours spent on Duolingo, despite not having the courage to speak to people. However, this was not the biggest thing that happened at the beginning of the trip. During customs, I passed out, which would have been embarrassing enough without it happening while we were talking to border control. Despite its rocky start, the trip turned out amazing. I stayed in a small town called Ruinen and traveled back in forth by train between there and Amsterdam. I got to see the house my Grandpa grew up in along with many of the villages my family used to live in. 

One of my favorite parts of the Netherlands, aside from the city and my family ties, was the food. In Amsterdam, I tried all sorts of foods such as poffertjes and stroopwafels, and I still wish I could’ve taken them all home with me. I would also want to revisit Amsterdam. Although there was poor weather while I was there, it’s still such a beautiful city, and I would love to see more of it. 

1. England

Honestly, I don’t know where to start with this trip; it was genuinely one of the most astonishing cities I’ve ever experienced. I had the pleasure of spending two weeks in England over the winter break of 2021; I lived through an English Christmas, and I have to say I still prefer the American version. I spent four days in an apartment in London and spent the rest of the time up in the Cotswolds in a village called Northleach. My time in London was spent exploring the typical tourist attractions such as Big Ben, The London Eye, and The Thames, but during my time in Northleach, I saw different aspects of the history engraved in England’s past.

A picture of Warwick Castle, funnily enough they were playing “Party in the U.S.A” by Miley Cyrus

In Northleach, I went to Warwick Castle, which contained an actual dungeon and a plethora of historical artifacts. Blenheim Palace was less historical but still a grand edifice where I saw an unforgettable light show. However, my favorite part was the horror attractions I went to. While this may sound unorthodox and not the typical favorite of tourists, visiting them was the most fun I had on that trip. I went to The London Dungeon and The Castle Dungeon, a horror show franchise based on each place’s history, and I even visited one in Amsterdam. The London Dungeon featured Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper, and even a free fall at the end. The Castle Dungeon, while more scaled back, was still immensely enjoyable, and I even got called on trial as a witch, which led to an embarrassing series of events where I pulled a push door in front of a variety of scare actors that made fun of me. It was a phenomenal trip that I have barely begun to scratch the surface of, and I could write for hours about all the places I saw and things I did.

So, as 2023 begins, I look forward to the many new experiences in front of me, including an exciting trip to Spain this spring break that’ll have to be a new addition to my list. I hope to always be able to go to these extraordinary places and continue to explore all of the remarkable places within our world.