Colmar, France (Photo by: Cort Freeman)

There are few things that I love more than traveling. M’Lady, my dog Farley, my family, Taco Bell, and that might be it. Whether it’s domestically here in the States, or abroad, there’s nothing like getting out and exploring.

It’s a chance to step outside your comfort zone, and experience a new culture. I’m grateful to have had the chance to do my fair share of traveling. I’ve found some of my favorite places in cities I never expected, and had a few places fall short of expectations. Hey, not every vacation can be a dream. It happens.

I’ve been all over, but there are still a lot of beautiful places on my list that I haven’t been to, yet. I still haven’t been to Italy. I’d love to one day see Venice. Enjoying some wine in Tuscany would be nice, too. I haven’t been to Greece, either. Oh, and I would love to one day go to New Zealand and see the Shire. Tokyo might be pretty neat, too. You get the point. There are a lot of places I’d love to see.

However, instead of wasting time talking about all the places I would like to go, why not share some of my favorite places I’ve been. Maybe you have some PTO to burn and are looking to get away, let me be your tour guide. Here are 10 cities across the world I highly recommend you check out at one point, before it’s too late. Not saying that will be any time soon, but…you know. It happens. So, here are ten places across the world that I suggest you visit. Only one is here in the U.S. can you guess what it will be?

  • Doolin, Ireland

    Doolin, Ireland

    Doolin, Ireland (Photo by: Cort Freeman)

    If you asked me my favorite place on earth? I’d probably have to say Doolin, Ireland. It’s green as green can be. It smells like the sea. It’s a small little town on Ireland’s west coast close to the famous Cliffs of Mohr. There’s truly nowhere like it. Being there felt like a bath for my soul. I felt at home and at ease.

    There are a couple of different pubs and some interesting shops. My favorite part was exploring on foot. It was breathtakingly beautiful and I can’t wait to go back. It really felt like I was in the cast of Banshees of Inisherian.

  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    You probably expected Amsterdam to be on the list, and of course it is. However, not for the reasons you’re probably thinking. Okay, those reasons are great, too. I mean…real great. Like much greater and stronger than what we have here. It’s wild, man.

    Besides all of that, Amsterdam is one of the most unique places you’ll ever go. The canals and bridges provide photo opportunity after photo app. There’s no stopping. The parks are beautiful and full of tulips, the architecture is like nowhere else, and the fries. Ohhh those street fries are to die for. You’ve got to go. It’s much safer and cleaner than you’d probably expect, too. A wonderful place. You’ll get your exercise, too, because there’s so much walking to do and so much to see and do across town, you’ll never want the day to end.

  • Paris, France

    Paris

    At the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Photo by: Cort Freeman)

    Ah, oui. Paris. I always wanted to visit Paris, and when I did it did not disappoint. The Eiffel Tower is truly a sight to behold. Although, I must admit climbing it is a scary experience. You’re looking down! And you are high up there. Oof.

    The restaurants are unbelievable and the baguettes alone are worth the trip. I loved being able to sit at a cafe and people watch. It’s like you’re a character in a book. It’s a surreal feeling. In addition to the Eiffel Tower, we went to the Louvre and all the other must-see landmarks. There are so many, but you’ve got to see them all. We were there a couple of years before Notre Dame caught fire, so I’m glad I had the chance to see it prior to that.

    I recommend Paris for anyone looking to travel, they really don’t hate Americans like I expected. The people were actually quite friendly and were excited to meet someone from the States. At least the people I met.

  • Colmar, France

    Colmar

    Colmar, France (Photo by: Cort Freeman)

    Yes, Paris is beautiful. However, it’s not my favorite city to visit in France. No, that title belongs to Colmar. Colmar is a tiny town in France close to the border it shares with Germany. In case that wasn’t obvious by the architecture.

    The buildings are beautiful and I felt like I was in Beauty and the Beast. It had to have been inspired by Colmar. The towns look identical. It’s so charming and different than anything you could experience here in the United States.

    One of the best parts is actually one of the problems, as well. It’s so remote that there’s not a lot of English speakers. You’re on your own. Thankfully, I took three years of French in High School, and can still kind of hold my own with the language. I guess. However, that’s what makes Colmar great. That’s what’s so wonderful about traveling. Whenever I go overseas or anywhere for that matter, I always want to live like a local. Where do they eat? What do they do on Saturday night? That’s the best way to experience a new culture, and Colmar gives you that opportunity.

    Colmar

    Another view of Colmar (Photo by: Cort Freeman)

  • Sayulita, Mexico

    I love Mexico. Spring Break in the Mayan Riviera was always a treat and nothing short of amazing. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to Sayulita. It’s on the west coast, about an hour or so away from Puerto Vallarta. It’s a small surf town and isn’t anything like the experience you get in Cancun or on the east coast. It’s chill and laidback, and one of my favorite places on earth.

  • Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

    Luxembourg

    Luxembourg City (Photo by: Cort Freeman)

    Luxembourg City may be one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been. It’s unreal. Not just the scenery, either. The people are all incredibly beautiful. All of them! How does that happen? It’s a very cool place to visit and soak in the views and valleys. It’s another place that has a book feel. Like in a James Bond movie or book. It’s sophisticated and sexy, in a way. It’s hard to describe until you go there.

  • New Orleans, Louisiana

    I allowed myself one American city for the list, and I choose New Orleans. When you visit New Orleans, you feel like you’re in a different country all together. Where else do the buildings look like that? On top of that, NOLA has the best food scene in the country. I say that full chested without any doubt. The Po’Boys, the oysters, the gumbo…it’s worth going to New Orleans just to eat…and we haven’t even mentioned the drinks.

    It’s not all about Bourbon Street, though. Yeah, it’s cool and worth seeing. But, you really experience the authentic New Orleans when you get outside of the French District. You can’t visit and just stay in the French District, you’ll be missing out on so much. Get out and see NOLA!

  • London, United Kingdom

    London

    London Rainbow at Sunset (Photo by: Cort Freeman)

    I’m not going to lie, visiting London made me wish I was a student at Hogwarts. I visited the Kingscross train station and saw Platform 9 and three quarters and even walking around it all reminded me of Harry Potter and how bummed I am not to be a wizard. Once the sadness wore off, I was eventually able to enjoy London. The fish and chips are better than any you’ll have around here. Pick your spot, they are amazing. There’s also so many iconic landmarks to see, and I swear the food isn’t as bad as it’s been made out to be. I actually enjoyed it.

    London

    River Thames in London (Photo by: Cort Freeman)

  • Toronto, Canada

    Toronto

    Toronto, Canada (Photo by Canva)

    Canada making the list! I’ve been to Toronto a couple of times, and always have a great time. It’s like a poor man’s New York, and I mean that in the nicest way and not to be offensive or a slight. I loved Toronto. It’s just a micro NYC. You get all of what you want to experience in the Big Apple, but in a much more convenient and kind way.

    I went to see a show at Second City and was in tears laughing. I’d highly recommend that. Also, the peameal bacon. Mmm.

  • Brussels, Belgium

    Brussels

    Brussels, Belgium (Photos by: Cort Freeman)

    You like beer? Then you’d like Brussels. The beer menus at bars are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Wait. No. Not true. It’s like the menus at The Cheesecake Factory…but with beer. Amber beer, light beer, dark beer, champagne beer, fruity beer, it’ endless. It’s like Bubba Gump talking about shrimp but with cold refreshing beer.

    It’s not all about drinking, though. Yes, the fries are great. There’s also a lot of culture like the European Union is based there. It was a popular hostel city and I met people from all over the world, and we all went out together, it was a lot of fun. A big old melting pot.

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