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Favourite Overseas Travel Spots

  • February 6, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 26 Comments
Favourite Overseas Travel Spots

Where do you like to travel to for an overseas holiday these days? For a lot of Australians Bali or South East Asia is a popular choice purely for the close proximity and affordability. We also don’t mind a trip across the ditch to New Zealand for the same reason. Whilst others still like to travel further afield to Europe or the Americas to their favourite overseas travel spots.

So with so much conjecture about favourite overseas travel spots I asked 11 other Travel Bloggers for their favourites and this is what they came up with:

Montmartre, Paris

Lyn & Steve – A Hole In My Shoe

Our favourite place to travel overseas is Montmartre. We love getting lost in the steep, cobbled streets in the most interesting neighbourhoods in Paris. Home to the highest point at Sacre Coeur, the view is worth the trip up the many, many steps along the way. It’s a great way to walk off all the flakey, buttery croissants. There are so many paths, alleys and stairways to choose from, so put away your map and follow your instincts, making a turn where ever you fancy.

A great way to catch your breath after all those stairs is in a sidewalk café. It’s the Parisian way, seated at a table, coffee, croissant and no agenda, just being. The air filled with the confused aroma of coffee, croissants and cigarettes. The sounds of bustling traffic and little dogs barking as the buskers play their harmonica can be heard. It is a sensory overload. Gazing at 19th century buildings, admiring the beauty of the architecture, the ornate balconies where bright red geraniums grow. The cream walls with graffiti and ornate doors and the contrast of slate coloured rooftops and terracotta chimneys.

But right in the middle of this lively neighbourhood tranquillity and romance can be found. Representing the true essence of love, peace and romance at Square Jehan-Rictus on Place des Abbesses is the I love you wall, a meeting place for lovers. If you like something different, you can wander amongst rows and rows of ornate crypts at Montmartre Cemetery. With the help of a map listing plot numbers you can find the resting places of many famous painters, dancers and artists. It’s true, our favourite place to travel overseas is Montmartre and leisurely exploring the area is a great past time.

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Lauren – Kiwi Rugby Travel Stories

I’ve travelled over 200,000kms in the last 3 years, London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, I can tick them off my list. However what is the most favourite place I’ve been to in all of my travels?

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Yes that’s right, right in my own backyard – practically.

There’s been times I’ve needed to switch off, from technology, life and even civilisation (sort of) just to see how it is to really live. This place has done it for me.

Yes, there is the village and yes there is a few people residing there, however – being here really shows you how isolated New Zealand truly can be.

Just some examples of how isolated you are from the real world: No cellphone reception – so you can ditch your cellphones, and that’s right no social media!; The closest bank is in Twizel, 42km away; Also – the closest supermarket is in Twizel as well, so if you plan to visit, bring in your own food and cash as the options are limited in the village.

If it’s quiet enough (which it usually is) you can hear the wind coming off the mountains. However – surprisingly despite the isolation, approximately 250,000 visitors head to Mt Cook Village each year, and yes there is a few accommodation options in the area ranging from hotels to chalets to hostels and even camping.

I managed to trek on the Kea Point and Hooker Valley tracks whilst I was there, I wasn’t able to finish at Kea Point due to the light (in July the light fades at approximately 4:00pm) but managed the second swing bridge on the Hooker Valley track, which was awesome considering 12 months prior I had been recovering from a broken back.

There’s some times that civilisation gives you what you need and what you want. But there’s other times you need to really live to find your purpose.

Borneo

Anne – Let Me Be Free

Borneo has to be one of my favourite travel destinations as it is a diverse country and has a little bit of something for everyone.  If you are a nature lover like myself then you will fall in love with this part of the world.

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah state located in the north of Borneo. With pristine beaches and lush tropical rain forests it is a nature lovers paradise.  Climb to the summit of Mt Kinabalu in time to watch the sunrise.  Visit the Orang-Utans at a rehabilitation centre or try your luck and spot one in the wild.  Otherwise spend the days relaxing in a beach side resort.

Sipadan is a small island and it has to be my favourite places to snorkel. There is a wide variety of marine life and a vertical wall or drop off that makes the island so special. Mind you I must admit seeing a Barracuda prominent sharp edged teeth was a little scary!

Sandakan has plenty of war history and the memorial park is definitely worth a visit to learn about the infamous WWII death march where only 6 Australians survived.

As you can see there really is something for everyone!

Singapore

Suzannah – A Couple Of Grey Hairs

If the world is my oyster, then what is my pearl? a tough question for a travel lover. But never one to shy away from a challenge I will put my hand up and say Singapore.

Singapore is both an ideal destination in her own right but also a marvellous jumping off point for the rest of Asia or as a stopover on the long jaunt to Europe. She is foreign enough for the first time traveller without being totally alien.

If you love gardens you will think you have arrived in heaven. From the beautiful orchids that abound in Changi airport to the wonders of Gardens by the Bay and the stately botanical gardens you will be lost for words.

Even if modern architecture is not your cuppa, I guarantee your jaw will drop when you first glimpse the Marina Bay Sands hotel. From there your eye will wander down to the Supertree Grove in Gardens by the Bay. Their twice nightly Garden Rhapsody, a free son et lumiere performance is a must.

For the history buff, a Singapore Sling in the stately Raffles hotel awaits. And yes, if shopping is your thing Singapore’s pretty good for that too!

Eastern Turkey

Jan – Budget Travel Talk

With it’s heady mix of exotic culture, helpful locals and an impressively diverse landscape, Turkey is my favourite overseas spot.

Jumping into the vivid dense blue of the Turkish Mediterranean, walking amongst the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and driving through the biblical landscape of the east, are special Turkish experiences. Then there are the Black Sea coast and the Georgian Valleys of the North East. Turkey truly is a smorgasbord of experiences.

But how best to see such a large country?

Driving is the ultimate. The fuel efficiency of small diesel hire cars offsets high fuel prices and the superb highways are practically empty.

Buses are a great budget option. Turks themselves nearly always travel by inter-city bus. The network is comprehensive, efficient and affordable. Boy bus-attendants in velvet suits and caps, serve up drinks and snacks and on long trips two work on rotation! There are many competing bus operators and everyone has their favourite.

There are some great romantic long distance train trips linking Ankara with the east, but generally trains are not as flexible as buses.

In the current political climate, why not enter Turkey by ferry at one of the smaller west coast ports? This is a long established practice that neatly side-steps busy Istanbul or Ankara.

Bali

Annette – World Travel Tribe

Italy ranks very highly for her history, culture, people, food and wine, however, based on frequency; I’d have to say Bali.

Beautiful Bali along her east coast wins the number one spot, especially after uncovering the hidden gem of Amed last year.

Amed is a sleepy little fishing village also known for it’s snorkelling and diving just 40 km’s from the thriving tourist mecca of Kuta (where we never venture).

We’d taken a month off and the much talked about “road trip around Bali” was to be crossed off our long List of “must do’s”.

As we drove into the tiny town, I couldn’t help thinking it was like winding back the clock 30 years to how Bali was before the rest of the world slowly discovered her.

Very few Aussie’s venture up to this sleepy little town, as there isn’t much to do other than read, snorkel, dive, fish, eat, sip cocktails and relax, perfect!

March is low season so we simply walked into our chosen accommodation on the beach and negotiated a price for $30 per night.

South Island, New Zealand

Anita – Wildheart Adventures

Throughout my career as an International Flight Attendant people frequently asked me where my favourite destination was. I have been to numerous exotic locations and many countries full of culture and tradition with food that harnessed the essence of flavour. However, there was no country that caught my heart quite like that of the South Island of New Zealand

It offers a vast variety of holiday options, be it adventurous, luxury, family, backpacking or honeymoons to name a few. With the choice of wineries, glaciers, ski resorts, hot springs, whale watching, hiking, adrenalin sports, camping or enjoying a fresh lobster on a beach surrounded by seals in Kaikoura, all your senses are engaged while in New Zealand. It is a destination that caters to all tastes and styles.

During winter every corner of the highway that winds through the Southern Alps surrounding Mount Cook is like a picture perfect post card. Queenstown is a stunning city that nestles itself around Lake Wakatipu and hosts some amazing views and restaurants to satisfy the food connoisseurs and hungry travellers. It also is a great place to base yourself for your daily ski trips, kayaking on Milford Sound or taking a helicopter ride over Mount Cook. The beauty of New Zealand is beyond words leaving me speechless a number of times, be sure to add it to your bucket list.

Road Trip Across the USA

Jane –  Wicked Walkabout

It is a hard question to answer! so many places in the world and all so incredibly different. If I was asked today where my favourite place to go overseas is, my answer would be on a road trip across America.

I’ve done two self-drive road trips in the U.S. and love the differences between each state – the people and the scenery. Stopping at small towns along the way and going away from the main routes always brings so much more to a trip.

The first road trip was solo, buying an old car in Oregon and driving across the snow-clad mountains into Nevada, Arizona  New Mexico and beyond was a top memory. The next trip was from LA with my family, heading off in an eight-seater van through Death Valley to the Grand Canyon and up across to Yosemite and down the coast.

A favourite destination and one that we’d love to do again with more time so we could go right across the country!

India

Julie – Nomad Nester

It may come as a surprise but my favourite destination overseas is India. 

In all its craziness and its colourful cacophony there is a humanity that you can’t escape. Everywhere you go you see little vignettes of daily life. 

As you wind your way slowly through the city and village streets dodging pedestrians and rickshaws,  dobi and chai-wallahs, stray dogs and rambling cows, you notice life- scenes being played out everywhere. The harried mother and her three children doing the food shopping at the local market; a group of elderly, weathered rickshaw drivers savouring a masala chai before their next fare; two neighbours arguing animatedly over some imagined slight; a group of school boys in crisp white shirts and navy trousers scuffing their shiny shoes on a makeshift soccer ball; and beautiful women, exquisitely dressed in jewel-coloured saris, making offerings to their Hindu Gods.

There is nowhere else I can think of that compels you into the lives of others and makes you realise we are all as one on this mad, beautiful, exquisite planet earth. Having said that though, if you hate  dense crowds, discombobulate at any hint of claustrophobic heat and unidentified odours, or panic at the sight of wild monkeys swinging from the  rooftops, then maybe India is not for you.  

Vietnam

Fairlie – Feet on Foreign Lands

To be honest, I approached our first trip to Vietnam in 2010 with a huge degree of trepidation. I’d heard tales about the crazy traffic, I was worried about the family getting ill and I really wasn’t sure what to expect from such a seemingly exotic destination. But within hours of arriving in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam became one of my favourite countries. So much so, we’ve returned three more times since, spending two to three weeks there each time.

Each trip has been different, and we’ve tried to include a wide variety of experiences. Vietnam is a country of such colour, texture and atmosphere, that just walking the streets is a memorable experience….particularly when walking those streets involves crossing some roads! We’ve visited wet markets, eaten incredible food (including one amazing meal dining in total darkness), and been gobsmacked by the beauty of Halong Bay while floating on a wooden junk on its blue-green waters.

We fell in love with the ancient town of Hoi An where we had beautiful clothes tailor-made and floated lanterns on the river during a full moon lantern festival. We’ve scrambled through Viet Cong tunnels at Cu Chi and reflected on the impact of that conflict both on Vietnam and the other countries involved.  

We’ve relaxed on white sand beaches, and laughed hysterically after surviving a New Year’s Eve HCMC street crowd that has to be seen to be believed. We’ve been fortunate to travel to many overseas countries, but the experiences we’ve had in Vietnam create some of our most memorable moments.

New Zealand

Mel – All Around Oz

New Zealand – The Land of the Long White Cloud – is the only overseas destination I have been to but I have such wonderful memories of this beautiful country. Made up of two separate islands, this little country has an amazing array of places to see and things to do.

Having a cooler climate than Australia, meant that everywhere we went was so lush and green. New Zealand was the place I experienced my first ever helicopter ride over the Franz Josef Glacier – still one of the most spectacular sights that I have ever seen.

You cannot visit New Zealand without going for a cruise on Milford Sound. Our boat was accompanied by seals frolicking in the water alongside us as it cruised past spectacular, snow covered mountains and waterfalls.

Perhaps my most favourite place of all though was The Church of the Good Shepherd. Set right on the banks of Lake Tekapo it is a small stone church with spectacular stain glass windows overlooking the lake. It is a place of pure tranquillity and beauty, with a view that I would never tire of seeing.

It is definitely somewhere that I am very keen to visit again and sooner rather than later!

Turquoise Coast, Turkey

Kathy – 50 Shades of Age

I was hoping nobody else would choose Turkey, because hands-down the Turquoise Coast of Turkey has been my favourite overseas travel destination.

The exquisite Turquoise Coast or Lycian Way of Turkey stretches between Marmaris and Antalya on the South West Coast. This coastline is one of the most refreshingly undeveloped in the Mediterranean due to the region’s rugged mountains that plunge straight into a startlingly blue sea.

With hundreds of kilometres of unspoilt coastline, thousands of uninhabited bays and pine-clad hills dipping into crystalline water, you can’t go past this region for heart-stopping views, picturesque yachting harbours and gorgeous little beach resort towns.

Hike between ruins on a section of the 500km-long Lycian Way and you’ll be richly rewarded with scenery worth the sweat. Or jump aboard a yacht or gulet trip and cruise along some of the inaccessible coastline and the islets just off the coast. The quaint little fishing village of Kas is a popular diving spot for scuba divers and snorkellers.

On every level, Turkey as an overseas travel destination will not disappoint. It was one place in the world that made me go “wow” at every single turn.

I’m not surprised that New Zealand was chosen as a favourite travel destination by three other bloggers because it is a particularly pretty spot. I guess the biggest surprise was the choice of India and Vietnam due to their low socio economic status. I have been to Vietnam on two occasions and I have enjoyed it immensely, plus Sir Lanka is on my travel bucket list. If you overlook the cultural shock and some of the unsanitary living conditions in these countries they are extremely interesting and beautiful.

Where is your favourite overseas travel spot and what appeals about this place?

Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday

 

 

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By 50 Shades, February 6, 2017 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 26

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

26 Comments
  • Jane
    February 6, 2017

    So many wonderful stories and places to visit in the post, thanks Kathy. It has been a great read during my lunch break… dreaming of the next trip!

    • Kathy
      February 6, 2017

      Yes there certainly is! There were some surprises here too I thought. I imagined more selections from Europe and maybe South America or Canada. I will be dreaming of some of these places too! Thanks for contributing. :)

  • Budget jan
    February 6, 2017

    I always enjoy reading about other travellers favourite places. There were a few surprises in this collection and all sound amazing.

    • Kathy
      February 6, 2017

      Yes me too Jan. It was interesting seeing what other travellers came up with. I was surprised by a couple of the selections and the fact that New Zealand was a popular choice. Not that there is anything wrong with NZ. I love it as a travel destination. Thanks for being part of this. :)

  • Annette
    February 6, 2017

    Thanks Kathy, Turkey sounds and looks amazing, another for the ever-growing list! In fact there’s not a place on this list that I wouldn’t visit.

    • Kathy
      February 6, 2017

      You’re welcome Annette. There are some great selections here. I can’t recommend Turkey highly enough, but avoid Istanbul and Ankara for the time being. I was surprised that New Zealand was so popular. Thanks for joining in. :)

  • Jo
    February 6, 2017

    What an inspiring collection! Some I’ve been too, and some I haven’t, and there are quite a few that are on my bucket list. Turkey looks incredible. What an amazing boat trip that must be.

    • Kathy
      February 7, 2017

      Turkey is incredible! I can vouch for this. It seems New Zealand is a popular choice too. I’m not sure about India however, but I wouldn’t discount it all together. :)

  • Anne
    February 6, 2017

    Love seeing everyone’s posts. It is so hard to pick just one spot!

    • Kathy
      February 7, 2017

      Yes I agree Anne. I could have just as easily selected Vietnam, Canada, Mexico or Ireland, as they are all great travel spots.There are way too many gorgeous places in the world. Thanks for your contribution. You have now made me add Borneo to my bucket list. :)

  • Jan Wild
    February 6, 2017

    So much inspiration and temptation. Some of my favourite places in this list – Paris always, Turkey but sadly I don’t trust it at the moment, New Zealand north and south islands.Time to get planning.

    • Kathy
      February 7, 2017

      Oh fabulous! It is always to good to get travel recommendations first hand from other travellers I feel. I have only been to Paris once for 2 days and barely touched the surface so I may need to return here one day. I could easily return to New Zealand, although I’ve been here 4 times now. Turkey would be ok if you avoided the big cities like Istanbul and Ankara. :)

  • Melissa @ All Around Oz
    February 6, 2017

    Great post Kathy. We are really looking forward to returning to New Zealand but I would also love to visit Borneo and Singapore. I loved your pick of the Turquoise Coast – it looks stunning.

    • Kathy
      February 7, 2017

      New Zealand is always a great trip. I can highly recommend Singapore – it is fabulous. I would also love to see Borneo and later on this year we are returning to Vietnam and also travelling to Laos. It will be our third trip to Vietnam, so this says it all. Thanks for being part of this post. :)

  • Fairlie
    February 7, 2017

    Such an interesting list! Thanks for compiling it. So great to read about all the appealing aspects of various places. I found it very hard to pick just one place…parts of Italy, for instance, were also contenders, as was NYC. I share your interest in Sri Lanka…it’s on ‘my list’ too.

    • Kathy
      February 7, 2017

      I’m going to Italy in April so we will see how it compares to the Turquoise Coast of Turkey. I agree that NYC is incredible – I’ve been there twice. But also Canada, Ireland, Mexico and Vietnam are favourites of mine. There are just way too many places in this big wide world of ours! Thanks for joining in. :)

  • Ruth
    February 11, 2017

    To me it is not so easy, to decide what is my favorite overseas travel spot. For the last two years, I have been going to Europe and have loved the places we have visited. Seriously, feel like moving there. Then, I start to miss certain area in Latin America (like Mexico) that I love too. There are so many great places out there! #TPThursday

    • Kathy
      February 11, 2017

      You’re right Ruth, there are far too many wonderful places in the world. I selected Turkey purely based on the authenticity and relatively untrodden places along the Turquoise Coast. It was amazing! :)

  • budgettraveltalk
    February 11, 2017

    Thanks for linking up with Travel Photo Thursday Kathy. Love this collaborative post. It is like sitting down with a table full of travel bloggers and talking about our favourites.

    • Kathy
      February 13, 2017

      It is Jan. I never tire of hearing about other people’s adventures. Travel bloggers are an untapped resource. :)

  • Lyn @ A Hole in my Shoe
    February 12, 2017

    Thanks for including us in this collaboration. So many great places the others have suggested that I love too. I must admit my favourite place changes all the time and it really depends when I’m asked as to which city has my heart at that time, but Paris is always right up there along with Budapest, Vienna, Bali and so many other places.I mean seriously, how can we really choose just one with all the wonderful and unique places in the world.

    • Kathy
      February 13, 2017

      I have heard lots of good things about Budapest and Vienna so they are up high on my bucket list. I’ve been to Bali twice and although I love it I would probably select somewhere else in South East Asia to travel next time. As you say there are too many places in the world to choose from. :)

  • Agness of Fit Travelling
    February 15, 2017

    These are some amazing spots, Kathy! Keep up the good work, I love your blog!

    • Kathy
      February 16, 2017

      Thank you! It was hard confining favourite travel spots just to one as there are so many fabulous places in the world. I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post. :)

  • Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    February 16, 2017

    A lot of fantastic ideas! I would love to visit New Zealand some day, and I see that it appears many times on your Favourites list. I’m actually having a hard time picking my own favourite place. Perhaps it’s Disney since we seem to keep going back.

    • Kathy
      February 16, 2017

      Thanks Michele, that’s what I like about putting a post together with other travel bloggers sharing their favourite travel spots, rather than me all the time. New Zealand is a great travel destination, but I would recommend you come to Australia first. :)

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