My love for travel developed at the age of 24 when I had a solo adventure to Australia and Hong Kong, but that's not to say that I hadn't been abroad previously to that. Although I fully endorse exploring the world at any age, it's only now that I personally feel that I can appreciate the places I've been to. As a result, I've started re-visiting places I went to at a younger age so that I can really take in a destination and truly make the most of it. Last year I went back to Barcelona and Berlin and saw totally new sides to the cities I'd previously visited as an excitable (and rather drunk) student,
Here's the cities are top of my list to head back to:
I first went to Amsterdam in the Easter holidays of my first year of uni. Four of us indulged in organised pub crawls and hungover bike rides, but that's not to say that we didn't see some of the city's more cultural sights. I remember being horrified and emotionally exhausted after visiting the Anne Frank Museum, and at the other end of the scale, wandering the famous Red Light District with utter fascination. We stayed in the grottiest hostel you could imagine, where we watched Monty Python on VHS at 4am before retiring to our room with the plastic mattresses.
Now? I'd love to go hunting for vintage treasures in boutiques and relaxing in a beautiful hotel away from the mad streets below. I can see myself playing the cosmopolitan European with my shopping bags and free poured cocktail.
Stay: The Hoxton Amsterdam, to bring a bit of London hipster familiarity to my stay!
Eat: Street side stroopwafels and big cheesy broodje pom sandwiches!
Shop: The big flea market at NDSM wharf
I've been to Canada twice as a child: once as a baby and once at 11 for a family reunion. I remember having such a fun time meeting all of my relatives and my dad allowed me to eat at a different takeaway every day for three weeks. We went up the CN Tower and watched a Blue Jays match, yet I don't know Toronto at all. My best friend is currently there and her photos of Lake Ontario and the vibrant LGBT area are making me obscenely jealous. Having family there means I'd have locals to show me around, and maybe I'd bump into Justin Trudeau and he'd fall madly in love with me...
Stay: There is a room with a ROUND BED at Le Germain which is gloriously ostentatious.
Eat: I saw the Vatican City Burger from The Burger's Priest on Instagram ages ago and I need it. It's a double cheese burger stuck between two grilled cheese sandwiches!
Shop: Apparently Queen Street West is the 2nd coolest shopping street in the world, which is intriguing enough for me!
I visited Chamonix in the summer of my first year of university as my boyfriend at the time was spending the holidays climbing ridiculously big mountains. It was the first time I'd seen a mountain and we got the cable car up Mont Blanc which was beautiful. But we were poor students at the time, crashing in the lounge of a friend, eating homemade curries or getting McDonald's every night. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful. But there was a Chanel on the corner and I can't help but wonder what else was out there, especially as our accommodation offered a shower that was essentially a glorified bucket.
Stay: Hotel Les Aigons has a heated outdoor pool and free Go Pros to rent - how cool is that?
Eat: Apparently La Bergerie de Planpraz provide gourmet picnics, which sounds ideal for a drive through the Alps, or their terrace looks divine.
Shop: I want to finally go into that Chanel!
It is an absolute travesty that I've only been to Vienna once, considering I have fabulous friends who have lived there for as long as I've known them. The last time I was there I was recovering from a week of heavy drinking in Berlin, so I just wanted to take full advantage of being in trusted surroundings with a fully functioning washing machine and relative quiet at night. I know I went to a really big cemetery, but honestly, that's pretty much it. This time I'd love to see an opera and really explore Vienna's culture and arts history.
Stay: Chez Cliche apartments have a hilarious name and like a totally pimped Air BnB.
Eat: Schnitzel. Duh.
Shop: The vast Naschmarkt looks like the sort of place I could get lost in for hours and I think I would be a-ok with that.
Where would you like to re-visit on your next trip?