Traveling broadens your horizons, opens you up to new cultures and ideas, and helps people understand the world around them. Plus, it’s adventurous, fun and everything else you want it to be. Who knows, you might end up meeting a fabulous stranger who whisks you off your feet, that is, if you are looking. Or perhaps you’ll find that dream house you’ve been looking for.
Whatever motivates you, it’s time to get packing and visit some foreign countries. After all, what’s life without a little adventure?
And on those bounds, I’ve created this top 5 list of places to see before you turn 40. Take a look and book your tickets – let the fun begin!
1. New York City, New York
Image by Ben Fredericson
New York has to top the list, because it’s the iconic city of our time. ‘The city that never sleeps’ and ‘if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’ aren’t just mantras provided by songs, they’re rules to live by. New York is rich in a mish mash of sounds, colors and cultures.
The options are endless here, stop in at the famed Grey’s Papaya for a bite to eat, then visit the Rockefeller center or the Statue of Liberty. Who wants to miss out on Central Park, or Times Square, or Ellis Island, or… The list goes on and on. Rough and ready, but sophisticated and chic, New York is the city of dreams.
2. Paris, France
Image by Luca Sartoni
Oh mondieu! The city of love and light always makes the top 5 of any travel list. It’s elegance in its finest form.
Picture this: fresh bread, croissants dipped in chocolate and the smooth roll of the French language titillating your ears from morning till night.
Once again, this city is rich in culture. Visit the Louvre and peer into the eyes of the Mona Lisa, decipher her message and move on to the heights of the Eiffel Tower. Then there’s always Disneyland, Paris, the Arc de Triomphe and the Notre Dame de Paris. All these and so much more to explore and do whilst soaking in the feather light aroma of French romance.
3. Rome, Italy
Image by Sam MacEntee
The legacy of the Roman Empire stands fast – the ruins and buildings of their triumph stand as a salutary reminder of the past. When in Rome embrace the frenetic energy and passion of the city. Indulge in pizza, pasta and the Italian spirit of fiery romance. The area is steeped in history, but is in no way boring.
Find out for yourself at the Colosseum or Pantheon, then make your way to the Roman Forum and listen for the sounds of arguing politicians of old – some of the initiators modern democracy (never forgetting the Greeks). Then it’s on to the Sistine Chapel in all its pristine and grand glory. Visiting Rome is not a culture shock, it’s a culture immersion.
4. Berlin, Germany
Image by Craig Cmehil
Sauerkraut, sausage and German beer. It doesn’t get any better than that. Or does it? Germany has quite the history of its own, but this doesn’t detract from its beauty or the pragmatic communication of its people. Berliners are strong, forward-thinkers – perhaps this is part of the reason Germany is the strongest economic power in Europe.
When in Berlin, pay a visit to the Brandenburg Gate which is the main entrance to the city. It’s an architectural marvel which sings the praises of its surroundings. Then it’s off to the Berlin Wall, to pay your respects to the strife and freedom of an entire people. Take a break at the Berlin Zoological Garden and enjoy its tranquility. Checkpoint Charlie is another big draw for those who visit the country, as is the Reichstag building. With this much history, there’s no doubt why this city belongs on the top 5 list of places to see before you turn 40.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Image by Nick Gray
The jewel of the cape, Cape Town sparkles in the shadow of Table Mountain, which is usually cloaked in its telltale cloth of cloud. Cape Town is the bustling hub of fabulous cuisine and wine, and is known for its white sandy beaches and cultured outlook.
When there make it all the way to the top of Table Mountain and get the panoramic view of the bay below. Stop in at the V&A Waterfront for a good old fashioned shopping spree, and then pay a visit to Charly’s Bakery for some sweet and exciting delights – cupcakes, cakes and everything else. Try out the Two Oceans Aquarium and marvel at the history of Robben Island – where Nelson Mandela spent years of imprisonment.
These are my 5 top places to visit before you turn 40. Book your tickets, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for some adventure!
Have any of your own ideas for top places to see before you touch your 40s? Tell us about your adventures in lands abroad in the comment box below.