In the past 3 years alone I have taken nearly 40 trips and visited 30 new countries. I suppose you could say that the frequency of my trips has made me a transient traveller, because I never stay in the same place for too long. Most of the time I travel to a new destination knowing that I probably won’t ever return, because in my eyes there is still so much more of the world to see. Generally speaking, I would always prefer to visit somewhere new than to re-visit a place I have already been, but there are a few places around the world where I’ve left a piece of my heart. These places all mean something special to me for different reasons and these are the places I would happily return to again and again.
1. Tuscany, Italy
I have always had love affair with Italy, but this was made even stronger when I visited Tuscany with Scott in 2015. It was our first holiday together so we planned an epic Tuscany road trip from Pisa to Florence, stopping off at Siena and San Gimignano along the way. It was a romantic mini adventure and felt like a rural escape from busy London life. I definitely fell in love in Tuscany and dream of returning.
2.Hoi An, Vietnam
Scott and I spent 5 nights in Hoi An during our 6 week backpacking adventure through Vietnam and The Philippines. We travelled from the North to the South of Vietnam, and Hoi An was definitely my favourite place. The Vietnamese food is out of this world and the pretty colonial streets light up at night with colourful lanterns. My most vivid memory is when we hired a long boat and floated down the river at dusk. Hoi An is a slice of the magical and exotic orient that us Westerners dream of discovering. I would go back for the tailor-made shopping alone.
3. Bali, Indonesia
I visited Bali when I felt like I was at a bit of a crossroads in my life. I was unhappy living in London and felt like I needed to make a change but I wasn’t sure what to do. I went to Bali on a press trip which only lasted 6 days but I remember that it gave me so much clarity and I had a lot of time to think about what direction I wanted to take my life. I had the most incredible spa treatment of my life at the Four Seasons Sayan and remember being brought to tears in a meditation class. The memories of this trip are so vivid and I would love to return to Bali again now that I feel much more sure of my direction in life.
4. Almuñécar, Spain
Almuñécar is a beautiful coastal town on the south coast of Spain, about 1 hour away from Malaga. Barely any Brits have heard of it because there is no British tourism there (a stark contrast to the likes of Marbella and Malaga). My parents discovered Almuñécar on holiday a few years ago and fell in love with it so much that they decided to buy a holiday home there for their retirement. So far I have visited Almuñécar twice and I am heading back again for a third today! It’s so nice to return to a place overseas that feels familiar, especially as I am so used to visiting new places every time I travel. I feel like it’s the one place abroad that I can truly switch off from my role as a travel blogger because I have already covered it on the blog and photographed it from all the best angles. Almuñécar is a place where I can still enjoy a regular holiday and I absolutely love knowing that I will be able to return there time and time again.
5. The Greek Islands
The Greek Islands is where I spent many a summer during my teenage years on our family holidays. For part of our holiday we would join a sailing flotilla and sail our way through the islands, mooring in the harbour of a different island every night. It was always such a sociable holiday and me and my sisters would always find ways to escape the parents and hang around with other teenagers in our flotilla (there were definitely a few teenage summer romances). I love how laid-back life is on the Greek Islands and I think I would appreciate it even more now I am older. The Greek Islands would still be my destination of choice for a classic sun-drenched European holiday.
What did you think of these 5 destinations around the world that have my heart? Where in the world have you left a piece of your heart and why? I would love to know! So please leave me a comment in the box below. Jess x