This is a difficult one and it changes almost daily as there are so many places I want to visit. Basically, I want to visit everywhere! Here are my top 5 destinations (right now) and in no particular order (although the first one will always remain at the top of my list).
1) Iran – this country will forever hold a special place in my heart as part of me belongs there. My dad is Iranian and for as long as I can remember it’s somewhere that I really longed to visit. I’m hoping that one day I’ll see where my dad's family live and where he grew up as a little boy. My brother and I have listened to so many of our dad's childhood stories and I long to see them come to life, as well as explore the history, intricate mosques, stunning landscape, and meet the beautifully friendly people. Oh and to pluck pomegranates fresh from the tress just like dad did as a little child and enjoy the delicious Iranian food too!
2) Jordan – so many things about this country appeal to me. From the architectural detail and the kaleidoscope of colours of the sacred structure at The Red Rose City, Petra to the mountains, monuments and tombs, plus the food, weather, floating in the Dead Sea and yes, sleeping in a Bedouin tent under the stars – it all sounds so magical and incredible, and I want to see it all for myself.
3) Chefchaouen – oh, this city nestled in Morocco has been on my list for so long. An entire city that’s blue. How could you not fall in love with that! I’m not sure how I’ll be able to stop myself from a) being super excited the whole time I was there and b) taking photos. I might have to buy a few (at least 20) more memory cards just to document this city.
4) Cuba – for a long time I’ve fantasied about walking down the Malecon of this soulful and quintessential Cuban thoroughfares before being interrupted from my daydream by a happy smiling Cuban – cigar in one hand and a bottle of rum by his feet – surrounded by his friends playing trombones, tubas and trumpets strumming to the beat of a drum. I picture my time filled with days wandering around the busy atmospheric streets, the unmistakable aromas of tropical papaya mixed with tobacco leaf and a permanent smile on my face as I giddily take photo after photo of the happy locals; snapshots of their lives lived out in the open, colourful houses, and of course the classic cars. I can just imagine myself getting caught up in the romanticism of this dynamic and robust culture…oh and the music too!
5) Tanzania – this county wasn’t on my hit list until I started following a couple of beautiful accounts on Instagram @sam.vox and @stickylittleleaves. Seeing little snippets of daily life unfold, the colours, charm, warmth and dignity of the people. The soft beautiful light and almost every scene caught me immediately. I feel like I’ve fallen in love with the country and the people before I’ve even visited. I’m hoping one day I’ll get there to see it all for myself. Yes, I’d love to go on a safari, enjoy a hot air balloon ride at sunrise and experience the exuberance and colour of the spice island Zanzibar. But, what I’m also massively intrigued by is getting to know the people and to watch life unfold...and to drink tea!