30 of our favourite things about travelling

'Tis the season to reflect, channel our inner Oprah and Julie Andrews and round up a list of all of our favourite things.

But instead of woollen mittens or Ugg boots, we thought we would take a different approach and focus on the real stuff; the experiences, moments and memories that travel leaves us with.

Other than the wait at the airport and the jetlag, there isn’t much else that we don’t absolutely love about travelling. But if we had to narrow it down, these would be some of our favourite things that keep us coming back, trip after trip, year after year, to explore this beautiful planet of ours.

In no particular order, here’s our big top 30…

My favourite thing is to go where I've never been - Diane Arbus

Food

We could just stop here, but in order to truly understand what is so amazing about food when you’re travelling, you need to delve into all of the amazing avenues and options available for your taste buds to explore. Food at home is just not the same as food when you’re away, and it’s not just because you don’t have to cook it either.

1. Cooking classes

If you can take even one technique or tip away from a cooking class in another country, your cooking skills are pretty much guaranteed to improve. The immersive, authentic and rewarding experience of learning it from locals, in person, is something that YouTube and any cookbook in the world just can’t beat.

Where we love it: Thailand

2. Street food

Fast, cheap, fresh, portable – it’s exactly what we want and need when we’re on the go, exploring as much as possible during the day.

Where we love it: Vietnam

3. Local restaurants

Because there is so much more to local cuisine than what’s served up at tourist traps. If there isn’t an English version of the menu, it’s usually an amazing sign of delicious things to come.

Where we love it: Italy

4. New drinks

Juices, cocktails, craft brews – the worst part of falling in love with a local drink is the struggle of trying to find/ recreate it indefinitely when you get home, but those frustrations aside, discovering that liquid local gem is so worth it.

Where we love it: Peru

5. Late night eats

Because few things are more rewarding than finding a fresh, delicious, unknown and unexpected beacon of food light to satisfy your craving at 2am.

Where we love it: Eastern Europe

friends-drinking-aperol-in-florence

Sunrises and sunsets

They’re something we take for granted at home, but we’ll never say no to being there and present in the moment to marvel at one abroad.

6. Temple backdrops

The lines, angles and scenery of ancient ruins and temples are only accentuated by the mist and candy colours of the rising or setting sun.

Where we love it: Cambodia

7. Toasts

A glass of champagne and toasting to life just go with a sunset when you’re travelling.

Where we love it: Australia

8. Rewarding hilltop hikes

The only thing that makes us want to hike to the top of a hill first thing in the morning is a tranquil moment of reflection and a jaw-dropping view.

Where we love it: Guatemala

9. That perfect photo lighting

Because everyone and everything just seems to look better at dusk.

Where we love it: Greece

10. Reflections

We don’t have the privilege of being shoreside on an average day, so revelling in those mirror-like amplifications of any sunset is a real treat.

Where we love it: Peru

Sunsets-in-Peru

Travel photography

Even if your profile photo is from 2013 and the only camera you own just happens to be attached to your smartphone, there is something about a new and exciting place that compels even the most rookie photog to indulge in a snap or two (or a thousand) when you really fall in love with a destination. Here’s what we can’t help but photograph when we travel:

11. Ancient ruins

When you’re taking photos of a place that’s existed for thousands of years, there’s just another level of emotion and mystery that’s exuded that you just can’t find in modern architecture. Just picture all of the people and things that have happened in that place, and your pictures can tell their own stories.

Where we love it: The Mediterranean

12. Local life

You can learn so much from another culture by observing and respecting their day to day routines and customs, and when you can capture the authenticity and colours of everyday life, you come away with photography that really means something.

Where we love it: India

13. Historic hotspots

Because regardless of how many people have taken those photos before, they mean that much more when you are taking them for yourself. Plus the opportunities to put your own spin on an old classic are endless.

Where we love it: Western Europe

14. Street art

So many parts of the world have transformed the mundane into brilliant public galleries of pure artistry, and it’s so much more than your local graffiti.

Where we love it: Germany

15. Events and festivals

Because how we celebrate says so much about who we are as people, and celebrations around the world are so much more interesting than another unoriginal parade float or stuffy family dinner.

Where we love it: Thailand

Local-life-in-India

Beach life

We’ve always fantasized about living by the beach, working on the beach, just being on or around the beach as much as possible, and travelling allows us to live out that fantasy as much as we can.

16. Aquatic life

Because for some of us, swimming amongst exotic sea life rather than in a pool is the closest we’ll ever get to being a mermaid, and it’s pretty darn amazing.

Where we love it: Australia

17. Shoreside eats

Swimming and sunbathing can work up quite an appetite, and if we don’t have to put on proper clothing or footwear to get our grub on, we’re thrilled.

Where we love it: Croatia

18. Seafood

The fresher the better, and the more there is, the happier our stomachs are.

Where we love it: Greece

19. Just getting wet

Because when the water is that beautiful, you’ve just gotta be in it as much as you can.

Where we love it: Thailand

20. Sunshine

Because the weather at home is often questionable, and we really crave that vitamin D.

Where we love it: Mexico

Beach-Life-in-Australia

Art & Architecture

There are so many beautiful manmade things around the world, and even though we may not ever live in a castle or have an artistic flair, we can appreciate the talents of our fellow humans past and present.

21. Famous creations

Because seeing a real Monet or Michelangelo makes all of that time spent in art class finally click.

Where we love it: France

22. Tiles and patterns

There are so many walls in the world, and travelling has taught us that plain walls are overrated – we like them as beautified as possible.

Where we love it: Portugal

23. Preservation techniques

We can’t even keep our rooms clean or our iPhones intact, so the ability of cultures around the world to create artwork and buildings that stand the test of time will never stop amazing us.

Where we love it: Egypt

24. Castles and fortresses

We all need house goals that aren’t totally inspired by the modern shoeboxes on HGTV, right?

Where we love it: Great Britain and Ireland

25. Music

Because a bit of travelling teaches you that the sounds, genres and soundtracks of countries and languages around the world are far more interesting and beautiful than listening to that top 50 playlist, again.

Where we love it: Morocco

Patterns-in-Portugal

Being outdoors

Even if your typical days are spent like a couch potato, that’s no way to spend a vacation. Being in a new place brings out the best in us, getting us up out of bed and into the wild.

26. Camping under the stars

It’s a whole different version of nightlife when you’re enjoying the noises, constellations and nothing but nature whilst sleeping outside.

Where we love it: Australia

27. Getting active

Our hotel room is the last place we want to see when we’re abroad, and biking, hiking and swimming is best done when you can explore new places in the process.

Where we love it: Peru

28. Walking everywhere

You’d be amazed at all of the amazing places you can stumble upon on your own two feet that you would never have found otherwise.

Where we love it: Spain

29. Wildlife

Because the zoo is not our idea of a great way to see exotic wildlife, and we’d much rather get lost respectfully exploring the habitats of the world’s most amazing creatures.

Where we love it: Costa Rica

30. Great weather

If we can be in paradise outside in the sunshine, with a cool breeze, it just makes us better and happier people in general.

Where we love it: Anywhere hot

Outdoors-in-Peru

What are your favourite things about travelling? Tell us in the comments below!

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