Day 35 of the Philippine's Enhanced Community Quarantine and as a home buddy, I don't really mind staying at home that much. But time to time, my mind does wander on its own and just this morning, it went far as the cities I have visited in the past decade. I have been blessed to have traveled to a total of 22 countries and territories since 2011, all of it for vacation and pleasure because I never got the chance to be sent by my company to another country for training or meetings of any kind. With that I believe that anybody can achieve their dreams, it's just a question of how much they wanted and how willing they are to make them a reality.
As a citizen of a developing country, it's quite hard for me to travel a lot not just because of our proximity to the world but also because of certain factors such as visa regulations and the power of my passport which is not so high in the passport rankings. But I really have my eyes and my mind fixed on my dream destinations ever since I was a child so there was no choice but to visit these places, it was just a matter of time. I still have a lot on my list including countries in my dream continent South America, and Africa, and of course who wouldn't want to see Australia and New Zealand?
I may be locked inside my room right now but can you join me as we travel all the way to my favorite cities in the world that I have been to? All the photographs that you will be seeing are taken by me. I'll take you to a beautiful world where there is no need for passports and visas just us and these mosaic memories. I'll be counting down the top 10 cities in the order leading towards my most favorite! hope you guys enjoy it, the way I enjoyed going back through my old files.
From top left, clockwise: Seine River Cruise; Hôtel De Ville; Champs-Élysées; Tour Eiffel from Montparnasse; Late Night Wine at Chatelet
10th - I may have visited this city at a wrong time (December Greve happened from start to end of my trip) but the lights and the views of this city never failed. Plus I got to reunite with my two high school friends who are now living their lives in the French Capital.
From left, clockwise: Sidewalk to Tianenmen; Mutianyu Great Wall; Temple of Heaven; Cute boy at a local Beijing Restaurant; Forbidden City.
9th - Beijing was my first city in the People's Republic of China. I did this trip last 2013 with my Dad and cousin Judy. It was also my first winter and it was an amazing experience for me. What I love about Beijing aside from its ancient wonders is the delicious food I was able to taste.
From Left: Grand Place; Church of Our Lady of Finistère; Place des Martyrs; Manneken Pis
8th - A layover in Brussels for just 6 hours did not stop me from exploring this tiny heart of Europe. I took the bus and went to the city center, had a waffle and a stroll around the beautiful landmarks of old Brussels. The place was packed but it's grandeur was enough for everyone to share.
From top, clockwise: Seattle Skyline from Alki; View from Public Library; Dancing Couple at Pike Place Market
7th - There's something about Seattle that no matter how crowded some attractions were that summer of 2015, there's this unexplained peace and quiet that I felt which was something I only feel from home. Seeing Seattle through my friends from school Paula and Kuya Bailey was a big reason why I wanted to see this city again soon!
From top left, clockwise: Orange Garden; San Giovanni in Laterano; Via dell'Olmata; Piazza del Popollo, Colosseum
6th - Another dream come true which was a leg on my European trip last Winter. What better way to see the glory of Roma than with family. I was blessed to have my cousin Carmina adopt me for a week in Rome where I also spent Christmas for the very first time away from home. It was beautiful, Rome truly is!
From top left, clockwise: Japanese couple at Gion; A young boy alone to school; Soba condiments at Honnke Owariya; Fushimi Inari Taisha; Shiba Inu at Arashiyama
5th - This old capital of the Japanese empire surely will charm you with a dense amount of sights, sounds, and tastes! It's hard to choose these shots because I have a lot more to share about this beautiful city! Another unforgettable trip with my favorite cousins in the whole world!
From top left, clockwise: Transamerica; Golden Gate Bridge; Emporio Armani Building; Westfield
4th - Truly one of the most colorful and cultured cities I have ever been to, San Francisco boasts of its melting pot of cultures not just about different nationalities but on all points of views! My brother lives in the Bay Area so I spent 3 months around this beautiful city. Truly one of my favorites, and the best for for me on cities in the USA so far.
Form top left, clockwise: Vltava River; Charles Bridge; Astronomical Clock; John the Baptist at Maltézské Square; Tourist at John Nepomocene Marker
3rd - This has been one of the biggest dream come trues for me. Prague was amazing both in my mind and in person. It was a great trip with my cousin Carmina and seeing it in winter gives is a cool and quiet light but my cousin said seeing it in Autumn gives it a golden filter! Someday again, hopefully.
From top left, clockwise: Jim Thompson House; Monk on a Train; High Schooler at Sky Train; Kind Lady and my breakfast at Hua Lamphong; Rama VIII Bridge.
2nd - Yes, Bangkok really did outplace all those grand and beautiful European cities. The main reason why it has a special place in my heart is the Thai people. Thai people have been the kindest and nicest and most polite people I have ever encountered in my travels. I always get mistaken to be Thai but once I speak they always say "Ohhhh! Philippine!". Food is amazing, Transport is a breeze - Oh I love Bangkok, I'll be heading back very soon!
From top left, clockwise: Swans near Centraal; Rozengracht Bridge; Boats at Oosterdok; Hotel Kooyk near Leidesplein
From Paris, I took a long journey to the Flixbus station due to the greve, seated at a very skimpy seat, arrived at a very dark morning, but all of those en route to a city which will become my most favorite of all! I was alone in Amsterdam the whole two full days but never did I felt lonely. The beautiful winter views, the smiles of the locals, their laid-back bike rides to work at 11 am gives this little city its charm for me. Two days was short especially I only got to see one museum (Anne Frank of course) but a big piece of my heart was left there and hopefully I can get reunited with in time.
That was a fun 3 hours to prepare all these photos, write this post, and ride on the dream train to memory lane. It's hard to choose just ten out of all those beautiful places that has their own flavor and filter to the views I have in mind. I always feel blessed to have been to all these amazing points on earth and with all my heart, praying to see more of the world and meet many more people.
Blogging has enabled me to know a lot of amazing people around the world and I hope someday aside from the views and landscapes of their cities, I can see them as well in person and greet them with all my happiness and gratefulness.
How about you? What are your favorite cities that you have been to and why? What places would you recommend me to visit someday? Hope you had fun on my mini tour across 10 cities, I sure did!
Never Stop Travelling!