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Chally is a student by day, a freelance writer by night, a scary, scary feminist all the time, and a voracious reader whenever she has a spare moment. She also blogs at Zero at the Bone. Full bio here.
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43 Responses

  1. Erica
    Erica July 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm |

    Tokyo. I’m a unrepentant geek and there’s nothing like throwing ridiculous amounts of money at the Japanese economy to make me happy.

  2. Amanda
    Amanda July 20, 2010 at 6:27 pm |

    I am super-privileged and got to travel internationally for work for four years. My short international list of favorites is: Istanbul, Chiang Mai & Mae Sot, Thailand, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana (yes the whole country, not just one town/city). The best part about this was that an intrinsic part of my job was to meet with university students and local civil society organizations while I was visiting.

  3. Theresa
    Theresa July 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm |

    The FAIRY PENGUINS!!! are incredibly cute. Possibly the cutest of many cute Australian animals. Oh the memories– the Great Ocean Road . . .

    My favorite place to go isn’t very original or off-the-beaten track. It’s Venice. It’s endlessly fascinating.

  4. April
    April July 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm |

    Ooh, fun topic!!

    I am utterly obsessed with going to England, but I haven’t been there yet. Actually, I’ve never been overseas (I live in the US), and my only non-US travel experiences were one day in Tijuana, Mexico and Windsor, Canada. So like, across the borders but still able to look across the street or river and see the US. Boo. Oh yeah, I still need a passport.

    I am, though, quite fond of Minneapolis, Minnesota where I live.

    And for fun, since you asked :) Here are some pictures I recently took around:

    That’s across the street from where I work. The intent was to show the scary-looking sky, but the picture was taken with my phone, so that didn’t really work.

    This is one of my favorite views of the city, from the Stone Arch Bridge, which is a pedestrian/bike bridge going over the Mississippi river. Every time I walk or bike on this bridge, someone is getting wedding pictures taken.

    And this is part of Minnehaha Falls, where all the people who get wedding pictures taken on the Stone Arch Bridge go afterwards for their receptions/picnics :)

  5. April
    April July 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm |

    Hmm, my pics aren’t showing. Maybe because I’m still in the mod queue because of the links?

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v45/apelynn/?action=view&current=musicskyline.jpg

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v45/apelynn/?action=view&current=stonearch.jpg

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v45/apelynn/?action=view&current=minnehaha.jpg

    There they are, just in case, in the order of the descriptions I wrote.

  6. Kaz
    Kaz July 20, 2010 at 7:01 pm |

    I’ve not travelled outside of Europe and North America, but where I have been… I spent a year studying in Cambridge (England) and still miss that town so very much. I’ll hopefully be able to go back for a visit in two months or so; I’m looking forward to it already. It’s connected with the amazing friends I made there, but I will just randomly start missing being able to sit on the wall over the river to have lunch and watching the punts go by, or all the colleges, or the maths department, or watching the May Ball fireworks from a punt, or… I get homesick, but I also get Cambridgesick. *siiigh*

    And of course, speaking of homesickness, I consider my hometown of Göttingen (Germany) to be the best and loveliest place in the world, but admit I might be slightly biased in the matter. :P On slightly less biased ground, I came through Lübeck (also Germany) a while back and really, really loved it. I also admit to a lasting fondness for the Dolomites (northern Italy) although they can be quite touristy at times.

  7. anna.licious
    anna.licious July 20, 2010 at 7:02 pm |

    My favorite city in the world is Prague. I love it for its winding, cobblestone streets, the yellow-ness of its streetlamps at night, its incredibly rich literary history, its music, its art and…oh, I could go on forever…

  8. Burn
    Burn July 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm |

    I’m a huge geology geek, so nearly all the places I want to go are because of the rocks or landscape. (Also, trees.) I love to armchair travel, and while I’ve been to some spectacular places on geology trips, I currently have no money to go anywhere of my own choosing.

    #1 on the list of armchair travel places is New Zealand. It’s one of the only places on Earth that, like my home state of California, has a major transform fault on land. It also has volcanoes and tree ferns.

    I am vaguely obsessed with trees of the family Araucariacaea and I don’t know why. The kauri tree of New Zealand is a member of that family and thus gives me additional reason to want to go. (Because of my vague tree obsession, I also want to go to New Caledonia, which has the richest Araucaria diversity.)

    Also near the top of the armchair travel list, for various rock-related reasons, are Iceland, Mongolia, and Turkey.

    It’s hard to pick one favorite place, but I’m very fond of California and have spent my whole life living here in various places, sometimes cities, sometimes very rural/deserted areas. The place where I first felt my heart open up, though, is Death Valley National Park (California, USA). It’s a harsh landscape, but what you see on the surface is what you get. I’ve spent several months living out of my car/tent there, miles from the main road, and nowhere have I felt so at home and yet unwelcome (since it’s so inhospitable.) It’s a geologist’s wonderland, though. That’s what the cliche signs say, but it’s more than what you would get on a tour of the park’s highlights. Photo of Death Valley from Dante’s View: 5000+ feet above the saltpan floor, picture is taken looking down the steep rangefront of the Black Mountains. Clouds gather overhead. Across the valley, gravel alluvial fans (where I hang out) apron the foot of the snow-capped Panamint Mountains.

  9. ana australiana
    ana australiana July 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm |

    Guadix, a half-hour train ride from Granada in southern Spain. One day I will return there to write books and raise chickens and childrens. This picture is of one of the fancier homes there (it is in fact a hotel), most are more humble dwellings, but all are built into caves. THAT’S RIGHT, CAVES. Guadix is a town of caves built into the Sierra Nevada (snowy mountain range) on an ancient riverbed (hence the cave formations). There is also a fortress, a cathedral and beautiful red earth. IT IS AMAZING. Though I like Melbourne too. Oh yes. ;)

  10. Kira
    Kira July 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm |

    Gibraltar: Home to the Barbary Macaques, which are the last free living monkeys in Europe. Nothing quite compares to sitting on the pebble beach while the sun warms the pink houses that line the eastern side of the Rock. You can stand on the tip of the European continent, and see the outline the Atlas mountains in Morocco.

  11. ana australiana
    ana australiana July 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm |

    PS – I got so excited I forgot to describe the image. Apologies! It is a white facade with a door and two windows, sealing the entrance to a cave. There is a shorter door to the left and a bare tree in the right foreground. It is sunny!

  12. Bek
    Bek July 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm |

    I went to France last year as part of an abbreviated homestay program, and towards the end of my two weeks there was a conflict in scheduling which resulted in me spending three days in a tiny bed and breakfast called Les Planious run by a French-Australian family, found in the Hautes-Alpes region of southern France. It was fantastic. It isn’t really close to any major cities (indeed, the closest has a population just a few hundred over one thousand people), and it completely surrounded by mountains and greenery. There was also a very friendly, very foul-smelling pony and the family was almost ridiculously friendly.

  13. Kaz
    Kaz July 20, 2010 at 7:36 pm |

    @anna.licious – Prague! Everyone I know who has been to Prague has told me it is amazingly gorgeous and I have to go. I’ve never been, but I will someday!

  14. Stephanie
    Stephanie July 20, 2010 at 7:36 pm |

    Vienna, Austria is my ultimate favorite. But I also love Germany – the whole country! Budapest is another great city!

  15. Meg
    Meg July 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm |

    Like Amanda, I’m extremely privileged to be able to travel for my studies and work. My favorite spots in the world are Battambang, Cambodia (where I’m living now – lucky me! click through to my blog for lots of pictures), all of beautiful Argentina, and Seattle, where I will hopefully be heading back to live in a few years.

  16. Jill
    Jill July 20, 2010 at 8:01 pm | *

    Berlin! Paris! Sarajevo! Luang Prabang! Buenos Aires! Cartagena!

    Too too too many. Those are my top six. But I would love to go to Australia.

  17. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni July 20, 2010 at 8:24 pm |

    I love Berlin, love it. I’ve been three times and each was a totally different experience, it’s an amazing, vibrant place.

    Prague is gorgeous, as is Rhodes (the town, although the rest of the island is spectacular too) especially in the mediaeval quarter.

    I’d love to go to Melbourne and Sydney but have appallingly bad arachnophobia. To me Aus=spiders. It’s a shame, because as a Brit I grew up on Australian tv and films, and have a massive fascination for the place.

    I’d also love to visit New York City, Moscow, and Monkey World in Dorset :D

  18. Kristen
    Kristen July 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm |

    Durban, South Africa, will always have special place in my heart and will probably be my favorite place besides my home town. It is beautiful, right on the Indian Ocean. Fun place to enjoy music, going out, and delicious food (including Indian!). I once heard it described as South Africa’s playground, and I couldn’t agree more!

    I personally love the city because it was the first place I lived on my own (roughly speaking since I was still receiving some financial help from my parents). But it was the first time I was responsible to take care of myself with my friends and family far away…I learned how wonderful new friends can be, too. It was really wonderful to spend a few months growing up, in a sense, in such a beautiful and diverse place.

    Oh, and I just happened to meet my partner there. You know, just a slight detail. :)

    Although everyone should go to Cape Town at least once as well, I think Durban often gets over looked. Go!

  19. Lauren
    Lauren July 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm |

    Seattle. I grew up in southern California but have lived here for the past year (moved here for college) and I absolutely love it here.

    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs204.snc1/7130_198117129408_657504408_3814131_4451300_n.jpg

    I also loved London when I visited, but I only spent a couple days there, so for now, Seattle has my heart.

  20. Bellatrix Savino
    Bellatrix Savino July 20, 2010 at 11:55 pm |

    I feel lucky enough to have visited Thessaloniki, GR in 2001 and I had a wonderful time. I plan to go back for a few months in the future. Excellent crepes. Beautiful nights. Delicious frappes. Close to Halkidiki and totally inspiring. http://www.greecetravel.com/thessaloniki/

    The summers of 2008-09 I worked at the Valles Caldera in Northern New Mexico. This 90,000 acre National Preserve has been off limits for decades, and only recently has been open to public for limited access. I was part of one of the first archaeological researchers on the site. Due to this exciting adventure, I have helped preserve artifacts from previously unstudied High Altitude Seasonal Cultures.
    @Burn – check out the volcanology and geology of the Caldera- in short, some of the sexiest obsidian formation ever, as well as dormant magma wells (still bubbling) and one of the lagest imploded volcanos. http://vallescaldera.com/
    http://www.vallescaldera.gov/

    And Black Rock City, NV, the home of Burning Man. It is so striking that it feel like you are on one of Jupiter’s moons. The surreality of the artwork, people, music, food, and culture is simply put, life changing.
    http://wikitravel.org/en/Black_Rock_City

  21. Linnaeus
    Linnaeus July 21, 2010 at 12:35 am |

    I’ll second Seattle as a wonderful place to be and I hope I don’t have to leave it when I’m done with my grad program.

    As one who grew up a Michigander, though, I have (and always will have) a fondness for the Great Lakes. They’re amazing and every time I go to visit my family, I try to go “up north” where my grandmother lives so I can see her and be near Lake Michigan.

  22. Holly
    Holly July 21, 2010 at 12:55 am |

    Iceland, Iceland, Iceland. After their economy crashed and burned, I blew my savings on a completely last-minute trip there in the winter of my sophomore year. The ocean, the colors of the land, the long long light, the emptiness…I think it was the best thing I’ve ever done.

  23. Kristian
    Kristian July 21, 2010 at 1:04 am |

    3) Prague, Czech Republic; for the very reasons others have stated, and specifically, for opportunity to say Hello by saying Ahoj! (pronounced Ahoy!)
    2) Dubrovnik, Croatia; Magnificent beaches and oceans, Magnificient people and an amazing fortified old town.
    1) Göreme, Turkey; Puts the cave-homes of Gaudix to shame (hear that ana_australiana! To SHAME! But I loved Gaudix + Granada nonetheless), Turkish food, Turkish hospitality, desert canyons, sharing apple tea to seal a business deal, looking from the plateau into the town below with a storm on the horizon and the call to prayer echoing up and down valleys.

  24. Austin Nedved
    Austin Nedved July 21, 2010 at 6:58 am |

    I’d like to go to Rome. My college offers a semester in Rome for sophomores, and I’m going for my Spring semester.

    Also, Florida is nice. Any place near the beach is incredible.

  25. Astrid
    Astrid July 21, 2010 at 7:21 am |

    Hmmm, can’t choose. I like my current city, Nijmegen, Netherlands, but Larochette, Luxembourg was also cool when I went there last May. Lots of nature there. And I’d love to visit England again, esp. London. And Dublin and hte Wiklow Mountains.

  26. Hope Rider
    Hope Rider July 21, 2010 at 8:41 am |

    My favorite place in the whole world is the coast of Washington State, on the Olympic Peninsula. My family went there every year while I was growing up, and it is still my “happy place” if I have to visualize somewhere. I wrote about my last trip there on my blog
    http://hoperu.blogspot.com/2008/07/on-beach.html

    I also love Scotland, and London, and Amsterdam, and Toronto. Heck, just about everywhere I have traveled I have found somewhere to love.

  27. Ariel
    Ariel July 21, 2010 at 9:29 am |

    1. The island of Malta is unique for its grand fortifications and prehistoric megalithic culture.
    The capital, Valletta:
    http://www.zastavki.com/pictures/1024×768/2008/World_Others_Valleta_Malta_007776_.jpg
    Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni, The world’s only prehistoric underground temple:
    http://www.turismoenfotos.com/archivos/temp/2647/400_1236861491_hipogeo-de-hal-saflieni.jpg

    2. Sintra, Portugal
    Pena Palace, probably my favorite royal retreat in the world:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_WOnaAw_FU9g/R0SaneTi4TI/AAAAAAAAB-g/SMgHkhhbGzo/s1600-h/pena-palace-sintra-port.preview

    Quinta da Regaleira, a fantastical, freemason-inspired maze of gardens, temples and secret passages. Is the world amazing or what?
    http://www.google.com/images?um=1&hl=en&tbs=isch:1&&sa=X&ei=bANHTP_DPIP6lwfJ5bjrAw&ved=0CAUQBSgA&q=quinta+da+regaleira&spell=1

  28. Ron O
    Ron O July 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm |

    The eastern shore of Lake Michigan. Hundreds of miles of beaches from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to the deep inlets of Travers Bay. Some East and West Coast folks might scoff at beaches on lakes, but the great lakes are really fresh water seas. I’m spending the first weekof AugustSleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and I’m so excited. It’s been a few years since I’ve been there.

    I was in Florence many years ago and I’d love to be able to return to that city, and get a chance to explore the countryside this time too. I’d also love to go to India, though I’d have a hard time deciding where in India to go, it’s such a big & diverse country.

  29. Ron O
    Ron O July 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm |

    Editing fail *sigh*

  30. Lisa
    Lisa July 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm |

    I love going to New York City. My best friend lives there and I go up there as much as I can. I plan on moving up there after college. I’d love to go to NYU for grad school, not that I could ever afford it. I can dream right?

  31. craftydabbler
    craftydabbler July 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm |

    Burn said, “The place where I first felt my heart open up” and that resonated with me so strongly. For me that place is the Cascade mountains in Washington State. I also happen to live in Seattle, so I am very lucky.

  32. bxley
    bxley July 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm |

    @bellacoker: enthusiastically agreed! but I’m more a city girl and a mountain girl, so Mexico City suits me to a t.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/erlucho/4418369223/
    It is so massive and so weird– there is little from elsewhere that you can’t find in Mexico City, and plenty from Mexico City that you can’t find elsewhere.

  33. aine
    aine July 21, 2010 at 7:44 pm |

    portland, OR; santa cruz CA as well as a lot of the long, grey beaches in california; the Redwood nat’l park in CA (walking around the forest was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.) the Cranberry Islands & the coast of Maine, lake tahoe in NV. Staunton, VA, specifically the American Shakespeare Center, is also one of my favorite places.

    I am moving to Richmond in a month & lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how much i love and appreciate my neighborhood in baltimore. I am really grateful I got to live in bmore long enough for it to be home, and sort of wish i could stick around longer.

  34. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps July 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm |

    Oh lest I forget, the “other side of the bay,” Clearwater Beach:

    http://www.710properties.com/Clearwater_Beach.jpg

  35. maja
    maja July 22, 2010 at 9:10 pm |

    Love Melbourne, I go there for a visit every year.

    But my favourite place to visit is Iceland. I guess I’m biased because my family is from there, but it is a seriously beautiful country. The lack of trees mean that you can see for miles and miles and it’s amazing, especially in summer when you get 24 hour daylight.

  36. Matt
    Matt July 23, 2010 at 12:15 am |

    Minneapolis is one of my favorites. But for traveling, my favorite cities are Dakar (it’s like a second home), Salzburg (lies at the center of my favorite part of Europe), and I hear Beirut and Casablanca are awesome though I’ve never been to those cities.

  37. Amanda
    Amanda July 24, 2010 at 11:37 am |

    Luang Prabang, Laos is one the best places I’ve ever visited… It’s quiet, beautiful (the whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), has excellent and cheap food. Laos is slow paced and friendly- the perfect escape.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luang_Prabang
    http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/travel/18hours-1.html

    Another favorite (and UNESCO Site) is Hoi An, Vietnam.

  38. Amanda
    Amanda July 24, 2010 at 11:39 am |

    I forgot! Ankor Wat, in Cambodia is like walking through and over a museum. It’ll knock your socks off!

  39. Dominique
    Dominique July 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm |

    It’s really hard to pick. In Europe I loved Barcelona and Baden-Baden/the Kaiserstuhl. Here in Canada, I love my home region of Northern Ontario, especially the magnificent shores of Georgian Bay: Killarney, Killbear provincial park, Manitoulin Island. All good. A friend of mine just opened up the only ecotourist hostel on Manitoulin. Elsewhere in Canada: Jasper and Tofino.

  40. Ohio Teach
    Ohio Teach July 26, 2010 at 6:18 am |

    Dear, dirty Dublin for me! And in the States, anywhere on the front range of the Rockies.

  41. Niki
    Niki July 26, 2010 at 8:46 am |

    While I’m sure this answer would change depending on the day you ask me, today I’m going to say it’s a toss-up between Miyajima, Japan and St. John’s, Newfoundland. Miyajima is just breathtaking with a peculiar and fascinating history (fun fact: it is against the law to die on the island, because it is a sacred place and no life can end there). It has a beautiful mountain, Mt. Misen, with a monkey sanctuary and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, and the entire island itself is a deer sanctuary and the deer are so fearless they’ll walk up to you and sniff you for food. One of them ate my friend’s map right out of her back pocket! It’s also the place with one of Japan’s most famous postcard-photos, the Floating Torii Gate, and the sunset there is completely and utterly indescribable: http://www.audleytravel.com/~/media/Images/Home/Holiday%20Types/Honeymoon%20Ideas/Letterbox/SunsetoverMiyajima224757.ashx?w=570&q=80

    Newfoundland is, on the whole, a majestic island that will completely dwarf you, when you’re driving down the Trans Canada 1 and on one side you’ve got the vast Atlantic Ocean and on the other side you’ve got these massive cliffs. But St. John’s is just so friendly, with the best cod you’ve ever eaten and will ever eat, and the warmest, kindest people; the neatest architecture and most brightly-coloured houses you can see anywhere in Canada; quirky street-meat stands with moose burger; and of course George Street, which is jam-packed with more bars per square feet than any other street in North America.

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