I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit 6 of the 7 continents and 100 of the 195 countries on our planet. While all have merit, these are my picks for the very best of the best:
New York City I first visited New York City a very very long time ago with my mom/ Since then I have been back many times and one of the most memorable was with my family in September 0f 2001. We visited all of the usual sites including the United Nations building, Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Times Square, Central Park, China Town, Little Italy, Greenwich Village and yes even the World Trade Center which had the very famous and highly enjoyable restaurant Windows on the World. But are time was limited and we needed to leave to return to our home on the other side of the country in Burbank, California. So one on departure day I simply said “We will go to Windows on the World next time.” I said that on September 8th 2001. Needless to say we never did get go to Windows on the World even though we did get back to New York City a few years later.
New York City is magnetic and powerful. There is 30 Rockefeller Plaza home to NBC and the Tonight Show and oh so much more including a magnificent open air observation deck high above the city. You can it all from there, Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn. Then, of course there is Broadway the world epee-center for musical theatre at its finest. And then there are the many restaurants most offering delicious food with a massive variety.
Often when people think of New York City and it inhabitants they think of people can often be a little sharp in dealing with others. Yes that does exist. One sign I found stereo typical of the New York attitude was at the check out counter of a restaurant in the hotel my daughter and I stayed in on one trip. It said: “In case of an emergency – pay your bill then leave.” That attitude is fairly common but it is merely on the surface. Scratch beneath that and have than most New Yorkers and genuinely warm and friendly. On that same trip with my daughter which happened to be in the dead of winter she, a born and raised California girl was fairly lightly dressed. I, a guy born and raised in Chicago, was wearing a parka. Finally she just couldn’t take it anymore and she ran through the first open door she could find. Once inside we discovered that she just popped in to the Harvard Club as a very much uninvited guest. The security guard instantly saw the problem and offered a place to warm up albeit away from the main club area. Once again comfortable we continued are walk but without the kind help of that security guard it could have been much worse.
And this is but one of many reasons I am such an advocate of travel. Not only do you get to see amazing things but you get to see and understand other people with their own unique perspective on life and that can teach invaluable lessons on the human experience. Clearly New York City offers a wide range of sights, sounds and experiences. It is extremely diverse in every way and so for the curious and adventurous New York City is one of the most enjoyable places on earth, And then there is this radically different experience equally as much fun in its own special way.
Phuket, Thailand Situated just a bit over 500 miles south of Bangkok, Phuket, Thailand is situated in the Andaman Sea. It is a mountainous and rainforest saturated area home to about 400,000 Thai citizens and numerous resorts from the glorious to the somewhat modest, It is truly lush and tropical and impossible to not thoroughly enjoy. The is surfing, swimming, boating including to neighboring islands and caves. It is a place of pure beauty and relaxation. Then, of course the food is Thai and to my palate that is some of the best food on earth. And my many experience throughout Thailand have convinced me that the Thai people or some of the warmest, nicest and friendliest people of earth. All of this adds up to a great place to visit – Great beauty – great food – warm and friendly people. What more could anyone ask for. Well maybe this/
One day of our visit with my family we were wading around in the warm sea when to our great surprise we were joined by a few elephants. The elephants also like a little swim and they were under the control of their handlers, but when is the last time you went swimming with the elephants? This just doesn’t happen in Santa Monica.
There other great benefit of Phuket, Thailand is that is is nearly certain that to get there you will need to pass through Bangkok which is itself a genuinely awesome place to visit with many magnificent temples, fantastic shops and a China Town area where you can buy solid gold jewelry at the lowest prices on earth. Then fly off to Phuket and swim with the elephants. It is all about fun and adventure and this is some of the best on earth,
That’s it for today but there will be more to come soon. And by the way should you have any interest in possibly joining me on future adventures simply send an email to [email protected]. There is absolutely ZERO cost or pressure. All I do is keep you on my mailing list to let you know of any up coming trips you might want to join. That’s it I guarantee. You might also enjoy exploring www.ronirwin.net. There you will find stories of other travel adventures and even a digital book store where you will see several good reads and again with zero pressure, simply information and an opportunity for fun. We are blessed to live in a vast and diverse world. Let’s fully enjoy it.
Photo credits: Ron Irwin