My Favorite Places in the World
While I haven't been to every place in the world (the dream!), I've been fortunate enough to spend some time in some pretty amazing places. Here I would like to share some of my absolute favorite destinations that I have traveled to.
1. Yosemite, California: Growing up in California, our family vacations meant road trips along the west coast. It was an easy, affordable way to travel with a family of four, we loved national parks, and we were basically next door to so many wonderful destinations. Just to name a few: the Grand Canyon (Arizona), Redwood National Park (California), Bryce Canyon (Utah), Joshua Tree National Park (California), Arches National Park (Utah) and so on. Yosemite is one of the closer destinations for us in San Francisco and I’ve been multiple times for many years. With natural wonders like Glacier Point and the Half Dome, it makes for wonderful hiking trails that ends with the perfect scenic view.
2. Tokyo, Japan: My trip to Japan was by first “Big Girl” trip. It wasn’t the first time I’ve traveled alone (that was Paris), but it was my first trip after working a real office job, and I budgeted, packed and planned everything myself. I spent about a week in Tokyo alone before meeting up with two girlfriends, and it was a wonderful journey of confusion over how to order ramen from a ticket machine, eating at a robotic sushi conveyor belt restaurant (yes, that’s a thing!), to taking the train to see the glorious Mt Fuji. At every corner was something surprising, innovating and understatedly beautiful.
3. Kyoto, Japan: After visiting Tokyo, I headed to Kyoto and Osaka with my friends. If I could make one edit to the trip, it would be to spend more days in Kyoto. We had only 1 and a half days there, and there’s so much that I loved, and so much more I still want to see and do. Kyoto is dotted with beautiful temples and shrines, like Kinkakuji’s Golden Pavilion and the Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the serene bamboo groves of Arashiyama. Things I am dying to still do: eat everything in sight, including Kaiseki cuisine, Kyoto style sushi, and tofu and green tea matcha everything *daydreams about food*
4. Beijing, China: My parents are from China (Which makes me a Chinese-American), and growing up, we made several trips to China to see relatives as well as see the many different parts of China (it's huge and every spot is so unique and different from one another!). I was a baby when I first traveled to China, so I don’t remember much about that trip, but when I was a teenager we made a trip to Beijing and Shanghai. It was during the winter- and perhaps the first time I've ever experienced such cold weather - this California girl was not meant to be in negative degree weather! But there’s something about standing before the Great Wall of China, facing the blistering cold, snow falling, and just trying to imagine how this massive structure was built, the long history behind it, and how permanent it seemed to be. Fun fact: While climbing the great wall, my sister dropped her pretty much frozen bottle of water and I, who was behind her, almost got impaled and killed by a frozen waterbottle that violently flung down the steps and past my head with the strong winds. Never shall I forget this.
5. Hong Kong: There’s something fascinating and familiar about visiting somewhere that your parents grew up, and Hong Kong is that place for my father. Every time I go, something’s new or changed (which my father will happily point out) but it always manages to be gorgeous. With a beautiful skyline of skyscrapers lit up with colorful lights, clean and modern buildings, and seriously delicious food, this city always leaves leaves me excited for more.
6. Paris, France: There’s perhaps no other city more romanticized by travelers than Paris (though, maybe Rome is a top contender). I have to admit, even I as a bright eyed, inexperienced traveler who came to Paris to study abroad was excited to all that the city had to offer. For the art lover like me, this is the dream: The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Centre Georges Pompidou, Grand Palais.. You can just look at museums for a month straight and still not see everything. Add in the lit up Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Sacre-Coeur you might faint from all the magical sights. Plus the croissants. The baguettes! The macarons!
7. South of France: I spent half a month here and we just made our way along the train, visiting Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, and so on. The summer weather was perfect for evening swims in the perfectly blue waters, and days were spent visiting the studios of famous artists like Cezanne, and museums filled with Picassos and Matisses - artists who all had major breakthroughs in their work when they traveled to this area. Artists described this area as having magical, warm light - the sun just gives that perfect glow which bathes the fields, chateaus and small villages in ochre. Whether you’re into art, history, beaches, food, old towns, or seeing how the glamorous french do summer holiday, it makes for a perfect, relaxing trip.
8. New York City, New York: With it’s iconic skyline, perfectly gridded streets and broadway musicals, it’s hard to not like New York. It’s high energy and filled with things to do literally all night long (Not many places have public transit that runs 24/7!). I’m usually the type of person who likes to be in bed by a certain hour, but I found myself out usually late in this city, and with so much to see and do, the time flew by and I never seemed to mind! With world class musical performances, museums, restaurants and so on, this is the place to be to experience it all.
9. San Francisco, California: OK. So this isn’t somewhere I’ve traveled to, but rather, my home city. I was born here, grew up here, moved away, and came back. Yay! There’s just no where better than home- and it’s not just that my family lives here (though that’s a big reason why), but it’s a wonderful city that’s vibrant with colorful street art and murals, and cute historic Victorian homes. It’s filled with restaurants of diverse cuisines, and some pretty dang gorgeous views thanks to all the hills. You’re never more than 30 minutes from the water, whether it’s the beach or pier, and the Golden Gate & Bay Brides are super iconic. While SF is always poked fun at for it’s fog (Hi Karl the Fog!), you never have to worry about sweltering summers or the blistering cold. Just think how much money you save from just wearing the same type of clothing year round, rather than bringing out all the seasonal clothing.
Take that money and go on a trip instead! Maybe somewhere I love and mentioned above, maybe somewhere else. You can even buy yourself an Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbody to take on said trip! Hey it’s just an idea ;)
I was in Paris when I started dreaming up my dream bag. 🗼 It was a dream come true to study in Paris but I was overwhelmed by the number of fellow students, my professor, and even strangers that I witnessed getting pickpocketed. I saw thieves dumping empty purses and wallets into metro trashcans, whole suitcases carried off of moving trains. My sister and I started Arden Cove to help women travel smarter and feel safer around the world. We are so happy to hear from women who love our Anti-theft waterproof crossbodies as much as we do!! Thank you all for your continuous support 💕💖💞
Where are you favorite places? I would love to hear in the comments down below!
Karin is the co-founder of Arden Cove and co-creator of the Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbodies - bags created for women who want all the practicality and safety features without compromising in style. Shop ArdenCove.com.