All around the world

Leggi in italiano qui.

A friend suggested I make a list of all the places I’ve been so far in my life. I thought it might be interesting, so here goes.

Another friend suggested uploading a map to show where I am/have been/am going – I’d love to do that but I lack the technical know-how (or the time to gain it) to do it. So if anyone wants to help me with that, please let me know!


Italy – country of my birth where I spent the first 18/19 years of my life.

UK – the country I call home. Mainly London, with jaunts in Scotland, the West Country and Leicester. Never been to Wales, can you believe that?!?!? I must rectify this ASAP.

USA – This was the first time I went abroad, ever, at age 16. New York had been my dream for years and years, so much so that going there felt like being in a movie… I have been back many times since, more than I can count. I have been to the East coast and the West coast, a little bit in the “midwest” (hello Ohio!) but it is such a big place that I feel like I’m only now scratching the surface. More trips needed. Plus some of my dearest friends ever live there so…

Ireland – if you live in the UK you MUST go to Ireland. Having said that I’ve only really visited Dublin… still… I checked “drinking a Guinness in Dublin”  off my bucket list. The Irish remind me a lot of the Italians, btw.

Portugal – only Lisbon and surrounding areas. Beautiful sunny weekend. Highly recommend it.

Spain – Madrid (cool) and Lanzarote in the Canaries (which tbh it’s like another country, however officially it IS in Spain). Loved, loved, loved the Canaries, I will definitely be back, especially in Lanzarote, due to its volcanic landscape and the amazing architecture of Cesar Manrique.

France – Paris (many times, both for work and pleasure) and the Aveyron region. Need to do more. This wish is tempered by my innate dislike of French speakers and by the fact that I never fell in love with Paris, which many people seem to do. But thumbs up for some (only some) of the food.

Switzerland – in my old days of working for an airline, we got taken to Zurich for the day. Not much else to say.

Austria – Only really crossed into it while skiing in the Alps.

Germany – I’ve only been to Munich. Beautiful city, and I visited Dachau, which was very emotional. Berlin is beckoning me and I will need to go very soon.

Greece – Had a fab holiday there with a very good friend. Athens is beautiful but also crazy. And Greek food was a big disappointment. But I’m willing to give it another try! Some things of Greece remind me too much of Italy…

Belgium – Ah Belgium, one of my first loves. Being totally crazy for the bands dEUS and Zita Swoon, and having become friends with some of their members eons ago, I made my way to the lovely Antwerp for secret gigs and general shenanigans. I liked it so much I went back 10 times in the space of a couple of years. I could live there if I were happy to become an alcoholic… 🙂 The people of Antwerp are amongst the nicest I have ever encountered in my life, and their chocolate truffles are second to none! Cherry beer also rocked, and photography museums. I must go back, soon. On the other hand, Brussels left me underwhelmed. I guess I need a good guide.

Netherlands – The rain. Oh, the rain in July! But the people are so nice! Wageningen was interesting. Amsterdam more so. It’s on the slate as one of the other (very few) places where I *think* I might live if I ever decided to leave London. Food for thought. Also, my lovely co-writer is from the Netherlands, and I think that says a lot. And how can I forget that it is one of the countries with the tallest people on earth? I feel right at home!

Norway – I’ve only been to Stavanger to visit friends. Liked it. But prices for everything are just astronomical so further exploration is hampered (for now).

Sweden – I went to Stockholm with the sistah last year. We had great weather, a crazy Airbnb host, and a blast. Sistah now lives there, so I will need to return sooner rather than later. I really liked it, it has a great vibe.

Former Yugoslavia – Apparently my parents took me there before I was even one – this was in Croatia, for a beach holiday. I would have thought this would signal a series of foreign holidays with the family, but that was the first and only time abroad. Sadface. No wonder I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since.

Morocco – My friend A. and I wanted to see what Marrakech was like to then maybe return and do more Morocco. She flew from Italy and I from London, and we met at a lovely riad. We loved Marrakech, the men’s attentions a bit less. Jardins Majorelle was my favourite location. Beautiful (I seem to fall in love with these outstanding homes around the world – strange, huh?). I definitely want to do more.

Egypt – Only flew through it, so doesn’t really count.

Jordan – Intoxicatingly beautiful and with lovely, warm people. I felt (and apparently looked!) at home there. Petra is probably the most amazing place I have ever been. Hurry up, the wind is eroding it!

Israel – Land of some very good friends. Beautiful, with amazing food. Strangely welcoming in some respects, and the opposite of that in others. Life in Tel Aviv is good and you almost forget you’re in a country that is permanently “at war”. Jerusalem is incredible and every place, every name evokes something dormant in my “non-catholic raised in a catholic land” brain.

Dubai – The only place in the world where I had a few bad experiences. I decided to visit for a few days en route to Thailand once. Let’s just say that for a woman alone and without a car, Dubai is not really welcoming… go with someone, in a group or hire a car, then you will be safe.

Malaysia – Interesting, weird place. Very westernised (they love their Christmas decorations and Starbucks!) but also deeply Muslim. Racial discrimination also is quite odd. The place drips with history and names from long-forgotten children’s adventure stories. I enjoyed Penang most of all.

Thailand – I left a piece of my heart in this amazingly beautiful country. My dream is now to build an eco house on a Thai island and spend half my time there. Maybe I will make it one day! I am in love with the nature, the food, the people… for now I choose to disregard the political and human rights situation, but knowing me I would not be able to do so for long. But expat life in Thailand is second to none. Also home of one of my favourite places ever: Jim Thompson’s house. Can I pretty please move in there?

Singapore – Asia lite. My first ever taste of Asia. Probably the best food I’ve ever had. That’s it.

Cambodia – Gorgeous, shocking, amazing, maddening. Went to Angkor Wat for 2 days and ended up staying for 7. The most beautiful smiles you’ll ever see. The most awful living and physical reminder you’ll see of hell on earth – the effects of the Khmer Rouge regime. Sobering.

Vietnam – I always say the Vietnamese are the Neapolitans of Asia – but only Italians will understand this comment. A chaotic, febrile country where nearly all the past has been wiped away (most of them can’t even remember the war or don’t know what it was about) in a mad rush for what appears to be “progress” but it’s something I can’t define. Food is out of this world, including their coffee and cakes (only place in SE Asia where this stuff is good – I guess a big thank you to the French!).

Canada – I’ve only been twice for very short breaks. I like Canadians and their spirit, but I think to find out more I need to visit outside the cities. In any case, Toronto over Montreal any day!

Argentina – My first time in South America. As readers of this blog will know, I did not have the best of times in Buenos Aires, including being robbed at gunpoint. Too much of Argentina reminds me of the bad things of Italy. I won’t be back in a hurry, however I do want to see the country as opposed to Buenos Aires… but this time with a group of friends.

Uruguay – My only other foray into South America. It was a quick trip from Buenos Aires, just to go somewhere by the sea and chill out for a few days. Interesting place. I will definitely need to return at some point.


The sad thing is that writing this list only makes me want to go to those places I haven’t yet visited!

As for new places on the horizon, I am hoping both Burma/Myanmar and Australia will be happening soon in 2016. See you around the world.