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So What is Your Favorite Place to Visit?

I am sure you have heard people asking "So what is your favorite place in the world to visit?". Often I find people to be quite sure about the place(s) they like the most. "Paris!". "Las Vegas!". "No place like Maui". "I could go back to Bora Bora every year". Etc etc. In their minds they have concluded what their piece of heaven on earth is, and they go back to it as many times as they can. They encourage their friends to go see for themselves the heaven on earth they discovered. Sometimes people even get into religious debates about destinations. "You don't know what you are talking about. Cabo is the best!". "How can Maui feel like a getaway when the first thing you see after you leave the airport is a Costco? Go to Tahiti and see what you are missing!". Etc etc.

Dubrovnik I got the travel bug early on growing up in India as my family travelled around India quite a bit. I saw wonderful little towns in Kashmir away from the touristy places. I spent weekends in dreamy places like Darjeeling, Gangtok, Kalimpong in the northeastern part of India. We drove to Nepal and Bhutan to nondescript places off the tourist maps. We lived in several towns across India and got exposed to their unique sights and cultures and traditions. Every new place I visited seemed to invigorate some new part of my senses..

Kenya After I moved to the US, I travelled quite a bit within the US initially. If you asked me if I like Miami more or New York or Chicago or Los Angeles, I really couldn't tell you. If you asked me to rank the Hawaiian islands, I honestly couldn't. On our first trip to Europe, I fell in love with Paris, Cote d' Azur, London, Cinque Terre. The sights were wonderful but what got me really hooked to those places was just local people with different cultures and traditions than I had been exposed to before. Just being around people who spoke a foreign language or English but with their own unique accent made it a special experience - it made me feel closer to more of the world. Lingering around in a little bakery in Paris watching people buy their daily baguettes was as much or perhaps more fun than visiting the Louvre or Musee d'Orsay. Watching a Broadway show in London "among the English folks" was more fun than seeing Big Ben or the London Tower. In a way, pretending to be a local is what makes travel so fun for me, and if I get an opportunity to interact with the locals that is just icing on the cake!

Kyoto I now brag unabashedly about having been to 35 countries across 6 continents. We visited most of the popular destinations in Europe like France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Austria, Switzerland but also emerging destinations like Croatia, Montenegro, and Bosnia. We went diving in the Great Barrier Reef and felt the magic of Uluru and Kata Tjuta in Australia. We drove down both islands of New Zealand, and flew to magical Milford Sound. We went on a safari in Kruger National Park in South Africa and for some time I declared that to be my best travel experience to date, but within a few years we were won over by the endless plains of Serengeti and the beautiful scenery of Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Then those got overshadowed by a safari in Masai Mara in Kenya which was teeming with wildlife and where we saw a live kill - lioness chasing zebras and killing a baby zebra 30-40 feet in front of us! New Years Eve at Copacabana beach in Rio was fun and exciting, but then New Years Eve fireworks on the Harbor Bridge in Sydney were spectacular as well, especially when witnessed from the Opera House during the half-time break of a show, champagne glass in hand. Machu Picchu threatened to become the favorite place the moment we set eyes on it. We were captivated by the Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Japan, and immaculately clean streets and trains, and the most wonderful juxtaposition of latest technology with the traditional. And we were blown away by the ancient wonders of Egypt. But who could ever pick a favorite out of these?

Egypt Among island destinations, Lizard Island in Australia is a beautiful little island right on the Great Barrier Reef. Desroches Island and Denis Island in Seychelles are quite nice and secluded islands with top notch resorts. Tahiti has excellent scenery and the lagoons of Bora Bora are phenomenal. Fiji is a bit like Tahiti, and Mauritius a bit more populated like Hawaii. St Barth's has a unique French chic feel and has the best collection of great restaurants on any single island. Dare I even try to rank these islands?

Bora BoraIt seems like the more I travel, the more I think the whole world is beautiful in its entirety and it is almost unfair to even say any one place or a small set of places is the best. Every place has positives and negatives, but the negatives gradually fade from memory and the place sticks in the mind for all the positives, for all the wonders, for the wonderful people, for whatever other things the place contributes to the diversity in the world. So I have a constant desire to see more and more of the world. I encourage my friends to not keep going back to the same place no matter how much they loved it. So, yeah, I have no favorite place in the world. I can say however that the world appears more beautiful as a whole the more you see of it. Go discover it one place at a time, and see the world in its entirety. Go travel!--Ram P. Singh is the CTO of mombo.com and loves to travel. He has travelled to 35 countries across 6 continents and plans to see many more. Website: http://mombo.com

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So What is Your Favorite Place to Visit? + trip