Travel to Italy and 4 other great travel destinations is written by Jesper Munk Hansen
My 5 Travel Experiences: Traveling to Italy and more
Making a top-5 of your travel experiences can be difficult and seem unmanageable, because can you remember them all? But here I have made an attempt to remember 5 good travel experiences that made an impression on me.
My trip to Italy - The first of my 5 good travel experiences
Just to travel to Italy is definitely number 1 on my top 5 list. Italy is the country I have visited the most times. In the spring I was there twice and came up with a total of 2 times in "Støvlelandet".
If one can talk about having a “Bucket List” it is quite clear to travel to Italy's 20 regions. So far I have visited Veneto, Liguria, Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino Alto-Adige, Tuscany, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Emilia-Romagna and Lazio. So I'm barely halfway there. If I could I would write them all, on my list of 5 great travel experiences.
What makes traveling to Italy fantastic - and my favorite - is not only the climate and nature, but to a large extent also the language, the culture, the food, the passion. I love everything about Italy. As some may know, ITALY stands for "I Trust And Love You".
In addition, the area around Val d'Orcia in the south is a rarity. When I was there in the spring of 2019 and drove down through the countryside I had to stop at least 5-6 times along the way on a 3 hour drive to enjoy the countryside and get it all with me.
The nature of southern Tuscany is the most beautiful I have ever seen. If you have not visited Tuscany, you owe it to yourself to leave immediately. That region has everything to offer. Both the big city in Florence, smaller cities in the form of Lucca and Pisa as well as the historic city of Siena.
Another area in Italy that I am a big fan of is Turin, which is located in Piedmont. It is a slightly overlooked city compared to Rome, Milan, Florence and Venice. But it is actually Italy's first capital and not least the hometown of my favorite club, Juventus, which I have been following since 1991.
Turin is considered a bit of a boring city, but I directly disagree. Turin has a lot to offer if you seek it out yourself. In addition, areas like Venice and Trieste have also surprised me positively.
My trip to Vietnam - a good travel experience
In the summer of 2019, I had the pleasure of visiting Vietnam - from north to south. Starting in Hanoi, the trip went to Ha Long Bay and on by night train to Hoi An. Eventually we ended up in Ho Chi Minh City in the south of the country.
Vietnam is one of the most hospitable countries I have been to and the scenery is amazing. Especially Ha Long Bay, which looks like something out of a painting. It can almost match the nature of Tuscany.
The first days were spent in Hanoi and it is a big city with 9 million inhabitants and 6 million motorcycles. It was not the favorite place in Vietnam, but definitely an experience and especially it was an experience to see “Railway Street” where people sit and eat at restaurants right next to the railway. When the train comes running, all tables and chairs are moved so that the train can pass. Then people continue to eat.
Ha Long Bay was a good break from the big city and a cruise ship trip is always nice. Ha Long Bay is visited by 1 million tourists every day, so we were far from alone. This could also be clearly seen during a visit to one of the caves, where too many people and too high temperatures made the mood drop a little. But overall, Ha Long Bay was amazing.
After night train and 17 hour train ride, we were in Hoi An. That city was personally my favorite on the Vietnam trip. A city with "only" 100.000 inhabitants. It is a large city by Danish standards, but a small town in Vietnam.
Here we could cycle to the beach, snorkel, visit the old town and relax for 4 days. If I'm going back to Vietnam one day, it's definitely going to be Hoi An.
The last part of the trip took place in Ho Chi Minh City, where we were on an excursion to the Cu Chi Tunnels, which were used during the Vietnam War. We were also out sailing on the Mekong Delta, which is a river that runs through 6 countries and has a total size of an area as large as the whole of Denmark.
My trip to Spain - the safe choice
Although Italy is my favorite in Southern Europe, you can not get around Spain. One is almost always sure of good weather, good food, good travel experiences and so it is an advantage that I know the language. It makes it a little more fun to be in Spain when you can talk to the locals in their own language.
Spain caught me already when I was 11-12 years old and therefore it was also obvious that I wanted to learn the language when I got the opportunity to do so in business school. Although it is many years ago, it has hung on and can be highly recommended if people have a little language skills.
I have visited Barcelona, Malaga and a lot of islands - including Mallorca, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and La Gomera. So even though it may not be that many different places I have been, I have been to Spain approx. 10 times in my life. There is always a relaxed atmosphere in the Spanish - even in the big cities.
I have a great desire to see Valencia and Sevilla one day and of course Madrid too. In addition, the whole of southern Spain is interesting, where there are many places I would like to visit.
My trip to Turkey - a relaxing travel experience
Turkey has only become one of my favorites in the last 10 years after my parents bought an apartment in the country. Previously I had only been to Turkey once once back in 1990, but in the last 10 years I have been there 5-6 times.
Turkey is a little different from the traditional southern European countries because it is on the border Middle East and has a different culture than the Europe we know from Spain, Italy, France, Portugal etc.
Turkey takes the best from Europe and the best from the Middle East and Asia. Therefore, it is a multicultural society in many ways.
The town where my parents have an apartment is called Avsallar and is located on the south coast only 20 km. from Alanya. It is a small town with 9000 inhabitants and therefore one can retreat from the big city and out to the small town and enjoy the silence and the sea view.
When I have been in Turkey, it has not been as cultural as when I, for example. have visited Italy, but for me Turkey is relaxation and it is also needed sometimes. Turkey, sun, heat and relaxation, that's why Turkey is on my list of 5 great travel experiences.
My trip to Malaysia - the forgotten paradise
I lived in Malaysia for 3 months back in 2006 and on that basis it also became one of the countries I got to know in many ways.
Malaysia is a multicultural country with 53% Muslims and the rest of the population is spread over Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. It was very different to get from Denmark to Malaysia. You just had to get used to the new culture and the new climate. We lived in Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital. The city is somewhat reminiscent of a European city - perhaps due to the aforementioned multicultural mentality.
Malaysia is full of mosques due to religion, but also Chinese traditions and cultures are emphasized most in the Southeast Asian country.
Chinese New Year is celebrated, which we were lucky to experience and Christmas is celebrated. So diversity is alive and well in Malaysia. The New Year in particular made an impression, which is why Malaysia has ended up on my list of 5 great travel experiences.
If you want to get away from the big city, it only takes 40 minutes to fly out to Pulau Tioman, which is a lile island east of the mainland. Here you can relax while looking out havet and enjoying the silence.
At the opposite end of the country you can also experience the Cameron Highlands, which is close to the border with Thailand. Here you can to a very large extent experience the villagers and how they live the primitive life far away from everything called electricity and mobile phones.
During the 3 months we got to experience big city, island life and country life in Malaysia and on that basis it lands in my fifth place.