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Retired Community Manager

What's your favorite country?

What's your favorite foreign country and why? When were you there, how long did you stay, where did you go, and what did you do?

 

Do you have any tips for when or where to go there and what to see or do? Any photos to share?

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Spain 

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Retired Community Manager

@ColleenR89054,

 

Spain has been my favorite country for years. I'm fascinated by the history and cultural/landscape diversity, love the language and lifestyle, and have enjoyed living there (twice) and exploring all parts of the country (except the islands).

 

Why is Spain your favorite country? Have you been? If so, what parts?

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Honored Social Butterfly

Canada. Beautiful geography/landscapes. Clean. Friendly people. Courteous drivers. Two main languages. 

 

I like something about everywhere I travel, though. In the US, so far, Colorado is my favorite. 

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Conversationalist

Colombia and Norway

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Periodic Contributor

Switzerland!! Just got back a little over than a month  ago. The most beautiful countryside I've seen.  Of course the mountains are the high point,  but the valleys with all the cute houses are interesting too. Their train system is fantastic. You can go almost anywhere in such comfort,  so much better than a overpacked airplane!! And the schedules make it very convenient. The only drawback is that it is quite expensive in general. . Count on about $100 for basic dinner for two. And that's for chicken or pork; steak or lobster will set you back more. However , you have to try the fondue. And you won't be able to resist the chocolate. So save up your money and don't miss it.

Regular Contributor

     My wife and I visited Portugal for 5 weeks in Jan-Feb 2018. We spent a week in Lisbon at a GREAT small hotel, and then rented a car and drove to the Algarve region in the south. We rented a fully furnished home there.

     There are a couple of things that I brought home that I will long remember. The first and most important was the friendliness of the people. There were a couple of times we found ourselves in a pickle (ie. Couldn't find parked car after exploring) and locals were willing to go out of their way to help. A second memory is of beautiful Lisbon. There was too much to do and see. And the history lurking everywhere......

John

Honored Social Butterfly

My favorite country to travel in and around is the good ol' U.S. of A.!!! Now, granted my travel has been limited to the U.S. and Canada, but I feel there is so much to see and do here, I could spend the rest of my life touring here and never see everything that I might imagine to see.  But the places I have already been to and the things I have already seen here, excite me to do more travel and explore new places.  Hopefully, I have many more days, years of excursions in me.  At least, I intend to keep going until my "goer" gets broke for good!  Smile.

Contributor

My favorite country to visit is without question Israel.  I have extensive knowledge of the country, especially Jerusalem, and would be glad to answer questions, make hotel recommendations, share best practices, etc.

Retired Community Manager

@NateSalant  That's great that you have a love for a country that you know so well. Jerusalem is also one of my all-time favorite cities. So much history and culture! I'm hoping to go back again either next year or the following one.

 

We'd love for you to share a bit of your knowledge on our Trip Reports thread: https://community.aarp.org/t5/Destinations/Share-a-Trip-Report/m-p/2098834#M11451

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i wish to visit Africa in the near future.  How can i save money??  I need every discount i can get!  lol

Periodic Contributor

My favorite country is Iceland!  My father was in the military, and we had the pleasure of being stationed there for three years when I was a teenager.  That was the most awesome experience of my life!  Due to the popularity of the show "Game of Thrones", tourism to Iceland has exploded, but back in the day when I lived there, almost no one came to Iceland.  I've been saving for a long time for a trip back, and hope to be able to do that next year.  Not only will it be nostalgic for me, but I look forward to once again being able to see some of the awesomely beautiful places we saw when we lived there. That's been #1 on my Bucket List for many years..... 

Periodic Contributor

We were missionaries in Zimbabwe, and it is an amazingly beautiful place. We have been to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Tahiti, Tonga, the Canary Islands and the Mexican Riviera, but our most favorite place was Aruba. They call it "The Happy Island". It is not in the Hurricaine corridor, its daily temperature is in the mid-80's, 84-88 degrees year round, with beautiful breezes. The island is only 20miles long by 7 miles wide - beautiful beaches within a very short distance from where ever you stay. The water is so clear and blue ! The people are super friendly and welcoming and helpful. The FOOD is amazing !! And the exchange rate and prices are great ! Everyone we encountered spoke english. And they make a local beer call Balashi beer that is SO light and crisp !! It just makes every wonderful day that much better !! They are a constituent country of the Netherlands (Dutch origins) and there are beautiful building that reflect the architecture of that heritage on the island. They cook their french fries a "dutch"way, we were told. They are partically cooked then frozen then they fry them the rest of the way before serving them !! This makes them crispy on the outside and fluffy with maximum potatoe taste on the inside !! I would go back just for the french fries and Balashi !! But everything about Aruba is wonderful !!

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I have never been to a country I didn't like. My favorites have been changing frequently as I visit new countries. But that may stop now. I love Colombia - especially Medellin. Colombia is very diverse geographically. It has Caribbean beaches in historic cities, a Pacific coast that's relatively undeveloped (and is not a featured tourist area), mountains, rain forests and more. No glaciers, though! And Medellin is simply amazing. Around the turn of the dentury, most people avoided it. But Pablo Escobar has been dead since that time, and this city has taken full advantage of that fact. It's a beautiful, modern city about the size of Chicago, and it has all the amenities of a first-world city of that size. However, its climate is unmatched by any other large city. The mean temperature varies only 1 degree all year, so the mean is always about 72F. That's why Medellin is known as "The City of Eternal Spring." It lacks nothing for food, shopping, and entertainment (unless you're a serious baseball fan, and that will come). I was there for about 10 days a while ago. I ate as much as I do at home, but I lost 9 pounds. The food is much closer to organic than it is in the U.S. I could go on a lot more, but I'll leave it to you to check out how this city does with things that interest you.

Periodic Contributor

Visited Australia in '88. Bought a '76 Holden Panel Van and circumnavigated the continent - driving over 10,000 kilometers in 2 months. Visited all the states and territories - including flying to Tasmania for a few days. Used a mini tape recorder to document the entire trip. Stayed in many Youth Hostels and gave lots of folks rides. Put bed in the back of van for staying in the Outback - or anyhwere else I wanted to. Climbed Uluru, dived the Barrier Reef, visited Brisbane's World Fair, crossed the Nullabar, descending into both opal & gold mines, visited: rodeo in Katherine, horse races in Adelaide, fire tower tree in Perth, dairy farm outside of Melbourne, the Snowy mountains, Kakadu park, opera house in Sydney, etc., etc. etc. Terrific trip - visited lots of Aussies I had met in Greece and Atlanta. Even sold the car back, so I had money at the end of the vacation - go figure.

Honored Social Butterfly

I like the UK --- England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland. I travel to a different part of the UK every year for several weeks. I combine hiking in scenic areas with walking through interesting villages and cities, mostly to look at the architecture. There is a great deal of hiking on (mostly) well marked trails and British terrain is pretty tame. So, there are not great elevation gains and the trails can be done even if you're not in the best physical shape.

   Public trans is available almost everywhere which makes it easy to get to various trails or to take a long trail and get on a bus/train back to where you might be staying. Because everyone speaks English (although some areas are somewhat unintelligible), you can get around easily with no stress.

   I enjoy going to countries where we share common language and history rather than something more 'exotic'. 

   My favorite areas would be the Cotswolds and the Lake District. Lots of good walks, stone cottages with thatched or slate roofs, beautiful gardens, rolling terrain and easy to get around on public trans.


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Contributor

Did you go to Switzerland?  I also love the Cotswolds and I’ve been to the Dolomites and Bavaria, so I’m wondering if Switzerland would be worth the expense.  I’d love your opinion.

 

Thanks

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Retired Community Manager

@sd67066912 I really liked Switzerland. It's a beautiful country with the mountain landscape. I was in Bern, Luzern, Lausanne, and Geneva briefly. It's been a while, though, and I'd like to go back someday before long. 

Contributor

Thanks, I have no doubt that it’s beautiful, I just wonder how different it would be from where I’ve already traveled.  I’ve been to  Lake Como, Dolomite, (most of Italy) Bavaria and Austria... oh and Poland mountains too.  My reading makes it seem like northern Italy is similar... we loved it but wondering where our money is best spent.

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I love traveling back to Vietnam as often as is possible. I am a Vietnam Veteran (Phu Bai 68/69). Traveling back in 2004 for the first time since my return 'back to the world' in 1969, I found the country virtually void of any animosity towards those that fought in the war. My last visit was this past February 2019 for the Vietnamese New Year (Tet). What a great time we (my wife and I) had. If you ever have the opportunity to travel there I highly recommend it. The many places to see, different foods to eat and enjoy are numerous. I especially enjoy sipping my coffee and eating a bowl of Pho in the early mornings at the many street side cafe's. Anyone interested in hearing more, please reply and I'll try and answer your concerns, including some travel tips, i.e., what to wear, customs, extras to bring along, etc. Thanks.