Having accepted that there’s no international travel in sight for the remainder of 2020, we thought we’d go through the top places we can’t wait to return to, once things go back to some sort of normal. Travel to most of the destinations on our list is not recommended (or possible) at the moment, but day-dreaming about travel is highly encouraged! So read through, and dream about past or future travels!

New York

New York was one of our first travel destinations outside of Europe. I still remember how we meticulously planned every detail of our 3 week trip to the US back in 2014. It was our longest trip at the time, and my first time visiting the US. After spending 5 days in NY, we left feeling there was still so much more to explore.

View from One World Observatory

Luckily, we got a chance to go back for a long weekend in the spring of 2019 and getting a whole new memorable NYC experience. We almost missed our connecting flight and got stressed (at least I was) about passing through immigration in time to make it to the taping of one of the late-night shows. I wonder how many times we’ll be able to say that: we went from our Copenhagen apartment to seeing a live interview with the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” in the span of 12 hours? For me personally, New York is and will always be a place that I’ll want to return to. I’ll go back for the culture (the museums, theaters, the unique experiences) and for the food – a mirror to the ethnic diversity of the city and for the vibe of the city.

Living with uncertainty

Earlier in August, author James Altucher wrote the widely-shared and quite controversial article “NYC is dead forever. Here’s why”, where he tackles the effect on the pandemic of the different aspects that make NYC so unique: business opportunities, food, culture. While he makes some good points, I can’t say I agree with his conclusion. Maybe I’m just a hopeless optimist.

We were so used to plan days, weeks, months, sometimes even years in advance. But now, in the face of this pandemic, we need to learn how to live with uncertainty in all aspects of our life. We would all like to fast-forward to 2022 and see the state of the world on the other side of this, but that’s not how life works. As much as we want, none of us can guess what the future holds. That being said, New York, as many other places in the world, will have a lot of hurdles to overcome. It will take time, and a lot of work to adjust to life after the pandemic. I sure hope it’ll bounce back …

Gold Coast

There must be something truly magical about a place if you haven’t even left, and you’re already thinking about how to return to it! That’s how we felt about the Gold Coast. It’s one of the few places we’ve visited thus far that checks all the boxes for our ideal place to live. I’m very sure the year-round sunny weather has a lot to do with this!

View of Gold Coast from The Spit

Other factors that make use like Gold Coast so much: the accessibility to public transport and cycling paths, the beaches, the diverse food scene, and the many types of outdoor activities that we would not mind trying. Some of our favorite areas on the Gold Coast are Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads. I’m sure there are many other areas we would love! Not sure when exactly we’ll be able to visit Australia again, but I know we’ll find a way to return to Gold Coast … someday! You can find a detailed description of our stay on the Gold Coast here!

Gold Coast walks

Colorado

Or I should say Denver – that’s about as much as I got to see of Colorado so far! This was one of the trips where I had no expectations about the place we were visiting. That was either due to an active choice of not setting expectations, or (more likely) because the trip was on short notice. As a result, I am often blown away by the beauty, charm and character of the places we visit.

Views of snow capped Rockies from Denver City Park

How would I describe Denver? Denver is a green city, after all the city and county of Denver have more than 200 parks! It’s a big city with a small city vibe! The city’s modern skyline is complemented by the gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountains. Its proximity to forests, mountains, and ski slopes make it an ideal place for those that love outdoor activities! You can be on a trail in the Red Rocks Park in half an hour! Check out our post about Denver for a short-stay itinerary! Denver is one of the places I would gladly return to. And I would love to explore more of Colorado, ideally during the spring or late summer!

Denver street art

Singapore

Our short layover in Singapore, on our way back from Bali

When I think of Singapore, two things come to mind immediately: hot weather and good, cheap food. Right now I miss both, so I hope to return to Singapore as soon as possible.

I’m a big fan of warm weather locations! I enjoy the idea of being able to walk around outside in shorts and a t-shirt any day of the year, even in the middle of the night. To be fair, Singapore is a bit too hot, and you start sweating within seconds of being outside, but it’s a welcome change from the usual Scandinavian weather.

Singapore is hilariously expensive compared to the other countries around it, so it’s not a budget destination. If you’re a backpacker looking for wild parties on a budget, Singapore is not the place for you. But Thailand is only a short flight away 🙂

Despite the cost of living, it’s also one of the best places in the world for good, cheap food. I’m talking, of course, about the famous hawker centers. Yes, they are not air conditioned and you have to pay for napkins (pro tip: always bring your own). But the food is excellent and very reasonably priced compared to a “proper” restaurant. I would gladly choose a hawker stall over a KFC any day of the week.

Lau Pa Sat Hawker Center

There are also other reasons that make it a great tourist destination, or jumping-off point for touring other countries in South East Asia: it’s completely safe, public transport is very efficient. The airport is amazingly well organized and well connected to the rest of the world. I don’t think I could afford to live there very long, but I’m glad for every chance I get to see Singapore.

Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most special places we’ve visited so far! One of the reasons the trip to Hawaii is so special to us is that it was our first exotic travel destination. Hawaii is one of those places that you feel you can only dream about! While growing up, we had a saying that something would take “’til Honolulu and back”. That translated to – it’s pretty much unattainable!

Punalu’u black sand beach

There are many reasons why Hawaii is such an amazing place: the breathtaking nature, the rich culture and history, the slow island lifestyle, the oh so delicious food. And let’s not forget about the sunny weather, the multitude of beaches, and many water-based activities. While I wouldn’t mind living there for a while some day, the cost of living in Hawaii is quite high. Honolulu is the 20th most expensive city in the world according to a 2019 study. Travel to Hawaii is not cheap either, especially from Europe, but I would love to head back there some day. I would love to return to explore more of The Big Island and visit the islands of Maui and Kauai.

Surely, there are many amazing places in this world, and we have not seen them all, yet 🙂

Check out our Hawaii travel reports here: our favorite spots on The Big Island and our jam-packed few days on Oahu.

Each destination on our list of places we’d like to return to represents something we look for in our travels. That would be: meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, and learning about the history of the places we visit, trying delicious food, outdoor activities, or enjoying the great weather. We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel and experience so many places so far!

Travel is a big part of our life, and we can’t wait until we can embark on our first post-pandemic trip! Until then, we’ll miss even the long-haul international flights.

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