Why Do You Travel?

I recently returned home after a long trip that took me literally around the world. It’s wonderful to see my friends and family but I cannot help but think back fondly on my trip. I keep asking myself why do I miss traveling so much?

Traveling is amazing, but I think that it’s important to have a purpose. It can be as simple as to follow your love of food and acquaint yourself with the flavors of the world. Unfortunately, I didn’t set goals or define a purpose before I left. So I’ve forced myself to think back through my trip and find an underlying theme. What did I find myself doing in every country I visited? Although delicious, I know that I did something more profound that getting to know how the McDonald’s menus differed from country to country.

I finally came to the conclusion that I travel to see the most beautiful nature that the world has to offer. That’s right, I am a beach guy. When I really think about it, my favorite cities have always been right beside an Ocean or a Sea. With that in mind here are five of the most beautiful beach towns that I have visited.

1) Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Ok. I admit it. I may be biased on this one. This beach is only a couple of hours from my doorstep. Like most of Canada, Tofino is a little colder than everywhere else on this list. But if your willing to find a wetsuit it’s a great place to spend a weekend surfing and enjoying some of the best seafood in Canada. It also has some of the best whale watching available.

2) Ko Phi Phi, Krabi, Thailand

Everyone may not recognize the name, but this is the island where the movie “The Beach” was filmed. There are actually several islands that make up the Phi Phi Island group, but the two largest get the most traffic. The islands are simply breathtaking. Perfect white beaches and turquoise water make it almost impossible not to jump into the ocean before your boat can reach the shore.

In 2004 the Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated the islands. Through the dedication of the locals and aid from volunteer organizations the damage is now unrecognizable and the islands are as beautiful and bustling as ever.

3) Cancun, Mexico

Perfect white sand beaches and endless cocktails is how most view Cancun. They are right, but there is so much more to this city. Cancun is an excellent place to spend an afternoon on the beach surfing. I’ve done it many times and loved every minute of it. A lot of people spend all their time on the beach, but Cancun is extremely close to the world famous Chichen Itza Mayan ruins. These are some of the best-preserved Mayan ruins in the world and completely worth missing a morning on the beach to see.

4) Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik once rivaled Venice as the most important city on the Adriatic Sea. It is a remarkable walled city sitting directly on the ocean. It is still so complete and unaltered that it looks like it belongs in ‘Game of Thrones’. The city separates the much less crowded beaches to the south and the beaches of the more crowded Lapad peninsula.

The beautiful thing about Dubrovnik is that you can use it as a launching point to visit the many surrounding islands or hop on a bus down the coast to Montenegro, both options will provide you with excellent beach options. I suggest spending a day on Lokrum Island. It is less than a Kilometer away from Dubrovnik but somehow deserted other than some those tourists that choose to take a day trip to see it.

5) Kenting, Taiwan

Taiwan was originally known as “Formosa”, which means “Beautiful Island”. Kenting exemplifies the beauty of Taiwan. It is the sub-tropical southern most area of the island. A large amount of the area has been kept as a nature preserve, which is excellent for hiking. In the summertime Kenting is where the Taiwanese go to play. It is filled with Sea-Doos and speedboats pulling inner tubes. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere and nature simultaneously.

There you have it: my five favorite beach towns. That is what I am looking for when I travel. What do you look for when you travel? Feel free to leave a comment about what you look for and what you’ve found.

David Hilborn

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