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Around the World in 26 Letters: My Travel Alphabet

I’ve been travelling the world, on-and-off, for almost 16 years—ever since an adventurous 4 week train journey took me through Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic into Romania back in the days when they each had separate currencies. I even got a passport stamp at each border, something that no longer happens for me as an EU citizen travelling through Europe.

That journey inflamed a sense of Wanderlust that I knew would last a lifetime.

Here I take a photographic look back at some of my favourite destinations. I will include links to any posts that I have written about these places.

A is for Atacama Desert, Chile

The moon through the telescope
The moon through the telescope

Stargazing in the Atacama Desert was one of the highlights of my South America trip.

B is for Bosnia 

Mostar's Stari Most Bridge.
Mostar’s Stari Most Bridge.

 The Stari Most bridge in Mostar is a great place to relax and unwind for a few days.

C is for Caribbean 

Dreams can come true.

We travelled through the gorgeous San Blas islands on our way from Colombia to Panama.

D is for Dracula, Romania 

Vlad Tepes bust, Old Town, Bucharest
Vlad Tepes bust, Old Town, Bucharest

Romania is the home of Vlad Tepes – the real life Dracula. It is a fascinating country to explore, especially for a History and Literature buff like me!

E is for Edinburgh, Scotland 

Edinburgh's Old Town
Edinburgh’s Old Town

Edinburgh’s Old Town is a fascinating insight into Scotland’s murky past, but the streets hidden beneath it unveil even more mystery and intrigue.

F is for Fuji, Japan

Mount Fuji Up Close
Mount Fuji Up Close

“A wise man climbs Fuji once in his lifetime, but only a fool will climb it twice.”

My double ascent of Mt Fuji makes me a fool according to this Japanese proverb.

G is for Gotland, Sweden  

City walls seen from under the bridge.
City walls seen from under the bridge.

How gorgeous is Visby, the quaint mediaeval capital of Gotland?

H is for Holi festival, India 


Colourful, vibrant, and a whole heap of fun! I loved celebrating Holi in Mumbai this year.

I is for Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul: Where Continents Collide
Istanbul: Where Continents Collide

A truly European city that somehow manages to be undeniably Asian at the same time, I love how Istanbul has retained both parts of her dual identity.

J is for Jökulsarlon, Iceland 

Icebergs floating in the lake
Icebergs floating in the lake

Despite spending it with a man who hated me, this was the MOST amazing place I  have ever visited.

K is for Kleftiko, Greece


Travel is as much about food as destination, so Kleftiko simply had to make my list. It is my favourite food in the whole world, and I visit Greece often just to get my fix.

L is for Lapland, Sweden 

I have visited Swedish Lapland twice in pursuit of the Northern Lights. Just look at the gorgeously bleak desolation of it.

M is for Machu Picchu, Peru 

A traveller ‘Must-Do’. I visited the ‘City in the Clouds’ on a rainy day in December 2011.

N is for New York City, USA 


‘The Big Apple’, ‘City of Dreams’: call it what you will. NYC surprised and delighted me more than I expected it to.

O is for Ogmore-by-Sea, Wales 


I don’t suppose that many of you will have heard of this place, but it was home to me for 18 years and will always remind me of the culture of British beach holidays. There is much about Ogmore that I miss now that my parents have moved to (equally lovely) Cornwall.

P is for Parque Tayrona, Colombia 

The first view of the beach really did take my breath away.
The first view of the beach really did take my breath away.

Hands down the most amazing beaches I have ever seen. A small part of me believes that dinosaurs might even still exist here.

Q is for Qatar Airways

Hamad International Airport, Doha, the hub of Qatar Airways.
Hamad International Airport, Doha, the hub of Qatar Airways.

Thankfully, Qatar Airways is my go-to airline for long haul flights – otherwise ‘Q’ might have been a difficult letter to fill! I have been flying with Qatar since 2008, as they are usually one of the cheapest options on my routes and their service is fantastic.

R is for Rurrenabaque, Bolivia 

Our arrival in Rurrenabaque
Our arrival in Rurrenabaque

Rurrenabaque was a lovely little place to kick-start our trip to the Amazon, it had a great laid-back Hippie vibe to it.

S is for Skye, Scotland

The Fairy Pools were encrusted in ice

Scotland again. The Isle of Skye is simply drop-dead gorgeous and had to make my list!

T is for Tallinn, Estonia 


Tallinn is the chocolate-box-pretty capital of Estonia. Visit at Christmas and drink mulled wine at the Christmas Market.

U is for Unawatuna, Sri Lanka


I was super relaxed during my week on the beaches of Sri Lanka, where there were some great little chill-out bars and restaurants to hang out in.

V is for Valparaiso, Chile 

Laundry hangs from the windows in this quirky seaport town.
Laundry hangs from the windows in this quirky seaport town.

Sea-salt blasted Valparaiso is an artist’s dream city, which has inspired some of the World’s best street art. It has also put poetry on the map thanks to the beautiful words of Pablo Neruda.

W is for Waterfalls: Iguazu – Argentina/Brazil

The Brazilian side is more panoramic
The Brazilian side is more panoramic

I really wanted to put Iguazu Falls on my list, but wasn’t prepared to sacrifice Istanbul, so I cheated and I’m using W for it. Don’t you agree that it needed a place?

X is for Xi’an, China 


I’m so happy to have visited China as it gives me an option for X on this list! However, Xi’an would have made the list either way as I stayed in a wonderful hostel, ate fantastic food, and saw the great Terracotta Warriors. It is easy to see how fearsome China’s Army would have been.

Y is for Yamuna River, India


You might not have heard of the Yamuna River, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll recognise the building overlooking it!

Z is for Zostel: Udaipur, India


I thought that Z might be difficult to fill, but I really wanted to include Udaipur and then remembered that we stayed at a great hostel called Zostel there. We were given the best room in the house and this is the view from our bedroom window.

How many of these places have you been to? What would you put on your Travel Alphabet? I would love to hear where you’ve have been, let me know by leaving a comment.

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  1. says:

    From that list, I’ve been to Istanbul Xi’an, NYC, and Iguazú. I’m dying to visit Cornwall, which is not on your list, though.

    1. Cornwall almost made the list in a number of places, but I already had a few UK entries there already. Maybe I should do a UK travel alphabet too?! I will be in Cornwall in June. Can’t wait!

  2. Taylor with Sprout Local says:

    Iceland… hear so many incredible things about it these days. Definitely some good deals to be had on airfare to Iceland (from Canada). Love your photos!

    1. Thank you! Iceland is wonderful, it really is a place absolutely like no other.

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