Every country I have visited so far had something unique and fascinating that made me fall in love with it. Sometimes it’s the people, other times the culture, the food, some place in particular, or a mix of different elements.

Here is a list of my top 5 favorite countries and my reaction to them:

5 China – what in the world…?

I’m crazy in love with China.

I got to live there for almost one year and what I loved most about it is that the culture is so completely different from anything my ignorant foreign eyes had ever experienced that a simple walk out on the streets would leave me like: “What in the world…!”

But apart from that, China is an interesting mix of huge urban areas and incredibly beautiful ancient architecture. Also, its extremely rich traditional culture is something that I cannot get enough of exploring.

I’m still wondering though why would someone go out in pajamas in downtown Shanghai or shave on public transportation in Beijing…

4 Peru – flabbergasted by Machu Picchu

This country has been my obsession for many years.

When you think about Peru you think about Machu Picchu. I know, you will probably say it is over touristy and that is true. Nevertheless, Machu Picchu is one of those places that before visiting I had seen tons of pictures of but when I got there I was literally astounded.

Pictures simply can’t do it justice. There are just a few places that have left me completely in awe, and Machu Picchu is definitely one of them.

3 Bolivia – incredibly diverse

Bolivia is probably the most diverse country I have ever been to.

Though it is mostly known for its highlands, there is so much more than that! There are flat lands, forests, jungles, pampas, lakes, deserts, salt flats, and so on.

It is incredibly diverse from a cultural point of view as well. Over 30 indigenous people groups mix with mestizos, whites, blacks, Japanese and Mennonites.

There’s only one thing it lacks: sea!

But at least it has lake Titicaca…

2 Italy – get lost!

I love Italy! I called this place home for many years and if there is one thing I love doing, that is roaming aimlessly and getting lost in its historic centers.

Most cities, including small ones, have incredibly beautiful architecture that dates back to a period that spans from Roman age to early 20th century and mixes Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassic architecture.

Sit for a coffee in a beautiful plaza, then get a gelato and go for a walk. That’s how you visit Italy!

1 Singapore – heaven for OCDs

I’m not OCD but every time I see people throwing trash around, skipping lines or just not sticking to the rules in general my muscles contract, my face turns red and my head explodes in an atomic mushroom cloud (I’ve probably watched Tom&Jerry too much).

Or is that what OCD is like?

Anyway… Singapore to me is the definition of perfection. Incredibly organized, clean and efficient. Yes, they might even fine you for stinky breath but trust me, it is worth it!

Moreover, Singapore is a beautiful mix of colonial buildings, Chinese architecture, mosques, Hindu temples and modern skyscrapers, all placed in a beautiful, green garden. East meets West in Singapore. Urban landscape meets the garden of Eden. And don’t get me started about food! They took the best of Chinese, Indian and Malay cuisine.

What are your favorite places and what was your reaction to them? I’d love to hear your opinions.

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