Slightly Astray’s Top Ten Travel Destinations

Welcome t another Travel Tuesday. Remember when you hop around today people’s posts might be themed, so have a fun time seeing what everyone came up with this week.  I decided to not write to the theme this week but let Anna from Slightly Astray blog have a space here.  This is her last week with us and she is going to be sharing her Top Ten Travel Destinations.


Hello A Compass Rose readers! I’m Anna from Slightly Astray and I will be taking over Bonnie’s blog today before passing my Travel Tuesday co-host spot unto someone else!

For those who may not know me, a quick little introduction: I quit my job as an engineer/project manager to live a life of full-time travel with my boyfriend. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this is where life would take me, and contrary to the glamorous image of full time travelers, this kind of life is not always easy, but I have absolutely no regrets!

I cannot believe that it is coming up on a full two years (on April 1st!) since we packed a luggage each and boarded a one way flight! So for today’s guest post, I thought I would share 10 of my favorite destinations visited (in random order!) in our two years of travel. I loved all of these places for different reasons, but no matter the reason, they have all claimed a piece of my heart.

1. Santiago, Chile

bellavista streetart 1

Santiago will forever have a special place in my heart as the very first city we headed to when we started our new nomadic lives. It may not the the prettiest city or have the best food (in fact, some of the food is downright disgusting!), but it is special to me for the fact that this is where I learned to function as a traveler and fell in love with the lifestyle. I think back on my time in Santiago with such fondness for this kind of “first” is truly a feeling that can never be replicated.

Read: The City That Stole My Heart

2. London


Anna tower bridge

English breakfast

Who doesn’t love London?! I was only here for a quick 3 days (because yeah… I’m poor and London is expensive) but I was completely enamored with it! London was the first European city I have ever set foot in and oh what a beautiful first impression it made! I barely even covered a fraction of the city and I’m constantly dreaming of when I can return to walk its streets again.

3. Wroclaw, Poland

Wroclaw Market Square 4

pierogarnia feature pic

Wroclaw is one of my favorite cities in Europe due to the fact that it’s such a perfect little fairytale town. And if I’m being honest, also due to the fact that I fell in love with the restaurant Pierogarnia and still insist that it serves the best pierogies I’ve ever had.

Read: Pierogarnia: A Love Story

4. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest view2

szechenyi bath 1

beef stew2

Budapest is just plain fun! There’s nothing I can say to pinpoint exactly why I loved it so much, so really it’s just a little bit of everything: the food, the architecture, the cafes, the river, the ruin pubs, the baths… I can go on and on. It’s also an extremely budget friendly destination, making it one of my top places I recommend in Europe.

5. Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia 8

The perfect city of east-meets-west! Is there another city as colorful, crazy, and exciting as Istanbul?! I loved hearing the calls to prayer multiple times a day, sitting down in an alleyway to smoke shisha + play backgammon, and seeing all the explosions of colors and textures in the markets. There’s just not quiet another place like Istanbul. And quiet literally… what other city in the world is divided by the ocean to sit on both European and Asian soils?!

Read: Istanbul: An Assault on the Senses

6. Koh Chang, Thailand

While this was certainly not the only tropical paradise I’ve been to, it’s the one that made the most impression on me. We stayed on the quiet, untouristed side of this little island for 2 weeks. For a large portion of that time, we didn’t get internet and I took the time to completely unplug and reconnect with my myself. I read a ton, scooted all over the island, swam in the warm waters, and spent hours in the kitchen creating Thai dishes. I felt completely at peace, like I was the best version of myself there.

Read: Unplugged

7. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi veggies bike

Oh. My. Goodness. THE FOOD! The food in Hanoi is just INCREDIBLE! The entire Old Quarter is packed full with street vendors and eateries, and every single one is delicious… a true foodie heaven! I already liked pho before coming, but this is where I fell completely in love with Vietnamese cuisine (and Vietnamese coffee… and I’m not even a coffee drinker!). A perfect day in Hanoi is just walking around and randomly sitting down at whatever sidewalk eatery that looks crowded or smells good.

Read: 10 Dishes to Try in Hanoi (this is my top viewed post of all time)

8. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei view of 101 Taipei ootd 6

Tonghua night market

This was the first city that felt truly like home. Again, another city that doesn’t sound too exciting and is not even on most people’s travel itineraries, but it is an extremely fun and livable place. There’s so much to discover about Taipei, from the night market culture to the cafes to day trips. We initially visited for 2 weeks, and loved it enough that we went back and settled there for a whole 3 months, making Taipei the first place we called home for a temporary while.

Read: 17 Reasons Why Taipei is the Coolest (In Photos)

9. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur Jalan Alor curry laksa

So I think I found a new city as exciting as, if not more than, Istanbul! Malaysia is a wonderful mix of cultures and ethnicities, which results in a very diverse place with some of the most exciting food I’ve ever had on my travels. Kuala Lumpur is a true city of contrasts: insanely modern yet still distinctively Southeast Asian. There’s just an neverending list of things to discover to excite me.

10. Beijing, China

simatai great wall 17me and mom Beijing 4 Beijing tulip fields 14

And last but not least, there will always be a piece of my heart reserved for my birth city, Beijing. In the past year, I was lucky enough to be able to spend a significant chunk of time there, both as a tourist and as a Beijinger returning to my childhood home. I was really able to gain a deeper understand for my culture and this country as a whole. China may seem intimidating to visit but once you look under the surface, it is a beautiful country with a rich history and of course, delicious food.

Read: Lessons from Time Spent in China

So that’s it! My top 10 favorite places in two years of travel! What were some of your favorite destinations?

  • Liz @ California2Catalonia

    Dang, Anna! I have yet to visit almost every spot on your list! I find it so hard to create a top X list because there’s something I love about every single place I visit. I think when I finally do get around to writing a top list I’ll cop out and do a list of my favorites countries (with Spain of course topping the list!). Can’t wait to visit so many of these places!

    • Anna | slightly astray

      Hi Liz! I’m sooo dying to visit Spain someday! I agree that i can find something to love about almost every place (but there are also places I don’t feel a connection with), but some places are more special because they have a more personal meaning :). I’m originally from Caliornia too! I’m looking forward to checking out your blog later when I have time!!

  • Julie Wunder

    Hi Anna! What a lovely post! I haven’t been to any of your places! I need to get to work :-) Gorgeous photos!

    • Anna | slightly astray

      Thanks so much Julie!! These places are all dear to my heart.. I hope you’ll love them as much too when you eventually get there! :)

  • Mar

    What a list! And great photos :)

    • Anna | slightly astray

      Thank you Mar! :)

  • laurenonlocation

    Anna! The fact that Santiago, Chile is first up on your list just made my heart so happy!!!! I’m loving my new city so far and it’s so good to hear when others do too! As always your food pics are making me drool away over here! Awesome post!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Anna | slightly astray

      I’m so glad to hear that you’re loving Santiago!! I look forward to see what you get up to there! It is truly truly special to me because it was the first place I went to, and that’s something that can never be replaced!

  • Grey World Nomads

    Reading through your list I just realized that we didn’t even see all of your recommended travel destinations, not even half of them! We have to go on traveling :) #TravelTuesday

    • Anna | slightly astray

      I hope you guys will love these places as much as I did when you eventually make it there! :)

  • Daisy @ Simplicity Relished

    I REALLY need to get myself to Hanoi!!

    • Anna | slightly astray

      YES!!! The food is sooo incredible there. One of my favorites ever. I’m seriously constantly thinking of going back just to eat!

  • Tanja / The red phone box trav

    wroclaw seems interesting! Cool to see your list!

    • Anna | slightly astray

      Thanks Tanja! Wroclaw is such a cute little laid back town. I liked it so much the first time that I went back the next year. :)

  • AmyMacWorld

    Such a great list! I’ve been seeing so much about Wroclaw lately…I must visit!

    • Anna | slightly astray

      Yes! Go if you can. It’s such a cute little town. And go eat at Pierogarnia when you make it there!

  • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

    This is great, Anna! :) What an amazing mix of places, and I was so happy to see my two homes at number one and two ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Anna | slightly astray

      Hehe yep! Even though this list is not ordered from top to last… it’s actually chronologically ordered from when I visited, haha! But seriously, nothing can beat that feeling of “first” in Santiago!

  • Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    You know I have a soft spot for Hanoi too- such a great city!

    • Anna | slightly astray

      I totally agree! It’s an amazing, delicious city. I’m going to try to go back there real soon!

  • SWAGS @ What Up, Swags?!

    Wonderful post, Anna! Your travels really open an entirely new part of the world to me in Asia!

    • Anna | slightly astray

      Let me know if you ever come!! I can either give you suggestions, or if you’re visiting where I am, I would love to meet! :)

  • Rachel

    I love this list! So interesting to hear your opinion on places I’ve been and the (majority) that I’ve yet to visit. I definitely agree with your opinion of Istanbul, I totally loved it. And if you ever make it back to London let me know :) In the mean time, I’m off to work out how I can get to Koh Chang, Hanoi or KL…

    • Anna | slightly astray

      Yessss those are all such good picks! I’m currently back in KL because I just loved it so much, and I really really want to get back to Hanoi someday soon! I will definitely let you know if I’m ever back in London, though sadly, that’s not on the plans for the near future. :(

  • Ashley

    What a fun takeover! Such amazing photos. I would love to make it to Poland!

    <3 Have Ashley, Will Travel