Travel: Best-of-lists and hello from Sweden

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We’re on the west coast of Sweden right now! We just arrived to this view.

Thanks again to everyone who shared suggestions and advice for this trip—I so appreciate it. In case you’re curious, here’s the routing we ended up taking: Five nights in Stockholm, followed by a flight to Bergen, Norway, and two nights there; then a ferry through two Norwegian fjords and a train ride into Oslo, from where we have rented a car and are making our way down the coast of Sweden for a couple of days before dropping it back off in Copenhagen. We will be there a few nights before heading back home. I’ve been posting a few photos on Instagram (under the admittedly silly hashtag #ScandiScursion) along the way.

And it really is as beautiful as I’d always imagined it to be. Of course, as we crossed our fingers that the kids would finally fall asleep around 10pm tonight, in spite of the sun’s glow creeping into the room, I noted to myself that—when writing this—I should point out that no snapshots ever really capture the challenges of traveling with two young children. But not one has stopped us from feeling incredibly lucky to be here.

So I’m going to end this week early and wish you a great one and, if you celebrate, a happy Fourth of July!

In the meantime, if you happen to be in search of your next travel adventure, or are just feeling wanderlust-y, and enjoy those best-of-lists like I do, here have been some of my favorite destinations over the years…

Favorite International City: Paris probably still wins, but I found it to be trickier with very young kids so perhaps Rome or Mexico City would take top prize for me at this stage.

Favorite Domestic City: Another tough call (I love Los Angeles), but New York wins. The history, the people, the food, the parks, and—for the traveler—the transit system make it one of the most incredible cities in the world.

Most affordable: I found myself wanting to answer Mexico City for a lot of categories. We really loved our visit last year. And it was nice to feel like we could afford to go back!

Best Value: Is Croatia still less expensive than some of its European neighbors? It’s been a while, but I’d love to go back and find out.

Favorite for Outdoor adventuring: Yosemite Valley (which I actually thought about a lot on our trip through a Fjord yesterday, imagining what it once looked like). Glacier-shaped and once filled with water, it’s an incredible sight.

Best Roadtrip: A drive along the California Coast should be on everyone’s to-do list. Highway 1 as it passes through Big Sur is breathtaking. It will take you forever because you’ll be pulling out over and over to take photos.

Most Family-friendly: Hawaii (domestic) or Bali (international). If Bali were easier to get to, we’d go back in a heartbeat. Everyone wanted to help entertain our child! But it’s an easy, direct flight for us to Maui or Oahu and it seems like everyone there is traveling with kids—which means they’re welcome all over. That and the obvious: beautiful beaches!

Best for Relaxation: A spa escape in Sonoma. For obvious reasons.

Best food and drink: New York is home to the most sentimental favorites, but Italy didn’t lead form the “Eat” portion of Elizabeth Gilbert’s narrative for nothing. Tasting pesto in Liguria for the first time or eating seafood on the Amalfi coast are standouts.

Most Under-the-radar: When we last visited Roatan (Honduras), there was talk of a larger cruise ship terminal, but it still felt like a hidden gem. The diving was incredible! (And really affordable!)

Most Romantic escape: Locally, we’d likely head to Napa or Sonoma (see: Relaxation), but Thailand stands out as the most romantic to me (see: Honeymoon).

Most Worth the splurge: A single-leg, long-haul flight.

What places would you add? Any categories I’ve missed?

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