Q&A: What's Your Favorite Place You've Ever Been?

I’ve been to 23 different countries, three of them I’ve called home. Because of this, I’m often asked where my favorite place is. It’s the worst question.

When I’m asked where my favorite place is, it feels similar to somebody asking me how I’m doing. I know they really want the equivalent response to “I’m fine.” They want me to tell them that Paris is my favorite so that they can say something along the lines of “Awesome, I want to go there someday” and then end the conversation.

I hate that. For starters, even if there is an answer to that question, it’s not a place you’re going give a cookie cutter response to. It’s going to be Bruges or Marrakech, not Barcelona or Rome.

 Second, it’s wrong to ask for an honest choice between places like France and New Zealand. Those places were home. I made memories there that couldn’t have been made on a vacation. I lived there, studied there, worked there. You can’t expect a response like you could by asking my favorite restaurant. There are just too many variables.

Please don’t misunderstand and think for a second I don’t want to talk about travel with you. I’d love to. I want to swap stories and compare our trips to Italy. I want to have a conversation, not small talk because the truth is, I don’t have an answer. I loved sitting at the café in Paris, watching people and eavesdropping on conversations. I felt adventurous running through deserted palaces in Marrakech. The museums in London stimulated my mind and swimming with humpback whales in Tonga reminded me what wonders this world has to offer.

So please, don't make me choose just one place. If you do ask me about traveling, understand that the places I've been shape who I am. Ask me about my stories and I'll ask about yours; I'm happy to trade. Just don't ask me where my favorite place is.