Biggest bang for your travel time

This is another story by an amazing woman I know that loves to travel. This is part of my Women with Wanderlust series. My hope with this series and my book, I can convince more women to travel the world, with or without a partner.

Story by Debbie DeVoe, World Adventurer

My favorite country is often the one I’m traveling in at the moment. But three countries stand out to me as places that offer the biggest bang for your travel time — where you can experience culture, friendly locals, natural beauty, and jaw-dropping wonders all on the same trip.

Top on my list is Turkey. I was blown away by how much this country has to offer and got more excited with every guidebook page I read on the plane over. Istanbul will enchant you, Cappadocia will have you giggling at what locals call “fairy chimneys” but everyone else thinks are nature’s phallic sand sculptures, and you won’t believe that a mountainside is actually burning its own barbeques at Chimaera. Continue on to get some fresh air and fish along the coast, swing north to see the beautiful library ruins at Ephesus, and end your trip mesmerized by the bright-white travertine terraces of Pamukkale.

Guatemala is another place with a special place in my wandering heart. Where else do people change the traditional clothes they wear in every village you pass? Bus rides are long but never boring. From the ruins of Tikal to the delightful villages of Lake Atitlan to the cobblestone streets of Antigua — and even up a live volcano hiking pass burning lava — Guatemala will work its way into your heart too.

And finally, Sri Lanka: a teardrop island that just might make you cry from the beauty and diversity of sights you can see and experience. Circle the island to unlock all the secrets waiting for you.

I agree with Debbie that my favorite country is often the one that I’m traveling in or going to next. It’s always changing. If I had to pick a favorite overall that would be really hard just like it’s hard for me to pick a favorite restaurant in Portland. There’s just so many good things to choose from in countries and in the Portland food scene!


Here’s a tip from my book Women with Wanderlust that goes along with what Debbie said:

Myth: Paris is the only place to see

Pick destinations that are not as mainstream. You can find some great undiscovered places just by going away from the tourist areas in the more developed countries and cities. Laos and Cambodia are two of the cheapest places I have traveled to and they have some of the coolest sites to see. Angkor Wat is still pretty touristy but not quite as busy as a U.S. landmark like Mount Rushmore. In Laos I went to 4,000 Islands and saw some really amazing waterfalls and dolphins. It was a great place to chill out and disconnect from the world in a place with no cars and Wi-Fi only “sometimes”. (see photo proof below)

I also made a post on Medium about being a married girl that travels solo.