Written By Lee Murrin

11..Rome

colosseum-rome

Who doesn’t love Rome?
The famous Colosseum, The Pantheon, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, St Peter’s Basilica, Piazza Navona, Sistine Chapel, Spanish Steps and the Roman Forum the list goes on and on.

I’ve visited several times and I still don’t think I’ve seen all of the tourist attractions.
That’s probably because I get stuck into the amazing food as well. I love Italy full stop!

You can do some serious walking here so take your comfortable shoes, but it’s easy to hail a taxi anywhere if you want to speed up your sightseeing, it’s a large city.

There is so much to see in Rome that many find it hectic trying to fit every single tourist attraction into their itinerary, my advice is slow it down and enjoy what you do see.

You will be mesmerised by all that you see, the whole city is a museum of ancient amazingness.

Rome is seriously impressive, you can only wonder what it was like when today we witness just a fraction compared to back in the day .

Enjoy trying to choose which famous landmark, monument or museum you plan to visit first.

12..Panama Canal

panama-canal

A slightly different travelling experience, and it makes the top twenty for exactly that reason.

One of my favourite travel adventures so far has to be the Panama canal, for its uniqueness and the memorable experience.

Connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, it’s an engineering masterpiece.

A forty-eight mile long waterway, which is a shortcut for ships passing between the Atlantic and Pacific. Meaning they save time compared to the longer journey around South America and Cape Horn, about eight thousand miles less!

Whilst working on cruise ships I was fortunate enough to have the Panama Canal crossing as part of an itinerary I worked on.

The way the whole system works and the history of its construction is fascinating, I won’t go into detail here, but look it up it’s incredible.

One of the greatest feats of human ingenuity which has had a dramatic impact on the whole world.

It really is another wonder of the modern world and although passing through is slow waiting for the locks, there is plenty to see along the scenic route and you can watch the traffic of small ships ranging right up to the largest cruise ships in the world and mammoth tankers.
The Panama Canal has recently gone through a new phase of construction to be able to accommodate the latest mega ships.

You can’t help but be awestruck if you take this journey.

Cruise ships usually have commentary to convey the story as you pass through the different sections,
Informing you on details of the history and construction.

The whole trip feels like an adventure, usually lasting about twelve hours depending on traffic.
Travel adventures I will not forget.

13..Hawaii

hawaii

Aloha

A dream vacation destination for most people, mainly for its consistently great weather, volcanic landscapes, tropical terrain and some of the best beaches on earth.

When I visited Hawaii one of the highlights from so many I had, was definitely snorkelling and swimming with wild sea turtles.

There are plenty of places to choose from for snorkelling and scuba diving, the sea in Hawaii is full of all sorts of marine wildlife, in some of the clearest waters I have seen.

It’s another fitness world explorers paradise with loads of activities to choose from, world famous hiking trails offering breathtaking views, zipliness through the forest canopies, mountain biking, scuba dives, sailing and catamaran tours.
You can take part in every kind of water sports with the most famous of them surfing of course.

Whether you’re an avid adventure seeker or spectator there is no shortage of things to choose from for activity and exercise in Hawaii.

If you need to chill out in between the activity, you certainly won’t struggle to find a beach with over seven hundred and fifty miles of shoreline.

So yes Hawaii makes the list, just for all round awesomeness in my experience.

I plan to re-visit and tick off hiking in the volcanoes national park, and witness
Oahu’s legendary North Shore breaks next time.

14..Egypt

pyramids-egypt
A great country to visit and explore, but more specifically for my visit to the ancient Pyramids and my journey along the Suez Canal.

Seeing the Pyramids in person would be on most travel lovers tick list, it certainly was for me and seeing them in person didn’t disappoint.

The best kept of the seven ancient wonders of the world are majestic and simply amazing.
The imagination runs wild when you are actually there, trying to imagine what it was like and how incredible the history of the place is, trying to picture how the pyramids and sphinx were constructed.

Definitely go on an organised guided tour if you do visit for commentary on the history and mystery but also to guide you through the whole area.

We took the opportunity to do the touristy camel rides and had a good walk around.

Of course I had seen the Pyramids in books and on TV, but actually being there and taking the tour inside is an experience which is very hard to explain, also a very hot experience as we visited in summer.

Visiting Giza the Pyramids and the great sphinx is one of those raised hair on the back of your neck and chills moments.

The best part of my trips to Egypt has been scuba diving in Sharm el-Sheikh, walking into the great Pyramids to explore the ancient tombs, and seeing the country from a different perspective on a cruise through the Suez Canal.

Very different experiences, all fascinating to me.

15..Sydney Australia

sydney

I’m not sure if everybody is the same, but it’s a similar feeling to when you first see Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, the Pyramids, the Golden gate bridge and any world landmark you have always wanted to see.

When I first saw Sydney bridge and the Opera house those incredible landmarks I grew up seeing on TV I was totally awestruck.

A great experience and one of the best ways to see and enjoy the whole Sydney harbour area is on Jet boat, exhilarating sightseeing and a great laugh.

Sydney has more opportunities to workout train and get active than most places, both inside and whilst enjoying the sunshine in the great outdoors.

You can’t visit without paying a visit to Bondi, I highly recommend taking the hike or run along the coast path which combines, rock-pools, beaches and parks which spectacular coastal views.

Vibrant nightlife, great restaurants and plenty of things to keep you active.

Sydney is a special place I had always wanted to visit, luckily Iv’e have left plenty still to see for my return.

16..San Francisco

san-francisco

The first place I ever visited in the state of California, another great fitness city.
From my experience people take their food and fitness very seriously in San Francisco.

There are plenty of tourism trips to be done, Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Bridge are the ones everybody wants to see, but taking a walk on your own adventure is easy in this City and there are many urban hiking trails nearby with great views along the way.

Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf are the hotspots for bars restaurants, great shops, views of San Francisco bay, chats with a sea lion or people watching.

Sailing under the golden gate bridge at sunset is one of my favourite memories of San Francisco.
I will visit again and on my next visit I need to take a trip to Yosemite National park.

17..Patagonia

patagonia

Patagonia is spectacular, anybody who loves exploring, hiking, climbing and nature needs to add Patagonia to their wish list.

Spanning both Argentina and Chile, Patagonia is home to fantastic mountain peaks, stunning national parks, diverse countryside, glaciers and ice-fields.
It is an incredible display of natural beauty, like being in a different world.

Cruising through the Straights of Magellan, Chilean Fjords and Beagle Canal, hiking and exploring the scenic trails or just simply looking around at the unbelievable landscape have been my highlights and reasons why Patagonia makes my top twenty without doubt.

Patagonia is vast and there are many ways to explore, but you will struggle to find anywhere better for world-class hiking/climbing.

As you venture through the surrounding peaks and ice fields will leave you in awe.
The best time to visit is October-March (summer)

Patagonia is definitely on my future hit list to revisit for hiking trails and further sightseeing of the glacial wonderlands.

18..Shanghai

shanghai
When I visited Shanghai it was different to any city I had previously seen and a complete eye opener which is why I’ve added it to my current twenty.

It’s such a huge city that choosing what to do could be your biggest challenge, but you can easily explore on the public transport system.

As you walk through the city you will transition through ancient traditions and futuristic trends.

It’s a real mix of ancient and modern cultures, I visited the museums and walked the city.
On one corner I witnessed men slowly sweeping grass with brushes made from twigs and meticulously tending to the gardens, and on the next huge shopping malls and amusement arcades with the latest virtual realty.

Visit one of the many museums in the city to get an insight into the history of the city, I visited the Shanghai History Museum and the Shanghai Museum.

For activity and exercise visit one of the cities parks to witness Tai Chi, Yoga, fan dances and many forms of martial arts, you can also pick up some delicious street food at the same time.

The modern futuristic skyline of humongous different shaped sky scrapers is breath-taking and ever-changing.
At night the cityscape lights up into a spectacular multicoloured neon light explosion which is phenomenal and a huge highlight of my trip, something Shanghai is famous for.
I would highly recommend a visit for a taste of the real Chinese city experience, its history, culture and cuisine.

19..Cambodia

sihanoukeville-cambodia
So much to see and do, you need to give yourself plenty of time to explore when you visit, its clear to see why it’s a popular destination for lengthy extended travels, you need time to truly explore the whole country.

Cambodia is growing in popularity as a tourist destination each year and I would describe my time there as full of wonder.

The most popular place to visit is of course
Angkor a UNESCO world heritage site with over two million visitors each year.

Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world is located in deep thick jungle, as you explore you will be amazed at how it is intricately carved and impressively constructed.

The Ancient Temples here are vast you will need to be well prepared to explore them properly most people spend several days here.

I loved Cambodia just because as a place it’s unfamiliar to places I had been.
I experienced a cultural adventure, we took a full day tour with a local guide whizzing through the countryside in his Tuc Tuc which was a seriously cool experience.

At Sokha beach in Sihanoukville southwest Cambodia, we were treated to traditional music and dance performances, and in the evening an incredible sunset.
Sihanoukville has long stretches of soft white sand beaches, and a shallow shoreline for relaxing walks at the water’s edge in the clear blue sea.

Venturing from the beaten track the local markets were an experience, they are full of activity and cramped full of products, the goods are squeezed in and although they are very busy everything seems to run smoothly, visiting is an interesting way to get a sense of daily life.

As we toured the ancient temples and savoured the sites the locals were extremely friendly and welcoming.

The sunrise at Ankor Wat is something I am yet to experience, a reason to re-visit.
Here is a picture of an interesting water fountain in Sihanoukville.

20..Vietnam

vietnam

Similar to all the places I have chosen, there is a long list of incredible travel experiences in Vietnam.
Hoi An, Halong Bay, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, ancient tombs/temples and spectacular treks.
Vietnam also boasts some of the most pristine beaches in the world with many luxury coastal resorts.

My own travel experience of Vietnam is memorable for a day spent in Ho Chi Minh City.
Incredible architecture, bikes and motorbikes flying down the boulevards, a hustle and bustle among remarkable buildings, and everywhere friendly faces and warm greetings meet you.

I visited Vietnam on a cruise ship so I also had the pleasure of a sunset sail away, a long and winding journey back to sea from Ho Chi Minh.
Another unique and memorable experience to add to my encyclopedia of travel.

The Food markets are awesome and sell incredibly fresh fruit that I would highly recommend.

There are plenty of food options here to refuel after trekking around
An interesting option is to buy your lunch from vendors in the market or on the roadside cooked fresh and delicious some of the best food experiences known to man.

The countryside of Vietnam has beautiful lush green landscapes as far as the eye can see.

I found Vietnam fascinating and like so many of the twenty places featured full of cultural treasures.
I need to visit again, I’ve only seen a small slice of its wonder.

 

I hope you enjoyed this insight into some of my personal favourites so far, so many great destinations didn’t make the list.

 

About the author
Lee Murrin
The Personal Trainer and Worldwide Traveller behind Fitness World Explorer.
He has worked in his passion as a Personal Trainer and coach for 16 years .His travels have taken him worldwide to 78 different countries on many adventures. He offsets his love and neediness for all things health and fitness, with the occasional beer or slice of cake.
lee@fitnessworldexplorer.com