If the total number of visitors a place gets is an indication of its popularity then Bangkok is top of the pile. The 22.7 million visitors in 2019 seem to love the capital of Thailand more than anywhere else. It’s been the most visited city in the world for the last 4 years.
What is your favorite place on the planet? If you don’t know or just haven’t thought about it, here is how to find your all time favorite place on Earth.
Your All Time Favorite Place
What makes a place an all time favorite place? The answer to that question depends on what’s important to you.
Your predispositions and experiences in life shape what’s important to you. It’s another one of those things determined by both nature and nurture.
Try these options out for size. Something is bound to strike a chord with you.
Our childhood experiences are tremendously influential. As adults, we can still have tremendous affection for places we loved as kids. Happy memories, feelings of warmth and safety, and first experiences can all remain with us.
These memories can be associated with a place. When they are, that place is special to us for so much more than the objective qualities of the location. The place triggers emotions that bind you to the place.
Perhaps for you, it’s home. The place you spent your childhood. It could be a house, a neighborhood or a city.
Another strong family association could be a regular family vacation destination. It could be a beach you visited regularly or perhaps a place you went fishing. A park or indeed any park can bring back overwhelming feelings of family warmth.
Do you have a secret place that is your favorite place? It may be a place only you know about or perhaps a secret place you share with a significant other. There’s something about its exclusivity that can make a secret place your favorite place.
A secret garden can be an especially evocative favorite place. Even if you are not the only person to know about it, a garden that is rarely visited by other people can feel like it belongs to you.
It’s this relationship with a garden that was the subject of Frances Hodgson Barnett’s novel, “The Secret Garden“. It was such a powerful idea that the novel became a classic of English literature.
Your favorite place could be what Ray Oldenburg called the “Third Place“. He described this special place in his book, “The Great Good Place”. His sociological studies lead him to identify this place as a refuge from what he called the first and second places, home and work.
He saw it as a place ideally near your work and your home. It’s a place where you can unwind. It might be a bar, a café or a club where you can meet people and have a sense of community.
Is your favorite place, your third place? For the regulars at Cheers, the Boston pub of the successful sitcom of the 1980s, it was a place where “everybody knows your name” according to the theme song. Perhaps you have a place you go to where you get a warm welcome, familiar people and the relaxation you only get when you truly fit in.
There are places you can visit that take your breath away. These can be favorite places. You may not be able to visit them often in reality, but perhaps you visit them many times in our dreams and memories.
Places that take your breath away seem often to be places of extreme scale. A visit to Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon can have that effect. The awesome archaeological site of Machu Picchu set in amazing scenery is another breathtaking location that might make it to the top of your list of favorite places.
Your favorite place may be one where you have been moved by beauty. Natural beauty such as flowering cherry trees in Japan or the colors of fall leaves in New England is just two of many possible places.
Man-made beauty can be no less inspiring. The Taj Mahal in the early morning before the crowds arrive or the Pyramids in Giza are both spectacular.
Your idea of beauty may be less spectacular and more intimate. Perhaps there’s no more wonderful place than to be in the Louvre Museum in Paris, gazing into the eyes of the Mona Lisa. That famous smile, the work of the artistic genius Leonardo Da Vinci, may represent for you, true happiness.
Your favorite place may be more about an occasion than a location.
Perhaps you were present at the last ever performance by a famous actor. You may have a memory of attending a major sporting event. Your favorite place could be a special table at a Michelin starred restaurant where you had dinner with the love of your life.
Being in that place and at that time could be very special to you. It’s a place with significance.
Where’s your happy place? A happy place can be a place constructed in your own mind. Somewhere only you can go.
Some meditation practices and relaxation techniques make use of your capacity to create images in your mind’s eye. These imaginary places can be very real for you. They can even evoke sensations of peace, warmth, and joyfulness.
This happy place can be a place to which you can retreat. It’s an escape from the stresses and strains of modern life. The visualization of your happy place could consist of a serene woodland glade, a sun-drenched beach or a cozy bed.
If relaxation and comforting, peaceful places don’t do it for you, perhaps you are a thrill-seeker. Your favorite place comes with a side order of adrenalin.
Thrills and spills aplenty come with a white-water raft trip down the Colorado River. A bungee jump from the Kawarau Gorge Bridge in New Zealand, where bungee jumping began, might be exciting enough for you.
Your all time favorite place is your favorite place so far. Your next adventure might reveal a new favorite place. Have fun finding out.