Nthabiseng Sibaca

Supply chain consultant,

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What is your most favourite place in the world? If its your country, why should people visit?

So I'v visited a few countries and have been around my own country a few times. My most favourite places have been those rich in culture, great people and fabulous hearty food. What is your most favourite place? Tell us about it and why we should visit.

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    Dec 23 2013: My most favourite place in the world is home, doesn't matter which country i belong. home is where the heart is. a country is built either by bloodshed, wars, etc. my home is built with love by my mom and dad. again where there is love and sharing that can also be my favourite place. period
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    Dec 21 2013: The Scottish Highlands. Highland Scots are warm, hospitable people. The landscape, coastlines and Islands are simply stunning.

    Going there is like going home for me. It's something inexplicable, and "in the blood". For that reason I'm not certain that others would get the same profound feelings as I do when visiting.

    If you do get the opportunity to visit the Highlands Nthabiseng, try and make it October/November - but have a word with the weather Gods to supply you with a few days of crisp, clear sunshine. The hills turn deep russet at that time, and the birches bright yellow against the greens of the ancient pinewoods. There is sometimes a dusting of snow on the tops. All this, set against a clear blue sky is an unforgettable visual feast of near primary colours. Add to that the sound of rutting stags echoing around the Glens...

    Another good time to visit is spring - May/June, before the notorious midges become a problem!
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      Dec 23 2013: Yes, beautiful! The lovely, magical lochs - somehow both quiet and vital....
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    Jan 8 2014: I've been twice to this place in India in the Aravali mountains just outside Jaipur. There is this temple dedicated to the sun god on the very top and from there you can see the whole panorama of the city; both times I went it was at sunset and what impressed me most were the sounds of the bustling city preparing for the night: cars honking in all possible tones, dogs barking, children yelling, roosters calling, cows muu...ing...the muezzin call to prayer, Hindi music playing ...a voice making an announcement in a loud speaker ....and it is all distant and there is a pink haze in the air; you are so aware of all this life happening and you feel part of it while comfortably away and above..while the city bellow is performing it's evening rituals. Same Jodhpur seen from Mehrangarh Fort but here you are much closer and get more of the visual rewards of the 'blue city'
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    Jan 5 2014: Thank you for your question, and I wish I could answer it appropriately. To be honest, though, I don't think I have a "favorite" place in the world, as I have found that there is beauty and joy in every place I've visited thus far (even if it's only a few meters away), and I look forward to more amazing and humbling sites, especially since I've only traveled to a few places around the world.

    You have mentioned that you connect with places that are rich in culture and flavors . . . Likewise, I love the connections with people. There are always unique, learning opportunities to encounter. Some of us are confined/limited to "small" spaces, whereas others have "traversed the world." We forget that we ALL have the world, and there are so many unique ways of experiencing and observing it (aside from a physical interaction) . . . even if it's only a ball of dust at the core.
  • Jan 2 2014: I had been only in my country(Ukraine) and in Russian. I guess my favourite place It's place where I can understand people and people understand me, so it's not country. It's depend on society.
  • Jan 2 2014: I have not visited any of these places,but then I am a Google Maps trotter.The three places I would definitely recommend are-
    1.Santorini,Greece
    2.Abbey Saint Mont Mitchell,France
    3.Normandy,France
    And then of course,you have my breathtaking country,India.I have lived my whole life here but still whenever I zoom in and take a silent glance at the places and people around me,my thoughts are always stirred in a totally new dimension then before and I am left stunned on how there is so much to travel and see in every damn square mile.You also have Bhutan,one place which imprints itself on your mind for life.
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      Jan 3 2014: 'zoom in and take a silent glance' - beautiful, so true and such resonance. I've never known how to put that transient change of perspective into words. Thank you.
      • Jan 3 2014: haha.Surprising considering how nicely you have put 'transient change of perspective'!
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      Jan 3 2014: Normandy is beautiful - the moule et frites is to die for; the memorials and remnants of WWII are fascinating and well preserved. The countryside is beautiful too! And Monet's gardens aren't too far away either.
      • Jan 4 2014: Graihagh totally agreed.Sad that Normandy is never included in those'100 best destinations across the world' lists.
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    Dec 31 2013: I've traveled a lot throughout my life, but no country has left quite the same impression on me as Iceland. It's hard to pick favorites, because it depends on what aspect of the location you're looking at. Out of all the counties I've visited and lived in however, Iceland strikes me as the most- unchanged. Icelanders get their energy primarily from hydroelectric and geothermal plants due to the volcanic nature of the nation's geography. It's main industry is fishing. Iceland has a rich history and its language has changed little since the time of the Vikings.

    I visited an island off the coast of Iceland , called Heimaey. There are two volcanoes on the little island of Heimaey, one of which erupted in 1973 adding 2.2 square kilometers to the island (which is now 13.4 square kilometers). Iceland's wildlife is unique and puffins are part of the Icelandic diet (they are hunted around April or May during the puffin hunting season). Iceland has numerous natural marvels. The Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa, supposedly grants healing powers with its mineral rich waters. Geysers are found throughout Iceland, and many Icelandic volcanos are still active.

    Icelanders speak about their folklore with admiration as well. Superstitions are still numerous. For example, there are supposedly certain roads that can't be demolished or else the "gnomes" who live under them will seek vengeance. I don't believe any of this, but I can see where the superstition may have come from. Iceland seems to be full of mysteries. The ground is formed entirely from volcanic eruptions long ago and fog can shroud the landscape heavily at times. I felt a sense of calm when I was there that no other place I've been has given me. Standing in the Icelandic wilderness felt like connecting with something long lost. The silence grants an inner peace and the power of the landscape reminds me that there is so much to the world that we have yet to understand.
  • Dec 23 2013: my favourit place is home and my work when i go to work i will be enjoy and when i come to my home i see all my family i feel with love
  • Dec 16 2013: Syria... it's a wonderful country, and a syrian people is great.
    therefore, we should go there to stop the war and to spread a peace.
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    Dec 16 2013: Rwanda. I found the weather very pleasant and the richness of the area in terms of its variety of fruits and vegetables made their food awesome. The people are very kind there and so full of hope and the women are to die for!!:)
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      Jan 2 2014: Ha ha ha, Tsepang, Id go for the food, not so much the women morena. Sounds good though especially, ignorant as this may be, my only knowledge of the coutry is of the sad sad history. Il put it on my bucket list.
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    Dec 13 2013: Hello Nthabiseng:>)
    Wherever I am in the moment is my favorite place, because my perception and observation, is that every place is rich in culture with great people. I LOVE the diversity of different people and places, from all the states in the U.S., to Mexico, Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean islands, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The only place I've been in Africa is Egypt, which feels more middle east to me.

    I am curious Nthabiseng.....you say you've traveled around your county.....have you ever been in a place that is NOT rich in culture and great people? I have not had that experience.
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      Dec 24 2013: Hello Colleen, no, even the cities that are filled with migrants have their own new and interesting culture. It's actually interesting that you ask me that because we were brought up to think cities have no culture. Great people are really relative though, have met fantastic people that want to just chat and show you around and are inspired by the fact that you move around and ask a lot of questions. Then there are those who don't come across as being so great, but because it's in the moment it really could be just a bad day.
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        Dec 29 2013: Nthabiseng,
        My perception is that in cities, people from different places are living and working more closely with one another and cultures seem to "mix" more, which creates a new and interesting culture.

        I agree with you...great people are EVERYWHERE, and there are some people who do not choose to interact with others from different cultures.....it is always a choice. I would not ever deny myself the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures, because I think in doing so, I would be limiting myself and denying myself an opportunity:>)
  • Dec 12 2013: jAMMU-kASHMIR for its beautiful Dal lake and wonderful hill stations like gulmerg and pehelgam
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      Dec 19 2013: I looked up Dal Lake. It looks magical! I want to visit. My grandfather's name was Dal - perhaps it's a sign!
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    Dec 12 2013: If you really want to enjoy your trip, for ones makes your trip to a village in India.
    I assure you that you will really going to love the nature and working in fields, the scent of crops and the most tastefull food made on chulhas(an earthen cookstove).
  • Jan 11 2014: My favourite place in the world is where I'm accepted for who I am...which could be any place...or every place.
  • Jan 11 2014: The most beautiful place in the world is Lake Elmore, VT, The Beauty Spot of Vermont, USA. A quaint early American village setting on a pristine lake at the base of a mountain surrounded by 360 degree dynamic views and skies. Each day is a combination of amazing works of art created by Mother Nature. Her pallet plays with the sky, both day and night, weather, seasonal landscapes and nature. We operate a one room school for the early grades that prepares students for proficiency in English language arts and mathematics well beyond grade 3. We grow our own food, raise chickens, maintain active bee hives, swim, hike, ski, snowshoe, ice fish, fly planes, etc. Never is there a dull moment. Our quaint lifestyle is part of the 21st century as we link to the Internet to learn, engage and share with the world at large. Your neighbor is your friend. Come see it to believe it!
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    Jan 9 2014: I lived in Japan for nearly 8 years. Most of that time was in Tokyo with my husband, who is Japanese. Every now and again he would rent a car for us and he would take me to the country side to always see new sites. I love the countryside in Japan. There's something mythical about it. Near Mt. Fuji was one place in particular called Oshino Hakkai. It's in Yamanashi prefecture. It's a small traditional town with pristine crystal water springs. They had shops with traditional japanese foods and soba prepared in the water from the spring. I am so happy my husband brought me there for me to discover such a beautiful place.
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    Jan 8 2014: Having been around the world it is really difficult to choose, I have a long list.

    I will put 2 places out there - Stockholm in the summer is amazing, long days, great people, great parks, beautiful city!

    Also in the summer - Alaska - stunningly beautiful if you like the outdoors. Not a place to go for museums, restaurants, etc. though.
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    Jan 5 2014: I´ve been to many countries and I can safely say that my favourite place in the world is the Serengeti of Tanzania.
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    Jan 4 2014: This question is often asked on many websites as 'security question'. My answer is always same 'Mumbai', I have seen few cities and they are lovely, Mumbai is dynamic, colourful, diverse and most of all of street food is awesome.. Above all it brings me nostalgia..
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    Jan 4 2014: Serbia, Leskovac.
    Small town, popular because of the barbecue festival called "rostiljijada". Every year, masters for grill are crossing the Guinness book of world records, by making the biggest burger. Last year they made 55 kg hard, and 147 cm in diameter
  • Jan 4 2014: I have just come back from Italy. And my most impressive city is Rome. I stayed there for three days and it was far from enough.This city is famous for the long history and good preservation of relics. But what I was most interested are the unknown attractions hidden among the streets, which always makes me forget my original destination :) And it is common to find dedicated decoration like sculptures outside buildings. Rome, an amazing place in my mind.
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    Jan 4 2014: /
    Hi Nthabiseng,
    If my wish was to see and experience the riches of different ways of being, I would visit India. In the US Navy I have been to Philippines, Hawaii, Singapore, Australia, and Kenya. That was in the 70's and 80's. From what I see going on now India is probably the future leader. Within a circle that encloses China and India there are more people within such a circle than in all the rest of the world. I like the accents of certain people when they speak English. An Indian accent is just one of my personal favorites. Although I haven't been there, I have read some of the Gita, and some of the oldest writing in human history. I've heard and chanted Sanskrit, and I've seen the movie and read the book "Life of Pi."

    Ta
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    Jan 3 2014: I found Malaysia to be one of the most beautiful and friendliest places I've ever been - in particular a town calling Kuching in the Borneon part of Malaysia. Why? It's small enough to walk around, the museum is fantastic and the markets authentic. It's clean and quiet and people are so friendly they ask how you're doing at the traffic lights with absolutely no ulterior motive.

    Wildlife wise, it's phenomenal. Think Orangutans and Proboscis monkeys, fireflies and snakes. Walks around undisturbed national parks where the mangroves flow on to the beach. I cannot describe how beautiful nature is out there.
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    Jan 3 2014: I've traveled quite a bit and have to say that I love San Francisco, where I currently live. It's a "small big city" where the businesses I patronize know my name, the restaurants I eat at know what I like, there are a lot of people who have a love of animals and plenty of places for dogs, it's hilly but still a great place for bicycling, it's rarely too hot or too cold, and you can walk from one end to the other in half a day.

    As for specific favorite places:

    Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Scotland--a rugged park with a spectacular view of Edinburgh.

    Pedestrian Walkways, Mayfair, London--lots of small streets that are closed to cars, full of shops and restaurants, great people watching

    Greenwich Village, New York City--a great place to walk around. Easy to get lost, but you'll eventually find a subway station.

    Baker Beach, San Francisco--very crowded when the weather is nice, but on winter days or overcast days, a great place to get some solitude and thinking done in the middle of a big city
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    Jan 3 2014: My very own Japan where I was born.

    I`m not lucky enough to travel and I haven`t been many places.
    But I had been some countries four years ago. Then I was really excited,for mountains, castles, and even the houses are quite impressive for me. But after three or four days , I thought my home country is the place where I feel comfortable and relaxed. Especially, Kyoto is a really good place .
    Have you ever been to Japan? It is rich in culture,hearty food and great people !
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        Jan 4 2014: Hello, Moe!
        Yeah Kyoto is a really good place to visit. Even now, I sometimes see Maiko,who is an apprentice Geishas, are walking along the street in Gion(Kyoto). Their wearing "Kimono",hair style is very beautiful !
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    Jan 2 2014: My very own South Africa.
    I left SA for 6 years but returned because the motherland has a pull that is undeniable. I have travelled extensively, and bought a large home in England only to eventually sell it and return to my beloved Durban.
    Why should you visit South Africa? The answer is simple...
    Maropeng! :) It truly is home and my DNA knows it!
    South Africa's best selling point is its warm welcoming people and it's idyllic climate. But there is something else. Something I think no one, myself included, has been able to put a finger on...
    It's a certain... kind of Magic. You have to experience it to know what I'm talking about. That same magic that had me sell my lovely home abroad, quit my idyllic job, pack up my belongings and wife and child and COME BACK HOME.
    5 years later and I would do it all again.
    Nothing beats coming back home to my beloved South Africa.
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    Jan 2 2014: You should Nthabi its a lovely place. Visit the Genocide Museum and see the realities of that sad past. If its any consolation, the men are nice too.:)
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    Jan 2 2014: For me personally, my favorite place is Peaks Island, Maine. But that's because it is so comfortable an island - like a kind of bedroom or a favorite sweater.
  • Dec 29 2013: The best undiscovered country is New Zealand. It is so much more than the amazing countryside. Its the lifestyle and the people who choose to live here. It's a 'must to visit' and should be on everyone's bucket list.
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      Jan 3 2014: Don't forget the 'fush and chups'.

      On a more serious note, Christchurch has a thriving cultural scene after the earthquake with tons of pop up events. cycle-powered cinemas, shopping malls made out of shipping containers, churches made out of cardboard...
  • Dec 23 2013: Yho what a question. To pick one place would be wrong, my next planned trip is New York and then Milan and Pakistan.The world is just a magnificent place and I wish I would be privileged in the near future to explore it more and discover new wonders besides the 7 we have. South Africa has to have some of the top tourist attractions in the world from the beautiful hills and valleys of the Eastern Cape to the world wonder Table Mountain. oh did I mention the Cradle of Human Kind (maybe you can discover some MR Bones), Kruger National Park (see the Big 5 and help save the Rhino from extinction) and if you feel like putting a swimming costume and basking in the sun after taking a short left KZN is the place for you never a winter always warm. I can go on. Maybe just maybe someone will sponsor me one day to travel around the world.
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    Dec 19 2013: What difficult question! And a fabulous one - it brings to mind so many happy memories. My favourite country is my own - beautiful New Zealand. But the place which first came to mind was Barcelona. We visited Barcelona when we lived in the UK. Over the previous ten years we had visited a lot of places around Europe, which I loved and wish I could go back to. After ten years, though, I'd started to become a little travel-fatigued, a little jaded.

    And then we spent five days in Barcelona, with Gaudi's crazy, colourful, imaginative, fantastical buildings; with the traditional street dances in front of the cathedral; with the vibrant, colourful street markets selling flowers, old books, pet turtles and all sorts of crazy things; with the street performers and musicians; with the beautiful, relaxed parks, also with Gaudi's incredible designs, where people would do the tourist thing, or sit around on a huge undulating mosaic bench listening to buskers and looking out over the city, or find a vacant patch of grass and lie back with countless others resting their eyes during siesta. And, yes, the food was also great, and the history was rich.

    When I think of Barcelona, I think of music, warmth, vibrancy, joy, imagination and relaxation. Check out the Google images for the Cascada Fountain in Barcelona, in one of the parks. I don't know whether you can get a sense of the size of it. The thing I loved most about the fountain is that you can walk up and around it, and view it from all angles. Barcelona isn't a 'keep off/don't touch' kind of city.
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      Jan 4 2014: Barcelona is also one of my favorite places. Despite the fact that is a very touristic town, you can still stay at a neighborhood called Gràcia, where you can see kids playing soccer in the public squares, when you go to a restaurant people ask you when you moved to Barcelona ( they assume you live there, not that you are visiting) and they want to make friends with you. It is a very,very special place. You cannot help but be enchanted and really dream about what it would be like to live there, surrounded by that beaty and delicious food.
  • Dec 18 2013: I live in wisconsin, but the most beautiful place ive eber been is Punta Cana. Everyone there just seeed so care free. When i ent i stayed at a hotel called iberostar (or something like that). We would sit around and swim in the hotel pool and when we wanted a change of pass we would walk 50 feet to sit around and sim in the ocean. It was just so serene.
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    Dec 17 2013: Hmmmmm... I really love traveling, and I'm sure I can't pick my favorite place on earth, but maybe two.
    First is France; It is one of the rudest and unfriendliest place on earth. However, at one moment, I realized I loved France, for a reason I couldn't figure out exactly. France has its own style and attraction that many people are fascinated about.
    Secondly, I would choose Norway for a simple reason, environment. The nature around you is just breathtaking and people in Norway are very kind, too.
    One of my number-one goal in life is to visit these two countries again, and this time with my very own beloved family.
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      Dec 19 2013: Hong-Min, I'm sorry you had that experience of France! I feel I have to provide a contrasting view. I've visited France three times. I encountered only three rude/unfriendly people, and many remarkably friendly, polite, helpful ones, particularly in the south (admittedly, one of the unfriendly people was very unfriendly indeed - she pick-pocketed my aunt).

      In several towns and villages, French school children offered a friendly "bonjour!" as they passed us on the street. It was obvious we weren't locals, with our cameras swinging about our necks. I haven't encountered that so much in children of other countries. Shopkeepers and waiters laughed with us and joined in as we tried to communicate in mime and my very basic French. Farmers driving tractors were quick to pull off the road and let our car past - much quicker than in New Zealand, and infinitely quicker than in the UK. The people who owned our holiday cottage invited us into their home to chat over coffee and give us sight-seeing advice. And when I visited with my elderly grandmother, people were wonderful. Several times they allowed us to jump the queues at tourist attractions, and when my grandmother tripped on a curb in Paris and wounded her knees, a pharmacist patched her up with great care and wouldn't accept any payment, even for the antiseptic and dressings.

      I hope when you visit France with your family, your experience of the people is more like mine.
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      Dec 19 2013: I also want to put forward another perspective on France. I have been...five? six? times and have never encountered the rudeness that so many people talk about. I went to Paris on my first trip overseas ever and I was travelling by myself. Trying to find my hostel two people noticed me looking at my map and approached me and offered assistance. Later that day I had a similar experience, but this person actually walked me to my destination. It probably helps that I speak a little French and try to speak French whenever I go there. But actually I hope not. I hope others have had similarly wonderful experiences.
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    Dec 17 2013: One word: Berchtesgaden. A close second: Yosemite Valley. Natural wonders impress more than cultural ones, and there are few experiences that can compare with gliding in an electric boat on the serene Königssee, or standing at the foot of Yosemite Falls or El Capitan, or overlooking the valley from Glacier Point.
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    Dec 16 2013: Your name means " makes me happy / happiness of being " in short.

    I have not travelled extensively but a few of my fav places in and around SA:

    Lesotho - the Basotho people are soo peaceful and friendly, not just in Maseru but for me in the mountains. the small almost forgotten villages that makes you feel like you have travelled back in time. YES it is the “mountain country" but if you know the history of this small piece of land and the important role they played in securing our South African democracy but at the same time upholding their culture, dignity and love for freedom, you experience the Maluti Mountains and her people cast a spell over you.

    Namibia -Sand Dunes - When you are standing on a massive sand dune in Namibia and there is nothing but sand dunes,,you get a glimpse of what it might feel like to be - it all and at the same time be nothing.

    Durban CBD and Beach front - The Ocean, no matter where in the world you find yourself, has a hypnotic effect on the soul. Combine that with hundreds of thousand of living, breathing people - not affluent but, living, laughing, some suffering others content or at times purely expressing themselves through what they know and rich controversial architecture ( buildings of such different times all combined into one small CBD area.) - Durban CBD is definitely not for flashy city slicker, sissy's - but it has so many layers it makes you want to weep and laugh at the same time.

    The Drakensberg- Port Elizabeth - Maitland Beach - , the Free State when the farmers are preparing for the planting season and you can smell the aroma of freshly ripped soil , ready for the seeds to be dropped into the earth and grow- Knysna's forests with threes hundreds of years old - the bushveld when sunset casts shadows and the thorn-threes start talking in the night.-Johannesburg the most diverse cultural city flowing with energy-Cape Town where you just what to say Namaste to everyone you see.

    First see your own world and then...
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      Jan 2 2014: Yes, make me happy. Not sure if I was meant to be the person who seeks happiness from other people or if my grandma wanted me to make her happy.
      Love visiting places in South Africa and tracing our beautiful heritage. It really is a beautiful country. Im planning on visiting Lesotho this year, Im actually not sure why it has taken me so long considering that I am Sotho and I want to learn more about the culture and the people. mhhh.
      You describe these places so well Chantal, makes me proud.
  • Dec 15 2013: For now, I haven't visited a lot of country but one of the few I have been, is Turkey. Despite of the current events, this place is amazing by its culture, its welcoming and its landscape. I have visited Istanbul, Antalya and Goreme (in Capadoccia), and I have seen that there is so many different landscape in the same country. According to the region you're visiting, you can be in a desert, in a great city full of history or in the sea side. However,I think that it can be the same thing in the USA, and I hope to see this country one time in my life.
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    Dec 13 2013: My most favorite place in the world is the planet Earth.

    We are still working on bettering ourselves as humans all over and everywhere,
    .….and this is why everyone should visit each other:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude.html
  • Dec 13 2013: I agree with Colleen the people and sights are great everywhere I have been.

    If you want to see America I would suggest a road trip. Get yourself a Prius fill it with gas, pack a tent and sleeping bag, put your bikes on the back, and hit the road. The freedom of the open road is exhilarating and at $2.75 a gallon for gas and 90 Kilometers per gallon in your Prius there is nothing to stop you from driving from Savannah to Seattle down to San Diego (Don't forget Yosemite) up to Minneapolis (my favorite) across Northern Michigan and on to Niagara Falls and Down to Washington DC. Then start off in a different direction. In Minneapolis don't forget to rent a canoe and paddle on the chain of lakes that skirt the edge of Down Town.

    Do not underestimate how far it is across the country
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    Dec 13 2013: Sweden

    Just review all of the great benefits in Sweden extolled here onTED.

    I mean they are better than the big rock candy mountain


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqowmHgxVJQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player
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    Dec 12 2013: Greg, yes I reside in the UK, although I was born in Australia. As such I'm very fortunate because where I live is absolutely the place I choose to be. I love London. There's such a wonderful diversity. People, cultures, activities...and it's forever changing. That's the thing, I don't need to keep London fresh because it refreshes itself. New shows or exhibitions or some special event. Or even just noticing something you've never seen before but has always been there. Remembering to look rather than straight in front of you can bring such a different experience of the architecture or the history of the city. But I would also say that my travels to other places add an extra level of freshness. I like to go back and see sites or works of art having seen similar or something completely contrasting elsewhere and see if my perspective has changed. It's one of the reasons why travel is so important to me.
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    Dec 12 2013: curious why you're asking?
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      Dec 13 2013: Hmmm Greg. To maybe find out about other countries and their attractions though others peoples real experiences.
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        Dec 13 2013: Right, Nthabiseng. And once you find out, what if anything will you do with the knowledge?

        My favorite place is probably any place there are a lot of dairy cows and dairy farming. I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles where there is no agriculture, but slowly I got very interested in dairy as it is very wholesome and healthy. Eventually I moved for a while to a city called Ontario, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, where there was a lot of dairy farming in a very concentrated area, farm after farm right next to each other. I tried for about three years to get a job milking cows, but I could not get hired as the farmers all wanted workers who had grown up on farms, and I had not. But I loved living there, it was nice to live in the country and it was wonderful to walk among the farms asking for work, and watching the cows, who are charming, magical creatures.

        What is the state of dairy farming in South Africa?

        When you travel, what do you do mentally or spiritually with the new experiences you have? Why do you like traveling, how it is enriching?
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          Dec 19 2013: Greg, I really like your questions. Hope you don't mind me responding.

          I think, to get the most from travel (or from anything), it's important just to be open to what a new place and its people can teach you, and how it can change you. Travel can teach all sorts of lessons - trivial to profound - through all sorts of means. Some of them have practical applications; some of them don't. A scorching hot day in Amsterdam taught me appreciation for a glass of water. A week in Norway made me resolve to surround myself with beauty. A trip to Sarawak taught me that little girls in tribal longhouses in the jungle like to play with each other's hair, just as little girls in New Zealand do, and from that I extrapolated the obvious lessons.

          The problem, I find, is keeping these lessons from fading. I love to take photographs, which helps, and photography forces me to pay attention, but sometimes I find I need to put the camera away, or everything becomes about composition and not about experience. I find writing notes more valuable. They prompt me to reflect; they consolidate my memories; I can turn them into letters; and, re-reading them, years later, they do a better job than photographs of making me remember the lessons I learnt, the emotions I felt, and the small incidental moments that add richness and depth.

          You would love New Zealand, by the way. Dairy is one of our biggest exports.
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          Dec 24 2013: Hey Greg, well I'll ask questions and try find out more about dairy farming, it's actually interesting that you'do love this so much. I know my father grew up herding cows. I'm from a mining town situated in the middle of a farming province more famous for crops. Dairy farming has been in a bit of trouble with some factories laying off staff including some of my relatives.
          The thing for me, about travelling particularly in Africa is linking some of the missing pieces. The stories you hear about why that building has holes, the manner in which certain people speak and carry themselves, the different foods and understanding why that food is a staple in that area, questions about why a country you know is poorer than yours has no beggars. There is so much to gain from such and I find it quite grounding and I take it back and try to influence those around me and those I meet.
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        Dec 24 2013: well, Nthabiseng, if I search myself, it seems to me you might not be attracted to dairy tourism, although it is an active kind of tourism that attracts some. I can tell you that dairy areas are beautiful as they are in the country with nature, and cows are beautiful with their big eyes and gentle ways, and the smell of milk is beautiful hanging in the air. I even like the thousands of flies and even the smell of cow dung, to me it says life and vitality. But I wonder if any of that would move or interest you? Perhaps you like more controversy and sensationalism?

        There are many ways to dairy tourist. You can go on a packaged tour where they show you the dairies and some antiquities in the dairy area. You could pay to go stay on a farm and even do some of the work. You could go by yourself and just knock on some farmers' doors and ask if they'll show you around the farm. Some areas have one day a year where they open up all the dairies for visitors, so you could find out where that might be happening and when, and do that. Would any of that interest you?

        I was looking at a list on Wikipedia of milk consumption per capita (per capita means per person), in different countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_milk_consumption_per_capita,and I noticed s africa is not in the top 75. Is the list accurate, is milk not that popular in so af? Any idea why?
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          Jan 2 2014: Im loose on those facts but its probably because its seen as a luxury item thats just costly. I dont know I grew up on milk and pap (stiff porridge made from milies), It was pretty much a staple in the province. That and amasi (fermented milk). You can feed me that anyday over a steak. Infact I doubt you can visit the Free State or KwaZulu Province in South Africa without having those tradtional dishes.

          I never knew such a thing as dairy touring existed, hmmm. Perhaps you should take a trip to the Eastern Cape province in South Africa and visit a village, a lot of my family rondavels are still made from mud and dung and the lifestyle is rural and simple, its very beautiful. Probably why I fell inlove with Swaziland as well, very authentic and beautiful country.
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        Jan 2 2014: well, I'm a big milk fan, Nthabiseng, in fact five years ago I began to live almost entirely on what we call skim milk, which is the milk with most of the cream taken away. Every day, 365 days a year, I drink about two gallons (about nine liters) of skim milk, and I hardly eat or drink anything else. It's been very good for my health, and I'm trying to get the medical establishment in my country to investigate this diet to see if it might help other people's health. So for me a dairy area, with cows and goats and farmers, is rather thrilling. Sounds like maybe you understand it, too?

        Since I'm so oriented toward milk I don't travel too much because I worry I won't be able to get milk easily in other parts of the world. Later in 2014 I may have a chance to go to the Congo (my mom donated the proceeds from the sale of one of her apartment buildings to a mission organization that is building an airplane hangar in the Congo), but I'll probably pass it up because I don't know what the milk situation is in the Congo. Although I like to travel and see other parts of the world, I care more about getting the fresh milk. Most would say this is stupid values, what do you think?

        You can google dairy tourism and get all kinds of hits. You actually might not have to go too far to do dairy tourism. Wouldn't it be interesting if you fell in love with dairy and decided to change your life and start working with your husband in a dairy farming business?

        I do think there are ways to find more interesting aspects of your current environment without even traveling. Do you do that, try to find interesting aspects of your current environment without traveling? For me, it's always important to be willing to ask an unusual question, I do that a lot, ask unusual questions, and I get a lot of interesting information. And it's also important to complain when necessary, for example, I've struggled with noise from the loading dock........
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        Jan 2 2014: of the supermarket across the street from me, they are unloading the food at 5 AM, so I've talked to the market staff and the trucking company staff many times about it, and slowly they have reduced the noise. But as I was doing this complaining, I learned quite a lot about how a market works, how food transportation works. That has been pretty neat to learn those things.

        Is there anything in your current environment you don't like that maybe you could change. Perhaps as you try to change it you will discover interesting aspects of your environment that you never knew about, and you won't even have to travel. Are there unusual questions you would like to ask, but are scared to? Perhaps as you ask them, you will discover interesting information, and you won't even have to travel.

        I should say that milk is cheap in the U.S. The average American spends about $10 a day on food, but if I live on two gallons a day of milk (about nine liters) that would only cost me $6. Are you really sure milk is so expensive in S. Af, I can't see why it would be so different from here.
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    Dec 12 2013: I LOVE travelling and have had some wonderful experiences. Here are a few highlights:

    - Croatia, specifically Dubrovnik. The bluest of blue seas, gorgeous marble streets and delicious sea food. and to contrast and challenge you can walk around and still see damage to the buildings from shelling.

    - Vietnam. I went to Hanoi, Hue Hoi An and Halong bay (no I don't have a thing for places beginning with "H"). Hanoi was an amazing experience of hyper-stimulation.Shops packed full of products and spilling out onto the streets. Motorcycles! Oh my god learning that you just have to walk and trust that they will go around you. And the food! I didn't eat in a restaurant the entire time, just canteens wet markets and sitting down on the street. I didn't know what I was eating half the time, but that's the fun of it really. And Halong bay is stunning. Yes it's become too touristy and it's horrible seeign the pollution in amongst the beauty but the surprising caves are...honestly I felt like I was in an Indiana Jones movie (showing my age!). They have to be seen.

    - Mexico was also amazing. Again eating streetfood...I would die for some campechanos again! Gosh I'm salivating. Palenque was a particular highlight. Another Indiana Jones moment wandering around these astonishing towering temples listening to the sounds of the surrounding jungle. I even had the good fortune to see a wild howler monkey. Indescribably amazing!

    - Paris, because for all I've just said I will never forget walking into Notre Dame for the first time and seeing those stained glass windows.

    Oh I could on but...I won't. :)
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      Dec 12 2013: but you have a permanent residence? What do you do to find freshness in the place you live, to see the familiar through new eyes?
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      Dec 24 2013: Hey Rebecca

      My husbands been wanting us to take a trip to Vietnam but never really motivating why. And with my ignorant one sided knowledge of the place, I didn't get it. Very nice to hear about it from a tourist point of view. Will look more into it. Ps. We'll assume you watched the last release of the movie :)
  • Dec 12 2013: Beijing, China

    Last year, I went to Beijing. I've visited several temples, The Great Wall of China, Forbidden City ... etc.
    Beijing contains lots of historical artifacts. I think it is a good place to visit.
    Um..... Personally, I didn't enjoy food in China because I went to bad restaurants....
    Still, I would recommend you to visit Beijing at least once.
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    Dec 12 2013: Because I haven't chance to travel much, I can offer my country. You should visit Serbia, especially because the world sends bad message about our country, and because mine country has a lot of to visit, nature, history monuments, welcoming, friendly people. We are small country with big heart, and our people, that had a lot of troubles last 30 years, and 2 big wars behind, still have smile on their faces.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIwNwZwNXuA
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    Dec 12 2013: Central Park in NYC.

    I'm not lucky enough to travel. I haven't been many places. But my favorite place has to be Central Park. It's beautiful. There is so much to explore. It's like an escape from it's surroundings. It's a whole different world for me. I love it. There is so much to enjoy. Every time I'm in the city I find a reason to swing by. :)