This list is based on my recent trip Round the World. With only a backpack and passport, I circled the globe visiting 13 countries, crossing 3 continents, and traveling 27,923 miles. I visited so many great places and had so many unforgettable travel experiences. Its been tough narrowing down my favorites, but I think this is a good start.

My Favorite Cities

1. Tokyo

Outstanding food, unique culture, and top-notch infrastructure puts Tokyo well above the rest. As a bonus, it’s not nearly as expensive as it’s cracked up to be. I’d consider France, Switzerland, and Scandinavia more expensive. Sushi and alcohol are the two things that will break the bank, so buy those in moderation.

2. Paris

The Louvre during the day in Paris

I normally don’t like really touristy cities, but it’s hard to deny the allure of the Eiffel Tower, world-class museums, and French wine. There really isn’t a more beautiful city in the world. There’s also an endless amount of things to see and do. I spent a week in Paris and feel like there’s still plenty to see next time I’m there.

3. Stockholm

Stortorget Square, Gamla Stan Stockholm

Stockholm is a city that works. Everything is squeaky clean and functions effortlessly well. It’s pretty much a model for how society is supposed to look and feel. What I really like is Stockholm’s old quarter, Gamla Stan, which looks like it was plucked right out of a fairy-tale.

4. Bangkok

Marriott Skybar Bangkok

Bankgkok is one of those places that won’t show any charm at first glance. It’s oppressively hot, it smells, and everyone wants to scam you. But with a little time, this city grew on me. I loved the delicious cheap eats, immaculate shopping malls, and swanky sky bars.

5. Lviv

Lviv

Lviv has a gorgeous compact old town with cobble-stoned streets, a beautiful market square, and cultural attractions just as good as any other more well-known Eastern European city. The best part is few western travelers are going here, so I felt like I had the place all to myself. It’s dirt cheap too, there was nothing that was out of my budget.

READ MORE: 3 Reasons Why Your Next Trip Should Be To Ukraine

My Favorite Countries

Croatia

dubrovnik croatia church

Croatia is my favorite place in Europe and no other country comes close. I really haven’t gone anywhere in Croatia that I didn’t like. Dubrovnik, the islands, and Plitvice Lakes National Park are some of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been to. On top of that, Zagreb is an underrated city that most travelers bypass.

Portugal

Lagos Portugal Most Beautiful Beach

Portugal has perfect weather. It kind of reminded me of Southern California. It’s not too hot, doesn’t rain much, and is sunny most of the time. It’s also cheaper than Spain and a lot of people speak English.

The Philippines

The Philippines are everything that Thailand isn’t (sorry to all the Thailand lovers out there, it was a disappointment to me). The beaches are gorgeous, the water is clean, and the people are friendly. There are places with a lot of tourists (i.e. El Nido, Borocay, etc.), but this country is still mostly unexplored.

My Favorite Travel Experiences

Buhay Isla Expedition

Exploring Ukraine

Market Square Lviv Ukraine

Ukraine is one of those places that few people are traveling to right now. The conflict in Crimea isn’t helping, but people weren’t going to Ukraine before that either. Well, they are missing out! There’s no selfie-sticks, no tourist traps, and few people speak English. For me, all these factors equaled a ‘real’ travel experience. I hope to go back very soon before the masses figure out what they are missing.

READ MORE: 3 Reasons Why Your Next Trip Should Be To Ukraine

Riding a Scooter Anywhere in Asia

Koh Samui Scooter

Equal parts death-defying and thrilling! There’s just nothing like hopping on a scooter and heading down the open road. I found most towns in Thailand to be pretty ugly, but the countryside was always beautiful and where most of the hidden gems were.

First Time in Business Class

Hanging Out Around the Eiffel Tower

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc De Triomphe in Paris

This is as touristy as it gets, but man do I love it. The Eiffel Tower is alive from early in the morning to late at night. My personal favorite is grabbing some French wine & cheese and just lounging around in the parks around the Eiffel Tower.

READ MORE: 3 Best Ways To Experience The Eiffel Tower

Thelma & Toby’s Island Camping Adventure

thelma and toby's island camping

I dream of owning a place just like Thelma & Toby’s Camping Adventure. It’s hard to get to, but that’s exactly what made it great. There was also no Wi-Fi, no cell service, and very limited electricity, so it was nice to be cutoff for a couple of days.