One thing I love about every country I've visited

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Photo of One thing I love about every country I've visited 1/1 by Shahzad Siddiqui

I have visited only 16 countries, so this won’t be a long boring list. The reason I wanted to write about this is because I thought it would be a fascinating challenge to pick only one thing I love about each of the following countries. To pick one thing above all the others was not easy as there are so many wonderful things that each of these countries have to offer.

So here goes:

1. India- Jugaad: The ultimate Indian thing that almost every Indian worth his salt has done, been part of or witnessed at least once in his/her life. For the uninitiated in Indian street lingo, Jugaad is nothing but an innovative fix or a simple workaround. Indians are adept at using Jugaad in daily lives from simple everyday problems to life changing decisions. You can read more about Jugaad here.

2. England- The London Tube: There are a lot of things you can love about England, but nothing is more enchanting than having time to spare and watching the London tube at rush hour. From the unwritten rules of staying to the left on escalators to the packed like sardines carriages, the tube can give you new found respect for space. The tube stands for everything ‘London’. Add the fact that they scaled new heights in design whilst creating the new tube map.

3. Wales- Cardiff: In a 2014 survey, Cardiff was voted as the ‘best city to live’ in UK and having had the pleasure of staying here for two years, I completely vouch for that.

4. Ireland- Guinness: Now this was a very tough fight between the Irish accent and the world’s most famous stout. Guinness won and nothing I can say will do justice to this great brew. Cheers!

5. Scotland- Scotch: There was no competition here. Sure, Scotland has one of the most naturally scenic landscapes in the world but can you really beat Scotch?

6. France- Paris 'the city of love' truly deserves that title. Although I've been to multiple similar cities in Europe what sets Paris apart is the art, culture and heritage of the city combined with the french language making it a delectable combination.

7. Belgium- Old world charm: I don’t know if it’s the cobbled streets, the 18th century architecture, the trams or Brugge. The whole country (or at least the 3 cities I visited- Brussels, Antwerp and Brugge) has this old world charm about it that lulls you back to simpler times.

8. Singapore- Order: It’s like the country is an operating system running on code with no glitches. Sometimes it may be suffocating but the way things function like clockwork is a sight to behold.

9. Indonesia- The traditional attire: While I was there, I happened to come across people in traditional attire on multiple occasions including a wedding. I haven’t chanced upon any other country’s traditional attire that makes the women look so stunning.

10. Sri Lanka- The natural scenic beauty: For a country that’s been at unrest and war for as long as Sri Lanka has been, the little island has managed to preserve its natural beauty. Sri Lanka has everything from the stunning beaches on the Merrissa-Welligama stretch where the government plans to create a mini Caribbean to the rolling hills and valleys in Nuwara Eliya considered as Switzerland of the east to the UNESCO heritage town of Anuradhapura. This little country scores big on having something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

11. Thailand- What happens in Thailand stays in Thailand: Need I say more? Bangkok/Phuket anyone?

12. Vietnam- The one absolute stunning thing that stands out about Vietnam is Ha Long Bay. If you visit don't miss spending a couple of days exploring this natural wonder of the world while staying at sea on a small boat.

13. Finland- Lapland. If a week in the remote interiors of Lapland's unspoiled beauty doesn't move you, you're probably dead already.

14. Norway- The northern lights. Truly something to be experienced as no words, pictures or videos can do justice to when you see this celestial wonder putting on a show for you. Life Changing!

15. Netherlands- The ambiance of Amsterdam. The UNESCO world heritage listed canal systems, the narrow streets, the trams, the bicycles, the coffeehouses, the marijuana and the red light district all come together to create an environment that you can check out off but can never leave.

16. UAE-  The riches of Dubai. The idiom "there is rich and there is Arab rich" cant be more visible anywhere else. Dubai is a monstrosity of man made wonders, from the tallest building in the world to the biggest fountain to a god damn man made archipelago.  Go to Dubai and be amazed at what money and man can achieve. 

Follow me on Instagram for more travel pics: shahzad_2807

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