Three More of Jay’s Happy Places You Gotta Visit!

December 3, 2020
Jay's Non-Stop Adventures Start in Cincinnati at
Hey, I'm Jay

When I’m not DJing on Cincinnati’s Mix 94.9, you can find me traveling the world and sharing my journeys here.

What’s the best place on Earth . . . for you?

It started with just “hey, let’s feature your top three happy places” and we quickly realized while going through our travel photos, there’s no way to pick just three!   In case you missed part one – here you go!

 

So here are three more spots that bring a smile to my face every time I think about them!

The World-Famous Park Guell in Barcelona

#4 Malta

My grandparents moved to America as young children from this tiny Mediterranean island and I’ve always wanted to visit. Thanks to a cheap flight from CVG and a discount inter-Europe flight on Vueling, we made it happen in 2017.  There are travel deals out there!  Check out my deals page – I’m updating it all of the time!

Waves crash onto the shoreline of Valletta on a brisk day in December.

I’ll never forget the feeling of seeing the beautiful shoreline come into view out the airplane window. There was something special about stepping into a part of my family’s history.  We stayed in Valetta at La Falconeria Hotel and got to explore the silent city of Mdina, tour the underground shelters where residents hid during the war, held my grandparent’s passports in the National Archives, and experienced amazing Maltese cuisine (if you don’t know about pastizzi, now you know!)

The first time I saw Malta is forever etched in my head.
The first time I saw Malta is forever etched in my head.

Best memory: After touring a 500-year-old residence, our guide asked why we picked Malta and I explained I am Maltese and my grandfather grew up a few streets down the road. She said “Well, let’s go find it! I’ll take you, but I just need to get a jacket from my house.” After welcoming us into her beautiful Maltese home and giving us homemade Christmas cookies, she led us to the street my grandpa lived on as a child. She started knocking on doors and asking older folks if they knew my family. There was so much love and kindness shown to us and I’ll never forget it.

A private beach along a gentle stream was the perfect afternoon spot to fish together in St Ignace, Michigan

#5 Northern Michigan

I’ve been visiting cities in Michigan for the last three decades and still haven’t seen them all. The small towns, million-dollar views, abundant nature, and friendly people of Northern Michigan offer an incredible place to relax and unwind.

Giant waves can sometimes sweep over the lighthouse on the pier of Charles Mears State Park in Pentwater

I’ve visited Pentwater dozens of times and keep coming back to this charming fishing village. Delightful Bed and Breakfasts like The Hexagon House offer a friendly place to stop. My wife and I have also enjoyed camping on the beach at Mears State Park. Traverse City and Petoskey are also favorites with lots to see and do with the family.  Mackinac Island has recently become “TikTok famous” thanks to multiple videos highlighting the unique charm of this vehicle-less island paradise.

High atop Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Silver Lake, Michigan

For more Pure Michigan inspiration, check out our trip along the Au Sable River to Grayling, the Mackinac Bridge, Trout Lake, Tahquamenon Falls and the Upper Peninsula here.

Best memory: Spending crisp mornings with my dad fishing. Even when we didn’t catch anything, it was still time well spent.

It takes more than one day to see all of the Temples of Siem Reap

#6 Siem Reap, Cambodia

When my wife and I were planning our honeymoon, she said she had always wanted to visit Southeast Asia.  So, we mapped out an awesome adventure to begin our new life together.  Starting at CVG, we flew to Dallas and on to Hong Kong, Thailand, and Cambodia. 

Incredible views from inside the temples.

From the moment we arrived, we quickly figured out why the Kingdom of Cambodia is known as “The Land of a Thousand Smiles.” Our hotel, The Privilege Floor at Lotus Blanc (literally the fanciest sounding hotel we’ve ever visited) picked us up at the airport and welcomed us by name. They got us set up with our guide and driver to explore the temples, including world-famous Angkor Wat. We had such a good time with them, we hired them for a second day to see even more of this beautiful land.  We are still Facebook friends with our guide to this day!

Getting up at 3:45am to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat was well worth it.

Best memory: Learning a bunch of new iPhone camera tricks from our guide!  I was geeking out for weeks after figuring them out.

So much peace

It was hard to pick just six places because every place we’ve visited because even the locations we weren’t 100% fond of have still held a special memory or favorite moment. 

 

I’d love to see you Return to your Happy Place with CVGClick here to win a $500 airfare voucher from CVG to head to your favorite or new vacation spot.  Time to make new travel memories and entering this contest is a great start!  ENTER HERE

 

I can’t wait to get back to making new memories abroad very soon!

-Jay

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