The Voice of France live shows are starting soon and I’m eagerly waiting for being back in Paris. I miss visiting my usual travel destinations and learning to know new places. I went through some old travel reports and collected a few of my favorite cities and countries below.

I’ve visited both France and Italy numerous times and not only to see Mika but also for family holidays and I always enjoy going back to the both countries. Paris has gradually become a special and important place to me. I guess it’s similar with people and places, you see them often enough and they become a part of your life whether you planned it or not.

In Italy my favorite places are in south, partly because I like Italian food and it’s simple and easy to find gluten-free options in Southern Italy. Partly because I’m fascinated by volcanos and for that reason love especially Sicily and Naples areas. I enjoy their shabby style and the unique atmosphere. Volcanos are so beautiful and powerful, even scary. Something you need to respect. Of course I have my favorites in Northern Italy as well (the Italian countryside pic from North and the pretty green roofs from Puglia).

In the future I hope to visit more volcanic areas around the world and one of the places I want to visit more closely is the mount Fuji in Japan. Of all places I’ve visited after discovering Mika’s music the most memorable must be Japan and especially Tokyo. Thanks to Eriko and some other Japanese friends I’ve got some very useful advices and had beautiful experiences during my short visits in the country. The photo of the mount Fuji was taken while traveling between Tokyo and Osaka and just seeing it very quickly through the train window was a special moment.

In Japan I love the politeness and peaceful moments so surprisingly easy to find in the middle of everything busy and hectic. One of my favorite authors is Haruki Murakami. I love the dreamy and subconscious elements in his books – both are important to me – and I love the rhythm that allows the reader to pause and think. I was recently reading his latest book Killing Commendatore and enjoyed it more than most books I’ve ever read and especially loved the possibility to let my mind wonder with diverse references so typical to Murakami. I think it’s the rhythm that connects Japan and Scandinavia, the need to pause and think. The fire pic is from Narita.

I have fond memories from my Asian visits. I loved being able to experience the China Tour and hope next time I can use a moment to learn to know their culture better. My trip to Korea was very special as well and I’m looking forward to meeting some dear Korean friends again and I have to mention Korean food because it’s the best I’ve ever tasted. Usually I look for cafes and breakfast places, in Korea every restaurant and food market is a temptation.

In Europe I enjoy places like Florence with renaissance features and generally cities with history and art. I particularly enjoy the vibe of educational traditions and have loved visiting Vienna which has a history as an academic centre. It’s almost like you could breath education in the atmosphere. The tramp photo and the view below are from Budapest. My husband and I did our honeymoon trip to Budapest years ago and I’ve seen two important Mika events in Hungary so it has a special meaning to me.

The last photo is from London and the pic was taken in spring time but London is fantastic around the year. I love the museums and some small, theatre style venues like iconic Palladium I’ve seen during my Mika trips. London is the first city I travelled as a young girl, I did there several trips during my first university year. I went there last summer with my boys and still amazed by the stunning Frida Kahlo exhibition I saw.

Last but not least I have to mention Copenhagen which is one of my favorite European cities. When my children were younger we used to spend summer holidays in Denmark and I’ve seen Mika in Copenhagen twice. The last time I saw him there was at a smallish, elegant venue called Vega and I can still remember the funny, relaxed and intimate gig and how his opera singer friends’ voices answered to his singing from the audience. My another favorite author Peter Hoeg has written a book called The Quiet Girl that locates in partly underwater Copenhagen. The protagonist has a special, extremely sharp hearing. He can hear people growing, animals fall to sleep, someone’s lipido. The book is difficult – I’m always stuck in the middle of it – but absolutely fascinating and listening to Sound Of An Orchestra makes me think of it.

What are your favorite cities and travel destinations? Recommendations?