I’ve left my heart in so many places

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After visiting around 50 countries (I truly lose count) on almost every continent, it is perhaps unsurprising that almost always in conversation I will be asked “Where is your favourite place you have visited?”. While it might seem like a simple question with a simple answer for those who pose the question, I can’t tell you how difficult a question this actually is.

But surely I should have some kind of answer.

Well, here it is…

I’ve left my heart in so many places Shangri-La Paris

It’s hard to describe the love a girl has for Paris. It’s a fairytale destination we all wish to someday visit and I think, at least for me, it steals your heart. Crepes, baguettes, French champagne and the flashing lights of the Eiffel tower – everything about Paris is bliss.

put down the map

Lake Bled in Slovenia is easily one of the most romantic destinations I have ever visited – it is truly a fairytale. Somewhere on the lake I left more than a piece of my heart – I also left my endurance after lacking the ability to row non-stop from land to the island – it was quite a journey!


Rome captured my heart at the ripe ol’ age of just 17 when I took my father on his first ever trip overseas. This was our first stop on our mini Europe tour and his favourite city he has ever visited, so it stole a little piece of my heart, too.

beaune france

I was riding along a 20km stretch of road somewhere between two French vineyards when I realised the French countryside stole another piece of my heart – a rather large piece. Now I want to stay in France long enough to master the language – a hopefully not too distant dream of mine.

brooke saward

It should go without saying that the Swiss Alps have a special place in my heart, as this was the iconic location where I shot the cover for my first book. Since then it has always had a very important meaning to me and will forever be the place I truly felt free and started following my own path instead of one that was expected of me.

Brooke in Ireland

Many people are surprised when I rave about Ireland as being one of my favourite places in the world to explore. I visited the green country after falling ill in South Africa so I was on my last legs. After a week driving a rental car around the countryside I was feeling completely refreshed – however also slightly deflated after learning I was in Niall Horan’s hometown at the same time he was there at a local pub – damn!


I’m almost certain anyone who has the pleasure of going on safari in South Africa leaves a part of their heart there. Spotting the Big 5 on a photographic safari is one of the most incredible, grounding experiences you can ever encounter in the world. Sitting in the Land Rover a mere arms length away from a lion was a once in a lifetime experience that’s for sure!

Taking off with Virgin Atlantic

Truth be told, the entire world has my heart – it’s not a matter of where is my favourite place or where is the ‘best’ place I have visited… because each place is what you make of it. I will never claim to have one single favourite place in the world, but instead be in love with every place for each a different reason.

Over to you – where have you left a piece of your heart?

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    May 20, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    I love this and I can totally relate! I wrote a very similar post a few months ago about realizing the world has become my home.

    February 14, 2015 at 10:07 am

    You always manage to look so cute when you travel! How do you have enough room to keep so many dresses, hats and shoes?! I’m planning my big launch and need to know all the tricks!

    October 3, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Wow, I thought it was just me who thought that! Whenever I tell people I have loved every country I have visited, they just don’t seem to understand.

    Ashleigh –
    This Simple Princess – World Travels

    Allie J
    September 6, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Paris, like you stated, always will hold a place in my heart. The drizzling nights walking the grounds of the Eiffel Tower, exploring the Arc de Triomphe, or sipping an espresso at a hidden cafe. Everything is so dream like there. Also, not too far from Eze, is Cannes in France which I absolutely fell in love with. Strolling the white sand beaches at sunset and enjoying a glass of cheap champagne with your best friend, the place is magnificent.

    Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home
    September 1, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Lovely list. That photo of you in the alps is so amazing!

    August 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Paris is great place always for me. thanks for sharing nice views about this city.

    Affordable wedding dresses with unique design for every girl.

    Renate @ Renate's Travels
    August 15, 2014 at 2:04 am

    Oh, I know the feeling. Choosing your favorite place is kind of impossible. All the memories one gets from traveling the world is worth almost the same amount (to me anyway), so choosing my favorite place in the world would almost be like choosing which child of mine I love the most (If I had children..Haha).

    I know I’ve left my heart many places as well. Bagan in Myanmar, Huashan mountain and Yangshuo in China, Orchha in India, in small villages in both France and Italy, in Biertan in Romania, in Cappadocia and Istanbul in Turkey, in pretty much all of Montenegro, in the island of Kolocep in Kroatia, in southern Bolivia etc etc.

    In other words, my heart is pretty torn up! I better revisit all of these places again soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Marie M. Sablan
    August 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Pieces of my heart stay where it’s been. I like to think that I’m a child of the universe, and that’s how I see you!

    August 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Your heart is everywhere ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Paris will always have the biggest piece of my heart!! Copenhagen, Moscow, St. Petersburg, & NYC are also really special to me.

    Best holiday destinations
    August 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Such a beautiful city. thanks for sharing nice views.

    Two to Travel and Tango
    August 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    This post resonated. My heart is here and there, from a little nonprofit that works with shoeshine children and their families in Quito, Ecuador where I was a volunteer for one year to next to a man with a piano in Queenstown, New Zealand.

    It’s truly the beauty of travel, picking up new elements to round out the old ones, and leaving a part of yourself at each destination that gives so much to you.

    August 11, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I’m from the US and have only been out of the country once to Cyprus. I definitely left a piece of my heart there. A regular tourist might not love it as much, but I got to know some locals and they are great people-extremely kind and generous and hospitable. Along with some amazing beaches and villages in the mountains and the food and the joy. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

    August 11, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Travel is my favorite thing and I hope that one day I’ll have the opportunity to visit as many countries as you have! Your photographs are stunning. Out of the places you mentioned, I’ve been to Rome and I can definitely say Rome has a piece of my heart as well! xo

    August 11, 2014 at 10:49 am

    It’s definitely so hard to choose a favourite place. I’ve been asked before and I agree that there is never just one place which captures your heart, but, I’d have to say Ireland is definitely the place which stole the largest part and is constantly calling me back! ๐Ÿ™‚

    CPO Experts
    August 11, 2014 at 6:16 am

    Hu hu hu that is the bad effect of travelling more and more, I think. So which is Best con you tell?

    Betty J. Ogburn
    August 11, 2014 at 2:16 am

    …I suppose that’s the thing about travel: Every time you go someplace magical, you always feel as though you’re leaving a part of yourself there–like you’ve been bewitched, :-)…

    August 11, 2014 at 1:40 am

    I left my heart in new york city. might sound clichรฉ but i’ve never been to a place where i felt more save and happy than i did in the city of dreams. new york, to me, means the world.

    Lots of love and safe travels xx

    August 10, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    It’s indeed hard to select the most important place for us. Lisbon, because I lived there for so long and now I miss it dearly, Paris for the beautiful shops and lots of places to go and good food, it was nice working there! Easy to adapt I would say. Barcelona was amazing, it feels such a complete city, I love it and I have to go back. Scotland… ahhh it’s such a beautiful countryside – I haven’t explored Ireland as I wanted yet, so most likely will have the same feeling as you. Rome, for the food, it’s a place to go back, although not sure if I would live there. Rome was also the first trip I did with my other half ๐Ÿ™‚

    August 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Looks like there are still loads of countries you need to go to. Shocked by your choice (some of them) and not a single one from Asia. Wonder what sort of traveller you are…..

    • worldofwanderlust
      August 10, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Everyone is different… no need to judge!

    August 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Lake Bled sounds like an interesting choice!

    I tried to count how many countries I have visited too the other day, and decided it was around 50 as well… But if I had to pick just one place, I would say the Russian Far East where I went last summer. The beauty of nature there is indescribable, reinforced by the remoteness and the absence of humans that tend to ruin everything… I hope you make it there one day!

    August 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Love this! It’s so hard to pick a favourite. I usually say Paris, I’ve been 5 times in two years, but there are so many places in the world! New York is spellbinding, Barcelona exciting, and London will always be my second home. So tough! Thanks for sharing.


    August 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    For me it’s Amsterdam. All the pretty streets, the canals, the boats, the architecture, the laid back approach to life, the bicycles… I just loved it! I could really see myself live there for a little while.

    I also fell in love with Oxford, kind of for the same reasons actually: architecture, bicycles, history… And fashion! Everyone looked so preppy and smart! I like Cambridge too but Oxford is definitely my favourite city in England. xx

    August 10, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    You’re right Brooke, it is difficult to pinpoint just one place because each one is special in its own way and whenever I get asked the same question, I always give a list of my favourite places too instead of just one!

    London, San Francisco, Hokkaido, Florence, Cape Town, and Provence are some of the places where I’ve left my heart in.

    Andy Cao
    August 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Saigon and Bac Lieu, Vietnam. As a child, a summer in Vietnam was the first time I was outside the comforts of Western society. It was completely different, and opened my eyes to the world, good and bad. I got to meet most of my family for the first time.

    Florence. It’s where I changed the most personally and grew as a person in a short four months. First time I did something truly for myself. It’s where I fell in love with travel. It became a second home, and it broke my heart to leave.

    Paris. It’s always beautiful, no matter what.

    London and Madrid. Cities that I love and suit me for a reasons I cannot really articulate. I guess I would say both have everything I like logistically.

    Scotland. I would go back just to wander around the highlands. It’s so therapeutic.

    French Riveria and Cinque Terre. See Scotland.

    North Carolina. It’s home. I was always looking at other places. When I moved away, I look back at NC much more often than I thought I would. The mountains, the beaches, the food. Miss it all.

    Paris Marx
    August 10, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Brooke, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I always hated when people asked my favourite place, because I swear almost every place was my favourite in its own unique way.

    There’s something about Iran, especially the beautiful desert city of Yazd, that really captivated me. I was in Cairo for five weeks, so it was hard not to develop a bond to the city. Sofia is one of my favourite cities, and I struggle just finding a reason why, but I love it. Prague was wonderful, I extended my stay there by a few days I liked it so much. Stockholm probably holds the title for my favourite city in the world, it was just the best combination of friendly people, walkability, and good architecture. It’s hard for Reykjavik not to stand out as a unique city, the mountains across the harbour and its distinct culture. And at home, Vancouver stands out about all the rest. Maybe I’ll live there someday, when the travel bug settles a little!

    And I could still keep going. The world is so diverse, there’s so much for the heart to latch on to in each individual place. It’s great watching your journey. Looking forward to seeing your South American adventure!

    August 10, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I visited Barcelona earlier this summer and it most definitely stole a piece of my heart! For me I felt Barcelona had a perfect blend of both city life and beach life, and tonnes of culture and history.

    Paris, of course, steals a piece of everyones heart (mine included)! You described it perfectly Brooke; “Crepes, baguettes, French champagne and the flashing lights of the Eiffel tower โ€“ everything about Paris is bliss.” *swoon* ๐Ÿ™‚

    Laura D.
    August 10, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I know exactly what you mean! I can never choose one place when someone asked what my favourite city is. Would probably have to be between Ljubljana or London but they are such different places.