So, in line with my New Year’s Resolutions, I’m planning my summer vacation for this year and need some help deciding my first destination.

There are 3 places on my travel destinations list and I’m going to list down the pros and cons for each to make it easier for all of us to decide (it has to be one of the three).

United States

The US is a massive country with almost everything that a human being needs to see on a vacation. My friends in the US have been inviting me to visit since for ever (having friends in a place can be very motivating) but after Europe, I wasn’t particularly excited about more Western culture (goray log). Nevertheless, let’s be more objective and list down the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Friends who can show me around
  • LOTS of things to do
  • A huge part of the world off the checklist

Cons

  • Visa issues + some fear of racial discrimination
  • Super expensive
  • Culture is not that fascinating (thanks Americanization)

China

Another gigantic country with countless things to do. China has been a dream since I was a child and this year I feel I’m the closest I can be to visiting this wonderful country. But then I get anxious about how different China is going to be from Europe or South Asia and pause to reconsider.

Pros

  • Lots and lots of rich, fascinating culture
  • My soft spot for East Asians
  • Positive relations with my passport

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Overly crowded
  • Massive language barrier

Pakistan

It’s a shame we spent so much money on countries abroad and never considered visiting Pakistan. I’ve heard enough stories from people I know (and don’t know) about the northern areas to be sure that there is no obvious life risk involved. But then there’s also a lot of negative things you hear about on TV, so there is definitely some fear.

Pros

  • No visa!! (music to my ears)
  • Affordable
  • Supporting/promoting local tourism

Cons

  • Potential risk to life
  • Lack of hotels/facilities
  • Not a new country (technically doesn’t check my resolution off the list)

I am so confused about where I should go this year because of all the reasons mentioned above. The voices in my head have been saying all of this without order, but now it’s on paper (or online) so my thoughts are more organized.

But the question still remains; where do I go first?

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Author

I’m Siham – a 25-year-old Pakistani, born and raised in the UAE. Currently doing a boring desk job in Dubai – but my passion lies in reading, writing and motivating people.

6 Comments

  1. China, China, China…I wanna go to China!! A completely different world and a completely different experience! Any my soft corner for East Asians as well =D

    • Siham Reply

      Same, I’m leaning towards China. But Pakistan is so cheap!!

  2. Hi Siham,

    I think i can contribute a bit to make it easier for you. I don’t know much about you, but I have always made trips/tours only with 2 intentions.
    1. Been there Done That
    2. To go visit what i always wanted to see.
    My pick among above 3 is Pakistan (North of the wall-our very own winterfell).
    And here is Why:

    USA is Cool. But since you have already visited Europe so you will feel more like same vibes. So it can wait. But ‘Been there Done that” intention is still there. Upto you.

    China Does have amazing mix of culture, and sounds convincing among 3. But Down side : Since working in UAE is more like a robot life. So again visiting an over crowded place for holiday is not charming. If it were about me i would replace it by some other country in the list.

    Lastely, Pakistan.
    Being a Pakistani, we have always bragged about the flip sides of the country; despite the fact we have never explored & embraced the beauty and purity of it. I would suggest you to Plan and go visit Pakisatn’s Northern Areas. Many people consider northern Areas Naran Kaghan etc that’ s not it actually. You visit The three amazing districts in GB (Gilgit, Sakardu & Hunza).
    I will rearrange them in “BEST to Good” order:
    Hunza
    Sakardu
    Gilgit
    Hunza & Sakardu are Heavens on earth. And i think one drops His jaw after visiting. You will find amazingly beautiful people and their culture, and their welcoming behaviour will shatter all your myths about security n all. And as you mentioned about Hotels and facilities; I would say that Pakistan’s best hotel “Serena” is available in all three districts with PKR 8000/day (now take out your currency converter) . And Facility of going by air is also available.(Recommended>>>>>>> Road trip). Places like Atta Abad lake, and shigar fort will never make you regret the decision. Btw drama serial Diyar E Dil was shot in Sakardu.
    So i would highly suggest Pakistan.I have pictures from a friend who been to all places there, i am not sure if i can attach here.
    So Go visit. Even visiting alone is 100% safe and secure, but still if you need company of some one even more beautiful, give me a holler. May be I too plan my Holiday next month there and we fall in love and make a cottage in mountains there and never come back to UAE.

    • Siham Reply

      Hi Zain,

      Thank you for this super helpful comment!

      We were planning to only go to Gilgit and Kashmir but upon your recommendation, I will make sure we include Hunza and Skardhu as part of our trip 🙂

      As you rightly pointed out, the US can wait another year or two – I’m not particularly excited about it either.

      China is a tough choice to not make because I have always wanted to visit China. Even for China, our plan is not to only see the cities (Cities will be “been there done that” destinations), but see the nature and culture in the villages and mountain.

      Regardless, if I had to pick between China and Pakistan, I would always lean toward Pakistan first.

  3. You are welcome. Just Keep writing thinking that people do read and appreciate your writing.
    !! But remember Gilgit is the last in the ranking keeping in view it’s lesss attrractions and mild security problem. Even if it gets skipped no worries but Hunza & Sakardu = a must.

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