Jan 012014

After almost 7 months on the road (and a few weeks back home), by far the most common question asked is to name the city that has been my most favourite. My stock response to this questions is to qualify the persons definition of ‘favourite’ – Favourite food, nightlife, people etc.

There are so many factors which make a destination so special and it really isn’t fair to place one on a pedestal.  I have been really fortunate to avoid any poor experiences which makes the task of ranking each city really difficult.

Considering my last few jobs involved a fair amount of analysis, I decided to dust off some of my excel skills and have a crack at putting together a soloworldtour ranking of My Favourites List of 34 cities visited.

The factors I used to decide the overall ranking included:

1. Cost of Living – This covers most costs associated with the destination whether it is food, alcohol, accommodation, transport etc etc

2. Accommodation Options – The quality and quantity of accommodation offerings relative to the size of the city

3. Food & Drink – If you have read any of my posts you will note that I enjoy my food.  This is a rating of my enjoyment of food and beverage for each city regardless if it was street food or 5-star dining

4. Attractions, 5. Nightlife & 6. Getting Around – are pretty straight forward

6. Local Hospitality – This was an important one to me and really defined how welcome I was made to feel by the locals of the city.

And coming in at Number 1 very convincingly is New York inclusive of Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey which obviously is not even part of New York but it would have been overkill to separate.  I had an absolute blast in the month I spent there with some truly epic hip-hop shows witnessed, awesome friends made, endless supply of crazy nights out and just a great vibe in a city you can never get bored in.  Even after a previous visit I still can’t get enough of the place.

I hope you enjoy looking through ‘My Favourites List of 2013’ of which you can really throw a blanket over the Top 10.  Some big surprises for me included Budapest, Kraków and San Francisco for which I had limited prior knowledge. Feel free to post a comment or send me a note if you find yourself planning a visit to any of these cities as Id love to share my experiences in greater detail.

And in less than 7 days, Part 2 of my soloworldtour kicks off in Central/South America.  If it is half as fun as Part 1 – I’ll be the happiest guy alive.

Lastly, Happy 2014 everyone – I hope you all have an awesome year!!!

UPDATE 2/1/14: Based on the feedback of my friend Anthony ‘Ezy’, I have revised the list to include ‘weightings’.  For those not experienced in stats/analysis – it basically means that the areas of Local Hospitality (+15%), Food & Drink (+10%) and Nightlife (+5%) are more important to me and contribute more to the overall rating at the expense of Cost of Living (-15%) and Accommodation Options (-15%). Overall, only minor movements in the final rankings.

Weighted List:

Weighted soloworldtour Rankings 2013

Unweighted List:

2013 SWT Rankings



      5 Responses to “My Favourites List of 2013”

    1. Happy New Year Sy!! Awesome reflection!! Not surprised about NY one of my favorites as well. So happy San Diego was an enjoyable place in many respects for you, makes me feel grateful I call it my home. Hopeful to be able to rate your neck of the woods soon. 🙂 Wishing you more unexpected surprises and growth. Cheers my friend!!

    2. Great work…shouldn’t add a weighting to the things that are more important to you? I.e. Food and Hospitality? Enjoy the 2nd half! More jealous, now I am back home!

      • Ezy!!! Thanks for the feedback mate. Im not sure if that is driven from your ex-banker days or wealth of travel experience. Either way you are right, the areas more important to me should be weighted higher -- so I updated the list. Interestingly not a huge change in the rankings but more accurate nonetheless. Thanks again mate and Happy New Year to you and the family.

    3. Hi Sayeed -- my great mate -- love the analysis -- Happy New Year. Can’t wait to see u back in Melbourne. Of course in your own good time. I’m still smoking my cigars and loving the family time with a touch of exercising my demons. Heathy

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