Foreword by Kat Mallett
The official 7 Wonders of the World are amazing and have a top spot on my post-covid travel list. However, it is no secret that some of the best memories are made where and when we least expect, with the famous saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder‘ ringing true. So, here are Quench Travels (underdog) 7 Wonders of the World…
Disneyland by Chahat Gandhi
Let’s be honest, most of us have grown up watching Disney movies and shows. I don’t know about you, but I owe a huge thanks to Disney for making my childhood so amazing. The movies and their characters have taught me about love, friendship, family and life, more than anything ever will.
I was five when I went to a Disneyworld for the first time. I remember seeing a huge Winnie the Pooh waving at me and calling me towards him, so I ran as fast as I could and hugged the big silly bear with my tiny arms.
I’m going to be twenty this year and I’d be lying if I say I’m any less obsessed with everything Disney then when I was a kid. I’ve now been to seven Disneyland’s/world, and there has never been a time where I have wanted our days to end at the happiest place on Earth.
Walt Disney truly has gifted this world with nothing but a WONDER!
Thank you for inspiring me every day.
– A Forever Disney Kid
Palace of Culture and Science by Maja Metera
Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN) in Warsaw is one of those things that you either love or hate. This – then white – monument was built in 1955 as a “gift from the Soviet to [the] Polish nation” when Stalin ruled in the Soviet Union. Some people despise the building so much that there were plans to demolish it – just like the architects did to the tenements that stood there before, during the war. For older generations, it is a symbol of tough times of poverty and oppression but for someone born in the year 2000, I have nothing but good memories attached to this place.
Photos don’t capture the magnitude of this building. Inside you can find (among other things) two museums, four theatres, my favourite cinema and an observation deck. PKiN also boasts a multitude of workshops, exhibitions and has an ice rink throughout the winter months. It was a place where I chose my high school and later made the decision to complete my university studies abroad. Moreover, every January, people gather around the building to watch fireworks for the grand finale of the charity event of the year – WOŚP (which translates to the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity).
For a kid, this building is like Disneyland – especially when it means strolling through endless corridors of Barbie Dolls Exhibition.
The Lake District by Amy Leadbitter
An undervalued gem right here in the UK is the Lake District! It is my home-town area, where I was lucky enough to grow up around rolling hills, picture-perfect lakes and quaint, cosy villages; it’s somewhere I advise everyone to visit at least once. From the little village shops and winding river of Kirkby Lonsdale, the gingerbread in the UK of Grasmere, to the famously pretty Lake Windermere, there is stunning natural beauty in every direction you look; nowhere could be more picturesque. The abundance of nature, farmlands and the best aspects of a traditional countryside life, comes as a breath of fresh air from the increasingly industrialised life the majority of the population is used to. The Lake District is a place you can feel truly speechless at the wonders our natural earth had produced. I’ve lived there most of my life, and still find the scenes totally breath-taking.
The Sahara Desert by Charlotte Leung
The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest desert, located in Morocco, North Africa. When you visit the Sahara Desert, you are able to escape from the monotony of everyday life and become totally immersed in a new world, that does not have any worries or sadness. The lack of connection with the outside world means there are no new notifications popping up on your phone and with no other distractions, you can truly enjoy yourself in a natural, beautiful environment. It is fascinating to meet the owners of the campsite located in the desert and attempt to adapt to their extraordinary lifestyle. Whilst building new friendships, it is also a wonderful opportunity to indulge in some ‘me time’, to self-reflect and explore ways to become a better self. Aside from all of this, you will never find a better place to witness a sky full of stars and a beautiful sunrise – all at the same time.
Kashmir, India by Shivika Singh
Enclosed by snow clad mountains and breath-taking views of nature, Kashmir is known as ‘the heaven on earth’. This place, regarded as a paradise, has been endowed with implausible beauty. Gifted with gleaming lakes, snow capped mountains, rolling meadows and majestic trees, Kashmir carries an eternal beauty.
Dal lake, the pride of Kashmir, brings in tourists from across the world. Often regarded as the ‘jewel in the crown of Kashmir’, this lake offers astounding features like floating gardens, floating flower markets and houseboats. As Spring arrives, the Tulip Garden splashes the valley with the fragrance of blooming flowers and vibrant colours. Touched by nature’s splendid hands, Gulmarg is also a popular skiing destination.
This place is famous for its seasons, especially the autumn. During this time of year the beauty is enhanced as the valley turns gold and red, and is covered in shredded Chinar leaves while the trees take on amber hues. The ivory-like rivers start to appear golden, harmonizing with the glow of the environment. Quaint landscapes in the light of the dawn makes one feel like they are gazing on a vintage photograph. This place is truly a wonder of the world.
Venice by Meg Davies
Imagine a place where cars are practically non-existent. There are no roads, no car horns, no plaguing sound of pollution. The idea may seem ridiculous, impossible even…but Venice is real. Bursting with culture, Venice is a romantic, colourful Italian city, built in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. The houses are beautiful shades of pink, yellow and orange and the waters are deep blue and glisten in the sun. Everyone travels either on foot over the breath-taking bridges or in boats over the canals. The iconic Gondolas are dotted around the city, offering peaceful rides to tourists, courtesy of the Gondoliers dressed in traditional stripy tops and straw hats. Also, hidden in the back streets you can find wonderful little shops with unique and personal touches, allowing you to escape from the bustling outside world. There is truly nowhere that can provide the same magic that Venice can.
Shwedagon Pagoda – Myanmar by Soyal Khedkar
Among the many beautiful places and monuments is one that shines bright even at night. The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the ‘Great Dragon Pagoda’ and the ‘Golden Pagoda’, is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda located in Yangon. This golden monument was constructed more than 2,600 years ago by the Mon King and the people. The gold seen on the stupa is made of pure gold plates and people all over the country continue to make donations of gold to maintain its purity. In addition to the 76 carat (15g) diamond that tops this pagoda, there is also its crown, which is covered in 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies. With ancient Burmese history written in every corner of this sacred gold pagoda, there is no doubt that it dominates Yangon’s skyline by shining brighter than anything when the city dims at night.