There are countries that I expected to be great and turned out greater, such as Iran, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Venezuela.
The biggest surprises for me have been Europe’s Atlantic islands, places I had no concept until I saw them on the Travelers’ Century Club list. The Faroes are among the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The Channel Islands give you British culture and French food – imagine the reverse! The Azores, Madeira, Canaries and so on are little-known to Americans. All are concentrated tastes of traditional European life.
On the less positive side, Saudi Arabia is about the only country that confirmed more stereotypes than it dispelled. I convinced my wife to go with me and the most interesting observations came from her experience.