Can you believe 2017 is almost over? Neither can I! It‘s gone so fast. My favorite thing about a new year is that it‘s a blank slate, I love buying new agendas and writing in the first few pages. I love that the new year is full of new possibilities and challenges. But most of all, I love that it‘s a new year where I can plan a few amazing trips around this world. Travel is one of life‘s greatest joys and for me there‘s nothing more fun than sitting down and thinking about where I‘d most like to visit. If you‘re looking for some inspiration for where yo go in 2018, check out my curated list of my top travel destinations:
1. Trans–Siberian Rail
I absolutely love train travel; it‘s one of my favorite ways to travel. I find it so relaxing being able to stare outside the window, watching the world watch past. No worrying about traffic or checking into flights hours before you have to leave. Whenever I have an opportunity to travel by train, I jump on board with the idea. One of the most interesting train journeys you can take is the trans–Siberian rail, and there are many options depending on where you start and end. It‘s possible to travel from Europe through to China, but if you‘re short on time, starting in Russia is a great starting point and carrying through the trans–Siberian as far as you can go. If you‘re feeling a bit overwhelmed dealing with Russian and trying to book everything from overseas, why not consider going on a Trans–Siberian Tour, you‘ll get to experience one of the most famous train journeys in the world, with all the comfort and stress–free travel that a tour affords. The great thing about taking a tour is that you know what kind of travel you‘ll be enjoying well in advance, if you book the individual segments yourself you may be limited to what‘s available. This is one of those bucket–list journeys that you simply need to get around to doing, maybe 2018 is the year for it?
2. The Czech Republic
Europe in general is a wonderful travel destination, but I personally feel too many people stick to the main cities: Paris, Rome, Brussels and so on, not really deviating much from the standard route around Europe. Any time I get the chance, I always suggest that people head East. Prague, for example, is just as captivating as Paris, but has an edgy, Gothic feel to it that is absolutely charming. The Czech Republic is also considerably more affordable than Paris, meaning that you can indulge in a little more luxury here without breaking the bank. There are numerous wonderful museums, art galleries, and a handful of gorgeous castles you will want to explore. Charles Bridge is absolutely beautiful and best visited early in the morning before the crowds have settled in and while it‘s still a little foggy. The old town is absolutely lovely, but my favorite time to visit is actually during December or even late November. In the old town, numerous little market stalls are set up selling everything from handcrafted Christmas decorations through to delicious mulled wine. Prague is magical, but even more so when there‘s a light dusting of snow and the sound of Christmas carols in the distance.
I was lucky enough to visit Myanmar 3 years ago and it felt like it was a lot more preserved than other neighboring countries such as Thailand and India. The people here are absolutely lovely, don‘t be surprised if they offer to a meal with you and a few stories too. The highlight of my trip to Myanmar was taking a hot air balloon above the stunning ruin town of Bagan. It was so beautiful that it didn‘t seem real. If you love visiting temples, you‘ll be spoiled for choice in Myanmar as there are numerous gorgeous temples. My favorite temple was Shwedagon Pagoda, it‘s very photogenic so be sure to take your camera along. While Myanmar has a lot to offer the traveler, especially the traveler that‘s curious about how the rest of South East Asia was before in the influx of tourism, the real charm of Myanmar is the people. They‘re some of the friendliest, warmest and most hospitable people I‘ve ever met in the entire world.
There‘s only one country in the world where I‘ll eat ceviche and that‘s in Peru. It‘s SO good that you may develop an addiction for Peruvian ceviche. But there‘s a lot more to do and see in Peru, beyond eating your way around the country. There‘s of course the famous Machu Picchu, but what I would suggest for anyone heads to Peru is to visit Iquitos. This intriguing city cannot be accessed by road, only by boat or by flying into the tiny airport. Iquitos serves as a landing point in order to visit the Amazon in Peru. I suggest spending a few days connecting with nature in the Amazon, you‘ll see a bunch of wildlife you may not otherwise see and the stars seem to shine so much brighter here than anywhere else in the world. It‘s a wonderful way to disconnect from the daily stresses and to explore a part of the world that is almost untouched.
These are my top picks for a trip in 2018, do you have anything else on your list?