Where will I travel to in 2012? Yesterday, Chris and I journeyed around the world from one country to the next at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show. I jetted between visions of safaris in Africa, bullet trains in Japan, the underwater worlds of the Galapagos, the surf in Indonesia, the city in the skies of Peru, the colors and culture of India, and adventure travel in New Zealand.
Exhausted and overly stimulated by the possibilities around you how is one to choose your next destination? Perhaps our next travel destination will be a decided for us — a result of the 15 different trip sweepstakes we entered!
Every January the travel media boasts about the top 10 most popular destinations of the new year targeted to several different market demographics. National Geographic does the Top 10 Trips, Budget Travel selects the Top 10 Budget Destinations, Huffington Post writes an article on the Top 10 Travel Destinations According to Facebook, all inspiration for travel in the new year. I however have always looked for a single reason and or feeling that encouraged my desire to travel to a particular destination.
My Top 10 for 2012
Unchartered Eastern Europe territory, possibility of my sister studying abroad in Italy (girls trip!). Hike through the Plitvice Lakes National Park a World Heritage spot. See Dubrovnik‘s city walls. Visit the Marco Polo Tower said to be home to Marco Polo in the 15th century. Visit the beaches of Brac Island.
A long time dream of climbing to Machu Piccu. Peru was recently ranked the next best foodie destination in the world by Frommer’s. They have the second largest portion of the Amazon Rainforest. Visit the floating islands of Lake Titicaca and the natives that call them home. Sandboard the dunes of Huacachina. Check out the surf in Mancora.
The Galapagos Islands, need I say more. Mountain bike down the active Cotopaxi Volcano. Shop the Otavlo Market. Visit Banos the self-proclaimed adventure hub. See Cuenca’s historic Center City a UNESCO World Heritage site. Straddle the equador.
Explore Bogata’s La Cendelaria neighborhood. White water raft in San Gil. Visit Cartagena the old city of Colombia. Scuba dive the reefs in Taganga. Trek through the jungles of Tayrona National Park to la Ciudad Perdida, a.k.a. the Lost City. Visit the underground temples and tombs in the underground caves of Tierradentro. Take a boat ride down an Amazon River.
Go scuba diving in Okinawa and see where Chris’ Dad went to high school. Visit the Nishiki Market and the Ancient Sites of Kyoto. Ride the bullet train (Shinkansen). See the lights of Tokyo at night. Ski in Hokkaido at Niseko. Tour Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park. Follow Anthony Bourdain’s Layover path through the culinary excellence of Tokyo.
6. El Salvador
Hopefully the situation in El Salvador will clear up so Cory can continue his service in the Peace Corps and we can get to see the life he has been living for the last 6+ months. Fingers crossed!
Visit the Panama Canal. Hang out at Portobello on the Caribbean coast, snorkel and visit the Spanish ruins. Road trip to the little town on the Baru Volcano, 3,475 meters above sea level. Boat to Monkey Island in the Chagres River. Drive to a small town of Pedasi and enjoy the typical Panamanian lifestyle
8. New Zealand
Walk the Routeburn Track in the Fiordland National Park. See Wanaka and its eponymous lake. Scuba dive at Kaikoura on South Island. Stay at the Blanket Bay situated on Lake Wakatipu. Visit the Abel Tasman National Park, a beach oasis. Check out Whangamata ”the surfing capital of New Zealand”.
Visit Enrique and Kris’ holistic retreat in Argentina. Tango through Buenos Aires. Visit the Iguazu Falls, an extraordinary natural wonder of the world. Visit Bariloche, which sits at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Paraglide in Mar del Plata. Visit the Los Glaciares National Park. See the city of Ushuaia. Wine taste through the Argentinian wine country of Mendoza.
Surf or watch others at some of the world’s top surfing destinations, Uluwatu, Bingin, Kuta and Seminyak. See the rice paddies of Ubud. Have a drink at the Rock Bar at the Ayana Resort in Jimbaran. Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest. Scuba dive off of Lembongan Island. Visit the infamous Lake Bratan.
Where will you go or dream of going in 2012?