Hot travel destinations 2018
Words: Shaina Herman
The end of the year is here and 2018 is welcomed with new places to visit. Adding more to the bucket, only perpetuates a longer list and a desire to go more places. The more we see, the more we realise we’ve seen so little. I can’t help the wanderlust, and every time I think I’ve conquered my gypsy urges by going to my ‘next best place,’ I am left with the feeling that I didn’t have enough time.
While the list continues to get longer, I realise there’s never enough time, but there are always enough places and I hope 2018 will bring you, and me, closer to them.
Small but mighty, South Korea has had its share of historical ups and downs. With a touch of personal inner conflict between traditional and new, a little anger, but a lot of Jeong (a kindness to others), this forward thinking, dynamic nation is almost other worldly for Westerners. Constantly moving forward, experience the intense hustle and bustle of one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, where online gamers are considered athletes. Drink soju, eat fried chicken, octopus that still moves, and feel a sense of pride for the Korean history all round. Easy to travel, safe, but completely different, South Korea is a charming beauty wrapped up in a spicy kimchi package.
The air in Goa is said to smell like vanilla, the beaches shimmer like diamonds, the fresh water uplifts your soul, the cuisine makes your knees weak, and the hospitality somehow a trait the locals are born with. Already a hot destination for Indians, the rest of the world is catching on to the splendor of this tiny coastal region. Spiritual temples, party vibes, or beach bum days, Goa is an affordable beauty. A blend of Indian and Portuguese, there’s no other place on the planet like it.
Vast, rugged, and still relatively unexplored by travelers, Mongolia is a top pick for 2018 as a place for the adventurous. Depending on where you are in this wide open country, from desert to mountain, you can experience all seasons, but can count on sunshine for almost 300 days of the year. Immerse yourself in city, sand dunes, dinosaur fossils, and the epic legacy of Genghis Khan, of which many Mongolians are still said to be descendants. Try to get there in July for the Naadam Festival, plunging into local culture, featuring horse racing, ceremonial monk processions, music, and traditional feasts.
A quirky island style country that packs a punch in personality, Cuba is just a flight away from Canada, London, and various cities along the American coast. The food and flair for life is just like the movies portray; sexy Havana nights where you can salsa dance until the early hours of the morning. With a tropical climate, and an island vibe, Cuban’s are the most relaxed communists you’ll ever meet and still influenced by religion. Eat on the cheap: delicious fried plantains or simply amazing black beans and rice. Sludgy powerful coffee will keep you up after a hot sticky day, long enough to see the pastel coloured houses of Havana, the palm tree lined resorts, and a beautiful jungle green landscape. A great pair with a visit to Miami!
Almost 10% of Taiwan is National Parks and nearly the entire country is covered with internet. Intensely influenced by neighbouring China, but also the rest of east Asia, heavily including Japan, Taiwan is the best of all worlds. Coupled with an enormous array of amazing street food, this densely populated east Asian nation, will only stay so cheap for a little while longer. Hot springs near the capital city of Taipei can be utterly relaxing, but so can the natural eastern coast line. To the south, Kenting, a 5 star luxury resort town with insane value for money. And, because it’s so small, day trips from Taipei are possible, in every direction.
The capitol of the U.A.E., Abu Dhabi offers a subtler city life compared to its overwhelmingly flashy neighbour, Dubai. With deep heritage, history, and modern luxuries, the city has placed itself in the heart of travel as a top layover destination. The magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is vividly ornate with crystal chandeliers, intricate Persian carpets, and an expansive interior that is so massive it can hold tens of thousands of worshipers together. Newly opened, your visit in 2018 can include the world’s most famous art museum, The Louvre, Abu Dhabi, where east joins west in art and culture.
No matter where you go or what you do, you just need to do it…get moving. See other places, meet new friends, explore different cultures and just embrace everything and all things about our world, just Get your Life! It will be so much richer for the experiences.