Where to travel in 2012?
It’s that time of the year again. A time of reflection and self-introspection. A time to either polish those trophies or wince at the near-catastrophes. Do you think about what you have achieved over the year, as it draws to an end? I do, but mostly I dwell on my globe-trotting achievements.
This was how about a week ago, I exclaimed to Bubbles, after a moment of absent-minded pondering –
“You know, we haven’t really gone anywhere this year, apart from our Europe trips.”
“What do you we haven’t really gone anywhere? What about India and Malaysia??” exclaimed Bubbles, his voice reaching new soprano levels.
How could I forget? Especially my most favourite trip in the whole wide world thus far – India? I tell you why. We went to India in early April and it just feels like it was ages ago. Cue we need to go again. 😉 Anyway, it’s got me thinking about where I’d like to go in 2012. So here’s a list of potential locations in no particular order. By no means does this mean we’ll cover all next year – unless of course we strike the lottery, or a very generous friend strikes the lottery and shares his/her winnings. (because that’s exactly what I would do for all my friends!) 😉
This is a National Park with a difference, as it supports no wildlife and practically no vegetation. Located in north-eastern Brazil, it is only accessible by four-wheel drives as the park is protected. The entire park is covered in sand dunes, and in the rainy season, spotted with lagoons from water collecting between the crevices of dunes. This creates a spectacular scene of swirling blue and green waters against white sand.
I’m not quite sure what I’d do once there, apart from ogling in wonderment at the scene before me. This is a park that probably wouldn’t rate highly on many top travel brochures, but that’s exactly why I like it: it’s the path less travelled and is still quite exclusive.
Croatia…yes, the former war-torn country. Rich in history and heritage, and richer in unspoilt beauty, this is a must-visit place on my list. Dubrovnik was exalted to the position of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
The days could be filled with walks along the city walls, boating at the Old Harbour and short excursions to nearby islands. I sure could lure Bubbles with the prospect of having a beach holiday here…he loves beach holidays and complains we never go on enough of them!
3. Trans-Mongolian Railway Trip
I consider the Trans-Mongolian (or alternatively Trans-Siberian) rail journey the Rolls-Royce of holidays, especially the way Bubbles and I would do it. We would fly to Moscow, spend a few days doing touristy things, and then embark on the Trans-Mongolian rail journey. En route to Beijing, we would stop at one or two locations in Mongolia, one of them of course being Ulaanbaatar. Then, we’d spend a few days in China, and return by flight via Malaysia! So, with at least 5 stops it could be quite an expensive trip, but oh so worthwhile!
Speaking of Mongolia, did you know that Genghis Khan was the greenest conqueror in history? Unfortunately it’s not exactly an accolade…he has been labelled green because he killed so many people that swathes of cultivated land returned to forest!
4. Rome, Italy
Rome is a city Bubbles and I have been twice already, but would never shy away from an opportunity to go again! Plus both visits were during my pre-DSLR days, so I’d love to go again and take some proper shots of the wonderful and majestic city! I’d love to see the Colosseum again, wander around the Palatino, eat gelato by the Spanish steps and eat horrible Italian pizzas! (Did you realise how the pizza tastes horrible in its home country – well, at least in Rome?) 🙂
I’d also love to do some street photography here. The opportunities are endless for interesting people…mime artists, street artists, honeymooning couples, friends huddled over a tourist map…
I guess what they say about first love applies to travelling as well, Rome was the first city I visited in Europe, and it will always have a special place in my heart!
While in Italy, I’d love to go to Palermo too! The beaches are supposed to be fantastic (Bubbles would hope the b**ches would be too!) Plus I’d be able to sell it as a beach holiday to Bubbles…
5. Istanbul, Turkey
Bubbles and I keep wanting to go to Istanbul but we haven’t done it yet. It’s like one of those places that are very accessible and so you take it for granted that you could go any time, but never do! A bit like Devon and Cornwall for us, too…it’s about 2-3 hours away and we’d love to go there but haven’t!
We’ve heard Turkey is a real good place to go if you want to experience some of the Middle Eastern culture, but in a safer and friendlier place. Apparently you get none of the intimidating, overzealous touts and sellers that you do in places like Egypt.
You could also get a tick in the box for having visited a transcontinental country – Turkey straddles both Asia and Europe – okay, not a superbly unique quality, as other countries like Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Egypt etc. share the same title, but still, it’s nice to know the place you’re going to has that extra something! 🙂
So, there you have it – my list of 5 places to visit in 2012 from the seemingly ordinary well-trodden path to the more exotic awe-inspiring, envy-causing locations! Where do you think you’d like to go in 2012? I’d love to hear about it…and potentially poach your ideas and land myself there! 🙂
Happy New Year!