In travel, planning can be half the fun. So, I’m picking 10 places I am planning to visit this year. Who knows if I’ll actually get to them all…some are more unlikely than others. But if you don’t dream…
Here is my list. What’s on yours?
Churchill, Manitoba. Polar bears, beluga whales and northern lights. Churchill is hard to get to, there are no roads. Train or flying are the only options for arriving at this town on the edge of the Arctic. But once you make it, it is THE place to see polar bears, beluga whales and norther lights.
San Marino. It is the oldest constitutional republic, fifth smallest countries in the world, completely surrounded by Italy and uses the Euro though it is not a member of the EU. Visit for its medieval old town, hiking, duty free shopping, national dessert of hazelnut cream layered between wafers and covered in chocolate fondant and for an unusual stamp in the passport.
Iceland. The landscape is unique & dramatic, the self-drive opportunities abound, and thermal baths are scattered throughout. I’m dying to ride the special Icelandic horses, walk the black beaches and see a volcano erupt. And it’s another chance to see northern lights (they are a bit of an obsession for this year)
Saint Pierre & Miquelon. A tiny bit of France left in North America, you need your passport to visit and Euros to pay for things. They were colonized somewhat unsuccessfully by Portuguese, English and French. The harsh climate making living here a challenge. Fishing was the dominant industry until smuggling booze during prohibition lead to a boom. It has its own time zone, half an hour earlier than Newfoundland. Use the app SPM Exception to find things to do.
Charleston, South Carolina. Rhett Butler was my first serious crush. He described the city as a place where there is still a little grace and civility. Everything I read says Charleston is loaded with charm & history. It had the first golf course, first prescription pharmacy, first public museum and first free library. It also has a noteworthy food scene.
Albania. It still feels off the beaten track. When was the last time you heard don’t drink tap water in Europe? But has stunning beaches, Roman ruins, charming medieval towns. You can snorkel, hike and go white water rafting. Not a ton of English, iritic public transportation and limited tourist infrastructure… an adventure waiting to happen! I want to get there before it changes.
Antarctica. I just booked clients for a 14-day trip in January 2023. This is my least likely to get to destination, but after doing research for them I now have the hugest FOMO. Remote, beautiful and very very cold! Yet more and more ships going every year. Choose wisely to do the least damage to such a pristine part of the world. You are not allowed off any boat with more than 500 passengers.
Puglia, Italy. Located in the heel of the boot, it is one of the few parts of Italy I have yet to visit. It is regularly called the new Tuscany and voted top destination to visit. A bit late in terms of places to discover but hey, even with crowds, I hear it is amazing…great food, wild churches, wonderful seaside… it is where the opening sequence of the latest James Bond was filmed. Definitely better in the shoulder seasons.
Ile de Re, France. Where chic Parisians go for understated holidays. Expect picturesque towns, salt marshes, vineyards and beaches. Fashionable but never flashy. There are plenty of Michelin recommended restaurants, charming boutique hotels and 100’s of kilometers of biking trails. But not too many cars, most people prefer to ride.
Wroclaw, Poland. Called Venice of Poland because of the more than 100 bridges over the multiple arms of the Oder River. This university town (9 noble prize winners) is remarkable for its Baroque architecture built during the Habsburg Monarchy. The town was almost flattened during WWII but has been carefully restored. How many of the 300 little bronze ‘dwarfs’ statues can you find in the Old Town?