The New York Times can make endless predictions of why Chile, Egypt etc. etc. will be the hottest destinations of 2012 but I generally take any publication’s crystal ball with a pinch of salt. After all, travel is a very personal decision. Your bucket list may not be the same as mine for many reasons.
As a travel blogger and journalist, traveling to places where I feel as though I have learned something new and different is key. I don’t really subscribe to the “visit sexy places” theory, although there’s nothing wrong with visiting St. Barts or the Bahamas to sip a mint julep on a hammock.
If you’re into adventurous travel, then “off the beaten path” ?to use a cliched phrase ?is more appealing. So, where are my adventurous tweeps dying to visit in 2012? Find out:
Travel Bloggers Spill their 2012 Destination Yearnings
(in alphabetical order)
BackPackForever: Personal picks include 1. Nepal. Been wanting to go since Matt Dillon said in Something About Mary, “All I have are these damn Nepalese coins.”? 2. Myanmar/Burma: we want to party with the KNLA and figure out what the real name of that country is. 3. Borneo and Deer Cave: Ever since that Planet Earth Series came out, this has been at the top of our list.
James Bond Rock, Thailand, Phang Nga. Photo courtesy of farbspiel, Flickr
Beers and Beans: Our top pick would be Thailand. We’re itching to sample some of the country’s beaches.
Clare Appleyard: 1. Antarctica 2. Antarctica 3. Antarctica. Other wishes: Okavango Delta; Victoria Falls; Singapore; Aurora Borealis; Mexico
As someone who hates to fly, I figure why not go all out this year and venture as far away as I can afford? I always aim big when planning a year in travel, this way, if things don’t work out with my “reach” choices I can fall back on “probable admits” without having to stoop down to my “safety” picks.
So this year, I hope to visit Jordan ? I’m a sucker for epic landscapes; Jamaica ? I’m a closet reggae lover who worships Bob Marley and his colorful beanie (I plan to wear one while there); and Lombok and the Gili islands ? sometimes I like to go places where I have no access to email, Twitter, Facebook or Angry Birds.
My top picks for 2012 are all in the USA: Salt Lake City, Yellowstone National Park and Cape Cod. With so many great (and affordable) destinations close to home, there’s no need to undergo lengthy flights in the new year! Start with SLC, an under-appreciated town where you can ski, dine at fine restaurants and outlet shop in the span of one day. In the spring, head to Yellowstone to enjoy the stunning hot springs, wildlife and hiking. Cap off your summer with a weekend getaway in Cape Cod, where you can camp inexpensively, rent bikes and relax on the beach. Here’s to an exciting 2012!
Photo: Alexandria, Egypt. Courtesy of J Abadie on Flickr
1) Egypt: Not only are the crowds gone and the prices have plummeted, but you can see both history in the making as well as history from centuries ago. 2) Europe: Goobye euro denomination strength, hello travel deals in the Continent. 3) Brazil: See it now before the World Cup and Olympics cause an influx of tourists.
Belize port; photo courtesy of Brandon Seils, Flickr
Foodie International: 1. Tbilisi, Georgia 2. San Sebastian, Spain 3. Santiago, Chile 4. Helsinki, Finland 5. Penang, Malaysia. I think Georgia is the next best thing as far as international travel.
GloboTreks: Belize! Not because I’m here, but because 2012 is the year of the Maya, and Belize is considered the hear of the Maya world. Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico will have tons of celebrations in 2012 for the end of the Mayan calendar.
Jeff Titelius: England, because of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and of course, the Olympics.
Tokyo, Japan ? It’s removed [enough] from the largest amount of 2011’s tsunami and earthquake damage and safely outside the zone of nuclear meltdown. It’s a modern city in the midst of a country that has not forgotten old traditions. My brother, who lives there, tells me the spirits of the people are still strong and they are determined to move on and rebuild. I’d love to spend a month using Tokyo as a home base to then explore the rest of the fascinating country of Japan.
Brisbane, Australia ? Ever since I was a teenager watching Baz Luhrmann’s early films I have wanted to explore “the land down under”. Now that I have friends on the Sunshine Coast, I’m more determined than ever that 2012 will be the year I finally discover just what all the fuss is about. Even though the bugs and critters are numerous, it’s the wild beauty of the country that just keeps calling to me so I’ll take my chances with the snakes.
Sweden – I grew up with a strong observance of Swedish traditions and my mother went to college in Uppsala, however I’ve never been to the land of my ancestors. I plan to rectify that in 2012. How could I go another year without seeing the beauty of Swedish design firsthand, sampling their culinary excellence and marveling at the beauty of the rural landscapes in this Scandinavian country.
Mario Travels: My picks for 2012:? The Riviera Maya (Mexico); Ghana (West Africa); Bonaire (Netherland Antilles); Curacao (Lesser Antilles).
Santa Fe Traveler: We really want to go Ireland and Italy & Spain and I have a weird yen to go to Easter Island. And the beach somewhere.
Zimbabwe. Photo courtesy of Idee Per Viaggiare, Flickr
Northwestern China: China is in the process of turning Kasghar into the next Shenzen. Although this decision may be good for China’s economy, it will pretty much erase the culture and character of this region. If you want to experience this nomadic corner of China and explore ancient Silk Road sites, 2012 is the year to do it -before they disappear forever.
Zimbabwe: Zim has received a bad rap in the news, but don’t let that deter you. The people of Zim are extremely friendly and the country is beautiful. If you’re thinking of visiting Zim in 2012 be sure to do a couple of game drives in Hwange (but bring warm clothes, it gets super cold at night).
Banff, Canada: I am a HUGE supporter of Banff. It’s easily one of the most beautiful places in Canada and should be on every bucket list. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, shopper or foodie, Banff has it. Plus, it’s surrounded by the Canadian Rocky Mountains and home to several wild animals (I’m not referring to the seasonal staff!)
Starry Eyed Travels: Peru, Bolivia and Argentina top my list. I think my home city London will also be great in 2012. At a push, I’d say Peru is top!
Traveling Ted: Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnivale
Wandering Aramean: Stockholm ? for beer with friends; Berlin and Ljubljana, Skope, Istanbul and Munich one week in January. Hawaii, Portland and Philly also confirmed so far. Hawaii (HNL) is for the first JFK-HNL flight on Hawaiian. Just being somewhere different is joy enough. I love the challenges travel throws at me.
My personal destination picks?: Abu Dhabi, Mexico (a country I’ve been longing to visit for most of 2011), Costa Rica and Spain.
If you’d like to be included in this list, drop me a line at charu AT Butterflydiary DOT COM.