Amazing Travel Destinations to Broaden Your Horizons in 2017

Amazing Travel Destinations to Broaden Your Horizons in 2017

Our world is changing fast. In 2016 alone the UK voted out of the EU, The USA elected a new president, and Belgium and the Netherlands have swapped respective pieces of their border. So before things continue to change so much that we don’t recognize where we live anymore, it’s time to discover the world we live it and to appreciate its quirkiness. Pack your travel essentials and embark on a journey of wonders. Here’s our list of the top 3 destinations to try to see in 2017.

Venice, The Sinking Beauty

Venice might have to change its nickname of The Floating City for the Sinking City as it continues to sink at a rate of around 2mm a year. While there are many teams working on keeping it as dry as possible, the city continues to drown and to exposed to large-scale tectonic movements. In short, Venice is always on the move and always at risk. So before it is too late you need to book a trip to the city of marvels, where each bridge and each street tells a story from the past.  It’s no wonder that Venice is still one of the most romantic destination on the planet!

Kazakhstan, Where Apples Come From

Kazakhstan is a former Soviet republic along the Caspian Sea. Situated just between Russia and China, it is a country that is often ignored by travellers. However, we are hoping that you will change your mind when you learn that Kazakhstan is the place of origin of all domestic apples. In late spring and early summer the wild apple forests are blooming: A beautiful sight to see. Besides, currently travellers from 48 countries, including the UK, are free to enter Kazakhstan without a visa for a period of up to 15 days.

Spiritual Japanese Destinations

Japan offers to open-minded tourists a list of incredible spiritual destinations that help you reconnect with nature and with yourself, without even needed at any moment to change your religious beliefs! For the most enthusiastic tourists, Kumano Kodo is a favorite pilgrimage network through the Kansai region in Japan that is over 1000 year-old. Pilgrims find themselves following the paths of their ancestors through the mountain and the forest that lead to the Three Sacred Shrines of the Kumano. For the tourists who are not too keen on long hiking holiday, you will have the possibility to walk to one of the central temples in Tokyo and watch how the Japanese people make use of the shrines. This is a perfect mixture of modernism and tradition as they both exist in complete harmony. While you don’t need to take part to any of these celebrations and traditions, observing their everyday impact on modern life is a mind-opening experience.

Last Piece of Advice

When travelling abroad, always make sure to purchase an emergency phrase book if you don’t speak the language. While most people speak a decent English, not everybody does. So, you will have to revert to pointing at words on the pages of your book. However annoying it may be, this is often the best way to be understood.

Additionally, make sure to keep your belongings with you at all time. In crowds abroad, just like at home, it is very easy for pickpockets to find a victim. Make sure you don’t attract their attention by walking around with an open bag or with your phone in your back pocket.  

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  1. December 6, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    Kazakhstan huh? Gotta research more into it. Perhaps combine it with Uzbekistan for a touch of the silk road!

  2. December 6, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    You can get some really cool no-word phrasebooks these days, with just pictures of items such as foods, transport and accommodation which you can point to. I have found mine very useful, especially if you are travelling to many different countries and don’t want to carry lots of heavy books.

    • December 7, 2016 / 12:45 pm

      Thanks for mentioning these Grete, they sound great. I’ve never come across one but I’m heading straight to Amazon now – I imagine I can find one there. I hate that I cannot speak any other languages, I think I’ll make learning at least the basics of one a New Year’s resolution!

      • December 7, 2016 / 10:39 pm

        I always make a point of trying to learn to say “hello”, “goodbye”, “please” and “thank you” in the language of the place I am visiting. Beyond that it gets hard when you travel a lot to different countries with different languages – the most countries we ever visited in a single year was 17!

        Obviously I am totally bilingual in Norwegian and English, and I learned German at school so can hold a very (!) simple conversation. I speak enough Spanish to order a meal, but most often I don’t understand any replies. I would love to be able to speak French, but I find it almost impossible. I tend to start any interactions in France with an apologetic “Pardon, je ne parle pas français”, which usually gets a laugh (probably from my pronunciation) and breaks the ice.

        • December 7, 2016 / 10:47 pm

          I try and learn the basics but then get too nervous to speak (even though I am not a nervous person at all). I think it’s fear of getting it wrong, which I seriously need to get over. I always feel terrible when people say ‘I’m sorry my English isn’t great’ and I think it’s way better than my French, German, Italian etc. French would be great to speak but I believe it is one of the most difficult to learn. I wish the English education system realised the importance of languages and taught them from a younger age like they do in mainland Europe. It often feels to me like – ‘why bother, people in other countries speak English anyway’ – which I think is arrogant! Is Norwegian difficult to learn? I imagine most Scandinavian languages are.

  3. December 8, 2016 / 11:18 am

    I am the opposite Vicki, if I know three words, I just HAVE TO use them! I love trying to speak the local language. I also find the locals love it too! Yes, they sometimes laugh at me, but always good-natured. I have had some really cool experiences ‘talking’ to locals (like road workers in Malagasy, drivers in Kiswahili, airport workers in Arabic…)

    I’ll set you a challenge – on your next trip, say ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to at least three people in the local language. Try it, you’ll see it is not scary at all! ♥

    • December 8, 2016 / 11:21 am

      Ha, that will be quite easy Grete as my next trip is to New York 🙂

      I do need to get over the nerves and give it a try. I’m heading to The Netherlands in March – so I will (try to) complete your challenge then 🙂