Lonely Planet just released its Best in Travel 2013 list of cities, countries and regions. While there is definitely fodder for future trips, I’m a bit confused by some of their picks. Don’t get me wrong: I love San Francisco and had a great time in Amsterdam. Beijing: not so much, though the fact that it’s getting easier for people to visit does make it attractive.
So, completely as an act of exploitation, I’m presenting my own Top Ten list for 2013. While I’m pretty certain that I won’t be able to visit all of these locations next year (darn budget and work commitments), this is a wish list comprised of countries and regions that I have been eyeing with undisguised lust.
Top Ten Places I’d Like to Land in 2013
Belize: I’ve been wanting to dive the Blue Hole in Belize since I got certified in 2010. When I saw an article about jungle trekking, the urge to explore this country got even stronger.
- Turkey: It’s impossible for me to mention Istanbul without adding “Not Constantinople” but that doesn’t take away the fact that I long to wander the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market and stay in the cave hotels in Cappadocia.
- Budapest: My knowledge of eastern Europe is sadly lacking and I can’t think of a better place to start than in Budapest. Prague, Croatia and Romania are also on my list, but I’ll bundle them in with this one.
- The Galapagos Islands: Volcanoes, the Darwin Research Center and the Tortoise reserve. Yes, please.
- Alaska: I’ve never been to Alaska and, after seeing an article about paddling the Inside Passage, it’s even higher on my list.
Mongolia: The name just tumbles off of your tongue. Plus: yurts.
- Wales: I’ve been all around the UK, but haven’ t visited Wales. I read about the Wales Coast Path (it connects the nation’s entire coastal perimeter, a first for any country) and, while 870 miles might take a while, it would be amazing to hike the whole path.
- Yellowstone National Park: I’ve been close to the South Entrance when I was in Jackson, WY, but I never made it into the park. I feel like it’s time to see one of the U.S.’s greatest national treasures.
- Tanzania: One of the first IMAX movies I saw was about a group climbing Kilimanjaro. Two of the climbers were a grandmother and her grandson. I thought, “surely if that granny can do it, I can.”
- Nepal: This is cheating a bit, as I know I’m headed to Nepal in March (I’m booked and committed). However, the desire to visit this remote country and trek the Annapurna Sanctuary started as a small gleam after I met friends in New Zealand. It got into a full-blown beam when I visited Tibet and imagined what lay over the mountains.
So there’s my list of top destinations for 2013. What locations are on your list?