Plenty of lists tell us where we should be going in the New Year. These compilations always seem to be a random selection of the globe. Why one country is out and the other is in this year is like rolling dice. Rather than telling you where to go specifically in 2013 as every traveler is different in terms of where their budget, taste and schedule can take them, here are a few characteristics of “somewhere” to try out in 2013.
Go Somewhere New: That family vacation each summer to the same destination has a way of repeating itself over the years. As 2013 approaches, resolve to go to one new place this year. While I have been guilty of heading back to the same places, I always make it a point to try some point on the map, whether it is across the state or across the ocean. Seeing a new place has a way of stirring up spontaneity and wonder that can sometimes be lost when you frequent the same place year after year.
Go Somewhere That Doesn’t Speak Your Language: Traveling within the realm of our own language always has its benefits. You don’t have to worry about lost in translation moments or communication barriers. However traveling to a place that doesn’t speak your language has its advantages too. Learning to understand a place through a foreign form of communication provides a greater knowledge of what makes that destination tick.
Go Somewhere That Needs You: There are plenty of popular travel destinations, overrun with tourists and their dollars and cents. However many corners of the world could use a traveler pumping some extra cash into their economy. Places that are struggling financially are not just a good deal for the traveler, but you are also more inclined to receive a warm welcome. Locals want you here because they know that you can help.
Go Somewhere Without a Set Plan or Schedule: A friend of mine told how his brother had almost a novel of an itinerary planned for his trip to New Zealand. Each and every day was planned, leaving no room to stray beyond the blueprint. We have so many devices at our disposal to plan out our whole trip down to every minute. We can book all of our hotels in advance. We can have apps map out our stops. We can sign up for tours that plan our every meal. The happenstance of travel can be lost in over-planning. I learned this the hard way in 2012 when the weather rained on my parade in Eastern Europe and I was forced to cancel several hotel nights that I had already pre-planned. Travelers in 2013 should try to plan less and let the open road and lack of schedule guide them.
Go Somewhere That You Have Always Wanted To See: Life is short and uncertain, even if the world didn’t end in 2012. We frequently put off our dream travel destination, saying how much we want to go there or how it is on our list. Travelers should make 2013 their year to fulfill at least one of those dream destinations. If you have longed to see the canals of Venice, there is no better time than the present to make that dream a reality.
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