Despite both terrorist threats and the Ebola virus, over 1.1 billion people chose to travel in 2014. Now it's 2015's and the tourism industry is predicting the best destinations and countries to travel to this year. "The cheapest places to travel in 2015, "the best places to go in 2015" and " this years travel trends are," to name a few. I wanted to make my own list.
My list consists of places I want to travel to in 2015. It is a mix of beach, nature, city, wildlife, sports and arctic paradise. I have chosen these places after getting advice from friends, reading articles and books that inspired me and exciting lectures I have attended.
Where I would like to go in 2015:
In light of recent political changes, Cuba is my first destination. After decades of disagreements and conflicts between the US and Cuba it seems like they have finally started to negotiate and communicate again. Making it possible for Americans to go to the country that is so close yet has been so far away for such a long time. The Cuban government is now making it possible for private companies to develop and offer tourist experiences. Most likely the country will go through several changes in the years to come. Making this the perfect year to visit “the old Cuba”, before it is too late.
Galapagos is a volcanic paradise in the Pacific. This place has long been at the top of my bucket list. The island is protected and has a strict policy when it comes to tourism. It is one of few places in the world that has put a price tag and population/tourist limit on admission. The limit is 60,000 people per year, and with an ever-increasing population growth, and interest in authentic nature experiences, I see the Galapagos as a place one should travel before it becomes too difficult or too expensive to go. Galapagos is known for its rare animal species, flora and fauna. On the archipelago, one can find the world's smallest penguins, sea lions, land and sea turtles, flamingos and in the ocean you will find schools of hammerheads and manta rays. If you love nature and wildlife this could be your dream destination.
For a lot of people and myself included Hawaii is the ultimate holiday destination. Kauai is one of the places I would like to put a red pin on in 2015. Here you can soar over tropical valleys, paddle onto small and virtually inaccessible beaches, go swimming in caves and surf fantastic waves. The culture of the island is very much influenced by ancient Hawaiian traditions. Here you will find families living a very relaxed life and the place is known for its hospitality. No buildings are higher than coconut trees and the cities have less than 10.000 inhabitants. This small island has managed to preserve something that very few places in the world have. A calm and balanced paradise, where only the luckiest live and tourists visiting get to see a small glimpse of.
I was recently in Morocco and I fell in love with this exciting country. I'd really like to go back and experience more areas and cities. I would love to walk the streets of Marrakesh, go skiing in the Atlas Mountains, eat amazing food in Fez, take photos in the blue city Chefchaouen and surf on the many magnificent beaches. For people living in Europe, Morocco has become a more accessible destination in recent years. The Norwegian Airline Norwegian is one of many budget airlines offering affordable travel to both Agadir and Marrakesh throughout the year. Hurry up and travel to this superb country before the rest of Europe finds out how good it is.
The mixture of old culture and new is something that fascinates me. Japan is a great example of a country that mixes ancient traditions with modern technology. I would love to attend one of the many music festivals in Japan, photograph the colorful and beautiful Harajuku ladies in Tokyo, get a real bamboo tattoo from an old Japanese tattoo artist in the old district of Kyoto, eat the best sushi in the world and take the fast and very punctual Shinkansen that is said to be an attraction as much as a means of transportation.
After decades of military rule and civil war Myanmar is finally a relatively peaceful country. Since 2011, the country has taken small steps towards democracy, with the release of Daw Aung San Su Kyi and the inauguration of new representatives in the parliament. Myanmar has to a certain extent been cut off from tourism, which has made the country a well-preserved Asian gem. Myanmar has beautiful beaches like and longer coastline than Thailand. Wild jungle, beautiful pagodas scattered across the country and an old and well-preserved culture. Last year Myanmar had a record high number of tourists and I think this is an absolute must-see country for 2015. Maybe Myanmar can give travelers the experience backpackers had arriving in Thailand 30-40 years ago.
East of India's southern tip lays this exciting country formerly known as Ceylon. Sinhalese and Tamils onstitute a large part of the population, which holds just over 20 million people. The country has for several years been characterized by ethnic and religious differences, which have led to several violent battles. In 2009 the civil war ended and Sri Lanka was a "safe" place travel. Because of the civil war Sri Lanka has not had as much tourism as the country's climate, beaches and natural resources would suggest. And when the great tsunami hit in 2004 it destroyed over 70% of the coastal areas, killing thousands of people. Over the past five years this country has slowly piled itself back on its feet.
In Sri Lanka there are large climatic differences between the rain forests in the southwest, mountainous areas in the middle of the island and the somewhat drier areas in the north and east. These differences make Sri Lanka a great destination year round. The west coast rainy season starts in May and ends in October and the east coast gets most of the rain from November to January. Like I have said in previous blog posts I am a huge fan of India and Indian culture, food and traditions, and according to friends who have traveled to both India and Sri Lanka; it is very similar in many ways. I am convinced that this is THE place to go in 2015 and I am hoping I get a chance to go this year.
When I travel in Northern Europe, it is often to Denmark. But this year, I would like to take a trip to the magnificent capital of Finland, to find out if Helsinki is more than just heavy metal and sauna. People I have talked to brag about how great the capitol is with its free museums, special shopping experiences and bustling nightlife. I would like to see the hip and up and coming area of Kallio which was recently named one of the world's coolest new neighborhoods in the world.
The world's largest ice-covered island ironically named Greenland. The island has an extremely low population density, which is perhaps not so surprising, considering temperatures never rise above 20 degrees. As described in the countries official website the local depends on hunting, fishing, Internet and each other. Apart from the beautiful scenery and exciting wildlife, including musk oxen and polar bears, the island offers a whole range of extreme sport- and adventure activities for visitors and locals. In recent years Greenland has invested heavily in adventure based tourism and offers mountaineering, heli-skiing, diving, sailing, ski touring, kayaking and whale watching, to name a few. If you like extreme sports (as I do), wild and beautiful scenery and want to get away from city life this might be the place you should visit in 2015.
After dreaming of going to this country for a long time this February I finally got to go. I wanted to experience this eco paradise with jungle, sloths, beautiful beaches and pleasant climate. Costa Rica is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and I can understand why. One of the country's main incomes is precisely tourism and the markets itself as a leader in ecotourism. They are helping to promote a sustainable way to develop tourism, which is reflected in the activities they offer. Despite the size of this small country, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity and a quarter of the country is protected areas and national parks. I got the pleasure of spending a whole month in this wonderful country, and used my days thereto surf, do yoga on the beach, improve my Spanish skills, get to know great people from around the world and last but not least, enjoy life.