Be honest now: how soon after a holiday do you start planning your next one? If you’re anything like me, it’s probably before you’ve gone!
I’m currently busy searching for travel inspiration and thinking hard about where I want 2018 to take me. Natural beauty, lots of hiking opportunities and a chance of spotting local wildlife are high on my list of what I want from a destination. I also value the opportunity to immerse myself in local cultures and learn something new.
With these in mind, here are some ideas of travel inspiration for 2018. Where would you add to the list?
Try Island Hopping in Lofoten Norway
Lofoten is an archipelago, way up in Arctic Norway, of dramatic peaks rising from the water, postcard-perfect villages and stretches of long white sand beaches. In winter, you can keep your eyes on the sky for a glimpse of the brilliant colours of Aurora Borealis. In summer, the midnight sun and mild temperatures (helped out by the Gulf Stream), make it perfect for hiking and camping.
You’ll need a car to get around as public transport is limited. Fortunately, you’ll then be able to take the car on the various ferries that connect the islands. Norway is the only place confirmed on my travel agenda for 2018 and I’ve already started researching the perfect road trip around Lofoten.
Volunteer in Nepal
Nepal is one of my absolute favourite countries (out of the 73 I’ve visited so far, so that’s definitely saying something..!). It’s an unbeatable travel experience – from the cities to the jungle to the mountains.
Nepal has been on a slow road to recovery since suffering a catastrophic earthquake a few years ago. This has opened up more volunteering opportunities in the region, which can be a great way to share your skills and get to know the people as well as the country. You can volunteer to help out with teaching or, if you are trained, you can help out in a medical capacity. Teaching English and other subjects to children that do not have access to a good education is a great way to share your skills. I spent six weeks in Nepal living with a Nepali family (back in my early 20s, almost ten years ago!) and it was truly unforgettable.
Italy is a fabulous country to visit, and there are many beautiful villas all over the country, which you can rent and use as your base for exploring. Rome is a fascinating city and you can visit amazing places like the Colosseum, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, and other architectural marvels. There are endless hiking opportunities too – including Mount Vesuvius. The Dolomites are full of trails, via ferrata and climbing routes, and have firmly crept onto my travel wishlist.
Then there’s the Amalfi Coast where you can explore the stunning coastline by car or boat. Inland there’s Tuscan countryside and explore the beautiful sights of the olive groves, lavender fields, wineries, and farms. Did I mention the food and wine too? They are fabulous all over Italy, and Italy is slowly becoming one of the most veg-friendly countries in Europe.
Help With Rainforest Conservation In Peru
The Amazon Rainforest is one the most diverse ecosystems in the world but it’s in jeopardy due to threats like deforestation and pollution. You can volunteer at Taricaya Ecological Reserve to help save the insects, animals, trees, plants, and flowers from destruction. There are all sorts of way to get involved: for example, you can help run a pilot farm, work on animal rehabilitation programs or support research projects.
Visit Iceland’s Glaciers
Ten percent of Iceland is covered in glaciers and there are several ways that you can explore these magnificent natural wonders. You can join snowmobile tours, go on helicopter rides (if your budget allows…!), boat rides or you can go trekking. Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, is a truly stunning sight to see. You can also find amazing ice caves waiting to be explored.
It’s a country where almost everyone I know who has been, myself included, can’t wait to plan a return trip! It’s also worth giving Reykjavik a mention as it’s a surprisingly vibrant city with an ever-growing array of vegan food to be found.
Have any of these made it onto your 2018 travel wishlist?
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