Top 5 countries to explore in 2015
Choosing your perfect travel destination is quite a task. Places that are affordable and offer picturesque settings alongside rich culture tend to be either overcrowded or impossible to get to. While I was lucky enough to explore numerous different countries over the last few years, there is only a handful of places I would go back to in a minute.
Expecting heavily polluted and over-crowded cities? Think again. Besides enormous energetic metropolitan centres such as Shanghai or Beijing, China is also home to some of the most diverse, breathtaking and colourful landscapes one can come across. While discovering China requires plenty of time, patience, and flexibility, you will be rewarded with spectacular views and divine food.
China is an up and coming travel destination yet to be fully discovered. Beat the crowds and explore this breathtakingly diverse and beautiful country in 2015!
Located in the South Pacific, the island nation of Vanuatu continues to be #1 in the ranking of the world’s happiest countries. Enough said, right? Besides tonnes of smiles, the sleepy archipelago also offers picture-perfect waterfalls, some of the world’s best wreck diving, deserted white sand beaches, a very accessible and terrifyingly active volcano, and even the chance to rent your private island for the day.
Whether you prefer to have an active adventure-packed trip, or a relaxed vacation consisting of (too much) good food and an empty white sand beach, Vanuatu has it all! The best time to visit is from May to October; making it the perfect winter getaway.
Peru is the perfect getaway for affordable adventure travelling. Follow the paddle-strokes of David Attenborough spotting jaguars on a canoe down the Amazon. Trample the same ground as the subjects of the ancient Inca Empire leading you to the truly breathtaking site of Machu Picchu. Take a break from your adventures and get to know delightful locals over a glass of Pisco Sour, or two, while practising your Spanish.
From watching spectacular sunsets on giant sand dunes to joining a holy pilgrimage to an Andean peak believed to be a god, the options are plentiful. No matter what you choose to do, don’t forget to indulge into some of the world’s freshest, tastiest, and most diverse cuisine – treat your taste buds and wallet and head to the local market.
Be sure to consider an off-season visit for the most rewarding and grounding experience – the Peruvian wilderness is best to be explored without trails of tourists.
A land full of beauty, culture, history, and, nature – Argentina will always have a special place in my heart. Whether you take in the awe-inspiring beauty and silence of Patagonia, or you tango through the night in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires, Argentina offers endless opportunities to dive into its rich culture. On a side note, Argentina is the proud founder of the highly celebrated Friend’s Day (20 July); a great reflection of its society’s social nature.
Despite the fact that the home of some the most spectacular waterfalls on this planet has faced plenty of rough times, Argentinians never seemed to have lost their traditions, pride, or humour, which makes it a delightful country to visit.
5. New Zealand
There are only a few words that accurately describe New Zealand. Epic is one of them. Here is why.
Besides the staggering variety of picturesque destinations Aotearoa has to offer, the friendly down-to-earth Kiwis combined with a rich variety of cultures make it the perfect place to explore for young and old. While it is a struggle to get to New Zealand due to its remote location, you will struggle to leave once you are here. In my case, I planned to visit New Zealand for six months before heading back to pursue my studies in Europe. Three and a half years later I am writing this post from my home in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Which one of the above countries would you most like to explore?