It’s time to set your New Year’s travel resolutions. “Wait, what? That’s a thing?” I hear you ask. Yea, guys, it is. I just made it up but I feel pretty confident it’s definitely going to catch on. It’s a pretty simple concept… all you have to do is think of all the beautiful places you want to visit this year and then make it happen. You might want to jot it down on a post-it so you don’t forget though, okay?!
This is the first time I’ve put together a ‘best of’ travel destinations and, like everything else I do, I want my recommendations to be genuine. So, each of these is based on my experiences visiting these beautiful places and I’m sure they’ll have you desperate to pack a bag and get out of here!
One of my all time favourite places I have ever visited, this incredible country is unlike anywhere else. Morocco’s beauty lies in its diversity. Walking through the winding streets of Marrakesh is both surreal and overwhelming, but nothing compared to the noise, smells and sights of the traditional Berber market. There is so much to take in you just can’t do it from ground-level, so you get your hands on some Berber tea and sit high above it all, trying to take in as much as possible.
From busy markets to the Atlas mountains, with a winding road littered with wandering livestock and snow-capped mountains, you layer on jumpers, scarves and beanies. Keep driving and you’re headed for the incredible Sahara desert, where you can ride a camel to the middle of nowhere and spend a night camping under the stars and freezing your butt off in a desert. The most surprising thing about Morocco was the beauty, friendliness and lifestyle of the people.
Why you should visit Morocco: From city to snow to desert, Morocco has an insane landscape that will blow your mind.
Coming to land in Iceland is like landing on the moon, I imagine. The rocky landscape near Reykjavik airport is almost unbelievable. In ‘summer’ the sun never sets and it seriously messes with your body clock, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something you can’t help but enjoy. Driving through this picture perfect country is life changing, it puts your existence into perspective when you stand in front of a natural, beautiful, perfect waterfall so large it could crush you in an instant.
The landscape is dramatic, rolling green hills dotted with bright wild flowers. Huge cliffs and natural gorges and geysers that shoot high up in the air, the beauty of the milky-blue thermal pools and the incredible black sand beaches. It is a place where you will take a million photos and still feel like you weren’t able to capture it.
Why you should visit Iceland: It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.
My favourite place I visited in 2014, Tokyo should be on every traveller’s bucket list. Stepping off the train onto the streets of Shibuya is like stepping onto the set of a movie. Everything is bright, clean, overwhelming and exactly as you had imagined it would be. Tokyo gets into your senses and makes you feel like anything is possible.
The people are so damn cool, they wear what they want, style their hair how they want and nobody looks twice. It’s a place where old meets new and everything is exciting and enjoyable, there’s no shortage of fun to be had. Batting cages, endless hours of karaoke, shopping for weird, quirky and cute trinkets, hanging out dog parks (where the pooches are better dressed than you are) and immersing yourself in a culture of peaceful, accepting, sweet people.
Why you should visit Tokyo: It’s like stepping inside a comic book, but better.
The first place people think of when they imagine the Netherlands, is Amsterdam. Instead of making a bee-line for the country’s capital city, visit one of the other smaller cities instead. Eindhoven is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, but walking through the streets you’d never guess it. The city is a strange, beautiful mix of quaint old buildings and very modern, clean, minimalist, well-kept new buildings.
You could easily fill an entire memory card of photographs if you spent a few days wandering Eindhoven. There is beautiful, bright street art around every corner. Lovely little cafes and restaurants just begging you to come inside and the locals are incredibly friendly, warm and welcoming. You can’t help but want to walk around and immerse yourself in this beautiful place, where old meets new and everything is cool!
Why you should visit The Netherlands: Because the Dutch can definitely teach us all a thing or two about being ‘cool’.
Okay, this one is a little biased. Being a born and bred Queenslander I can’t help but think I am blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. If you’ve never visited Australia, don’t limit your holiday planning to visiting Sydney or Melbourne. The Queensland coastline offers some of the best beaches you will ever find anywhere in the world. Why are they so good? Because the locals are proud of them and take great care in preserving them and keeping them safe and clean. Stepping onto a Queensland beach is like stepping onto a little patch of paradise.
The best beaches are spread out across the state and you’d be hard pressed to find a bad one, but my favourite Queensland beaches are Burleigh Heads, Agnes Water, Whitehaven and Noosa Heads. Queensland beaches are famous for being breathtaking and stunning people with how big they are, we’re talking stretches of white sand and blue water that look as though they go on forever.
Why you should visit the Queensland coast: You deserve to get lost in paradise.