What is on your travel wish list for 2018? Comment below, we’d love to know!
And if you’re after some inspiration, this is what the team here at Vacations & Travel is dreaming of — everything from snow and ice to beaches, music and all kinds of wildlife.
Spotlight on Norway
Helen Hayes, Editor-in-Chief
There are so many places on my wish list on this incredible planet of ours, but if I had to pick one to visit in 2018 it would be Norway. Cruising the fjords, seeing the Northern Lights, exploring the wildly beautiful Lofoten Islands, and maybe even sneaking in some skiing at Voss or Hemsedal, would be a dream come true. Having done my first-ever river cruise, on the Rhône River in France in October, 2017, I have my sights set on another, perhaps on the Danube, the Mississippi or the Mekong. And to be really greedy, I have always wanted to go on the Trans-Siberian railway and the Orient Express. There is something therapeutic about watching a different world pass by the windows.
Botswana, here I come
Lana Bogunovich, Digital Editor
I’m a huge animal lover and eco-travel enthusiast, and Botswana is rich with those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that truly touch your soul. From the red, ripply sands of the Kalahari Desert to the wet grasslands of the Okavango Delta and sprawling savanna plains of Chobe National Park, this land-locked country is bursting with life and natural beauty. In addition to boasting the best and most high-end safari experiences in the world, 30 percent of Botswana’s land is protected, making it home to the largest concentration of wildlife in Africa. I’d go on safari and see families of elephants splashing in a waterhole and giraffes grazing on the leaves of the tallest trees, hear zebra and wildebeest thundering across the plains, feel the heat of the African sun, and marvel at the sheer power of the leopards, lions and cheetahs. I’d then return to my lodge, exhausted but elated, bursting with stories to share around the campfire, as a golden sunset gives way to a million stars.
Hit the right note in Nashville
Roshan Sukhla, Sub Editor
I recently became obsessed with the TV show Nashville and am dying to go to Music City – Nashville, Tennessee in the US. I want to see a performance at the Grand Ole Opry, where so many musical legends have graced the stage and then take a backstage tour of this esteemed venue. I can’t wait to visit the real-life Bluebird Café and witness up-and-coming singers in an intimate setting. The Ryman Auditorium is also on my list, as is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and beautiful Centennial Park. Of course, a trip to Nashville isn’t complete without visiting one or two honky-tonks to mix it up with the locals!
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
Trish Graf, Designer
I would be thrilled if I could visit Iceland in 2018, preferably sometime between September and April for the best chance of catching the Aurora Borealis. Apart from spending the nights searching for Northern Lights, I’d want to hit the geothermal pools across the country, starting with the possibly over-touristed but must-see Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik. Reykjavik itself is attractive for Iceland’s Viking history, to wander and tour some
of the modern architecture as well as Reykjavik Old Town, and to experience an ‘almost’ Arctic Circle/Scandi city. I’d also travel further afield to explore Iceland’s rugged and spectacular wilderness, west fjords and waterfalls, hopefully seeing more Northern Lights along the way.
Colin Ritchie, General Manager, Morris Media
Number one on my list is Cartagena on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is an ancient walled city that was the first major port established by the Spanish in the 16th century. It has wonderful colonial architecture, great beaches and offshore islands, has a good safety record and is not overrun with tourists. The American south is also on my list, particularly Savannah in Georgia and Charleston in South Carolina. Both are beautiful colonial cities; easy to walk around, with great food and interesting history. For pure beauty and relaxation, Aitutaki in the Cook Islands is where I want to go, to experience what is reported to be the finest lagoon in the Pacific, with a laid back vibe, friendly people and great snorkelling.
Top End touring
Avi Melniker, Publisher
Cruising the Kimberley and going off-road around Kakadu in the wet season are at the top of my bucket list for 2018. I am having a total and complete love affair with Australia some 14 years since leaving California. My off-road adventure would start in Darwin and take in Kakadu and Arnhem Land before heading south to Katherine and west to the Kimberley. I can’t wait to explore the gorges, feel that red, red earth between my toes, marvel at the waterfalls, learn about the local indigenous culture and feel the undeniable power of this ancient landscape.
Josipa Kosanovic, Digital Content Assistant
Beaches are white, red and black on the only inhabited caldera in the world. Before it was called Santorini, this small Greek archipelago was known as Kallíste¯, which means ‘the most beautiful one’ and, as a budding travel photographer and writer, I would like to take advantage of Santorini’s red cliffs, white windmills, blue domes, crystal clear water and the colours that dye the sky from deep purple to yellow and red. However, its geological uniqueness is not the only thing that attracts me to probably the most intriguing island of Greece. It is also its ancient history: it has amazing excavation sites, old traditional food markets, a local wine Visanto, ‘secret’ hot springs, and a relaxed atmosphere with soft live jazz music performed outdoors. Oh and who wouldn’t want to get around on a donkey?
Venice Warner, Intern
I would love to go to the Maldives this year because I am mesmerised by the pristine white sand and calming turquoise waters that I see in the pages of Vacations & Travel and on social media. I can see myself in one of the gorgeous over-water villas, diving off my own private platform into the lagoon, and swimming and snorkelling with the many fish frolicking among the coral reefs. At the end of the day, after a massage, I would sit in the resort bar sipping a cocktail and watching the sun set, bare feet sinking into the sand.