Vacationing in a post pandemic world is a lot more focused than it used to be. Keenly aware of the fragility of humanity and the urge to maximise brief moments of respite, travellers are leaning towards more localised experiences. Researching for the chosen destination of travel is its own beast and let’s just say, could have its own weekly update meeting with other fellow travellers. What’s exciting is that the leading travel trend is to spend as much time in one place to have a rounded experience. Instead of packing and unpacking across coasts in a matter of days, settle your roots in a city or a province to learn more about it and yourself as you navigate.
You will be pleasantly surprised to find that the taste of authentic cuisine will never be comparable to whatever version of it you may have had in the best restaurants of your hometown. That a place’s unique character lies in the people and how they spend their time doing the most mundane of activities. Over and above, the mediations one has when immersed in life different from your own, are lessons that make travel an enriching experience. Without further ado, here are some Some of the most off-beat travel destinations to visit this year.
Sardinia is its own island in the Southern coast of Italy. Surrounded by azure Mediterranean waters that glistening like diamonds scattered in the sun and dotted along the coastline with mysterious Bronze sculptures. If you’ve visited Italy before and cannot bear the sluggish tourist riddled hotspots of the country, hop onto a quick flight for this marvel. But lazing by the coastline guzzling Aperol Spritz is not all Sardinia is known for. Look for curated guides and boutique stays that introduce you to the regions vineyards, churches riddled with historic frescos. History buffs can explore the archeological ruins of the city of Cagliari. However, no trip to the island would be complete without a visit to the La Maddalena archipelago. If you really want to live it up, hit the Costa Smeralda for some of the finest resorts and reportedly one of the most expensive destinations to visit in all of Europe.
Alaska Railroad/ Anchorage
We admit this little oddball here doesn’t exactly qualify as a destination and dropping a live location might be more apt but if there’s a trip you would talk about for years to come, this is the one. Anchorage is the largest city in the state of Alaska, the largest state of the United States. Home several Indigenous people, this undiscovered gem has a layered history of colonisation. You can discover local traditions and the food against the picturesque backdrop of Anchorage. Gold mining, riding ATVs, canoeing, private boat charters to spas, there’s tons to do in the city from where you can embark on a luxury train journey of the Alaska Railroad. A 2-3 days long pass will transport you to the Denali National Park where you can spend a night in a hotel. The best part? Glass domed railcars that ensure you don’t miss a moment of the picturesque journey.
Midnight sun–there’s a handful of places on the earth that can put those two words together in a sentence not hyperbolic. This city in Norway has a brief window of time where it records the sunniest month of the year. While many pass Tromsø on their search for the Northern Lights, you can experience the craziest of daylight hours here as well where for a few weeks, you can see the sun at midnight. Hop onto a luxury yacht to experience the phenomenon at leisure. Adventure lovers can pack themselves into a cable car or even take a hike for the rush of adrenalin. Whichever route you chose, experiencing this will be a transformative moment in your life. Did we mention, there’s often a concert when the city experiences the midnight sun?
While many White Lotus fans are sure to flock Italy this year, OGs will argue that season 1 triumphs in its eccentricity. Don’t hold back from picking the capital of Hawaii as your next travel destination, albeit not with the callousness of the cast of your favourite show. Packed with historical significance, local culture, cuisine and geographical marvels, Honolulu offers a balance of city and island life. The cocktails here should be classified as their own cuisine.
Home to K-pop, K-drama heartthrobs, K-beauty and all things Hallyu, Seoul needs time to unpack. It’s a destination we recommend visiting with a friend equally obsessed with the Korean wave than just a romantic partner in tow. Then again, maybe you have succeeded in convincing them of its greatness and you want to see that first snow with your SO for obvious reasons. You can make a list of destinations spotted in your favourite drama, rent a Hanok (traditional Korean style home) on Airbnb whilst visiting restaurants serviced by robots. Nowhere else will you experience these extremes while experiencing a mindblowing fare. Did we mention, Seoul is hot on coffee at the moment?