When wanderlust hits you, it won’t let go. You know, the feeling when home just doesn’t cut it anymore, and you want to see what’s out there. Suddenly you find yourself obsessively looking up every destination possible on the Internet, longingly daydreaming about packing a suitcase and going far, far away. These are four trips that are on my travel bucket list, which I’m sharing with the hopes that it will inspire you to make your own travel plans. So start putting some bills in that wanderlust fund and daydream away, because you’re going to want to hop on that plane sooner than you think.
1. Berlin, Germany: Way More Than Just Beer and Sausage
Acclaimed as one of the “coolest cities” in the world, Berlin’s culturally rich and foodie-friendly climate will enchant your inner artist. Back in the 90’s, following the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990, cheap rent and the refreshed allure of freedom brought many creative minds that helped make the city what it is today. There are must-sees such as the Brandenburg Gate (a huge 18th century monument that towers over the Western side of Berlin), the Reichstag (the iconic parliamentary building with a glass dome on the roof), the Museumsinsel (an actual island with a collection of museums on it), and the remnants of the Berlin Wall. You can make your trip about architecture, food, art, or parties. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Staying at the Sir Savigny Hotel will provide you with a central location in West Berlin and a chic experience at an affordable price. The hotel rooms are even curated with art pieces by local artists. The rest of Germany has a lot to offer travellers as well. A visit to the Black Forest, a beautiful, dense forest located on Germany’s Southwest border with France (AKA the forest where Hansel and Gretel got lost) will satiate your desire for the great outdoors. Plus, many German landscapes are super Insta-worthy.
2. Norway: Whale Watching and Arctic Experiences
If you’re the type of person who enjoys fitting some exercise into your travels, going to Northern Norway could be just the right place for you. Just above the Arctic Circle in Norway sits the Lyngen Lodge, an all-inclusive hotel that provides some dynamic activities set to a beautiful backdrop which features the Aurora Borealis and the Scandinavian Mountains. From September to March, you can enjoy whale watching, dog sledding, and snowshoeing, as well access to the hotel’s hot tubs. There are also a number of whale watching cruises to choose from if saying hi to beautiful, friendly orcas is your thing. With it’s beautiful snowy scenery and cozy hotels, like Lyngen Lodge, Norway could be the perfect romantic getaway for you and your winter boo.
3. Costa Rica: Wildlife and Yoga
Visiting Costa Rica is one of my lifelong dreams. According to Lonely Planet, it’s one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, full of tropical fish, birds, flowers, butterflies, and monkeys! Conservation laws in Costa Rica protect a good portion of the wildlife and natural beauty found typically in national parks such as Parque Nacional Corcovado. Ecotourism is a common practice, so rest assured you’re not harming any cute sloths when visiting the parks! Yes, you read that right, two species of sloths dwell in Costa Rica, especially in the southern regions along the Pacific Coast! Enjoy outdoor activities such as surfing and yoga in the Nosara Area, located on Costa Rica’s Nocoya peninsula in the Pacific ocean, and wildlife watching in Jaguar Centro de Rescate. No wonder Happy Planet Index named Costa Rica to be one of the happiest countries on earth.
4. U.S.A.: The Ultimate American Southwest Foodie Road Trip
As soon as I saw a feature story about the American Southwest in Bon Appétit magazine, I knew I wanted to go on a gourmet road trip through New Mexico and Texas . Their plan for the trip starts with New Mexican food in Santa Fe at Bang Bite Filling Station and ends with classic Texas barbecue at Cooper’s Old Time Pit in Llano, passing through all the best cafés, saloons, and microbreweries on the way. Although Bon Appétit’s road trip plan features some great recommendations, you could make the trip your own by making some improvised pit stops and discovering all that the American Southwest has to offer. I would suggest a visit to Bandelier National Monument while in New Mexico. The monument embodies traces of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived in the area for centuries. Their carvings in the volcanic rock as well as remains of their homes can still be witnessed today. Plus, you can spot some pretty interesting wildlife there, such as elk herds or mule deer. While in Texas, make sure to spend some extra time in Austin, especially if you love live music (who doesn’t?). The famous Continental Club will make you want to dance every night of the week and burn all the calories from eating tons of delicious barbecue. Before heading back home, don’t forget to visit some of Austin’s best vintage thrift stores for original souvenirs!