Can you believe the new year is nearly here? All the big publications have published their annual “Where You Should Go in 2017” articles, and I’ve had a chance to scroll through and pick my favorites. While these lists are great at getting the imagination going, it’s hard to choose! Most of us don’t have the luxury of country hopping every month, so I thought I’d compile a fun way to help you decide.
Remember take all of these with a fun grain of salt. I know there’s about a million more reasons to visit each of these countries than just what I list, and the reasoning can be applied to a number of other places as well.
If you love more outdoorsy activities…
Is it just me, or does Canada invoke images of long hikes, camping, and gorgeous scenery in anyone else? I know there’s an incredibly vibrant city life in the likes of Toronto or Vancouver, but when I picture planning a trip up north in 2017, I picture investing in a solid pair of hiking boots.
If you actually took your high school Spanish classes seriously
Just kidding. I only use that as a descriptor because I actually did take my Spanish high school classes seriously–enough to continue on and get a BA in Hispanic Studies in college. And yet… I’ve never been below the border. I’m ready to explore Ecuador (and the nearby Galapagos), practice my Spanish, and be told very curtly that I’m dishonoring the language by attempting to speak it after barely using it for two years. *cough*
For the advanced francophiles…
If you’ve already been to Paris and want to see more of the countryside, 2017 is the year to do it. Lonely Planet, Traveller, and Travel + Leisure have all put the country or a town in the countryside in their lists. If we’re being honest, it’s not hard convincing anyone to go to Paris. Photos of the Eiffel Tower, Instagram accounts dedicated to the city, and even just the mention of its name is enough to get even the most resistant traveler to contemplate their passport status. But many have a hard time seeing beyond Paris, and that’s a shame. I personally want to rent a car and travel all around the French countryside someday, preferrably when I or when I’m with someone who can speak the language fluently.
If you want a mix of culture and relaxation…
I know what you’re thinking. Um, shouldn’t this fall under “If you studied Spanish in high school” too? Yes, yes it should, but that’s no fun having two under one. So I made a separate category. Plus, when I think of how Mexico was presented on IG and the internet last year, I imagine Tulum, beaches, and some truly fantastic ruins thrown in. Let your 2017 trip be an interesting mix of culture and relaxation as you spend time between exploring its long history and swimming around cenotes.
If you want adventure…
I don’t know about you, but anywhere in the Middle East or a desert area sounds like an adventure to me. Considering I grew up in the suburbs and spent half of my life in a pool, somewhere like Oman is incredibly far out of my comfort zone. Both Lonely Planet and Travel + Leisure put Oman on their lists of must sees in 2017, and I’m inclined to agree. And hey, if you’re itching to teach abroad, it’s a pretty good place to look ;)
If you’re a shutterbug…
You won’t believe how photogenic Portugal can be. When I visited back in college, it was on a whim, and I had zero expectations. Lisbon is a pastel colored gem that’ll have you whipping out your camera more times than you’d like to admit. Take some trips out of the city, and you’ll find some gorgeous scenery. For starters, look towards Cascais, Sintra, the Azores, and Porto.
If you’re a European history buff…
Russia, Russia, Russia. Even today it plays quite a role in international affairs. I’ve always been interested in Russian history (probably because, despite its total inaccuracy, Anastasia was in my top 3 favorite animated movies with The Swan Princess and Pocahontas). I remember pouring over website articles about the Romanovs in sixth grade, and I’ve always wanted to visit since. Plus half of my family comes from Russia.
If you know Africa is more than the media likes to show…
If this “Daily Show” clip made you laugh, and you can name quite a few bloggers who count Cape Town among their favorite destinations ever, then I don’t need to spend much time persuading you too. I’m more than excited to be entering 2017 in Cape Town, and I can’t wait to get back to you guys with all I’ve seen and learned. I’m personally pretty darn excited to see Bo-Kaap in person.
If you’re a beauty and fashion fanatic…
I mean, I <3 Korea. Being a beauty and fashion fanatic is just one layer to all the country can offer. You can easily find countless articles professing that love across this blog, but I’ll link a few here ;). I’m missing my second (third?) home and pretty excited to see it listed in so many lists for 2017. Here’s to you, ya beaut.
If you love architecture…
This picture doesn’t even really do it justice (snapped this on an iPhone in Segovia). More than any other country I’ve visited, Spain has really wowed me with its architectural history. The sheer mix of European and Arabic styles is truly something special. I might be biased though, I did take a whole semester’s worth of Spanish Architecture to really learn all its ins and outs.
Don’t just take my word though. Look up the Mezquita Catedral de Córdoba and decide for yourself!
If you love a little luxury…
I think you’d have a hard time finding someone who would say no to a trip to Switzerland, no matter what time of year it is. While it’s definitely a more expensive country, I’d pinch my pennies a little more to go. Every time I see a post or photo of the country, I immediately wish I could transport there instantly.
If you’re on a bit of a budget…
If you’re on a budget or want to live like a queen, but one meal in Switzerland makes you balk, Thailand is for you! Many students choose it as their first travel abroad country for good reason. It’s quite accustomed to tourists, so you won’t have trouble getting around, and everything is inexpensive. Thai food deserves all the awards because it’s so delicious. Plus, each part of the country offers something different. Whether you want something more chill up north, the hectic pace of Bangkok, or the beaches of the south, you’re spoilt for choice.
And of course, feel free to ignore this list and any list out there for 2017, and visit wherever you want!
Let me know! Where are you headed to in 2017?
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