With the end of 2015 fast approaching and no new destinations on the docket this year, I’m already thinking ahead and scheming where to travel in 2016.
Basing myself in Europe for the foreseeable future means I’ll probably limit myself to the European continent and anywhere else within a few hours by air for the sake of maintaining my sanity (you probably know pretty well by now that sprouting roots somewhere is my heart’s true desire), but that doesn’t mean I’m not dreaming of farther-flung destinations as well.
This list is a combination of both places I’ve been to and highly recommend to you as great travel destinations for 2016, and places high on my list of priorities to tackle in the new year.
Without further ado (and in no particular order), my travel destination wishlist and top picks for 2016:
Top City Picks
I was fortunate enough to travel to Wroclaw, Poland this year on my tour of Eastern Europe, and what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be! I’d go back in a heartbeat given the chance. And this year will be the perfect time to do so, as Wroclaw has been designated a European Capital of Culture in 2016. Cultural events and exhibitions will be taking place throughout the year, giving visitors an in-depth look at Wroclaw’s significance in Europe’s history.
San Sebastian, Spain
San Sebastian, Spain, is known far and wide as a must-see destination for foodies, and BONUS! It’s also been designated a European Capital of Culture for 2016 alongside Wroclaw. I can only imagine the fun and festivities this beautiful seaside town will be hosting in the coming year, but I know I want to be a part of it.
Having never set foot in east Asia, I’m both fascinated and intimidated by it. The cultures there seem unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The excitement and energy of a big, modern city like Tokyo is something I just know I’d love, and I’m itching for a bit of good old-fashioned, knock-you-on-your-ass culture shock.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one city I regrettably didn’t have time for this past summer, but one I know I would have loved. In fact, maybe it’s better that I didn’t go, because it would have made narrowing down my choices of where to live even harder. But I’ve seen the photos and read the travel tales of this vibrant destination, and it’s one I plan to make time for sooner rather than later.
Berlin has a growing reputation among the digital nomad community as an ideal base, which is a large part of its appeal to me. The cost of living is low compared to many other parts of Europe, and it’s home to a robust community of expats. Not to mention incredible street art, food, beer, music–need I go on?!
Copenhagen often loses points among travelers for its reputation as an expensive travel destination, but you just can’t deny its beauty and charm. I’d love to see it for myself.
My stopover in London this summer was such a tease, and I’ve been dying to give the city some proper attention ever since. It’s one of those classic destinations that draws visitors in droves every year–and for good reason. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve made friends with loads of Londoners over the years and would love the opportunity to catch up with them on their home turf.
Top Country Picks
If you’re a travel blogger, there’s a good chance you’ll be headed for the Philippines next year as Manila was recently announced as the host city for 2016’s TBEX Asia. And travel blogger or no, the Philippines has SO many draws, including some of the most pristine beaches I’ve probably ever laid eyes on (in photos, of course) and verdant countryside that could make the Scottish Highlands weep with envy. Despite all the time I’ve spent in Southeast Asia, the Philippines have so far eluded me, and I hope to change that soon.
food connoisseur professional eater that I am, Mexico is at the top of my list. Oh, did you not know Mexico was an amazing food destination? My god, is it ever–I’ve had to practically mop up my saliva after reading posts like this one. Mexican beaches hold some appeal to me, but not anywhere near as much as the big cities do with all of their culture and music and food and…you get the idea.
Why Norway? To see the northern lights, of course! There are certainly other places to do so, but this will probably be one of my most convenient options in 2016. And I could even drop in on Heart My Backpack who’s currently based in Trondheim–bloggers tend to make amazing tour guides if I do say so myself! You’ll show me around, right Silvia?!
How I’ve managed so much time in Southeast Asia without stepping foot in Myanmar is baffling to me. I was even still living in Thailand when the country re-opened its borders back in 2012, and I failed to capitalize on the opportunity. Sadly, I fear that Myanmar is a place best visited in its early years of open borders, before it succumbs to inevitable Westernization.
As with Myanmar, I’d love to visit Cuba while it’s still more or less untouched by Western influence, and now that border relations with the US have ‘normalized’ to some degree, I fear that influence won’t be far behind. I don’t travel the world in search of new locales to enjoy a Starbucks coffee or a McDonald’s burger, believe it or not, and I’d love to know Cuba before these major corporations take over.
Oh, Montenegro! I fell so hard for this diminutive Balkan country this summer and think it should be at the top of everyone’s travel wishlist. I know I’ll be back one day, if not in 2016.
I’m sure new destinations I haven’t even considered will soon be on my radar, and when all is said and done, I’m sure my 2016 travels will look absolutely nothing like this, but it’s always fun to daydream!
Where are you planning to travel in 2016? I’d love to hear which destinations are at the top of your wishlist.