We may not be packing for our next great adventure but there are days when we take time out of our busy schedules to pour over maps and travel guides and begin dreaming of our next trip. In anticipation of future trips, the following are 5 places we cannot stop dreaming about:
For many people, the very word ‘Serbia’ has taken on a pretty negative sound, one that evokes memories of wars and troubles dating back to the painful break-up of Yugoslavia in the early nineties. Things are far better there now though. The nation has opened up a fair bit to the EU and the wider world around them. This is probably the perfect time to visit – get in before everyone else does. Many have family trees that link back to here and we can’t help but wonder what adventures a quest to rediscover long lost family would lead us to.
Mexico City, Mexico
Americans often tend to regard Mexico with more than a bit of suspicion. The motives are no doubt colored by violent movies and exclusive negative news flow; however, Mexico City is not a place to be missed. No matter what method you use to count, it is one of the biggest cities on earth, populated by more than 20 million people. We would love to explore what the mega city has to offer in terms of culture, food, and sights.
Allow me to casually drop one name on you: Transylvania. If you’re anything like us, that ought to evoke images of fortified castles sitting among dark and foreboding mountains; backwards villages where garlic-and-pitchfork toting locals are going about their days, always with one eye on the local lord and his late-night habits. Located in the Carpathian mountain range, this province was recently described to me as “what the Alps were like 100 years ago.” Apart from Transylvania, Romania also has a ton of interesting culture and sights, and it’s generally a lot cheaper than the rest of Europe. Spring in Bucharest, anyone?
Mustang is so rich in culture that it is often thought of at being more Tibet than Tibet itself. The thought of clearing that Kagbeni checkpoint and venturing into the kingdom itself is one we cannot get out of our head. Extreme remoteness combined with fees and the legal obligation to bring a liaison office along keeps most tourists at bay. And if Mustang seems to be too exploited there’s also the similarly alluring Doplo regions to explore to the west. You’ll be surrounded by 8000m peaks, all-world scenery and Dal Bhat Tarkari makes this a personal favorite.
The Aral Sea, Uzbekistan
A visit to this ecological disaster zone will definitely have to be filed under “adventure travel” rather than sunbathing or relaxing. The lake is located in Qaraqalpakistan, a remote region of Uzbekistan. Once you reach the towns around the lake shore, there are still 8 hours of dried up sea bed to traverse before you’re actually at the lake.