Top Travel Destinations For 2018
If you’ve never been to an Islamic country, I highly recommend you move Morocco to the top of your travel list. It’s a modern moderately Islamic country country ruled by a King. What does that mean to most travelers? Women are not required to wear hijab, there is freedom of religion and the country is relatively safe. Morocco is incredibly diverse in many ways. The landscape changes dramatically from Atlas Mountains to the Dades Valley giving away to the Sahara Desert and miles of coastline. There are world heritage cities like Casablanca, Marrakech, the epic medina city of Fez, Roman ruins to wander through in Volubilis or small hilltop towns like Moulay Idriss Zerhoun that remind me of small towns in Tuscany. There is something for everyone in Morocco
Malta is a jewel of an island in the middle of the Mediterranean quietly nestled between Africa and Sicily. It is part of the European Union, on the Euro Currency and only just over an hour flight from Rome or just three from London. The small island nation has been at the cross roads of history, that includes the Romans, Crusaders, Normans, British Empire and so much more. What’s amazing about this tiny island is that it offers plenty of historic sights, beautiful works of art by Carravaggio that cannot be missed, stunning beach life, and watersports. Gastronomically it is a hodge-podge of Sicilian, Greek and British Staples, with an occasional flare of Middle Eastern and African flavors. The seaside town of Valleta is reminiscent of a Venetian Era town in the Adriatic.
Once I started researching my trip to Mongolia, I realized the Mongolian Empire had reached far beyond it’s modern day borders. While the underwhelming capital reminds me of a derelict Soviet style Eastern block capital, it’s the national parks, timeless landscape and hospitable people that make this country special. On a horse trek with Stepperidders, I often felt that I was either the only human to set foot somewhere or simply one traveler in a long list dating back centuries. Don’t miss out on staying in a traditional ger and trying mare’s milk. Mongolia has not been spoiled by mass tourism and is an adventure travelers dream.
Umbria is the Italy of your dreams. There are rolling hills, endless vineyards, fairy tale hill top towns, but more importantly, the crowds are minimal compared to it’s popular neighbor Tuscany. The cuisine is distinct and the region has some of our favorite recipes we have brought home with us. Pick up a car after a visit in busy Florence or Rome and hit the road for the countryside to truly escape the big crowds and overwhelming tour groups. Renting an agriturismo, a local farm house, will give you a profoundly remarkable experience that cannot be found in the big cities.
There is no doubt that Amsterdam is a world class city. There are a variety of museums housing some of the most famous works of art, Ann Frank’s House, and the charming canals throughout the city. But what was once old is now new. The Rijksmuseum has recently completed it’s renovation. But in my humble opinion, Amsterdam is slowly becoming a very strong foodie city. Along with amazing Indonesian restaurants (don’t miss having a “rice table,” rijsttafel) harkening back to the days of the Dutch East India Company, there are plenty of hip new places to eat. On my recent trip, I enjoyed brunch at trendy Little Collins, tried a variety of foods at the very fun Foodhallen, and hired my own boat for a picnic along one of Amsterdam’s gorgeous 17th century canals. It’s very easy to move beyond delicious croquettes to chef’s who are capitalizing on hungry hipsters.
This city never gets old on so many levels. Even though the center is centuries old and can feel a bit grimey, it has a certain charm that still shines from the Dutch Golden Age. Walking to the opening of @amsterdamdanceevent I couldn’t help but to stop and admire this random canal. • • • #amsterdam #dutch #nederland #holland #rtwtrip #adventuretravel #nature #canalsofamsterdam #canals #simple #architecture #architecturephotography #travelgram #travelstoke #traveltips #bikeride #travelambassador #wanderlust #outdoors #cityscape #citylife #europe #frommers #ricksteves #pasadenacharm
In case you were wondering, all of the hipsters from Silverlake and Brooklyn have moved to Amsterdam. There are so many eateries and food options now! This is the next foodie capital. I regressed to chips with Dutch mayo, a herring and maybe a croquet or two. • • • #foodie #foodporn #foodphotography #amsterdam #iamsterdam #europetour #rtw #rtwtrip #travel #travelgram #travelblogger #travelstoke #traveltips #amsterdamdanceevent #wandurlust #citylife #cityscape #dutch #passionpassport #cntraveler
Burgundy Region, France
One of the best weekend trips I’ve ever taken in France was to Burgundy. At the heart of the region is historic Beaune. They have a wonderful market on Saturday that makes the heart of any foodie skip a beat. The Montrachet wine region is so highly respected, and the wines are so coveted, that Napoleon’s troops used to salute the vineyards as they marched past. I suggest staying in a one of the many Chateaux in the region and spend some time exploring the wine, culinary tradition and historic sights of this area. A dinner at Le Montrachet will be the highlight of any visit. For me, it still remains one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life.