It is surprisingly common for people to take advantage of time off by traveling to familiar destinations rather than opting to explore a new place. This makes sense to some degree, as an unfamiliar locale may require more advance planning and may even seem a bit less comfortable upon arrival, but it is undeniably foolhardy to continue to take a vacation to the same place year after year. It is nice to head back to a favorite spot from time to time, but it is just as important to consider other alternatives and to experience different cultures.
Of course, I myself am guilty of this, as we all want to relive the wonderful travel experiences we have had in the past. I have found, however, that this is nothing more than fear of the unknown disguising itself as wistful nostalgia, so it is essential for travelers to break free of their comfort zones by committing to a new and exciting experience in unfamiliar territory. Over the years I have learned that overcoming this fear of the unknown is as simple as listening to the beautiful experiences other travelers have had on their own journeys. It is almost as though listening to someone set the scene for a story brings the location to life and makes it familiar in some vicarious fashion.
As a result, I make a point to ask other travel veterans about the destinations that rank highly among their personal favorites so I can feel all the more comfortable about heading someplace entirely new and completely unfamiliar. In many cases, these stories also lead me to plan a trip to a destination I would have never considered otherwise. The following four locations all represent a fellow traveling veteran’s favorite destination, and it is my hope that one or more of these destinations will inspire you to enjoy a wonderful experience in a unique setting.
Big Sur and the Redwoods
Many veteran travelers have become enamored with Big Sur’s natural beauty over the years, and it should come as little surprise that Acora recommends the destination to those who are unfamiliar with the Northern California gem. Just south of Monterey and completely unspoiled, Big Sur is the perfect refuge for those looking to escape the stresses of urban living. Redwood forests and the plunging coastline of the Pacific Ocean are all that is necessary for a fantastic journey, as visitors are able to enjoy daylong hikes that allow a total reconnection with nature. At one time a popular locale for literary icons and film stars, Big Sur’s current residents have maintained the spirit of creativity and culture that make the destination so unique.
Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast
Acora sees the whole of Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast as a perfect blend of conservation and development, as the country’s government has been incredibly resolute in making its coastlines accessible to visitors without destroying its natural appeal. An ideal destination for surfers and eco-tourists, Costa Rica is quickly becoming a more popular choice among expatriates for very good reason.
As the capital of Norway, Oslo has a great deal to offer visitors looking for history, culture and entertainment, yet the Scandinavian country is still somewhat overlooked by North American travelers. There is hope that this oversight will change, as the city is filled with many unique characteristics, particularly its rainbow-producing waterfalls. Though the city is known for being quite expensive, veteran travelers have long asserted that a suitable Oslo experience can be enjoyed by those on a limited budget, especially if visitors take the time to learn the language well enough to converse with some of the locals.
The French Alps
After visiting Alp d’Huez while watching the Tour de France as a spectator, many visitors realize that the real attraction is the surroundings and not the bikers tirelessly climbing the mountain’s many switchbacks. It is certainly recommended that travelers try to see the world’s most famous cycling race, but it should be noted that it is hardly a necessity to make a trip to the Alps more than worthwhile, and the area’s history and natural beauty are simply magnificent in every way imaginable.