I like to say to my friends and family that I think I was born into this world far too late. I have a burning desire inside of me to explore and there are very few places in this world that haven’t already been explored. Having read books about Livingstone’s exploration of Africa and Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the American Northwest, I think it would have been so amazing to venture out into the unknown, not knowing what you would see or what experiences you would have. However, while I may not be the first to explore the amazing landscapes on this planet, that doesn’t mean that experiencing and exploring them won’t help me expand my horizons and grow as a person. That’s why I like to keep a travel bucket list of the travel adventures I want to have before I die. By sharing this list with you, I hope to ignite in you some of the passion for travel and exploration that I have burning inside of me.
Let’s face it, in many aspects the year 2020 was an absolutely miserable year. Tens of millions of people around the world were infected with the Coronavirus and millions of people lost their lives. Even for those who managed to avoid getting sick, our lives were thrown into turmoil as countries shut down, quarantines were put into place, and our daily routines were largely effected. Many industries have been critically effected by the shutdowns, quarantines, and restrictions, and one of those that was hardest hit was the travel and tourism industry. With most countries closing their borders, airlines, hotels, restaurants, and tourism-centered businesses have really struggled to stay afloat. However, now that the calendar has turned and vaccinations are starting to get rolled out, it seems like the long nightmare of 2020 may soon finally be behind us. In anticipation of international travel opening back up, I have outlined some of my Top 2021 Travel Destinations to start inspiring you to travel again.
Starting on January 26, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States will be expanding their negative COVID-19 testing requirement to include all air passengers entering the United States. The aim of the new US COVID-19 Travel Policy are to slow the spread of the virus within the United States and to prevent new strands that have been appearing from getting into the country. The major airlines in the United States have shown their support for the new COVID-19 Travel Policy and will be working with the US government to enforce the policy. This new policy is inline with the COVID-19 travel policies for many other countries around the world, which have been effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
If you follow my blog closely, you probably know that one of my biggest travel passions is exploring beautiful wilderness locations. Often times, that involves long hikes or climbs, but when I visit snowy cold weather locations, my favorite way of exploring is by snowshoeing. While hiking does require some equipment, such as adequate hiking boots or shoes to stay safe, snowshoeing requires quite a bit more equipment. Beyond the obvious need for snowshoes themselves, in order to be safe and comfortable while snowshoeing, one needs to make sure they have a myriad of other equipment with them. That is why I decided to create this snowshoe gear guide to assist eager explorers such as yourself.
What started out as a project to determine which countries I could visit internationally and what safety protocols were in place for those countries quickly turned into an exercise to inform you, my beloved readers, on what international travel options are available for Americans at this time and what health and safety protocols are in place throughout the world. I am hopeful that this information is helpful as you start to look at making plans to travel internationally again.
When I started this blog a few years ago, my primary goal was to pass along some of the travel related wisdom that I have picked up over my years of travel. However, it was also to spark conversation about travel and learn some things from you, my fellow travel enthusiasts. The comments, tips, feedback, and encouragement that I have gotten from you in the comments of my articles over the years have been spectacular. Some of the great tips and feedback you have provided I have already factored into my own travel planning processes and even passed on some of the wisdom to others.
For some people, sitting back and relaxing while traveling is just not in their DNA. I know that I am one of these people. When I travel, I always have to be doing something active. Depending on where I am traveling, it is typically kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, sky diving, or my favorite travel activity, which is hiking. For me, there is no better way to appreciate the beauty of an area than to hike thru some of its most breathtaking landscape. In fact, I love hiking so much that sometimes I will plan an entire trip around a single hike that I want to do.
Traveling can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. Few other things in this world help to broaden your perspective and teach you about yourself. However, travel can also be extremely stressful. One way that you can help reduce the amount of stress that you feel when you travel and allow yourself more time to enjoy the experience is to have the right travel accessories with you on your trip. Having the right accessories can make you more comfortable, keep your belongings safe, and help you capture the special moments of your journey.
When I was a kid, my parents bought be a National Geographic subscription and I used to page through those magazines and imagine visiting the far-away places that I read about on those pages. I would pin the pull-out maps on my wall and circle the places that I really wanted to see. My imagination would run wild as I thought about what it would be like to visit some of the amazing destinations and experience some of the wonderful cultural festivals I read about. I guess you could say that is when I first started to put together a travel bucket list, which is something I still keep track of to this day.
For many travelers, finding the perfect beach is the key to finding the perfect travel destination. For these travelers, there is no interest in the hustle-and-bustle of sightseeing in a busy city or the sweat and breathlessness that goes with alpine hiking. Instead, they would prefer to trade the subway pass or hiking boots for a beach towel and some sunscreen. After all, soft sand, crystal blue waters, and lots of sunshine can really help recharge your batteries.