“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
For most, each new year marks a time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and promises for self-improvement. We make resolutions to get in shape, lose weight, improve career paths, and the like. But for me, it’s just another day. The clock doesn’t just stop and reset at midnight. It’s a continuous countdown until your last day. No one knows if you’ll get live to see all 365 days of 2017, so it’s best to seize each day and live life authentically, unapologetically, and doing what you love.
So, this year I will continue to seek out new and exciting experiences around the world and share my stories, in hope that it inspires and motivates someone to live their best life.
So, without further ado, here’s my 2017 Travel Hit List:
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Home to the largest port in Europe (and fourth largest in the world), Rotterdam is a must-see destination when visiting the Netherlands. The sister city to nearby Amsterdam, Rotterdam is known as a city of architecture. Be sure to take a tour of the city’s architecture in the city center which offers a complete overview of what the twentieth century has produced in terms of modern architecture and design. My boyfriend hails from Rotterdam, so I’m looking forward to visiting more of his family, friends and colleagues this year.
What’s not to love about London? Bridges, royals, fish & chips, sexy accents. You could also soak up some culture at London museums, visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace, or take the perfect picture with Big Ben; just some of the many iconic places to go in London. Even better, many London landmarks are free to visit, while others are available with discounted entry or special offers when using a London Pass.
I’ve been to Rome once before, but I think some cities need deeper exploration. Rome today is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world, due to the incalculable immensity of its archaeological and artistic treasures, as well as for the charm of its unique traditions, the beauty of its panoramic views, and the majesty of its magnificent parks. From the Roman Colosseum to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican, Rome offers an extensive collection of attractions from aqueducts, fountains, churches, palaces, historical buildings, the monuments and ruins of the Roman Forum, and the Catacombs.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Voted the top travel destination for 2017, Tel Aviv is high on this year’s hit list. Amazing beaches and restaurant terraces and a lively arts and social scene, Tel Avis offers the best of both worlds. I’m looking forward to visiting JAFFA, the old part of the city where hip boutiques are springing up in its ancient stone walls. Also, day trips to Jerusalem, the West Bank and the holy city of Bethlehem are also a must.
One of my resolutions for the year is to explore more of Africa. My boyfriend has always wanted to see the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda, so this will be our major adventure for the year. Outside of trekking primates, I would love to check out the colorful markets in the capital city of Kigali. Rwanda is most notably known for the Rwandan Genocide, which resulted in the mass slaughter of over 800,00 Tuisi by the Hutu majority in 1994. Even with such a dark past, the city of Kigali with its lush hillsides, flowering trees, winding boulevards and bustling streets, is arguably one of the most attractive capital cities in Africa, as well as one of the cleanest and safest.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
For my 30th birthday (eek!) in May, I’m thinking of jet-setting to the dreamy coastal region of Campania, which is home to unspoilt cities of Postiano, Naples and Sorrento. I’m looking forward to scenic, artistic, and culinary experience of epic proportions. Hopefully I can manage day trips to explore the splendors of Capri, Pompeii, and Ravello as well.
New Orleans, Louisiana
I’ve been to NOLA more times than I can count, but needless to say, it’s one of my favorite U.S cities. The food, the culture, the music, the people, the bayous. I love it ALL. There’s a feeling you get in New Orleans, that you won’t get anywhere else on Earth. It could be that the people make you feel like family. Maybe its the gumbo. Who knows? My Mardi Gras days are behind me, but I do want to attend one of the spring festivals, like the French Quarter Fest.
So, I’m on a quest to see all New Seven Wonders of the World. I’ve already checked off three: the Great Wall of China, the Roman Colosseum, and the Chichen Itza in Mexico. With four left to go: Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer, Taj Mahal and the city of Petra, I’d love to see Petra and check this one off my bucketlist. I also can’t wait to float in the Dead Sea and visit Wadi Rum.
What destinations are you planning to travel to this year? What’s on your 2017 travel hit list? Comment below!