If you’re like me, you get the old travel bug, the itch to spread your wings and travel to someplace far off and exotic every couple of months.
Your idea of an exotic location may not be the same as mine, but I think we can all agree that traveling is one of the best things you can do in your life for mental well-being and self-education.
Whether you’re looking for a resort-type vacation, a secret surf spot, mountains to hike, or hanging with locals, here’s a list of great vacation spots to consider.
With fantastic weather year-round, you can’t really go wrong choosing to visit Costa Rica. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, Costa Rica offers something for everyone – from 5-star resorts to hidden little surf breaks, volcanos, lush jungles, or a family friendly all-inclusive resort.
And the food is incredible. A lot of the cuisine of Costa Rica is a fusion of indigenous dishes with Caribbean and European influences. The most popular traditional dish of Costa Rica is Pinto Gallo, a bowl of rice and black bean dish typically served at breakfast time.
Before exploring the lush rainforests, take in some of the local cuisine and flair. Bring a camera, pen and paper, snap pictures and write whatever thoughts that the incredible views of Costa Rica inspire you.
As a neighbor to the south of the U.S, Mexico is a country with over four different time zones with nearly 2 million kilometers of land spanning from North America to Central America, the Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico.
In other words, it’s large, and with that much land, you have all types of climates and topography to explore. For the thrill-seekers, there are plenty of secret surf spots throughout Mexico to check out.
Of course, there are the resorts of Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Mazatlan, and others, but there are plenty of incredible little villages and villas throughout the diverse countryside.
But pack light. Whether you’re at a secret surf spot, cruising through the jungles, or exploring the pyramids, take only the gear you need.
Since inspiration may strike anywhere and you just love music so much that you need to travel with a guitar, consider picking up travel size guitars that are lighter and easier to carry than traditional guitars. You have all the punch and tone of a regular guitar, just slightly smaller. Either way, traveling is so uplifting that you will find the mood to play, but a travel-size guitar will be more convenient.
If you’re more into the culture and heritage, then Mexico City is the place to go. As the center of culture and the seat of power and finance in Mexico, you can see hundreds of years all wrapped into a major contemporary city.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more unique and inspiring, check out the jungles of Mexico or the pyramids of central mainland Mexico.
Speaking of somewhere exotic, vacationing in Hawai’i can be an experience like no other. Want an inclusive resort experience, there are plenty to choose from, but if you really want to get the authentic Hawai’ian experience, rent a room from a local or on Airbnb.
The locals are amiable and proud of their heritage, so be respectful, and you’ll have the time of your life.
Local dishes vary from poi to lau lau to plate lunches, a quick, easy dish that includes protein, rice, and “mac salad.” Another local favorite to try is the Loco Moco. This dish is a hamburger dish the locals go crazy over (loco moko) served with egg and gravy.
On top of active volcanoes and hiking spots through waterfalls, Hawai’i is known for its ocean culture. One thing to be aware of is that the locals can be very territorial, especially to people in the water who are rude and don’t understand the rules. So it’s better to be polite and steer clear than to cut off a local for a wave. Instead, wait your turn or find a different location.
Like Mexico, Hawai’ian culture and the landscape can be breathtaking, but not to worry, there are plenty of music shops to pick up a guitar or ukulele to pretty much jam wherever you are on the islands.
Spain is an excellent choice for a vacation because of its diverse landscape, rich culture, and delicious food. From the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees to the sunny beaches of the Mediterranean, Spain has something for everyone. And with more than 50 million visitors each year, it’s no wonder that Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
First of all, it has a great climate, with warm weather even in the winter months. This makes it a great destination for a winter getaway. Spain is also home to some of the best beaches in Europe, with miles of coastline to explore. But what makes Spain truly special is its people and their culture. From flamenco dancers to bullfighters, there is no shortage of excitement in Spain.
And of course, no visit to Spain would be complete without trying some of its mouth-watering cuisine. Spanish food is renowned for being both delicious and healthy, making it a great option for those who want to enjoy good meals while on vacation. From paella to churros, Spain has a dish to satisfy every craving.
The centerpiece of any travel in Europe has to be Italy. From the ruins of the ancient Roman empire, including the Colosseum, to the northern mountainous regions, to the famous coastal villages, Italy is as diverse in culture as anywhere in the world.
In most centers of cities and towns in Italy, you’ll find vendors, bistros, cafes, and artists drawing, painting, and playing music. So take a moment to breathe in all the culture and enjoy the night on the town.
Of course, pasta is fantastic, as are Neapolitan-style pizzas, but the wine is one thing to be on the lookout for. Italy has some of the best vineyards and varietals globally, so finding time to sample and taste the delicacies will make the trip worth it.
A part of the old Yugoslavia, Croatia has a split history with the Slavic countries to the east and Italy to the west. In fact, much of the western part of the country, especially along the Dalmatia coast, is Italian renaissance inspired, including the architecture.
The sloping mountainous region of western Croatia harbors a large number of islands, including the island of Brac, home to one of the most stunning beaches in the world, Zlatni Rat.
Much of the cuisine is Mediterranean influenced, meaning seafood and pasta though some local delicacies do appear, especially stews and different types of goulash.
Wherever you travel, you’ll be taken in by the area’s beauty, amazed by the architecture, and awed by the people and culture. You may feel inspired to paint, draw, write your next masterpiece, or play music with the locals.
Either way, traveling will change you in the best ways possible, adding valuable experience rich in culture and understanding, providing you with a quality of life you never thought of before leaving your couch.