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Maybe you have a resolution to travel more in this new year. Perhaps you don’t believe in doing New Year’s Resolutions at all, but recognize that now is always the time to live in forward motion. Regardless, there are some insane, next-level world getaways out there and they’re absolutely begging for your arrival.
Enter: Our ’20 for 2020’ list.
A multi-part series, these blogs will put you on the trail of excitement, adventure, beauty… hell, maybe even romance. Anything can happen in your quest to experience these world destinations, and all that wondrous potential creates the kind of energy we’re all trying to bring into 2020 with us.
So, let’s not waste any more time. You’ve got travel plans to arrange, after all!
Who hasn’t wanted to swim with jellyfish?
Actually, we imagine everyone. After all, their stings are… not pleasant. But there’s no cause for concern in Palau. A paradise located approximately 500 miles from the Philippines, its marine lake on Eil Malk island, Jellyfish Lake, features millions of jellyfish that migrate across its waters each day… and none pose a threat to humans. Their stinging cells aren’t advanced or powerful enough to harm a human unless you have an allergy to jellyfish, in which case, you’ll want to wear protective clothing. Regardless, Jellyfish Lake presents the opportunity for a truly memorable experience.
Up for a challenge? Why not trek to Everest Base Camp?
The hike to Everest Base Camp is a 5,340m journey and a 14-day “there and back” excursion into Sagarmatha National Park, located in the protected area of Nepal’s Himalayas. The ultimate destination is, of course, the foot of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain. While a simple photo op can be had, if you arrange for special permission, you may even be granted the opportunity to camp overnight at Everest Base Camp alongside climbers attempting the summit. You can bet they have some absolutely wicked stories to tell…
You don’t have to leave the good ‘ole U S of A to seek great adventure. We’ve got one of the most magnificent wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon—and you can raft the f*** outta it. The Colorado River long ago cut its way through the canyon, so if you’re feeling frisky, you can launch from Lees Ferry in Grand Canyon National Park and raft 443km to Lake Meade, enjoying swimming holes and Puebloan sites along the way.
You’ll need to book well in advance to enjoy the rapids, which range from I-IV in rating (the river as a whole is seen as IV-intermediate). Simply Googling “How to Raft the Grand Canyon” will return a range of commercial trip results for floating adventures that last from three days to multiple weeks.
New Zealand’s stupid gorgeous Fiordland region awaits—and you can experience the vistas of South Island anyway you like.
Milford Track is perhaps the most fantastic of all of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and you can experience the waterfalls, rain forests, and ice fields of the Fiordland National Park via the four-day, 53.5km hike from Lake Te Anau to Milford Sound, where you can kayak your ass off. Don’t forget to get high (we mean this literally in this case, not figuratively), because the majestic Mackinnon Pass offers killer panoramic views at 1,154m.
NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of a select few Dark Sky Reserves in the world. Because of the lack of settlements and the dry climate and cloudless skies, you’ll be able to see the stars like almost nowhere else on Earth. Of course, there’s plenty to do during the day, as well—you can stay at a desert lodge and take in the mountains, plains, and local fauna (zebra, antelope), or go big and hit the Tok Tokkie Trails for a three-day desert walk.
Not feeling Namibia? South Australia’s River Murray Dark Sky Reserve offers 3,200 square kilometers of star gazing, and it’s only 100km east of the capital, Adelaide. But really, take your pick… France, Quebec, Germany, Ireland… fantastic Dark Sky Reserve options are scattered across the globe.
Look out for Part 2 of this feature in the coming months!