As I’ve mentioned, I’m hoping to be able to make time in my travel schedule to see Jerusalem this year.
My husband Lief Simon wants to go to Malta. Globetrotting Correspondent Paul Terhorst is on his way to Uzbekistan for the first time, Overseas Property Alert Contributor Lee Harrison has prioritized Puebla on his 2019 travel wish list, and Lahardan Financial Chief Investment Strategist Leon Wilfan is dreaming of adventure this year in Hainan, China.
This week, other far-flung LIOS editors name the destinations at the top of their “If I could travel one new place this New Year it would be…” lists…
From Euro-Contributor Lucy Culpepper:
My 20-year-old son Sebastian and I have an ongoing competition to see how many countries he can visit by the time he’s 30 and whether he can beat my record (23).
When Sebastian announced early last year that he would be traveling to parts of Europe I have never been to, I became worried. So this year I am hoping to follow in his tracks to Slovenia, starting with a weekend in Ljubljana, the capital.
Sebastian loved Ljubljana for its great food, low-cost accommodation, beautiful architecture, blue-green Ljubljanica River, and the ease of travel to nearby Lake Bled, one of the great tourist attractions of the region. Ljubljana was a little like Vienna, according to Sebastian, but he preferred it because there were far fewer tourists and everything was less expensive.
Slovenia was part of the Austro-Habsburg Empire, which, I’m told, gives the capital’s architecture a distinctly graceful and elegant Habsburg feel.
Ljubljana is hailed as one of Europe’s most people-friendly cities, with car traffic restricted in the center and pedestrians and cyclists given priority. I’m looking forward to wandering around the city’s graceful squares and art-nouveau buildings, visiting art museums and the 16th-century castle, accessed via a funicular railway, and eating in restaurants and cafés serving the country’s Mediterranean-, Italian-, and Austrian-influenced food.
Sebastian stayed in a room in a local couple’s apartment (via Airbnb) for about US$14 a night. I think I might explore the more upmarket Vander Urbani Resort, run by a local (Ljubljancan, pronounced Lyu-blyan-chan) and an Australian.
From LIOS Editor-In-Chief Kat Kalashian:
Having last month returned to France after 11 years in other countries, I’m excited to be back in Europe full-time and to have the opportunity for domestic and regional travel that’s so easy on the Continent.
It’s hard to choose just one place that tops my list for this year. I’m planning a yoga retreat in Portugal and a few weekends in Berlin. I’ve not yet been to either place.
My travel calendar is partially dictated by our editorial calendar, and, in 2019, we’re excited to debut Montenegro, which will be featured in an issue of Overseas Living Letter this year. In this case, though, it’s a return trip, as I was in Kotor years ago.
If I had to give top billing to a single new destination for 2019, it’d be Morocco. I’ve wanted to visit for a decade at least, and the country was a runner-up on my list of possible honeymoon destinations (crossed off due to the cultural attitude toward public displays of affection!). Now that I’m back on this side of the world, travel there will be quicker and cheaper than it would have been coming from Panama, where I’ve been based for the past six years.
I’m dying to get lost in Marrakesh’s medina, to browse its souks (markets), smoke a nargile (water pipe), eat a traditional tagine (Moroccan stew), and sample the local fresh mint tea. With Berber, Arab, and European influences, this is one of the most culturally diverse and unique corners of the world. The art and architecture should be enough to keep me happily entertained for years…
From LIOS Managing Editor Charles Conn:
I grew up in a predominantly Catholic country and have visited predominantly Muslim ones, but I’ve not yet experienced life in a Buddhist country.
That’s why, if I could travel to just one new place this New Year, it would be Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The country has a tortured past, a genocide that took place within living memory during which intellectuals and artists were eliminated and millions more were killed. The population’s collective psyche is still healing, but the new generation is waking up to the rest of the world, embracing tourism and education as the way forward.
Yes, I want to see Angkor Wat, the famous ruins that have helped make nearby Siem Reap, with its French-colonial history, a magnet for international travelers. But I also feel inexplicably drawn to the sense of hope that seems to be bubbling up here, calling me to understand the secret behind the Khmer smile seen gracing the ancient statues as well as the faces of the resilient people of Cambodia today.
From Ireland Correspondent Lynn Mulvihill:
Because my schedule allows me only one major trip a year, I had to make this very decision last month. My options for 2019 were Paris or Panama. And the answer was easy…
Paris will always be Paris—and it’s not so difficult for me to break away from my home in Ireland to visit the City of Light. But 12 years on since my last visit to Panama, I knew it was time for me to go back.
And, while Panama City is not an entirely “new” destination for me, from what I’ve heard from friends and colleagues over this past decade about the pace of progress, I expect the city to be unrecognizable (my memory is a skyline of cranes).
I’ll also have the opportunity to travel somewhere new this visit. I’ve heard so much about the wild beauty of Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast and am looking forward to a weekend at Los Islotes. Although I live close to the Atlantic Coast in Ireland, the Pacific is a whole other beast, with sunsets that are hard to beat.
So, next month, about the time real winter kicks in here in Ireland, I look forward to spending a little down time in sunny Panama in the company of friends old and new.