New Year’s Day is my favourite day of the year for a few reasons. The first being, the annual Polar Bear Swim in English Bay in Vancouver. For me, there is no better way to wash away the old and welcome the new year than immersing myself in freezing cold water for as long as I can stand it.
While the swim may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I’m pretty sure most would agree that the promise of a new calendar year brings thoughts of changes you want to make, new challenges to face and a list of places to travel. Here are a few of my top picks to fill your passport with joy.
Everyone should visit the Galapagos Islands at least once in their lifetime. The up close and personal experience with the local wildlife these islands offer has some travellers returning year after year. Swim with the sea lions, dance with blue footed boobies or witness the first flight of a waved albatross. There is a reason they are known as the Enchanted Islands.
Bring your own group and book a boat. If getting out on the water is in your plans for the new year you may want to consider getting your own group together. With as few as 8 people you can have a private departure, sailing the Greek Islands, Thailand, Croatia or the Canary Islands in Spain. Organizing a private departure can often mean a little savings for everyone on board too.
Follow the herd. The annual migration of millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles is one of the great wonders of the world. July to October is when the stars of the show, the wildebeest, are in the northern Serengeti and you will have a good chance of seeing them crossing the Mara River. Choose Tanzania over Kenya for viewing opportunities and if seeing the migration is a top priority in your safari experience it is a good idea to go with a tour operator that runs migration specific trips.
Looking for a challenge in 2023? Take a hike! The Inca trail in Peru is a great option for anyone of average fitness level. The ages of travellers in my group ranged from 20 to 72 and everyone finished. Hikers go at their own pace and, in my opinion, slower is better. Peru limits the number of permits available for the Inca trail so it is best to book early in the year for the best hiking season, June to September.
What is on your travel wish list for 2023? Contact me to start planning.
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