22 Travel Pros Share the Best Place They’ve Ever Been
In honor of the new year, when the whole curious, beautiful world seems to loom expectant with possibility, we asked 22 travel experts: “Where’s the best place you’ve ever been?”
Those we spoke to — among them, the founder of Tiny Atlas Quarterly magazine, the director of the world’s largest adventure travel company and an affordable travel pro — travel constantly and, like all frequent nomads, struggle with this deceptively simple question: How to choose just one?? But after a little hedging and some flip-flopping, they each landed on the one place most etched in their brains — destinations (and experiences) that range from visually astounding to physically challenging to, in some instances, utterly life-changing.
Trancoso, Brazil“Trancoso, Brazil is the perfect combination of wild and untouched nature, very warm people and chic accommodations and restaurants. Brazilians do it better!” — Zoie Kingsbery Coe, founder of family travel firm Kid & Coe (Photo via Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa)
Amsterdam, Netherlands“I absolutely adore Amsterdam, and here’s why: It’s a beautiful bite-size European city, so it is a wonderful introduction to the continent for first-timers to Europe. Filled with art, canals, cobblestones and flowers, it has all the history of Paris and Rome, but it’s not overwhelming and is very easily walkable (or bikeable). Everyone is friendly and helpful, and most people speak English, so it’s easy to ask for directions or recommendations. Trains and buses are very accessible, which make day trips to smaller towns convenient and fun. I once spent an afternoon at a cheese market in the town of Gouda, which was a blast.” — Juliana Dever of Clever Dever Wherever (Photo via JeniFoto/Shutterstock)
Raja Ampat, Indonesia“Raja Ampat is a series of islands in the remote western region of Indonesia. They require a bit of work to get to — a couple buses, two flights and two boat rides — but they’re well worth the long journey! The diving is amazing — Raja Ampat has the most pristine underwater marine life I’ve ever seen. But even if you don’t dive, all the island piers have the most stunning coral reefs right under the dock! Visit Arborek village for top-notch snorkeling, Sawinggrai village to feed the fish or hike Pianemo for a view out over islands that create the shape of a star.” — Sher, photographer and editor behind Sher She Goes (Photo via Miniloc/Shutterstock)
Italy“Italy is a journey to the crossroads where culture, cuisine and community come together. Some have called it La Dolce Vita, but after traveling to Tuscany, Sicily, Sardinia, Venice, Rome, Florence and Trento, I’ve realized that it’s more than a simple motto. It’s finding meaning in the mundane, it’s elevating the everyday, it’s having harmony and happiness without needing a reason. It only takes one day of soaking up Italy’s sun-kissed scenery to discover that La Dolce Vita is more than a Fellini film. In Italy, the sweet life is the way of life.” — Monique Soltani, journalist and travel-show host (Photo via Cristina Gottardi/Unsplash)
Slovenia“Slovenia is absolutely stunning — the culmination of Germanic and Austrian cultures making way to a Venetian-style coastline. It’s rustic, charming, sophisticated and, at the same time, alternative: Hip, artsy coffee shops shoulder up to bavarian sausage stands across the cobblestones from old-world cathedrals. Ljubljana, the capital, is pedestrian friendly and a foodie haven. It’s affordable, the public transportation is second-to-none and it’s safe. Even serial travelers will stop in awe of this country’s beauty!” — Megan Lee, director of meaningful travel site GoAbroad (Photo via Tomas Kulaja/Shutterstock)
Dominica“Right now I’d say the Caribbean island of Dominica. It still feels largely undiscovered, the people are kind and every scene is Instagram-worthy.” — Kristin Kellogg, founder of online travel magazine and creative agency Border Free Travels (Photo via Shannon West/Shutterstock)
Patagonia, South America“We recently visited the Patagonia region of South America. A remote destination, Patagonia is uncrowded, stunningly beautiful and a great place to explore nature. If you like hiking or glaciers, you will not be disappointed.” — Elizabeth Rudd, cofounder of Compass & Fork (Photo via Travel Coffee Book)
India“I just got back from India, and I am already planning to return. The country is filled with so much beauty, the culture is unique and interesting, and the exchange rate is great for budget travelers. I only had the chance to tour the golden triangle (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur), which is barely just scratching the surface, but I’m already looking into visiting south India.” — Tesa Torrente, blogger behind Travel Where to Next (Photo via Spot.com)
Cappadocia, Turkey“So far, it’s Cappadocia, Turkey. We travel to explore the unfamiliar and we haven’t been to many places as otherworldly as Cappadocia. It’s a magical, alien-like place.” — JB Macatulad, cofounder of Will Fly for Food (Photo via Travel Coffee Book)
Myanmar“Personally, my favorite place in the world is Myanmar. It’s a country full of smiles, age-old traditions, fragrant foods and a wealth of cultural sites and temples. Whether you like hiking, exploring ruins, wandering through markets or simply relaxing on white-sand beaches, Myanmar has it all.” — Daisy Cropper of Insight Guides (Photo via Martin M303/Shutterstock)
Aeolian Islands“The Aeolian Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily. The largest island is Lipari (the islands are sometimes referred to as the Lipari Islands or Lipari group), but the other islands include Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea and Basiluzzo. I loved being there because it’s a place where time seems to have stopped. You have all the colorful and fragrant vegetation, the crystal sea and the amazing food of Sicily, but you feel more free and wild.” — Elena Bisio, cofounder of Foody (Photo via Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock)
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