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)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.