With so much time spent at home these days, it is far too easy to start dreaming of all the places we want to travel to once it is safe again. For us, that often means looking at beautiful nature photos, reading random articles online or playing the addicting game GeoGuessr (haven’t heard about it? Get ready to be amazed).
So with all this free time (and way too much wanderlust going around) we have come up with four places we are absolutely dreaming of travelling to - once we can actually leave the city.
Who knows how long this quarantine will last (hopefully not for too much longer…)? So it made sense to start thinking of places we wanted to visit during winter time. Our first choice: JAPAN! Why? Because you a) have less crowds, b) can swim outside in a beautiful onsen while snow falls around you (can you say magical) and c) that hotpot meal will taste even more scrumptious after being out in the cold all day.
Finally, we want to visit Japan for the amazing natural scenery and the animals that abound in it once it gets cold. Like the famous red faced monkeys soaking in onsens, or the red crowned cranes who come annually to do their mating dances. For more information on why Japan is amazing come winter, check out this article.
India has always been high on our list of places to visit. It checks a lot of the boxes in things we look for in a place to visit; including, beautiful nature (hello Himalayas), amazing food, incredible architecture (more on that later…) and a unique way to travel (we are talking trains). Plus, the country is so massive and diverse that we know we could spend a whole year there and not see even close to all of it.
But one thing we have recently come across, in this article here, are these amazing architectural wonders: Stepwells. If you haven’t heard of them before, we highly recommend doing a bit more research. Most are found in northern India, extending up into Pakistan. And as of 2016 they have found roughly 2800 stepwells, in various conditions. A couple that look absolutely amazing are Rani ki Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) in Gujarat, possibly the most beautiful in India and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chand Baori in Rajasthan, one that is more off-the-beaten-path (just what we like) but no less awe-inspiring, and finally Panna Meena ka Kund, also in Rajasthan, this one is near the uber-popular Amber Fort so it’s often overlooked, which would be a huge mistake because it is gorgeous.
India has so much to offer, from food to culture to the outdoors (again, the HIMALAYAS). So even if you aren’t into architecture and history, we highly recommend checking it out.
If you are anything like us, this extended time spent indoors is making us dream of the great outdoors, with trees instead of walls and clouds instead of ceiling fans. So why not go all out and head over to the island of Tasmania.
Located 150 miles south of the main island of Australia, it might be a bit tougher to get there - a short flight or a 10 hour ferry ride - but we promise it is totally worth it. With multiple national parks, tons of hiking trails, including summiting Cradle Mountain, the sixth tallest mountain on the island, and stunning beaches and coastline you cannot go wrong in the scenery department. This is definitely a place to disconnect from it all and get truly lost in nature. So head on over to Tasmania, rent a car for a magical road trip - taking as many pit-stops and walking breaks as possible.
First, we need to do a quick comparison to give you an idea of how amazing this island is: Taiwan is home to 9 National Parks. The state of California in the United States is also home to 9 National Parks. But Taiwan is 11 times SMALLER than California! How crazy is that? With so much land set aside for conservation, it is no wonder Taiwan is quickly becoming known as an outdoor lovers paradise.
A few parks that really caught our eyes are Yushan National Park, the largest park on the island and home to 30 mountains over 3,000 meters (the largest, Jade Mountain tops off at 3,952, or just under 13,000 feet), and Kenting National Park, a park of a totally different character - think white sand beaches, caves and snorkeling, but definitely no less beautiful. For more information on the other National Parks in Taiwan, check out this article.
Just like anything else, this pandemic will eventually cease. While right now it is definitely a dark and scary place, we must all remember that over time things will go back to normal (or as normal as can be).
These four places just kept coming up when we talked about spots we absolutely have to visit: for their nature, culture, food and overall uniqueness. Hopefully, this article helped you start dreaming of places you can’t wait to visit too once this quarantine is finally over!