travel and life with lee mylne

Travel hot spots for 2014

Mt Hagen cultural show, Papua New Guinea.

Hot and happening destinations for 2014 are the talk of travel circles right now, in the wake of the release of Lonely Planet’s annual Top 10 lists.  As someone who’s sometimes asked to contribute to these kind of lists for travel publications, I’m always interested to see how my own ideas stack up against others’ views.  Because it’s really subjective; what I think is an amazing destination – or somewhere I’d aspire to add to my travel plans – may not appeal to others.

I’ve been to more than 50 countries, but of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 countries, I could only tick off four (and one of them so long ago and so briefly it barely counts). I’ve never been to number 1, Brazil (although my daughters have) and have seen number 2, Antarctica, only from the air. But agree whole-heartedly with LP’s choice for number 3 – Scotland. I’ve been there several times and have close connections, through my family history and a life-long friendship.

Derelict cottage in the Scottish Highlands.

Derelict cottage in the Scottish Highlands.

Number 10 on the list is Malaysia, a place I certainly agree is worth visiting. I’m surprised its the only place in Asia on the list, but of course, it’s all about perception.

Sunset in Kuching, Malaysian Borneo.

Sunset in Kuching, Malaysian Borneo.

Lonely Planet also lists places that it thinks appeal to certain kinds of travellers.  On the list for family travel are some of my personal favourites, and places I’ve travelled to with my children: New York City and Italy.

Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.

Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy.

Then there’s Hawaii, Thailand and India, also among my favourite places.

Monks in northern Thailand.

Monks in northern Thailand.

Palace in Rajasthan, India.

Palace in Rajasthan, India.

LP also suggests some great options for homestays, where you can feel part of a local family (or at least like an honoured guest in a local home). One of these is an Iban longhouse in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. I’ve not stayed in one, but spent a memorable day visiting – and it’s a wonderful experience.

For adventure, the only place on the LP list that I’ve been to is Cape Horn – and that was unforgettable. I’m taking a close look at the other recommendations!

Albatross monument at Cape Horn.

Albatross monument at Cape Horn.

Then there are beaches and islands. Two of my favourite places in the world make the list: the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, and Australia’s near-northern neighbour, Papua New Guinea, one of the most exotic places I’ve ever been (twice).

Sandbar, Aitutaki lagoon, Cook Islands.

Sandbar, Aitutaki lagoon, Cook Islands.

Mt Hagen cultural show, Papua New Guinea.

Mt Hagen cultural show, Papua New Guinea.

What’s on your top 10? Or your travel plans for 2014? I’d love to know.

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14 Responses to “Travel hot spots for 2014”

  1. Daniel Scott

    Hey Lee, it’s fun thinking about where might be hot in 2014 isn’t it? For me, Iceland has got to be the most exciting destination in the world at the moment and, because of the economic crisis a few years back, it’s a lot more affordable. But affordability aside it is the most extraordinary country I have had the privilege to visit, a spectacular landscape or volcanic feature around every corner. And the people are great too, really warm and friendly. If you are into adventure there is no better place in the world with snowmobiling, off-piste and cross-country skiing and some amazing cold-water diving and trekking in remote lava fields. As for cities, I agree with LP that Adelaide is going to have a stellar year. They are working really hard to develop the Torrens riverside, are just completing a $400 million refurb of the Adelaide Oval which will make it one of the top stadiums in the country and also turning the massive Victoria Square into the centre of the city with a big development. Add to that its exciting pop-up bars like Cantina Sociale and Little Miss Mexico and the superb dining scene with new restaurants like Penfolds Magill Estate in the Adelaide foothills and Press, on Waymouth Street and you have a destination which will have to be renamed, rather like a famous singer, “formerly known as the city of churches”.

    Reply
    • A Glass Half Full

      Iceland has never been on my radar, Daniel…but you almost have me convinced. I suspect its changed a bit from the days when the only people I knew who’d been there had been backpackers working in fish factories. Maybe one day…

      Reply
  2. Richard Tommy Campion

    Your eye is alert and inquiring. Superb images. Not much more that I can say than that. Keep up the good work. It would appear you have had good advice.

    Reply
    • A Glass Half Full

      As far as the images go, I am a work in progress. Some of these were taken a few years ago, and I am much better with the camera now than I was then. But I am quite proud of some of these. Onward and upward, Tommy!

      Reply
  3. Len Zell

    Hey, A challenging one! Being an opportunist I will go wherever is available because people like you see and open others eyes to things they may never see – even standing beside you! I recall my pix and your words – always such a different perspective. LP does a great marketing job to sell their annual 10 best books – sad that they leave out the other 990 best! :-)

    Reply
    • A Glass Half Full

      Oh yes, perspective is a completely individual thing. When I travel with other writers, I love to read their stuff afterwards to see what they have seen and how different it is to what I have seen – even, as you say, when standing alongside. That’s what makes the world, and people, so endlessly fascinating.

      Reply
  4. Virginia

    Damn, Daniel stole my thunder. Iceland!! It’s a Geography teacher’s wet dream (pls excuse that imagery). Friendly, helpful locals with a lovely laconic sense of humour, gobsmackingly stunning jaw-dropping sites (too many adjectives????), excellent accommodation choices, fab cakes, perfect roads …. but rug up – well! And we were there in Summer……brrrrrrrr.

    Turkey – what’s not to like? Food, weather, historic sites.

    Oman? Cambodia? Italy? Croatia? Sometimes it is just one tiny place that was perfect for you and yours at a certain moment in time, like a tiny hillside town outside of Lucca one Summer, or that beach that is so hard to get to at the bottom of Koh Lanta. Top Ten is so fleeting or will last only until your next trip- or so we all hope.

    Happy Travels, Lee :)

    Reply
    • A Glass Half Full

      Well, between you and Dan, you’ve just about got me convinced! Iceland…some day. My list certainly would have been different to LP’s. For a start, Patagonia has been a highlight for me in recent years. Highly recommended. And I’m still keen to explore parts of the Pacific I haven’t been to yet. I agree with you, Virginia, sometime it is just about a moment in time, the company you’re in and (often) the weather (good or bad!).

      Reply

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