The new year has started in a slow mode, with more time for reflection and less room for plans. No fix travel plans. No long-term goals. Maybe a good time for a pause.
After years of strenuous planning, I felt I needed a time-out, a more intimate space, where I am open to making short-term decisions and spontaneously choosing what to do without the pressure of sticking to long-term plans. Nonetheless I will be enjoying much of the travel anticipation, which is to me as important as travel itself.
I believe that the travel anticipation is an essential part of travel.
By visualising a place, we allow our mind to wander, to spark our wanderlust and shape our travel adventures in our imagination. Anticipation is the best incubator of all my travels. And probably travel wouldn't be fun without it.
As this definition of anticipation from Alan De Botton says:
“The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting woolliness of the present.” from The Art of Travel Book.
2017 destinations for the spontaneous solo traveller
It's more our mindset with which we choose our destinations that lend the feelings, the pleasure and colours to a place rather than the destination itself. This mindset creates the anticipation, which we shall nurture with our energy and positive feelings.
I have picked 7 cities that are universal for their flair, for their rich heritage, for their beauty. Some of them have undergone horrendous attack in the past years, they have been hurt in their dignity with the loss of many lives. While it's natural to feel apprehensive we must not dwell on the past, and move our attention to the memories that distinguish these places for what they really are. Fantastic places that have rewarded travellers and residents alike with great emotions and will never disappoint.
7 smart cities that will live up to the travel anticipation
Venice Italy – A place for reflection
I couldn't omit Venice from this list. Although it's right in my backyard, Venice is a place I am very fond of and always rewards me with great emotions. After over hundreds of visits, every time I am there I feel as if I were on holiday. It's one of those special places that never tire and disappoint. There is always something new to discover and cherish. With over 5 millions visitors/month Venice will soon introduce some regulations to make a visit to this unique city as sustainable as possible. Best time to visit Venice is spring and autumn, trying to avoid peak season which is June, July ,August and over public holidays and festivals like Carnival (Feb) and the Redeemer's Festival (July).
Paris – the city of lights and amazing contrasts
Paris' charming contrasts makes it to a unique capital city of Europe. There is nothing better than walking across Paris' amazing street cafe, its hidden corners and welcoming squares. The southern european vibe is well mixed with the majestic buildings typical of Northern Europe. I visited in 2014 in the occasion of my 50th birthday and loved it. I highly recommend visiting Paris in summer, if you can make it in June la fète de la music is a fantastic event not to miss out.
Berlin top multicultural capital city of Europe
I haven’t been to Berlin for a long time, over 5 years. With ongoing development projects Berlin is no. 1 capital city in Europe for its distinctive multicultural flair that you can breathe in everywhere. It’s a hub for cultural events from film festivals to concerts and art exhibitions. So if you love festivals, check out this page with all Berlin Festivals in 2017.
Prague the most beautiful city of Europe
Prague is probably the most beautiful city in Europe from the architectural point of view, with very scenic landscape and another fast cosmopolitan-growing city in Eastern Europe. It's a place that has been on my radar for a while, so I might decided to visit spontaneously in 2017. I would love to visit during the food festival or any other festivals. Check out this post for quirky things to see in Prague.
Singapore the perfect stop-over city in South East Asia
I visited Singapore last year for the first time. It's an amazingly safe city for solo travellers with a good combination of European vibe and Asian culture. Good food, spectacular marina and the gardens by the bay is the jewel on the crown of Singapore. I would recommend it to anyone travelling further to Australia or New Zealand. It's the best stop-over option ever if you are looking for an invigorating break from the long haul journey.
Ubud Bali – top-notch place for a “remise en forme”
Bali had never been on my list. I had to plan it in, because of my travel visa in Australia I had to leave. So since I was in Perth, I thought this is the right time to visit Bali. July and August are very busy months for a trip. After a first disorientation, I liked my stay and despite the roosters' madness and the thousands of motorbikes on the streets, I found those good places where to hide. A a great place to treat yourself to a remise-en-form at the best price ever. Ubud is a definitely a great place for solo travellers.
Albany, Western Australia – The Pearl of the Southern Ocean
This list would not be complete without an Australian City. Albany is a place that stole my heart. I recently discovered on a solo road trip and loved it. I only had 3 days to spend, which is way too short to do justice to this place. If you plan a trip to Perth I would recommend checking it out, although is a bit difficult to plan a spontaneous trip unless you live in Perth. I would plan 10 days to explore South Western Australia, which is one of the most dramatic landscape I have ever seen in Oz.
So this is my list with 7 smart cities that will not disappoint when it comes to travel anticipation!
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Now over to you: Which cities would you add to the 2017 travel anticipation? Share your ideas with us!
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