Every January, The New York Times publishes a list of the top places to visit in the coming year. The 2011 list was recently released: The Top 41 Places to Go in 2011.
While I have done my fair share of traveling, any travel lover knows that there’s always a next destination on the list. Of 41 places they have identified, I have only been to five (I consoled myself by admitting that the number is higher if I count countries and not exact places).
To my mother who thinks I’ve been “everywhere,” the NY Times list simply proves I have a lot more traveling to do. I mean, really, how many people can say they have skied the Bakuriani in the Republic of Georgia (or been anywhere in Estonia, for that matter)?
Both of those are just two of the many unique places on the list, which also includes camel racing in Tozeur, Tunisia and a visit to the ancient Islamic city of Tlemcen, Algeria for its year-long gala celebration. There are also destinations closer to your own backyard, such as Miami, Florida and Durham, North Carolina.
The first on the list is on my short list of five: Santiago, Chile. It struck a particular chord with me, as I’d been there only a month prior to the devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck in early 2010. I’d love to go back and see how the city has recovered; yet, realistically, I know there are so many other places that I want to see and haven’t yet that I’ll spend my precious holiday time on first.
Near or far, exotic or close to home, travel is all about new experiences. Next on my list: India, where I’ll be heading in approximately two weeks (and reporting on right here thereafter).
So, where will you be going in 2011?