6 Unexpected Destinations for Your Next Adventure
I went to Bolivia for the salt flats, but quickly saw that there was much more to the country. First, the capital city of La Paz offers everything from the traditional food markets to a witch market, which I stumbled upon by accident! Learning about dried llama fetuses being buried under houses or buildings as an offering to the goddess Pachamama made me feel a little gloomy, but what an interesting insight into the local culture (and certainly something I’d never seen before!). Outside of La Paz and the Salt Flats, I visited Potosi and Sucre. Potosi was a quick stop, but the city center had a nice park that I took advantage of before heading off to Sucre. As a college town, Sucre was alive with tons of young people roaming through the whitewashed buildings both day and night. Unexpectedly, this made it one of my favorite parts of the trip! All things considered, even if you only go for the salt flats, Bolivia is a destination worth adding to your list.
Botswana was one of many countries I visited while camping through southern Africa and it blew me away. One of my favorite memories was taking a mokoro through the Okavango Delta to our campsite for the night. Once we got to the campsite, we went on a “nature walk” a mere 100 feet from where we’d set up camp which, turns out, was actually a walking safari! Fortunately, we didn’t cross paths with any lions, but we did see elephants and hippos from a safe distance. We later visited Chobe National Park for a more traditional safari and spotted many animals from the comfort of our safari vehicle. Botswana has a lot to offer and, compared to some of its neighbors, it isn’t a destination all your friends back home have experienced.
This might be a questionable choice to some as Angkor Wat receives over 2 million visitors a year but hear me out. Everyone has been to Machu Picchu in the past few years and Angkor Wat is the only place I can compare the feeling of standing within the ruins of Machu Picchu to. The best way I can think to describe both spots is simply wow! For many nationalities, Cambodia is a been-there-done-that destination, but it hasn’t quite reached that level in the US. So, get over there and discover what the hype is all about.
Namibia is one of the weirdest places I’ve visited, and I mean that in the best way. Full disclaimer, if you like spending time indoors this is not the destination for you. As one of the least densely populated countries in the world, we rarely saw people but instead were overwhelmed with non-stop incredible views. To put it in perspective, one day we were out on ATVs riding through the sand dunes, the next checking out the ship wrecks along the skeleton coast, and another day walking up dune 45. It’s incredible. Now, go visit!
Nicaragua is gaining in popularity, but on my recent visit it still felt like Costa Rica’s lesser known sibling. It is inexpensive, beautiful, and full of activities. One day we were enjoying the beaches, the next hiking up and boarding down a volcano, and the next exploring a colorful downtown. If you haven’t caught on, I like destinations that have a lot to explore outdoors and this was certainly one of them.
6. sri lanka
This is the only destination that made the list that I haven’t been to, but there’s good reason it’s at the top of my list. There is a certain spark that comes across anyone’s face who has visited this magical country when you ask about it. They’ll detail the incredibly friendly people, the delicious food, diverse wildlife, and beautiful landscapes. I look forward to the day when that same spark shows on my face when describing my time there.
Do you know an adventurous community whose members would love to break the mold with a trip to one of these incredible destinations?