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Written by
FionaOutdoors
FionaOutdoors

How to discover a great new travel destination

There are people who find a great destination, even a single resort and head there time after time because they can’t imagine going anywhere better. Then there are travellers who yearn for new and more exciting places every single time they set off on. I am definitely in the second camp. I love to read, listen, learn and find tips for fantastic new places to go. My very first trip without my parents was Interrailing around Europe. Back then, 30 years ago, it was a fairly unusual thing to do and we packed in as many countries as we could on a whistle-stop tour of Europe. I don’t remember any of the places in intimate detail but I do recall that it ignited my passion and interest seeing as many new places overseas as possible. [caption id="attachment_21571" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Ngorongoro crater. Ngorongoro crater.[/caption] An overland trip across Africa appealed to me because a friend at university had told me about Zambia’s amazing wildlife parks (as compared to the more touristy safari tours of Kenya) and the Ngorongoro conservation area in Tanzania. I also visited the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar during that trip, which was, back then, a much less visited string of islands. I overheard a conversation in an airport that these were stunning islands and decided to make the effort. I was hugely well rewarded. [caption id="attachment_21573" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Cuban highlights. Cuban highlights.[/caption] When Cuba was opening up to a tourism market more than two decades ago I took a three-week holiday and relished the opportunity to visit places that not many other holidaymakers had experienced. I returned with tales of beautiful beaches, fabulous landscapes, old-meets-new towns and cities, ancient American cars, cigars and the friendliest people possible. I also loved the place so much that I named my unborn daughter Havana, after the capital of Cuba. I have visited Berlin before the wall came down and afterwards. I have cycled in the Pyrenees when everyone else was keen on the Alps and taken sailing trips to Turkey when other people were still visiting Greece. I heard that the Dead Sea was a place that could not be described, only experienced, and so I could not resist an extended holiday to Israel that took in highlights such as Jerusalem, the Negev Desert and the Dead Sea. It was at a time of less conflict but it was still a country in cultural turmoil yet it offered many memorable attractions and sights. [caption id="attachment_26246" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Dubrovnik, Croatia[/caption] When Eastern Europe first became a potential destination for holidaymakers a friend told me about the stunning historic city of Dubrovnik in Croatia and another pal of the super islands along the Adriatic coast. A few years later I set off by bike to tour the country. [caption id="attachment_21572" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]Amazing skiing in lesser known resorts. Amazing skiing in lesser-known resorts.[/caption] More recently, a love of European skiing was extended to America, but not to the more obvious and well-known resorts. Instead, we have skied in Utah on amazing powder snow and enjoyed the resorts that the locals frequent. Through the trip to Utah, we found out about more locals' ski resorts in Idaho and Wyoming and amazing backcountry routes that Brits are only just waking up to. If you want to know more, please do ask me! I don’t write all this to appear smug or to have you believe I was the first to spot a new and unexpectedly lovely place to holiday, rather to tell you that by listening to others, reading newspapers and magazines, signing up to travel blogs, keeping an eye on the Macs Adventure blog for new walking and cycling tours, talking to friends and family, ear-wigging on chats among colleagues and in pubs and at airports I find I always have a long bucket list that includes many new travel destinations. I have never been disappointed by the places I have travelled to through recommendation and I only wish I had more time to more great new travel destinations. Check out our guide to European Hidden Gems.
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