20 Places To
Visit In The 2020s
(After Borders Reopen)

20 Places To Visit In The 2020s (After Borders Reopen)

Published July 20, 2020. The cover photo for this post features Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

If you have a goal that you want to stick with, what are you supposed to do to hold yourself to it? A lot of people say you should write it down and share it with others, so that’s exactly what I’m doing in this post! Welcome to my official travel wish list for the decade!

So far, this year has been absolutely nuts. I’m hoping (like I’m sure most of you are) that the rest of the 2020s will be a little less crazy, although I think we’ll be in for some more surprises. Nonetheless, I still plan to travel far and wide throughout the next ten years; these are twenty places I’ve got my eye on! When I visit one, I’ll come back to this post and link any future blog posts. Let’s get started!

1. Italy

Have I been before?
Yes, three times

When am I aiming to go?
2021, 2022, or 2023 at the very latest

Italy tops my list for a couple of different reasons. First and foremost, I really want to help support the tourist economy there once the EU fully reopens. Second, with a bit of Spanish and Portuguese under my belt, I’d also want to try my hand at a bit more Italian than the basic greetings I picked up during previous visits.

I’ve been to Rome once and Milan twice, and I’d love to spend my next visit to Italy exploring some less urban areas. The pictures above were taken during my 2017 visit to Milan.

2. South Africa

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before the end of the decade

South Africa is high on my list because I learned quite a bit about the country last year as an English teacher in Vietnam. Many of my colleagues in Ho Chi Minh City were expats from South Africa, and hearing about their home cities intrigued me.

Cape Town, South Africa. Image courtesy of KYLE CUT MEDIA @kylefrederick10 on Unsplash (click image for link).

I’m also drawn to the country’s multiculturalism, and I’d love to see for myself the ways that SA is similar to and different from the United States. I want to see Cape Town for sure, but would also be interested in checking out Johannesburg and Durban. Lastly, I’m curious about some smaller towns in SA’s wine country, too.

Cape Town, South Africa. Image courtesy of Matthias Mullie @matthiasmullie on Unsplash (click image for link).

3. Cape Verde

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before the end of the decade

Up next is another African destination, although Cape Verde is technically not a part of the continent’s mainland. This island nation directly west of Senegal catches my eye for a couple of different reasons. The first is its amazing beaches.

Santa Maria, Cape Verde. Image courtesy of Martin Widenka @widenka on Unsplash (click image for link).

Another is that one of the main languages spoken is Portuguese. I’m sure it’s quite different from the Portuguese I’ve learned here in Brazil, but I’d be fascinated to hear a different dialect. Finally, Cape Verde is considered one of the most democratic countries in Africa, and I think as travelers we should do what we can to support the tourism sector of countries that share our values.

4. Japan

Have I been before?
Yes, one time back in 2007

When am I aiming to go?
Within the next 2-3 years

Japan is also in the top 5 of my list because I’m half Japanese! I’ve got relatives there, and I’ve only visited once (all the way back in 2007). Although I’d definitely want to visit my family there again, I also want to explore some new places as well.

Kyoto Botanical Gardens. Thanks to Stephanie R. for providing this photo!

If you know anything about my style of travel, then you already know I’m interested in the more obscure and far-flung parts of the country. On my trip almost a decade and a half ago, my aunt and uncle brought me from Nagoya to Lake Biwa to Osaka all the way down to Imabari on the island of Shikoku. By far, my favorite parts of the trip were traveling through the countryside, so I’d want to schedule a fair amount of that when I go back.

Suzu, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. Thanks to Stephanie R. for providing this photo!

Since I’ve never been to Tokyo, I plan on doing at least a few days there too, but I’m more interested in places like Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Okinawa. My friend Ismael (who’s appeared a number of times on the blog) has been to Ishigaki, one of the most remote islands in Okinawa Prefecture. He’s been recommending Okinawa for a while and I don’t think I’ll want to pass it up!

Thanks to Stephanie R. for providing this photo!

5. The Maldives

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before the end of the decade

I know this is sort of a dark reason for wanting to visit, but I think most travelers and environmentally-conscious people are aware that the Maldives may not survive rising sea levels resulting from climate change. This archipelago is also widely regarded as one of the most stunning and beautiful beach destinations on Earth, so I don’t want to wait until it’s too late.

COMO Cocoa Island, The Maldives, South Malé Atoll, Maldives. Image courtesy of Shifaaz shamoon @sotti on Unsplash (click image for link).

As a travel enthusiast, I’m not exactly the type of person who can claim to be holier than thou when it comes to carbon emissions, and I’m aware of that. Flying all over the place and showcasing undiscovered destinations, thus encouraging more fossil fuel use, isn’t exactly environmentally friendly.

Image courtesy of Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash (click image for link).

Nonetheless, COVID-19 has caused me to reduce my carbon footprint significantly (I haven’t flown since January and I’ve probably been in a car less than 50 times this entire year so far). I don’t want to totally undo all that good work when countries reopen, which for me means spending longer amounts of time in a given place and trying to avoid flying when possible. This blog started largely as a weekend jet-setting blog, and I’m proud to say I plan to do a lot less of that in the coming years. As with all of the destinations on this post, I’d love to spend a month or more in the Maldives if I can.

6. Croatia

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Maybe tacked on to the tail end of a trip to Italy, so within the next 2-3 years

Croatia is probably the one destination on my list that is most inspired by other travel bloggers. Every post I see features such beautiful pictures of bright blue ocean next to dramatic cliffs and white sandy beaches.

Korčula, Croatia. Image courtesy of Goran Ivos @goran_ivos on Unsplash (click image for link).

In particular, I’d love to visit the town and island of Korčula, which claims the title of Marco Polo’s birthplace (although that is up for debate). The old town is situated on a small peninsula tightly packed with houses that have distinctive orange rooftops. In front of the water and the mountains, I can’t think of any other town I’ve seen that looks even remotely similar. I want to see that in person.

7. Mongolia

Have I been before?
Yes, once in 2016

When am I aiming to go?
Perhaps in the second half of the decade

Mongolia is a very special place to me because it’s arguably the first truly off-the-grid country I’ve been to. I visited for about a week back in 2016, long before I was blogging. It was such an amazing experience, and the landscapes were indescribably beautiful.

I took the train from Zamyn-Üüd to Ulaanbaatar and spent most of my time in the capital. However, I still managed to get out of the city and see a couple of interesting things such as the The Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue.

On a future visit, I’d love to stay for as long as my visa-free entry allows (at least one month, I believe). The country is so large and I really want to see what lies in the western half. There seem to be some large lakes that look particularly interesting.

Khaar Nuur Lake, Mongolia. Image courtesy of Lottchen On Tour @lottchenontour on Unsplash (click image for link).

Last but not least, I’d like to stay long enough to learn a bit of the Mongolian language. The fact that it can be written using three scripts (Cyrillic, a traditional script, and unofficially the English alphabet, which is commonly used online and in social media) is enough to intrigue me. Mongolian music is also incredibly unique and I would love to see a show in the State Opera and Ballet Academic Theatre next time I go.

National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Mongolia

8. South Korea Beyond Seoul

Have I been before?
Yes, once in 2014 and once in 2019

When am I aiming to go?
Within the next 3-4 years

South Korea is a fascinating country that I’ve been to twice. My first trip was in January of 2014, and I spent two freezing weeks in Seoul and then spent two more weeks on ever-so-slightly warmer Jeju Island. Jeju, located off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, was a unique island that’s popular among domestic and Chinese tourists. The two pictures below are from my trip to Jeju in 2014.

I also spent a weekend in Seoul in July of 2019, but I never blogged about it because I got pretty sick right before arriving, and spent almost half of the time in bed in my hotel. I climbed Namsan and dragged myself over to Gyeongbokgung, but still felt under the weather and didn’t get enough content to write about it in any meaningful way.

Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea

On my next trip, I’m sure I’ll fly in and out of Seoul, and I do want to blog about this bustling megacity. But I also want to see a part of the country I’ve never been to before. Whether it’s Busan, Daegu, or a small town, I want to spend time in a part of Korea that few foreigners make it to. I’m particularly interested in Baengnyeongdo (백령도) due to it close proximity to North Korea and unique history.

9. The Falkland Islands

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Perhaps in the second half of the decade

Of all the places on my list, I think the Falklands may be the most tricky (i.e. expensive) to get to. This tiny British overseas territory off the coast of Argentina was once the subject of a short-lived war in the 1980s and tensions between the UK and Argentina still haven’t fully cooled over it.

Image courtesy of Rod Long @rodlong on Unsplash (click image for link).

In addition to that fascinating backstory, the Falkland Islands are extremely rugged and have little in the way of tourism infrastructure. With a population of only about 3,000 residents, most villages here consist of a handful of buildings. When I first came to Brazil in January, I did some basic research to see if a week or two in the Falkland Islands would be feasible. The short answer is no, at least not on a budget and not without major planning beforehand. To read a bit more about why, check out this blog post that explains the hurdles.

Image courtesy of Yuriy Rzhemovskiy @yuriyr on Unsplash (click image for link).

Add on top of this the fact that only a couple of countries offer direct flights, and you’re looking at a place that only those with lots of time and money to spare ever make it to. However, I’d really love to save up for a trip before the year 2030. Why? Well, in addition to these stunning landscapes, the Falklands are also one of the best places in the world to see penguins!

Image courtesy of Mark Koch @markk92 on Unsplash (click image for link).

All in all, if any destination on this list gets pushed into the 2030s, it’ll probably be the Falklands. However, since I plan to make South America my “home base” for at least a couple years this decade, a visit in theory shouldn’t be totally impossible.

10. Taiwan

Have I been before?
Yes, once in 2019 for three weeks

When am I aiming to go?
In 2021 or 2022

Taiwan is East Asia’s newcomer as a travel heavyweight, and for good reason. Last year I visited KaohsiungKenting National Park, and the Penghu Islands; I loved every minute of it. Seeing as I still haven’t seen Taipei or any of the cities along the island’s central coast, an ideal trip for me would be using all 90 days that I’d be given visa-free as a US passport holder to start in the north and slowly work my way south. I’d then probably want to work my way back up along the country’s much less developed eastern side and visit places in Taitung and Hualien Counties.

Another reason I plan to visit Taiwan again is the fact that it’s a much more ethical alternative to traveling in China, with many similar benefits and cultural experiences. If you’ve followed my blog for a while or know me personally, then you’re probably aware that I’ve spent significant time in China and visited as recently as 2019, and I even blogged about it. However, recent developments regarding human rights abuses there have made me very hesitant to go back as a tourist, exchange student, or professional.

Ethical tourism is definitely a fraught topic in the world of travel blogging, especially with the industry-wide worship of trying to visit every single country, including those with problematic human rights records. Because of that, I plan to talk a bit more about traveling ethically this decade given that it has been a driving force behind many of the behind-the-scenes decisions regarding where I choose to travel.

11. Oman

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Perhaps in the second half of the decade

I still haven’t been to the Middle East, and I would say this is one of the last major “regions” of the world that I still haven’t stepped foot in. In keeping in line with the theme of ethical travel, Oman felt like a fairly good choice because it’s known to be more liberal than many of its neighbors. (I won’t name names, but some other Gulf States are a hard no for me at this point in time.)

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Sultan Qaboos Street, Muscat, Oman. Image courtesy of Mr MaroX @yeassin619 on Unsplash (click image for link).

Like Croatia, Oman is another country that often gets very positive reviews in travel blogs. From what I’ve read, experiences tend to be slightly more cultural and without a big focus on over-the-top luxury like in Dubai. Pictures of the capital, Muscat, stand in pretty stark contrast to many other major cities in the region, as you can see below.

Muttrah, Muscat, Oman. Image courtesy of Anfal Shamsudeen @anfalshams on Unsplash (click image for link).

12. New Zealand

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before the end of the decade

Anyone who pays attention to the world of travel and tourism knows that New Zealand is one of the world’s top destinations. Known for its almost unimaginable variety of landscapes and friendly people, NZ is one country I just don’t think I can wait more than a decade to visit.

Lake Pukaki, New Zealand. Image courtesy of Casey Horner @mischievous_penguins on Unsplash (click image for link).

Like most of the countries on this list, I’m still open to suggestions about where specifically I should go. When the time comes, I’ll be sure to do a ton of research before deciding on the North or South Island (or both) as well as other specifics.

Auckland, New Zealand. Image courtesy of Dan Freeman @danfreemanphoto on Unsplash (click image for link).

One blog that’s really inspired me to visit New Zealand is Albom Adventures. Its authors, Rhonda and Jeff Albom, are originally from the US but have lived in New Zealand for many years and every time I read one of their posts, I just become more enamored with the beaches and mountains they so beautifully capture.

13. Kazakhstan

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Perhaps in the middle of the decade

My interest in traveling in Kazakhstan really stems from the good experiences I had in Mongolia. Furthermore, Kazakhstan was a vacation destination I was looking at back when I still worked a 9-to-5 in 2017 and 2018, and I haven’t given up on it.

EAST Shymbulak Ski Resort, Kazakhstan. Image courtesy of Eugene Vovk @eugenevovk on Unsplash (click image for link).

Kazakhstan has two major cities: Almaty, the former capital, and Nur-Sultan (also known as Astana), the new capital. Almaty is known for its historical architecture and is considered the cultural capital of the country. A blend of Islamic and Soviet architecture against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains is what I’m looking forward to seeing in this historic city.

Almaty, Kazakhstan. Image courtesy of Blueberry Nights @blueberryxnights on Unsplash (click image for link).

In contrast, Nur-Sultan is a planned city known for its futuristic skyline. Some bloggers complain that it feels sterile and inauthentic, but I would love to see for myself and draw my own conclusions.

Finally, I’d want to spend a significant portion of my journey away from the two cities. Like Mongolia, Kazakhstan offers some really unbelievable landscapes that are surprisingly varied. With grasslands, forests, mountain ranges, deserts, and large lakes, this landlocked country offers no shortage of escapes into nature.

Chingirlau, Shyngyrlau, Kazakhstan. Image courtesy of Azimbek Assarov @azimbek on Unsplash (click image for link).

14. Bermuda

Have I been before?
Yes, once for a long weekend in 2017

When am I aiming to go?
Hopefully before the middle of the decade

Bermuda is the last destination on this list that I’ve already been to (the others being Italy, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, and Taiwan). I spent a long weekend on this British Overseas Territory in 2017 and fell in love with it.

I did feel like I was able to explore most of the island over the course of four days, but I’d love to set up camp here for a month or two at some point and really leave no stone unturned. The only issue with that is the cost; since almost everything has to be brought in from the US and other countries, and since the entire island is more or less developed, everything from food to rent is quite expensive there.

What’s so intriguing to me about Bermuda is its very unusual location in the Atlantic Ocean, totally isolated from any other group of islands. Although it does have historical ties to parts of the Caribbean, Bermuda undoubtedly has its own culture unlike anywhere else on Earth.

15. Indonesia Beyond Bali

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Whenever I'm based in Asia again, hopefully in the next few years

Ever since taking a semester of Indonesian language in college (and unfortunately forgetting almost all of it), I’ve had an interest in this archipelago nation that has the world’s fourth largest population. We’ve all heard and seen quite a bit about Bali, and although I’m not in any way opposed to visiting since I’ve never been before, I’ve seen enough honest reviews mentioning the negative impacts of overtourism to temper my expectations.

Bali, Indonesia. Image courtesy of Sebastian Pena Lambarri @sebaspenalambarri on Unsplash (click image for link).

Since Indonesia is so large and has so many different options, I really do want to spend some time on a lesser-known island: one where I get to practice the language and see things that most spring breakers from Australia and the US don’t.

Komodo Island, Indonesia. Thanks to Ivan S. for providing this photo!

I’m also interested in seeing Jakarta, even if it does have a reputation for being your average large, crowded, smoggy megacity. There’s no way the capital city of ASEAN’s largest country has nothing of interest to see.

Image courtesy of ekoherwantoro @ekoherwantoro on Unsplash (click image for link).

16. Scotland

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before the end of the decade

I’ll be totally honest and say that Scotland is actually more of a placeholder for any Northern European country, since in all my visits to Europe I’ve only ever stayed in the south of the continent. However, Scotland seems like as good a destination as any, especially with fairly off-the-map destinations like the town of Inverness and the Isle of Skye.

Image courtesy of Robin Canfield @robincanfield on Unsplash (click image for link).

I’m not a fan of cold weather so I’d probably visit in the summer if I can help it, but I do hope to acquaint myself with a little more of Europe this decade even if most of my travels continue to be based in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Isle of Skye. Image courtesy of Piervincenzo @piervix on Unsplash (click image for link).

17. Cyprus

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before the end of the decade

My interest in visiting Cyprus stems from two things: first, my trip to Greece in 2018, which made me want to spend a lot more time than a week-long vacation in the region, and second, a friend from college named Andreas who happens to be from there and has always spoken highly of the island.

Thanks to Andreas A. for providing this photo!

If a destination has beautiful beaches, nice scenic views, good weather, and delectable food, I’m already sold on it. Most bloggers who go seem to love all of these things as well as the archeological sites. I don’t have a comprehensive list of what exactly I want to do, but when I go, I’ll be sure to consult Andreas for more tips and suggestions!

Thanks to Andreas A. for providing this photo!
Thanks to Andreas A. for providing this photo!

18. Guatemala

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before the end of the decade

Latin America is one part of the world I’m well acquainted with as a traveler and it’s already a major focus of my blog. (Not to toot my own horn, but this is what I’m most proud of about my blog because most English-language travel blogs tend to focus on the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.) I’ve visited about half of the countries in Latin America, but if I only add one more to my list this decade, it would have to be Guatemala.

Image courtesy of Clovis Castaneda @clover98 on Unsplash (click image for link).

There are a couple of different attractions I want to see when I go. The first is Antigua, an old historic city a few hours away from the capital that looks like it has a lot of charm. To the west is Lake Atitlán, which has an amazing view of a nearby volcano. Finally, I want to go north to Flores and Tikal, home to one of the region’s most famous ancient temples.

Panajachel on Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. Image courtesy of Mathijs Beks @mathijsbeks on Unsplash (click image for link).

Guatemala doesn’t have the best reputation for safety, but neither have many of the other countries I’ve visited, and I’ve only had one major run-in with danger since I started traveling. I may get burned for this one day, but I basically think that with street smarts and common sense, the vast majority of the world is much safer than most people think.

19. Montana, USA

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before I turn 30! So within about 5 years

Montana is my only US destination on the list, and there’s a special reason why. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons more places in my home country that I’m hoping to visit this decade, but Montana is an absolute must for me, and I’d really love to get there before 2025.

Highline Trail Glacier National Park. Thanks to Wyatt C. for providing this photo!

That’s because a group of friends from high school and I made a habit of camping every summer while we were in college. Since we’re all from Seattle, we’ve always found campgrounds in Central or Eastern Washington, which are incredibly beautiful places.

Camping in Anatone, WA in 2014 near the Idaho border. Thanks to Matthew O. for providing this photo!

However, we’ve agreed that our ‘camping reunion’ should be a few states over in Montana. All the pictures below confirm that Montana is where we should go. Just look at how beautiful these lakes and mountains are! These shots below were provided by Wyatt C. and taken by Wendy C. To check out Wendy’s Instagram, click here (@wendycurtisjewelry)!

✅ Visited in September 2021!

We successfully made it to Montana a couple of years earlier than expected! Since I moved to Chicago in April of 2021, we figured that late summer would be the perfect time to go. And I was blown away by how pretty it was! We went to Glacier National Park to hike, and we also camped on the shores of Flathead Lake nearby. Use the links below to learn more about both beautiful destinations!

20. New Caledonia

Have I been before?

When am I aiming to go?
Before the end of the decade

Discussing independence and sovereignty can be dicey, but this final destination on my list is here for a very specific reason: it may become the world’s newest independent country. Unlike some other independence movements around the world being met with violence and repression, New Caledonia may choose to peacefully declare independence from France, which annexed the island in 1853. A referendum is planned for October 4, 2020, and I’ll be sure to provide an update here as to the results.

Image courtesy of Sébastien Jermer @seb on Unsplash (click image for link).

When I learned about this a while back, it immediately got me interested in the island of New Caledonia (in French, Nouvelle-Calédonie) as a tourist destination. I’ve read that it has a very European vibe despite being located about equal distances from Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific. Unsurprisingly, New Caledonia is also known for its beaches.

Any Other Recommendations?

Well, that’s my list! Especially with countries still closed, I can’t say for sure whether I’ll make it to all twenty countries on the list. Since 2020 is already off the table, that would mean I’d need to visit on average 2.5 countries per year from 2021 to 2029 to reach my goal. If international travel isn’t back to normal for a couple more years, it’ll mean an even more condensed “schedule.”

An unofficial #21: My hometown of Seattle, which I've obviously spent years and years in but haven't yet blogged about!

However, keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. You’ll notice I didn’t include countries like Spain, Mexico, Thailand, and Australia, which are all common destinations that I’d absolutely love to visit or revisit if given the chance. That’s because I generally do prefer going further off the beaten path; I want this blog to focus on the kinds of places listed above.

Are there any destinations that you’d recommend I unofficially add to my list? Do you have any cities or countries that you really want to see featured in the blog? Leave a comment and let me know!

Share This Post With Fellow Travelers!

This post was published on July 20, 2020. The cover video for this post features Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Kailyn Travels

    This made me so sad I’m not currently planning any trips, I can’t wait until I can leave the country and explore again. Also, hopefully I can go to a few of these destinations with you!

  2. Eric Gamble

    This list of the 20 best places to visit in 2020 after the Borders reopen is great for sure. But I have been really thinking about it too like you Kevin and I think you hit the money on places like Japan or even Better the MALDIVES! I keep seeing such amazing deals for what is normally two of the most expensive travel destinations. This might be the perfect opportunity to steal a deal for places that normally would be a luxurious splurge!

  3. Sarah

    Some really interesting choices in there. If you do get to Cyprus be sure to find the Byzantine sites as well as the ancient Greek ones.
    I think that you are right in that the key is to stay longer and see more.

  4. Cape Verde and the Maldives are high up on my list too. If it would not have been for the virus, we would have been to Portugal earlier this year and this trip would have included Cape Verde too.
    Do you only want to go to the Falklands without visiting Antarctica? There are cruises that combine the two.

  5. Tanya Bindra

    Many of these destinations are on my list too. Especially Japan and Maldives, hopefully sometime soon!

  6. My to-see list keeps getting bigger and lack of freedom to travel isn’t helping matters. Interesting that Italy was first on the list. Did you see that Sicily plans on offering subsidized vacations once the pandemic is over?

  7. uoprincess

    We have a lot of travel goals in common. Next on my wish list is more of Italy and Faroe Islands. I missed out on planned trips to Japan and Morocco during COVID.

  8. josypheen

    This is such a good list Kevin! It’s really refreshing that so many of the places you want to go are places that you have already visited, but that you want to see more of. So many bloggers are keen to count new countries so it’s nice to see travelling makes you want to return. (I am similar, every time I visit a new place I end up wanting to go back to explore more!!)

    P.s. I didn’t know you were half Japanese! Let me know if you want tips for kooky, less obvious places to visit. I lived there for over 3 years so I have loooads of ideas – especially for you as you like travelling for food! You are going to love Ishigaki soooo much when you make it there!

    1. I don’t think I knew that you lived in Japan, Josy! I will absolutely be in touch when I do plan that trip! And I totally agree about going back somewhere more than once. I would love to eventually return to like, 95% of the places I visit. There’s something so satisfying about going back to a city or town you haven’t been to in years and all of the sudden remembering the layout of the streets, where certain restaurants and parks are, etc!

      1. josypheen

        Yeees! I totally agree. 😀
        Please do feel free to ask if you need help when you start to plan.

  9. Kez

    I loved Mongolia and found people incredibly friendly, but I know others that have found Mongolians a bit stand-offish.

    Kazakhstan reminded me of Mongolia a bit when I first entered. Just within the Almaty Region you can find snowy mountains, (even in summer), mystical lakes with trees IN them and desert canyons. Turkistan is also a major historical area in Kazakhstan. You should probably try to get to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan while in the area. It’s easy to travel between the countries and they are all cheaper than Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is relatively cheap as well.

    Cyprus is beautiful and Cypriots are a super friendly bunch! The small size of the island makes it relatively easy to explore, as long as you rent a car. Transport wasn’t too good when I was there several years ago.

  10. sohamdutta

    This is a wonderful list of places to visit post everything opens up. I suppose all travelers like me are raring to get out of their couches and see the world again.

  11. Candy

    We didn’t know you were half Japanese too! You definitely need to make a trip back to Japan if your last visit was in 2007. So much changes every year we visit our family. We haven’t been to Hokkaido in ages and loved the ice and snow festivals when we were kids. Crystal went to Lake Atitlán right before the pandemic in February earlier this year and LOVED it. Definitely a place worth visiting.

  12. Chelsea Messina

    There are so many awesome places on this list!! KAZAKHSTAN has been on my bucket list for a few years now, same with Croatia and New Zealand haha You’ve been everywhere!! Jealous of all your travels 🙂

  13. Joanne

    I love your list! We’re longing to travel again too. I’d return to Italy in a heartbeat. I’d love to explore the northern areas and around Tuscany and Venice. So far its only been near Rome for us. And Japan has been on our list for awhile. We were actually supposed to be in Croatia this past summer but of course had to cancel everything. One day!

Leave a Reply