Ready, Set, Go
The Sun-Herald Traveller
3 January 2016
Leap straight into 2016 as our writers name their dream destinations and travel resolutions for the year ahead.
ESTIMATED KILOMETRES TRAVELLED IN 2015 200,000
THIS YEAR I WANT TO GO TO Siberia’s Lake Baikal – specifically in March. From January to May the massive lake is frozen over and for a short time each year (usually March), the ice begins to crack. It happens because of fluctuating temperatures, wind gusts, and the amount of sun and frost at this time. Translucent gleaming ice hulks are formed and the lake is transformed into this jagged turquoise phenomenon. See russia-travel.com.
THIS YEAR I AM GOING TO Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city. I have relatives there and I don’t know much about them. We’re going to jump on board the Trans-Siberian in Moscow and head over to meet them for the first time. My brothers tell me they have their own old-school banya.
THIS YEAR I WANT TO REVISIT Guatemala. In 2010 I spent three months traversing the globe and out of all the countries I visited, Guatemala really stood out.
The people were incredibly hospitable and the cities a perpetual buzz of activity. There’s plenty to see – Mayan ruins everywhere and a landscape (think crystal clear lakes, soaring volcanoes and luscious jungles) that mesmerises. See visitguatemala.com/en.
THE THING I WISH THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY WOULD FIX IN 2016 IS can someone please make boarding passes the same size as passports already?
THE ONE THING I’M EXCITED ABOUT TRAVEL IN 2016 IS that more people are getting into active travel – and as a result there are more tours catering to people like myself. There’s a place and time to sit around sipping margaritas, but I like to combine exploring and exercising. I’m off on a two-week cycling tour of Myanmar in a couple of weeks actually.
THE TRAVEL TREND I DON’T WANT TO SEE AGAIN IN 2016 IS counting your steps, calculating the number of stairs you’ve climbed and tracking your heart rate. Unless you need to be keeping track for medical reasons, why bother? Isn’t just walking around soaking it all up enough?
MY BIG TRAVEL TIP FOR 2016 IS wake up early! Sure you might be jet-lagged/tired/not a morning person, but it’s a magical time of the day. I time my runs with sunrise and get to see cities all around the world in a different light. Attractions are quiet early in the day too and the soft light is great for photos.
MY BIG TRAVEL PREDICTION FOR 2016 IS that things are going to get even more personalised. We’re seeing hotel reviews, video content, Instagram shots, all go live in real time. Companies are realising just how powerful social media are and going all out to impress. If your favourite track is playing when you check into your room, almond milk is ordered in for your coffee, or your waiter knows you like to wait 25 minutes between your main and dessert, don’t be surprised.