10 perfect escapes from reality
Ten perfect escapes from reality to take your mind off work this year. What dreams will you chase on your next trip abroad?
As travel guidelines change - alongside our level of confidence in traveling - we've found ourselves more often than not daydreaming about big, fabulous, life-changing escapes. Call them bucket list destinations, or maybe even fantasies, but they're on your list and will stay there until you are able to actualize the travel dreams that have escaped us over the years. So whether you are able to travel now, or are waiting until later, discover these truly magnificent destinations across the globe.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The vibrant green grass, majestic craggy peaks, and remarkable stone ruins are breathtakingly beautiful. This archeological masterpiece was once an Inca City (in the 15th and 16th centuries).
Not surprisingly, Machu Picchu is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Peru. To get there, you'll have to plan your visit well. Entry is only permitted twice a day (in the morning or afternoon), and you'll have to either hike along the famed Inca Trail or take a bus from the nearby town of Aguas Calientes for access and it's located on a 2,430 meters (7,970 ft) high mountain ridge.
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
An ivory-white marble mausoleum on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (who reigned from 1628 to 1658) to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal; it also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself.
The Taj Mahal is most likely the greatest display of love, wouldn't you say?
You'll be hard-pressed to enjoy a more romantic sunset experience than that found in Santorini. It is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of mainland Greece. It's the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The major settlement, Vaitape, is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. In ancient times the island was called "Pora pora mai te pora", meaning "created by the gods" in the local Tahitian dialect.
Witnessing the Aurora Borealis is one of life's greatest pleasures. Whether you catch sight of a delicate green glow or are privy to vivacious crimson lines streaking across the horizon, this wonderful spectacle is breathtaking and unforgettable. To see them, though, you'll need to be patient. The northern lights are as unpredictable as the weather, so you'll have to budget in a few days to make your viewing attempt. The most spectacular shows happen between mid-October and early April.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The remarkable Angkor Wat is so vast, you'll need more than one or even several visits to see it all. This massive Hindu temple is surrounded by a large moat, adding to its impressive stature. Set upon over 402 acres (162.6 hectares / 1.626 km2) of land within a jungle, the temple was dedicated to the gods' Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. Angkor Wat's main towers were created to symbolize the peaks of Mount Meru (a place Hindus believe to be home to the gods).
Grand Canyon, USA
A steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters). The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation, and the Navajo Nation.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometers (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometers (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms.
Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area, known as Anangu. The area around the formation is home to an abundance of springs, waterholes, rock caves, and ancient paintings. Uluru is one of Australia's most recognizable natural landmarks. The sandstone formation stands 348 meters (1,142 ft) high, rising 863 meters (2,831 ft) above sea level with most of its bulk lying underground, and has a total perimeter of 9.4 km (5.8 mi).
Sail around the world
Most people dream about sailing around the world, due to the sense of freedom and exposure to the elements that it entails, but maybe also because our world is a vast one and we should discover it a bit more. One of the bigger feats one can do is sailing around the world especially when you are sailing around both the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, and later on around Cape Horn, Chile.