Welcome back to my new monthly series on Nomadderwhere, one which highlights the incredible trips one could take in that current month - thanks to a vibrant book called Journeys of a Lifetime by National Geographic. Every month I will pick out a couple adventures from each section in the book in order to provide you inspiration for 365 days from now. Read the brief description to whet your appetite, and click on the trip name for further information (links provided by National Geographic...of course you could be a gritty backpacker and make it on your own).
Kerala Backwaters: A gorgeous chunk of an enthralling nation, Kerala is webbed with narrow, seemingly endless channels connecting large lagoons with lush banks. Prepare to live on the water and be sustained by veggie meals and coconut milk.
Nile Felucca Cruise: Aboard a white-sailed falucca on a historical stretch of the Nile, this trip will present mummified crocodiles, ancient architecture and a rural glimpse of Egypt unknown to most.
The West Coast Road: For me, nothing is more satisfying than seeing oceans and mountains converge. Driving along the west coast of the south island of New Zealand will give you all the vistas you could hope for.
The Forts of Oman: A round-trip drive from capital Muscat offers the viewing of thousands of castle and forts built with mud and stone. They'll have you thinking about Oman's strategic position and its ancient culture.
The California Zephyr: "Through the Rockies, not around them" - this train route takes you through the Wild West, starting in Denver and ending in Salt Lake City. Mountains, grasslands, rocky outcrops, the natural works - bring your camera.
The Chiva Express: It's actually a specially adapted bus lacquered in bright colors and murals that transports people from the Andes to the tropics. Travel through diverse terrains while strapped in below or seated on top.
The FitzRoy Massif: "Cross icy, rushing creeks, traverse valleys, and circuit lakes" - oh sweetness, who wouldn't dream of traipsing around Mount FitzRoy in Argentina? Remember, it's summer down there!
The Rigsum Gompa Trek: You know you're obsessed with traveling, traveling to the exotic, traveling to the seemingly unattainable areas, and Bhutan is just waiting for your wallet and your open eyes. Why not make that trek next November?
In Search of Culture
Temples of Thailand: It's still going to be hot but not nearly as humid if you travel to Thailand in November for some spiritual awakening along the spine of this content and enlightened country.
Cathedrals of France: The search for culture seems to often be inhibited by the hordes of crowd often present in Europe, but late fall should be a gorgeous ambiance for adoring massive works of stone and mastery.
In Gourmet Heaven
Search for Sushi: I'm still not sold on this culinary obsession, but they say there's no bad time to visit Japan for the real thing. I actually visited the Tsukiji fish market before it was closed off to visitors. That's one fish-crazy country.
Cape Winelands: Africa + Wine = Stellenbosch outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Remember this equation, and when you find yourself in that gorgeous city, you'll know to book a day tour and go after that pinotage!
Into the Action
The Belize Barrier Reef: Get ready for a seemingly endless list of awesome marine life: manatees, sharks, rays, turtles, crabs, fish, and all the coral you could shake a snorkel at!
Elephant Safari: Ride atop a slow-moving pachyderm with a panoramic view of the grasslands of Nepal. Does that spell out "exotic" or what?
Up and Away
Island-Hopping by Air: Fly above some gorgeous granite islands that change color in the sunset light. The south Indian Ocean delivers, and the Seychelles are a great place to see these magical tropics from above.
Great Australian Pub Crawl: Imagine a pub crawl without matching t-shirts, without clomping in your high-heels to each establishment, without ground transportation in between. That's right; fly from pub to pub in the Oz Outback. Whoa, that's serious drinking.
In Their Footsteps
Pablo Neruda at Home: Fly down to Santiago and visit the homes-turned-museums of Nobel laureate (of literature), Pablo Neruda, and you're sure to walk away a little more savvy of the political landscape and attitude of late 20th century Chileans.
A Voyage to the Galapagos: What comes to mind with the words "Galapagos," "Darwin" and "animal utopia?" Your upcoming, awesome vacation in November of 2010, that's what.
How's that brain? Spinning with innumerable desires to traverse continents and climates? Pull out a pen and prioritize your life by putting one or more of these trips at the top of the list. And by planning a year in advance, you'll be quite able to save, prepare, and anticipate the rigors of your adventure in every way. Check back in December for the Journeys of a Lifetime you could partake in next year!
Where are you inspired to travel to next year? Leave a comment and be my new friend.