Nick & Bee Say: If there’s one universal acknowledged truth about travelling, it’s that it makes you want to do more travelling. It’s infectious. Once you experience the lifetime of adventure on a truly incredible trip, it’s only a matter of time before you start thinking about where to go next. Or as we’ve found, you start planning your next trip while still on this one! It’s impossible not too, we’ve met so many people out here who have all been to the most amazing places. It’s truly inspirational. So with this in mind, we were flattered to be asked by Emirates Airlines to explore our top picks for future destinations. And after roughing it on a tiny little 8 seater plane recently, just flying with Emirates is up there on our top things to do list!
Image: Welcome Nepal
Nick Says: Nepal is right up there for me. Why? One of the main things extended travel does is give you lots of time to think about how you’d like your life to be. It puts things into perspective. One of my favourite activities back in the UK was climbing. I took it up a few years ago, and really got into it, visiting the climbing wall as often as I could. But if there’s one thing about London, it’s that it doesn’t give you a lot of time to pursue extra-curricular pursuits. Suddenly I was spending more time at work, had more ‘vital’ social functions to attend, and stopped being able to justify the cost. But it made me sad. My climbing shoes began to gather dust. I started making excuses not to go on the outdoor climbing trips I had planned.
But something’s happened on this trip. Perhaps it’s all the time I spent in the Andes at altitude. Suddenly all I can think about is climbing again, and not only that, but mountains. The Andes was ruggedly beautiful, and took a hold of my heart while we roamed them. I found my reading tastes veered towards outdoor adventure books, especially the masterful John Krakauer’s Eiger Dreams, a collection of essays about climbing. So where better to gain a sense of the sheer majesty of the mountains then taking a trip to the most impressive range of all – the Himalayas. Nepal seems like a crazy person’s idea of a country, mainly at altitude, cut off the rest of the world until the mid 20th century, and full of yaks. It promises chaos, adventure, and wilderness. It also promises Everest. The highest point on this planet, and the closest we can get to space without flying. While I’ve too much respect for the mountain (and also my safety) to want to climb it, I want to see it with my own eyes. I want to travel to Nepal and tackle an epic 17 day hike to Everest Base Camp. Everyone in the world has heard of this mountain, and so it seems right that you should want to see it. I had the opportunity to speak to a girl on our Galapagos cruise recently who had done the hike. Her verdict? The hardest thing she had ever done, but the one she was most proud of.
Image : MTPA Tourist Office
Nick Says: I’m not just all about mountains and extreme environments though. Mauritius is also one of my next must-see destinations. Beautiful tropical paradise? Tick. A hundred things to do other than lounge on the beach? Tick. A completely unexpected side of Africa? Also tick. While many might just see the island as luxury destination of high-end resorts, I think it’s far more than that. Firstly, I’m inspired by my travel hero Simon Reeve, who visited during his Indian Ocean series, and showcased an island that was a melting pot of world cultures – African, European, Chinese, Creole, and Indian. I love these countries and places that stand at a cross-roads of everything. Hong Kong is one, but I think Mauritius might be a stage further. Countless nations have tried to leave their definitive mark here, but none have dominated. Instead you’re left with what seems to be the most interesting aspects of all. Secondly, I worked for several years with a girl from Mauritius, and she would wax lyrical about her home. This was as far removed from the mega-resorts as you could imagine, with stories about her sprawling family house (complete with cranky Grandma) and day to day life in a vibrant island nation. There’s nothing more compelling than hearing a first-hand account of somewhere to make you want to visit (I try and talk up Southampton on occasion, with difficulty) and getting an almost behind-the-scenes account of the place really inspired me.
Thirdly, it seems to have everything I enjoy about travelling. Interesting culture, trekking opportunities in the mountainous central region, an incredible variety of bird-life (RIP Dodo), and of course turquoise waters and white sand beaches. Because after all, who doesn’t want to send people at home pictures of you lounging around on the sand without a care in the world?
How to get there… Emirates.
Image : Eye on the World India
Bee Says: I was lucky enough to grow up in Bradford, Yorkshire (a phrase not many people who grow up in Bradford probably utter very often!) Due to Bradford’s position as a boomtown of the industrial revolution, during the 19th century it soon became “wool capital of the world”. Textiles continued to run through the heart of the city, and in the 50s and 60s attracted employees from many countries around the world; in particular India and Pakistan. This meant the Bradford I was born into in 1984 was one of the most multicultural places in the United Kingdom. Growing up I was surrounded by the beauty, the colours, the smells and the sounds of Indian culture. I practised Bollywood dances at school, I learnt to apply henna before nail varnish and I sighed enviously as my friends would board a flight to India for the summer holidays. Why then, has it taken me SO long to visit India myself? I can’t answer that, but it is number one on my top locations to visit next. I hope in a way, that a small part of my heart would feel like I was coming home, as so many of the customs and ways of life are familiar.
Whilst traveling has lit in Nick a lust for future adrenaline-led mountain treks, I think the part of me that has grown most in Latin America is my spiritual side. More than ever I have found my pilates, yoga, breathing techniques and meditation an anchor to my days and a strategy to process and soak in all the new experiences. With this in mind, I would start a trip to India with some time in an ashram, honing these skills and hopefully reaching some sort of Zen, in advance of stepping onto the bustling largest rail network in the world and heading out to some of the hill stations. A passion that both England and India (and me!) share is tea. I’d therefore spend some time in the fluffy green mountains exploring the tea plantations and slurping my way through a few cups of heaven… And by then it would be down to business; bazaars! Oh doesn’t the word just make you want to jump on a flight right now? I desperately want to roam through the piles of rainbow vermilion, the spices, the flowers, exotic fruits, exquisite textiles and glittering bangles. Safe to say this trip wouldn’t be done with my 35litre backpack, considering I would need at least an 80litre to fit all my shopping in.
To balance out all that materialism, I’d need to take some time exploring temples and monuments. Ideally I could time my trip with Diwali, the festival of lights, to feast my eyes on the fireworks, the small clay lamps and the five whole decadent days of celebrations. Before I left, I’d be sure to get out into the jungles and visit some of the 400+ species of mammals, 1260 species of birds and 460 reptiles. Who am I kidding? I think I need to plan multiple trips to India in order to see everything, so I better get started sooner rather than later…
How to get there.. Emirates.
Image: Inspired by Iceland
Bee Says: When it comes to holidays, Nick and I take it in turns to chose the location. Well we will, we have only taken one holiday together due to travel-savings, and Nick picked Morocco. This means that the next holiday we take is my choice and I am choosing Iceland! I’ve dreamt of visiting this mythical kingdom for as long as I can remember. Now that we have spent the majority of our trip in the tropics, I feel like I have had my fill of being hot. The sun is wonderful, but the mozzies, sandflies, feeling every part of my body sweat including my lip… I am absolutely ready to visit somewhere that requires thermals and woolens and cosying up. What makes Iceland so curious is the festival of elements; fjords, stone towers, geysers, glittering ice caps and hopefully spotting a midnight sun. In South America I also discovered natural hot springs for the first time (the closest I’ve got to a much-lusted-after bath) and would like to continue this new found addiction with some dips in the thermal lagoons of Iceland.
When I imagine our holiday there, I can’t wait to snuggle into the pubs in Reykjavic, munch on rye bread, feast on smoked meats and pickled fish, oh and wash it all down with a ton of throat-firing schnapps. I already own more Fair Isle knitwear than one human needs, so I wouldn’t even need to do any pre-trip shopping. Oh, and did I mention the northern lights?