I’ve seen a lot of articles lately about where to go in 2013 and it got me thinking about two things:
1. All the places I want to go in the world and how that list isn’t getting much shorter.
2. The way that pretty much every aspect of life is subject to trends.
When I first realized — probably sometime in high school — that trends exist in categories beyond clothing I was astounded. People regularly talk about clothing trends or fads, but we don’t talk as often about trends in television shows or food or styles of teaching. In the end though, what is popular ebbs and flows in all categories including travel.
And with regard to travel, the idea is usually to go somewhere that no one has been before. Obviously, that’s an oversimplification, because there isn’t really anywhere that no one has been before. If we want to get historical about it, all those explorers “discovering” new worlds weren’t going anywhere someone hadn’t been before either because, you know, indigenous peoples exist.
So, what it comes down to is that people want to go somewhere that not too many tourists have been before. That’s the trend — to “discover” the cool place that not too many Western tourists have visited yet. Preferably life there is inexpensive and surrounded by natural beauty or home to excellent nightlife. These places will eventually attract particular types of travelers and thus it is important to get there before everyone else does!
Now I’m not criticizing anyone for wanting to go places that are more unusual for Western tourists to see. I’m just pointing out the tendency of these articles to choose places in the “developing” world or to note that you can still see an “authentic” version of life there. I’m going to end the sociology rant here and just give you the links that have been appearing on my twitter feed for the last few weeks. I hope you find them thought-provoking.
1. ABC News’s Travel Section has a nice slideshow of 10 destinations on the rise if you’re interested in some pretty pictures.
2. Landlopers’s roundup of travel blogger’s picks for 2013 has been passed around the internet quite a bit already, but it’s worth taking a look at if you want a more in depth look at why these places are worth visiting. It’s a diverse group of suggestions and there’s something for most travelers and budgets.
3. Financial Times suggests some new frontiers for 2013 and with that branding it should come as no surprise that these are “off the beaten path” suggestions.
4. And this link is a little different — it’s the Top American Destinations to Avoid in 2013. The author gives pros and cons for each location, but don’t read the comments because, although they are in the minority, some people left flat out racist comments about Detroit and LA.
5. An the last link is from Lonely Planet, ever the travel aficionados, who have a number of articles under the heading Best in Travel 2013 including top countries, unforgettable cities, regions on the rise, and, perhaps most interestingly, best places to try something new.
Where are you most interested in going in 2013?
What a coincidence!