They say that to stay creative, you always need to stretch yourself and your boundaries. And what best to stretch your current limits than to travel? Now, we don't want to talk about staying awed by the Paris' city lights or the New York Manhattan Skyline. 2017 is about something exotic, something unfamiliar, something to kick the spice inside our brains to stay relevant and creative. Perhaps something out of your comfort zone.
Here are a few countries you can visit in 2017 to stretch your boundaries:
1. Kerala, India
If you've already packed, but not sure where to go, Kerala, India is one that will definitely appeal to you, whether you are looking for new spices to taste, want to see the mountains or love the adventure of backwaters. India is definitely full of culture, much different from the western countries, so there are various parts of the country that can open your mind to newer things, aesthetically and emotionally, so get ready to explore and learn.
Here are a few things to do while in Kerala:
Have you imagined yourself giving a bath to an elephant? Kodanad Elephant Sanctuary is the perfect place for it. Just make sure you just give them a bath, and not rid e them. Animals are living creatures too, so they must get the same respect and love every single one of us deserves.
Get a chance to see Neelakurinji, a rare blooming flower in the Eravikulam National Park or see the wild and endangered goat, Nigiri Thar. Make sure you check them out as they are very unique to Kerala.
And lastly, expand your palate by visiting Munnar, Thekkady or Wayanad to see wild and unique spices of India in their natural habitat - authentic black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and the exotic vanilla and explore the farms on a nature walk.
2. Kidepo National Park, Uganda
Kidepo National Park, Uganda Source: BLphotography
For wildlife safari adventures, Uganda has you covered. Kidepo National Park is the perfect safari reserve to take you to all your wildlife safari dreams. These include carnivores, ungulates, and primates. You can see tree climbing lions and a variety of animals like elephants, leopards, jackals, bush bucks, bush pigs, kavirondo bush babies, buffaloes and much more. And if you are fond of wild birds, you can also see an extensive avifauna.
3. The Azores
Been to Paris and Barcelona many times and needing a new break from the lush and busy cities? The Azores, one of the autonomous regions of Portugal, was just recently voted the world's leading sustainable tourist destination. Here at The Rushing Hour, we keep sustainability and fair trade an important part of our business. And sustainability can apply to many aspects of our lives, and one of it is travel. Learning how to preserve the natural resources, beauty, and animals surrounding a tourist destination is very important, especially if we want future destinations to still see these beautiful wonders.
4. Jerusalem, Israel
Source: Travel and Leisure
Want new food adventures? We love constantly exploring new food to taste, and Jerusalem has recently emerged as one of the culinary destinations, rivaling Tel Aviv. Check the Mahane Yehuda Market for various food stalls and restaurants and try exotic dishes like the Kurdish shamburak and standout beef tartare with plums.
Forget about your diet plans, life is too short. Don't miss these must taste food while traveling in Jerusalem:
Jachnun, a meticulously prepared Yemenite bread looks like an ordinary eggroll from the outside, but you'll find much more deliciously prepared dough inside. You really have to taste it to appreciate its goodness. Jachnun takes a lot to make, usually baked at very low heat for approximately ten hours. It is traditionally served with a boiled egg and s'hug, a crushed tomato sauce.
Malabi is one of the top favorite desserts in the whole country, an almond and rosewater pudding. To make it taste even better, it can be topped with fresh ingredients like coconut shavings or chopped nuts, a delicious dessert that can be enjoyed by young and adults alike!
And who can forget tasting Kebab from Jerusalem? Kebab has been a part of the culture of many countries, therefore can be tasted almost everywhere now, however, isn't it nice to get a taste of it while you're in Israel? You might just discover a new way of making it and take home a great recipe for your friends and family!
5. Visayas Islands, The Philippines
Palawan, one of the top marine and vacation destinations in the Philippines
Can you resist planning about travel without considering palm trees and blue water destinations? Because we can't! The Philippines is located at the center of the world’s ‘coral triangle’, and is considered to house the richest concentration of marine life on the planet, with 5000 species of clams, snails and mollusks alone. With a tropical weather, you can visit from November to May for the best months to snorkel, dive and get in touch with your inner mermaid. ha!
2017 is just beginning and there are plenty of chances to plan your year right. Remember, inspiration is all about taking your ideas and thoughts to the level and keeping yourself passionate and inspired!
And since we are talking about inspiration, make sure you check out one of the biggest inspired partnerships we have here in The Rushing Hour, One Girl.
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