By Lynn Cadet

As travel bans begin to disappear, the complications that come with planning our itineraries will also. Our exploring dreams are no longer bound to the pandemic and the gloom it cast over the friendly skies. For those who didn’t leave their home, you can finally shake the dust off your suitcases and catch those long-awaited flights to your favourite destinations.

Although I did some travelling this year, COVID restrictions kept me from fully experiencing everything and limited my choices. Some places weren’t open or were too expensive. But, now we can finally embrace our wanderlust.

So where to, huh? Here is a list of my 2022 dream destinations. Maybe you’ll find yourself in one of these lovely places next year too. 

Puerto Rico

Located in the Caribbean, this tropical island is perfect for a quick getaway. Since it’s not too far from Florida (my home state), scheduling a holiday weekend will allow me to explore and save money for other trips later in the year. 

In San Juan, the island’s capital, you can bask in the cultural elements of Spanish colonial architecture and ancient fortresses, then check out its touristy strip filled with nightlife activities, hotels, and casinos. Along the southwestern corner of the island is the famed bioluminescent bay, La Parguera. Here you can kayak and watch the dark waters transform to bright blue with only a touch of your hand. El Yunque National Forest will also be a stop on my itinerary with its lush rainforest vegetation, enchanting waterfalls, and scenic routes. 

Hawaii, U.S.

Hawaii was on my travel list this year, but I had to make other plans. A rental car shortage in the state caused the rental price per day to skyrocket and thus, took away my would-be days of Mai Tais and lovely black sand beaches. However, by next year, the tourism industry will have already rebounded. Although it has eight major islands, picking only a couple to explore will help you get the best out of your trip. You can always take a quiz if you have a hard time choosing. 

For me, Kauai and Maui have the perfect mix of activities and scenery. Maui is more developed and provides a balance of jaw-dropping beaches, nature, and city attractions. If you want to become one with nature, Kauai will leave you breathless. It’s filled with verdant valleys, coastal trails, and home to Wailua Falls

Singapore

A melting pot of culture and cuisine, this country deserves its status as a tourist hotspot. Its attractions have become icons on social media travel pages. Seeing them in person seems like a pretty good bet. Its cosmopolitan allure also influenced me to put it on this list. 

Located in the heart of Singapore, Marina Bay gives off a futuristic, colourful exhibition, hosting a diverse range of eateries, luxury malls, and the beautiful Gardens by the Bay. With the State of Fun as its quip, Sentosa Island boasts pristine beaches, themed attractions, rainforests, and more for you to enjoy. 

Scotland

Have you ever heard of the saying “life imitates art”? Well, I recently read a book set in the glorious backdrop of the Hebrides of Scotland, and now I feel inspired to see it for myself. Imagining the scenery was fun, but experiencing calming strolls down long stretches of sand and feeling the salty, cool breeze on my face in real life sounds even better, though I may be a tad bit biased. 

Ancient charm, vast terrain, extraordinary bird watching catalogue, and transparent waters characterise the Hebrides. Island hopping is the best way to take in the region’s versatility and enjoy the remote and underpopulated that give abundant wildlife and nature room to flourish.

Chile

This South American country may not be the most popular tourist spot, but it has so much to offer to make it yours. Stretching to the farthest point of the continent, you can find all sorts of landscapes to explore. Whether you’re looking to trek through frosty mountains or sprawl out on a local beach, Chile can work its magic for an enjoyable getaway. 

It has so many national parks to choose from, the most unique being the Nevado Tres Cruces National Park, a desert with salt flats, seasonal flamingo watching, lagoons, and a volcanic backdrop. In Patagonia, a vast region occupied by Chile and Argentina,  you can see glacial fjords, stunning lakes, penguins, and icy mountain ranges. Situated on a lake there, the Marble Cathedral Caves look otherworldly as you kayak beneath them in awe.

So, do you feel inspired yet? Perhaps you can start somewhere close to home and see how it goes? As for me, I have a Puerto Rico trip to plan. See you in the friendly skies!