Go far, travel local

Ben Webster
October 18, 2020

Whether it’s quitting a job to sail the seven seas, pursuing a search for self across the continents, or overcoming tragedy through travel, the heartfelt travel memoirs of real-life women never cease to inspire us. Here’s 7 reads the Jane gals can’t wait to get stuck into.

Female travel is not a new phenomenon – women have been adventuring solo since the 1800s. Yet, as more women share their stories through travel blogs, social media groups and published memoirs, their intrepid travel tales are reaching a wider audience. By breaking down all kinds of social conventions, they inspire others to do the same. So if you’re thinking of setting off on an epic voyage of your own, or simply in the mood for a bit of armchair travel, let these 7 female travel picks from Good Reads light the way.

The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost – Rachel Friedman (2011)

“Rachel Friedman has always been the consummate good girl who does well in school and plays it safe, so the college grad surprises no one more than herself when, on a whim (and in an effort to escape impending life decisions), she buys a ticket to Ireland, a place she has never visited. There she forms an unlikely bond with a free-spirited Australian girl, a born adventurer who spurs Rachel on to a yearlong odyssey that takes her to three continents, fills her life with newfound friends, and gives birth to a previously unrealized passion for adventure. As her journey takes her to Australia and South America, Rachel discovers and embraces her love of travel and unlocks more truths about herself than she ever realized she was seeking. Along the way, the erstwhile good girl finally learns to do something she’s never done before: simply live for the moment.” – Rachel Friedman

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Book C-20 | The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost by Rachel Friedman · "What happens when we lose the things that anchor us? What if, instead of grasping at something to hold on to, we pull up our roots and walk away? Instead of trying to find the way back, we walk deeper and deeper into the woods, willing ourselves to get lost. In this place where nothing is recognizable. Not the people or the language or the food, we are truly on our own. Eventually, we find ourselves unencumbered by the past or the future. Here is a fleeting glimpse of our truest self, our self in the present moment." · A quick read to spark the travel bug within! The main author is likable and writes with simplicity yet depth. She hops from Ireland to Australia, North America to wandering around South America. As someone who has been fortunate enough to travel and see a few places in the world, I loved Rachel's ability to bring me back to the booths in Galway, the common rooms of hostels. Furthermore, as someone standing at a crossroads, a dear friend left this book for me to keep me company when I needed it. The writing is a bit younger than what I normally read but it kept my attention and diagnosed me with a severe case of wanderlust. If you're looking for a fun escape or something to motivate you to go on and buy that plane ticket, pick this one up. · · ✈️ rec level: 3.75 of 5 | for fans of: Wild by Cheryl Strayed · · #book #bookstagrammer #bookstagram #rachelfriedman #bookshelf #bookclub #bookish #bearsbeetsbooks #goodgirlsguidetogettinglost

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How Not to Travel the World: Adventures of a Disaster-Prone Backpacker – Lauren Juliff (2015)

“I had no life experience, zero common sense and had never eaten rice. I suffered from debilitating anxiety, was battling an eating disorder and had just had my heart broken. I hoped by leaving to travel the world I would be able to heal myself. Instead, Lauren’s travels were full of bad luck and near-death experiences. Over the space of a year, she was scammed and assaulted, lost teeth and swallowed a cockroach. She fell into leech-infested rice paddies, was caught up in a tsunami, her motorbike’s brakes failed and she experienced a very unhappy ending during a massage in Thailand. It was just when Lauren was about to give up on travel that she stumbled across a handsome New Zealander with a love of challenges…”-Lauren Juliff

Uncanny Valley – Anna Wiener (2020)

“In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wiener—stuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial–left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She moved from New York to San Francisco, where she landed at a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley bubble: a world of surreal extravagance, dubious success, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs hell-bent on domination, glory, and, of course, progress.

Anna arrived amidst a massive cultural shift, as the tech industry rapidly transformed into a locus of wealth and power rivaling Wall Street. But amid the company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies, boyish camaraderie and ride-or-die corporate fealty, a new Silicon Valley began to emerge: one in far over its head, one that enriched itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building…”- Anna Wiener

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I actually listened to this as an audiobook, but wanted to post a review so much that I snook a photo in Waterstones… – – – I think one of my favourite discoveries of the last year or so is how much I LOVE memoir, and this was absolutely no exception. Uncanny Valley is Anna Wiener’s account of how she left her New York publishing job and moved to California, caught up in a whirlwind of excitement about the tech industry: lucrative salaries; west coast weather; casual dress code; free beer. I came for the publishing talk – and it’s true, the first chapter or so is a brilliant portrayal of everything that’s wrong with this crazy little industry – but I stayed for the witty, insightful writing, the adventure into the quirks of start up culture, and the cutting take down of tech bros. Honestly, this is so good! So good! Also, this was one of the best audiobook readings I’ve come across – like listening to a really long, really engaging podcast. – – – #uncannyvalley #bookstagram #shelfie #booksbooksbooks #currentlyreading

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Love with a Chance of Drowning – Torre DeRoche (2011)

“A city girl with a morbid fear of deep water, Torre DeRoche is not someone you would ordinarily find adrift in the middle of the stormy Pacific aboard a leaky sailboat – total crew of two – struggling to keep an old boat, a new relationship and her floundering sanity afloat. Set against a backdrop of the world’s most beautiful and remote destinations, Love with a Chance of Drowning is a sometimes hilarious, often moving and always breathtakingly brave memoir that proves there are some risks worth taking.” – Torre DeRoche

This is How I Save My Life: A True Story of Finding Everything When You are Willing to Try Anything – Amy B. Scher (2018)

“When Amy B. Scher was struck with undiagnosed late-stage, chronic Lyme disease, the best physicians in America labeled her condition incurable and potentially terminal. Deteriorating rapidly, she went on a search to save her own life–from the top experts in Los Angeles and the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis to a state-of-the-art hospital in Chicago. After exhausting all of her options in the US, she discovered a possible cure–but it was highly experimental, only available in India, and had as much of a probability of killing her as it did of curing her. Knowing the risks, Amy packed her bags anyway and flew across the world hoping to find the ultimate cure.”

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I'm @amybscher and am thrilled to be taking over this awesome Instagram account for a few days. Thank you, @jenpastiloff! I'm an author who lives in NYC with my beautiful wife and two bad cats. I have a brand new book coming out on Tuesday called THIS IS HOW I SAVE MY LIFE — about traveling around the world to try to heal from an incurable condition…and finding everything I never knew I needed along the way. There were many things I learned that we need in order to be happy and healthy beings when it feels like all the odds are stacked against us. But one of the biggest? WE ARE ENOUGH. We are already enough even without doing a thing. I'll be reminding myself of this a billion times this week when I'm terrified to have all my words out in the world. Maybe we can remind each other. For more about the book: www.howisavemylife.com #youareenough #howisavemylife #jenpastiloff

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Laughing Without an Accent: Adventures of an Iranian American, at Home and Abroad – by Firoozeh Dumas (2008)

“In the bestselling memoir Funny in Farsi, Firoozeh Dumas recounted her adventures growing up Iranian American in Southern California. Now she again mines her rich Persian heritage in Laughing Without an Accent, sharing stories both tender and humorous on being a citizen of the world, on her well-meaning family, and on amusing cultural conundrums, all told with insights into the universality of the human condition. (Hint: It may have to do with brushing and flossing daily.) Dumas also documents her first year as a new mother, the familial chaos that ensues after she removes the television set from the house, the experience of taking fifty-one family members on a birthday cruise to Alaska, and a road trip to Iowa with an American once held hostage in Iran.” – Firoozeh Dumas

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl: A Humorous Travel Memoir – Vicki Lesage (2014)

Wine, romance, and French bureaucracy – the ups and downs of an American’s life in Paris. This laugh-out-loud memoir is almost too funny to be true! Drinking too much bubbly. Meeting sappy Frenchmen who have girlfriends or are creeps or both. Encountering problème after problème with French bureaucracy. When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to taste wine, stuff her face with croissants, and maybe fall in love.

Want more? Join my bookclub on Facebook: What Wandering Women Read

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Solo female travel is on the up and showing no signs of slowing down. But where are the best  – and safest destinations for women to go it alone?

Why do women love solo travel? There are many answers. Sometimes it’s about the practicalities of not having someone to travel with, or wanting an interference-free itinerary. At other times, it’s about breaking out of our comfort zone and creating space for growth. With an endless amount of benefits to go it alone, the only real question is, where to?  We looked to 3 experienced female travel bloggers for the answer.

Discover the safest places for solo female travel according to our favourite travel bloggers The Blonde Abroad, Be My Travel Muse and Haley on Holiday.

Nomadic Matt with Kristin Addis

When our favourite guy traveller blogger needs a female perspective, he looks to Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse. In her post, 10 Awesome Destinations for Solo Female Travellers, Kristin curates a list that empowers women to discover more about themselves.

Traveling solo as woman is a unique opportunity to find out exactly who you are in completely new surroundings and without anyone around from your past to influence you.

– Kristin Addis, Be My Travel Muse


  1. Solo in Moab, Utah, USA

    “I easily met people just by hanging around the free campsites, the coffee shops, and while watching the sunset over Dead Horse point during my solo American Southwest road trip.”

  2. Solo in Yubeng, China

    “Yubeng is a remote village in the Chinese Himalayas that can only be reached by foot or mule.”

    “In the big cities, scams often target young female tourists, but in the Himalayas, you’re more of an esteemed guest.”

    See our travel advice on China travel in 2020.

  3. Solo in Maui, Hawaii, USA

    “There are female-focused activities — like the Maui Surfer Girls camp, designed specifically for solo female travellers who are looking for a supportive group of women to take up a new sport with. It’s an experience that is both empowering and fun!”

  4. Solo in El Chaltén, Argentina

    “With its constant catcalls, South America can sometimes feel stressful for solo female travellers, but this trekking town is different. It’s full of nature-loving artists and hippies who are welcoming, as well as hikes that are full enough of people that even if you show up solo, you can easily meet others on the trail.”

  5. Solo in Iceland

    “Iceland is the safest country in the world. Seriously, people leave their cars running, with the keys inside, when they go grocery shopping.”

    “Plus, the capital draws so many solo travellers on layovers from the US that it won’t be hard to meet someone cool at your hostel to split a car rental with for a day trip like the Golden Circle or even a longer journey like the Ring Road.”

  6. Solo in Ylläs, Finland

    “The locals are so darn amiable that you’re sure to make a few friends, especially if you head to the female-owned-and-run Aurora Estate, where the owners can help you plan some awesome excursions snowmobiling and snowshoeing.”

  7. Solo in Big Sur, California, USA

    “Camping in Big Sur is the perfect opportunity to meet others because campers are friendly. Chances are good you can make a pal at the very next camping spot, especially if you offer them a locally-brewed beer.”

  8. Solo in Nusa Island, Bali, Indonesia

    “Most couples traveling in this area opt for Bali, so chances of you sitting awkwardly next to a loving couple on a stunning beach is much lesser on the Nusa Islands.”

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    Oh Hai golden hour 🌞

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  9. Solo in Sossusvlei, Namibia

    “Namibia is adventurous and social without feeling dangerous. All of the backpackers and camping accommodations have pools and other common areas, which makes it easy to meet others if you’re solo.”

    “You can also join a tour or safari and meet plenty of other solo travelers. It’s what I did, and I loved it!”

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    Our last #BMTMAdventures trip of 2020 is taking us back to Africa! If you’ve always dreamed of climbing the brilliant orange sand dunes in Namibia, learning how to photograph the night sky, and seeing wild lions, elephants and even possibly rhinos, then Namibia will take your breath away. It’s a country I can’t get over and can see myself going back to for the rest of my life. The friendliness, the warmth, and the incredible diversity of animals and landscape is bar none. I’ve just announced dates for this trip and Botswana immediately following. Swipe to see photos and my insta stories from last time! Hit the link in my bio if you’d like to join this incredible women’s adventure!

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  10. Solo in Berlin, Germany

    “Berlin draws many solo travelers, and it’s easy to meet others. It’s also a socially progressive city with a low violent crime rate that’s simple to navigate and easy to love.”

    Find more of Kristin’s musings at Be My Travel Muse,  Instagram and Facebook.

    Haley on Holiday

    To qualify as a good destination for independent female travel, Australian blogger Haley on Holiday lists four criteria. She has to  feel safe and comfortable, Secondly, destinations need to offer good attractions that she can enjoy alone, and it needs to be easy to navigate via public transport. Finally, the language barrier can’t be too much of a struggle.

    In her post, My 15 Favourite Solo Travel Destinations Around The World, Haley rounds up 15 of the best destinations she’s personally experienced as a female travelling alone. Here are 1o of our faves.

    It’s widely known on this blog that I am an introvert. But solo travel has made me step out of my comfort zone on hundreds of occasions. For this I will be forever thankful, because stepping out from inside my bubble has allowed me to experience much more than I could have inside that zone of comfort.

    – Haley Simpson, Haley on Holiday


    1. Solo in Dublin, Ireland

      “I wouldn’t say Dublin is my favourite place in the world, but it’s a great city to visit alone. Although I only took one bus during my visit, there were different transport options available. I also felt very comfortable walking around the entire city early in the morning and at night.”

    2. Solo in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

      “To be honest, travelling around Europe solo did make me nervous because of the language barrier.”

      “Amsterdam was the best city I visited in Europe in terms of the minimal language barrier.”

    3. Solo in Las Vegas, USA

      “Yes, Las Vegas would be a lot of fun with your favourite people, but I am here to tell you that you can still enjoy yourself in Vegas alone.”

    4. Solo in London, UK

      “London is a fantastic place to visit solo, especially if it’s your first time travelling alone. The city’s public transport is fantastic – expensive, but extremely efficient. There’s also possibly too much to do in London. I have now spent about 10 days in the city and I still have SO many things left on my bucket list.”

    5. SoLo in Vancouver, Canada

      “Firstly, public transport is fantastic. Secondly, there’s lots of things to do. Thirdly, there are plenty of accessible day trip options, like getting the bus to wonderful Whistler.”

    6. SoLo in Singapore

      “Singapore is a great Asian destination for solo travel. The transport is excellent and the city is very safe. I felt totally comfortable visiting sights at night and walking back to my hostel from the train station.”

    7. SoLo in Tokyo, Japan

      “Another place I was anxious about visiting solo was Tokyo.”

      “But I loved it and I hope to return soon, now that I’m based in Australia again. I felt comfortable walking to my hostel at night and the Japanese people I interacted with were all very friendly. The public transport is also fairly easy to use, as there are thankfully signs in English everywhere, directing you where to go.”

    8. SoLo in Melbourne, Australia

      “Finally, I have to give a shoutout to Melbourne, my current home. Because in Australia, Melbourne is hands down the best place to visit alone. There are plenty of transport options and too many things to do (like, my list is still long and I’ve lived here for nearly two years). Go to brunch, visit St Kilda, spend a day wandering around the city’s many laneways and go on a day trip. I promise you’ll love it.”

    9. SoLo in Paris, France

      “Paris is synonymous with romantic escapes, but I’m here to tell you it’s a fantastic city for solo travel too. Although some French people won’t converse in English, I think you can get by just pointing at the delicious pastry you want.”

    10. SoLo in Edinburgh, scotland

      “I loved its gorgeous brick buildings, free attractions and pub offerings. I also only walked around Edinburgh, because both the New and Old Towns were easily accessible from my hostel.”

      “If you have time, I also recommend doing a day trip through the Scottish Highlands.”

      Find more of Haley’s solo travel tips at Haley on Holiday, Instagram and Facebook.

The Blonde Abroad

Splitting her home base between California and Cape Town, prolific traveller blogger Kiki has been just about everywhere, and is a huge advocate for independent female travel. In her post 10 Safest Destinations for Solo Female Travelers, Kiki rounds up the 10 destinations she loves for safety, ease of getting to, and the potential for meeting other like-minded travellers.

I’m a firm believer in the power of women traveling alone and on girlfriend getaways. Traveling alone or with other women can be empowering and so much fun! There’s nothing more fun than connecting with other female travelers and sharing experiences around the world.

– Kiki Rich, The Blonde Abroad


  1. sSoLo in Iceland

    “Join a tour and snorkel or dive the Silfra Fissure and hike a glacier. And don’t miss a bath at the beautiful Blue Lagoon!”

  2. Solo in Switzerland

    “Geneva was one of my favorite spots on my recent summer in Europe—with access to the lakeshore, the jet d’eau, Parc de la Grange, and more, it’s the perfect spot to be immersed in the Swiss culture.”

    Solo Female Travel - The Blonde Abroad, Lake Geneva Switzerland
    The Blonde Abroad, Lake Geneva Switzerland
  3. Solo in New Zealand

    “Adventure awaits in the glaciers, beaches, and fjords of New Zealand.”

  4. Solo in Australia

    “I explored The Outback and Uluru, rode the Ghan Train and hiked through Kata Tjuta and the Valley of the Winds.”

    solo female travel - The Blonde Abroad, The Ghan South Australia
    The Blonde Abroad, The Ghan South Australia
  5. Solo in Canada

    “Canadians have a reputation for being the friendliest people in the world and, while traveling alone here, you’ll see why!”

  6. Solo in French Polynesia

    “With diverse marine life, some of the world’s best diving, incredible natural beauty, and a heavy vanilla scent that follows you wherever you go, the islands of French Polynesia is a place that you’ve never seen the likes of before.”

  7. Solo in Ireland

    “Cozy up in a local pub, catch a football game or head out to the countryside for an incredible Irish experience.”

  8. Solo in Namibia

    “Namibia is the ultimate road trip destination and a fantastic destination year-round. Home to deserts and stunning coastlines, it’s one of my favorite Africa trips to date.”

  9. Solo in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    “Rent a bike and run into (not literally of course) some friendly and laid back Dutch locals.”

  10. Solo on a cruise

    “While it’s not a specific destination, a cruise in any part of the world is a great travel experience for female travellers. Enjoy the convenience of an itinerary and secure accommodation.”

    Check out Jane’s Cruise Add-on for specialised cruise travel insurance.

    Discover more of Kiki’s travel tips at The Blonde Abroad, Instagram and Facebook.

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What about Galway, girl? Travel guide Lonely Planet has picked this colourful coastal city among its top 10 spots to visit in 2020. What were the other cities hot on the list? Here are the 10 best, according to Lonely Planet.

1. Salzburg, Austria

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Heute wars ein recht entspannter Tag. 😍 1. Ausschlafen 🙏👌 2. Gutes Essen 🤤 3. Entspanntes spazieren gehen durch die Salzburger Altstadt und Umgebung 💕 4. Weihnachtsdeko verräumen 5. Ohhh da kommt schon wieder gutes Essen. 😂👌 Was habt ihr bei diesem #traumtagerl gemacht? Schönen Abend euch Lieben. ❤️ . . . Werbung/Produktplatzierung #journeythroughlife #salzburg #mönchsberg #placestovisit #mytravelgram #austriancreators #austriagram #austrianblogger #austriatoday #blogger_at #blogger_de #germanblogger #еnjоyjаnuаry #lifestyleblogger_at #lifestyleblogger_de #thehappynow #theeverygirl #effortlesschic #justaddsole #taschenliebe #fashionblogger_at #mоndаymoоd #fashionblogger_de #naturliebe #goplayoutside #igersgermany #igersaustria #fromwhereistand

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Drumroll, please: the Salzburg Festival is turning 100, and this heart-stealer of an Alpine city is singing about it at the top of its voice. One of the world’s greatest classical music shindigs, the festival is always a riotous feast of opera, classical music and drama – and never more so than in 2020. Salzburg will be pulling out all the stops for the centenary, with special exhibitions and events taking place all over the historic centre – concerts, plays, readings, Mozart matinees, you name it. Top billing, as always, will go to Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann, based on a medieval morality play and performed in all its glory in Domplatz. So dust off your dirndl or lederhosen, book your tickets months ahead, and get ready to rock into the summer like Amadeus (perhaps minus the wig).

2. Washington DC, USA

All eyes will be on Washington, DC, this year, as the city celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment – the law that granted women the right to vote. Iconic museums like the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Women in the Arts will have special exhibitions related to this major milestone in human rights. Tie this in to the excitement for this year’s presidential election and DC will be one of America’s most dynamic cities in 2020. Politics aside, Washington’s renaissance is in full bloom, with a revitalised waterfront, celebrated new museums and an exploding food scene. Green roofs, hundreds of newly planted trees and an innovative floating wetlands system have the city looking greener than ever.

3. Cairo, Egypt

Egypt waved Tutankhamun’s treasures off on a globetrotting tour in 2018, declaring it the last time the pharaoh’s burial-booty would leave its shores. Want to gawk at ancient Egypt’s wealth in the future? You’ll need to visit Cairo’s Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM). The year 2020 is set to be the date – inshallah (God willing) – this state-of-the-art museum in Giza throws open its doors. Head here to marvel at a mind-boggling collection in what will be the world’s largest museum entirely committed to one civilisation. For Red Sea and Luxor holidaymakers, a Pyramids and GEM add-on will also become a doddle with Giza’s newly inaugurated Sphinx Airport set to operate domestic flights.

4. Galway, Ireland

Brilliantly bohemian Galway is arguably Ireland’s most engaging city. Here brightly painted pubs heave with live music and cafes offer front-row seats to watch buskers perform. And this year all that creative exuberance is being supercharged by events marking the Galway region’s role as a 2020 European Capital of Culture – the city’s calendar is as packed with activity as the bars are with locals on a Saturday night. Expect street spectacle, live and digital art as well as world-class music, theatre and dance. Sleep might have to wait – in Galway even the buskers play late into the night. Vivid and vibrant, brimful of imagination, Galway in 2020 is home to a year-long, city-wide, arty party. And you’re invited too.

5. Bonn, Germany

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3° Celcius cold calls for warm cuddles 🔥

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Once capital of West Germany, Bonn slipped off the radar when Berlin re-seized the reins in 1990. But it’s back in the spotlight with a cymbal roll in 2020, as the city gears up to mark Beethoven’s 250th birthday. What’s the score? Well, you can expect a year-round line-up of concerts drawing world-famous orchestras, soloists and conductors (among them Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Barenboim). Theater Bonn is staging Fidelio, the composer’s only opera. Beyond this, there are installations and competitions tuning into Beethoven’s musical genius, picnic performances, and ‘home concerts’ where local musicians fling open their doors to the public.

6. La Paz, Bolivia

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P O T O S I Golden light in El Alto / Bolivia! The contrast between all those houses and that 6000m peak fascinated me! Huayna Potosi is one of the easier high mountains in the region but you have to be fit in high altitude, otherwise it’s no fun an dangerous! For me the most beautiful route on Potosi is the ridge in middle of the image (it’s a bit like the Bianco Ridge on Piz Bernina) . . . . . . . . . . . #chevere #southamerica #elalto #uyuni #mountains #andes #globetrotter #bealpine #ourplanetdaily #stayandwander #passionpassport #vivalavida #lensculture #discoverearth #beautifuldestinations #amalavida #cerveza #bolivia #earthpix #boliviatravel #travel #lovethemountains #puremountain #studyabroad #roamtheplanet #createexplore #illimani #lapaz

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Perhaps it’s the Jetsonian capsules gliding over La Paz along the world’s largest cable-car system that are the most obvious signs of its new-found ambition. There were just three lines in 2014, but there will be 11 in 2020. Down below, the once-drab city is racing towards a more radiant and inspired future. Everyone from a flamboyant self-taught architect to the budding chefs leaving new culinary schools is thriving here – not because of some borrowed ideas and global trends, but rather due to a renewed sense of pride in Bolivia’s indigenous roots. It’s not hard to see why an increasing number of tourists are now sticking around in La Paz before they venture further afield.

7. Kochi, India

This nicely chilled city in southern India has seen the light. Grafted onto the tropical Malabar Coast in KeralaKochi has become a shining example in renewable energy in recent years, launching the world’s first fully solar-powered airport, which snagged it a UN Champions of the Earth award. But that’s just tip-of-the-iceberg stuff. With boho cafes, intimate homestays hidden away in lazy, colonial-era backstreets, and a raft of forward-thinking galleries, this city keeps a tight grip on its heritage while wholeheartedly embracing its newfound cool. In 2020, street art comes to the fore at Kochi-Muziris Biennale, putting India firmly on the contemporary arts festival map.

8. Vancouver, Canada

This natural playground – squeezed majestically between the blue waters of the Pacific and the forest-clad mountaintops of the North Shore – was the birthplace of Greenpeace, so it seems fitting that Vancouver has been trying to lead the world in urban sustainability. And for you, the environmental benefits of its longstanding Greenest City 2020 Action Plan will only enrich your stay. Take to its vastly expanded cycling and walking network, including an unforgettable 28km section along beaches and shorefront, and comfortably hop between the city’s many sights on an upgraded public transport system. Or simply catch some shade under one of the 102,000 new trees that have been planted since 2010.

9. Dubai, UAE

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#Dubai sunset 🌤🌤📷:@alphaspotting

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The future is now in Dubai as the superlative-craving emirate launches several boundary-pushing marquee projects in 2020. Top billing, of course, goes to the six-month-long World Expo 2020, where 190 nations go all out in showcasing the latest visions in sustainability and mobility (think: flying cars) in architecturally show-stopping pavilions. Also expected to open is the Museum of the Future, a cabinet of next-gen wonders in an eye-shaped building festooned with calligraphy. Meanwhile, two miles off-shore, a Europe-themed fantasy resort on an artificial archipelago called The World is gearing up to welcome its first guests to such only-in-Dubai phenomena as underwater bedrooms and year-round snow.

10. Denver, USA

Denver’s elevated position as one of the USA’s most charming boomtowns has reached new heights as the Mile High City enters its latest phase of growth, creative energy and damn good food. Construction cranes dot the mountain-studded horizon and empty lots turn into hip new hotels seemingly overnight, while new food halls such as Milk Market satisfy appetites with an eclectic mix of farm-to-table and international fare. The mind-bending Santa Fe art experience Meow Wolf has installed a psychedelic ride called ‘Kaleidoscape’ at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park as a precursor to a permanent $50-million Meow Wolf installation to come in 2021. Meanwhile, the fascinating Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art has moved into a magnetic Olson Kundig–designed building within the city’s Golden Triangle Creative District.

Republished from Lonely Planet 

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