OK everyone, hands up those who at this moment dream about their next leisure trip! Personally speaking, I have arms, hands and fingers stretched high above my head. In fact, I had them raised before finished asking you the question. Such is my desire to travel again soon that I cannot wait any longer for that moment to come.
I am not sure of what is the main reason that makes me feel so eager and anxious to want to go away. Neither, I would say that I feel stressed about it. I would describe the situation as if I am on ‘emotional floating’. It could be that the events of the past year have unsettled me and the pandemic, the lockdowns, and the daily bad news irritate me. On the other hand, it may be that the winter blues eventually caught up with me once again. Whatever it is, I know for sure that I would love to be on an airplane soon to go on a vacation. Besides, I am equally sure that I am not alone on this spiritual crave and most of you feel in the same way as I do!
Meantime, as we wait to receive the final “ready to go”, for the pandemic to pass and to reach the end of the ‘lockdowns’, we cannot help but . . . dream. When will that be, I hear all of you ask. No one knows the straightforward answer.
Start writing a basic travel plan
In my opinion though, it will not do any harm to start thinking now about prospective destinations. Draft a basic travel plan and make small meaningful preparations for your next journey. It is a good time to share your travel thoughts with friends and family and start writing your ‘to-do’ list. From my side, I will help you by providing few suggestions on aspiring destinations. These are recommendations of places I would like to re-visit once we have returned to the much-anticipated normality or as soon as possible, though whichever comes first is not relevant to me.
Please remember that these are places to visit once the travel industry and country borders have properly reopened. My listed destinations come with suggested duration periods based on my likings. You can design the makeup of your journey according to your own personal preferences.
Oh! Final point before you go through my list of destinations . . . DO NOT FORGET TO CHECK with relevant government and regulatory authorities on latest travelling abroad information. Do this prior to completing your travel arrangements.
1. Malaga, Spain
MALAGA for 3 DAYS: One of my favourite destination cities! Malaga is full of attractive places to explore and pretty buildings to see. This is a place where you will find a variety of nice walking spaces including cobbled streets and pleasant pedestrian areas by the Muelle Uno and along the well-known beach Playa La Malagueta. Spend some time to stroll through Malaga’s historic centre and the many narrow streets and make the experience your own adventure.
Malaga has a large selection of places to eat or to enjoy a drink. I would recommend a visit to Mercado Central for a cheap lunch within a setting that for me, always offers a ‘buzzing’ atmosphere. Pablo Picasso was born and lived here and other than the Picasso Museum – House of birth, the city has an extensive selection of attractions including 36 museums. Visit the Cathedral known as “Manquita”, the Gibralfaro castle, which overlooks the city and the port or, try a short boat trip.
2. Vienna, Austria
VIENNA for 3 DAYS: By admitting that I am a coffee lover, it should not come to you as surprise to find out that I have an affection for Vienna. This city has a coffee-culture that comes together with a lot of grandeur and magnificence. When I visited Vienna, I felt a combination of a cultural-artistic-musical vibrant sensation. Walking around the city you cannot help but wanting to express vocally your admiration for the arrangements in the baroque streets, the majestic buildings and the charm of the old and new mix that surrounds you wherever you are. My last visit in Vienna was in wintertime and there was a crispness and freshness around while the air carried a welcoming sentiment. Walking around Vienna’s streets and its many parks, the place has an ambience and a constant buzzing atmosphere. Clearly though, you get a feel that you are in a modern city with a very long history and quality that embraces everything that you see.
3. Athens, Greece
ATHENS for 5 DAYS: Many of you may think that I have added Athens on the list of destinations simply out of compulsive bias for my birthplace. However, I assure you this is not the case. I genuinely believe that Athens is a lovely city to visit because the place has a lot to offer and is a location where life goes on 24 hours a day. So many sites to see, so many things to do, and so many places to eat and drink it leaves you with no choice other than to go out, leave your accommodation and explore. I always consider a bonus to have nearby the Saronic Islands for short escapes when you visit Athens. You can hop on one of the boats departing from the port of Piraeus, stopover at one of the islands, spend a day there and come back onto the mainland in the evening.
Transport links are good within the metropolitan area of Athens and there are many options for travelling around including a selection of bus services, metro, tramways and underground. It is worth visiting Glyfada (a coastal suburb) with its selection of shops, restaurants and bars particularly interesting and lively during the evenings. The area has a number of nice beaches for a relaxing morning or afternoon.
CYPRUS for 7 DAYS: As I love the warm climates, for me Cyprus is always a good choice to visit for a getaway. The island enjoys kind weather and temperatures and even in winter, the conditions are mostly mild. Whether for pleasure or work, each time when I visited Cyprus, thoroughly enjoyed my stays there. The selection of dishes and food is generally good and the choice of eateries and cafes is enormous. Although most of the times I visited waterside places around the Larnaca region nevertheless, I have also experienced short trips inland to the mountainous areas and the excursions around were likewise pleasant. There is always a wide selection for both charter and schedule flights offered from various hub and regional airports. This availability makes it a lot easier for all to escape to the island for a holiday, mostly any time of the year.
DUBAI for 7 DAYS: Definitely one of my preferred destinations, Dubai offers a lot whether you are looking for a good holiday, nice accommodation or warm weather. This Emirate is full of options for sightseeing, shopping, and entertainment as well as places to enjoy leisure activities. Having a low crime rate, I have always felt comfortable to move around and to go anywhere without having anything to worry. Transport is of good standard with available links using the metro system and taxis. Overall, Dubai has a modern feel with a lot of tolerance for visitors. However, it makes good sense to follow basic rules such as dressing respectably in public places and showing common courtesy and civility in your dealings with others.