It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day. Whether your week is frantic, mundane or cruising, a new perspective triggers new ideas, confidence and a jolt of happiness, all bound together with a string of stories to dine out on. An injection of travel and leisure stretches your world view, to see how other people live, think and find love and happiness.
Here are top travel and leisure destinations to inspire you and change your view of this big wide wonderful world.
Egypt Land of the Gods
Egypt is a land filled with mystery, ancient curses and on-going archaeological digs. Brilliant colours along the Nile, small towns and villages and tourist hot spots make it an ancient melting pot for old and new.
Home to over a third or the world’s antiquities, there is so much to see, and right now the tourists are nowhere to be found. Scared off by ‘past’ turmoil, this means it’s a great time to visit. With cheaper prices and short queues, the Great Pyramids, exotic Nile and rich spices of Cairo are yours to explore. The bargains are better, the prices are lower and the beaches are still amazing.
Australian and New Zealand, American, Canadian and British passport holders must have a visa to enter. A renewable single entry 30 day tourist Visa is available when you arrive at an airport bank kiosk before the immigration desk, for $25USD.
Even so, it’s better to secure your visa from an Egyptian embassy or consulate to avoid lengthy delays at the airport and disappointment, in the event you are refused entry into the country. Please Google ‘is it safe to travel to Egypt?‘ if the answer is ‘no’, take it off your list for now and keep reading. The world is full of other amazing places.
Travel and Leisure in Beirut
Beirut is enjoying a resurgence of new energy, flooding its skyline, blending old and new. The Civil war ended in 1990 and the repairs are on going, fresh and new. The contrast of scar torn buildings standing beside gleaming towers has brought together world class architects like Herzog, Jean Nouvel, de Meuron and Zaha Hadid.
Foreign investment is pouring like chic cocktails in world-class nightclubs and rooftop bars, welcoming back foreigners to their shores for new experiences in travel and leisure.
As famous and now deceased Anthony Bourdain said, “The food’s delicious, the people are awesome. It’s a party town. And everything wrong with the world is there. Hopefully, you will come back smarter about the world.” Amen.
A visa is required for most travelers including Australian and New Zealand, American, Canadian and British passport holders. You can obtain a renewable single entry 30 day tourist Visa on arrival at the airport for free; simple and thoughtful. You can also get one in advance, at a cost of 25 pounds.
However, if you have an Israeli visa or stamp in your passport, you will probably be refused entry.
Land-locked Bhutan was isolated from the outside world for centuries. This makes Bhutan mysterious, medieval and mythological with a single shot of modern.
You can hike through rice paddies to out of the way monasteries, hang prayer flags at Tiger’s Nest, and meet a Tibetan healer. The exceptional beauty of Bhutan will captivate and awe you, and between the silences, those seeking spiritual renewal and inspiration will be carried deep into Buddha’s smile.
Travel and leisure in the Kingdom of Bhutan are welcomed but highly regulated to minimize any impact on the country’s unique society and environment. That means that only a limited number of tourists enter the country at any one time, so its not overrun or overwhelmed by mass tourism.
Most foreigners need a visa before entering Bhutan. If approved, you receive a visa clearance letter to present at the port of entry, in exchange for a visa stamped into your passport. A daily fee is also charged and amounts to $250 a day during tourist high season, and $200 a day for low season. Part of these funds go towards free education, free healthcare and to reduce poverty in Bhutan.
Swedish style and design have been trending on all fronts for the last few years. From clothing to home style and function, Sweden will transfix you with its beautiful landscape, uber-chic restaurants and hotels, medieval towns, castles and pretty historic towns.
It also has dense forests and dramatic mountains, beautiful coastline and hundreds of islands. It’s a small country but there is a lot to see.
Australian, British, Canadian and US citizens can enter and remain in Sweden up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. Almost everyone speaks English, so getting around is easy, which means you won’t learn much Swedish.
Unlike the craziness of Italy or Spain, one of the key characteristics of Swedish culture is that Swedes speak softly and calmly and find boasting in bad taste. They are very polite and humble about their lifestyle. Their fixation with function is everywhere, with cities that are clean, efficient and work well amidst the beautiful water ways and city skylines.
10 Things about Sweden that will Surprise you.
1. Leave your shoes at the door. Shoes are rarely, if ever worn in a home.
2. Be on time. Whether you are meeting for coffee, trains or dinner, Swedes are punctual and expect you to be on time. They will begin without you.
3. Sweden is a leader when it comes to equality between the sexes. You will see many men pushing prams and taking advantage of the 480 days paid parental leave shared between parents.
4. Most businesses close in July.
There are so many amazing travel and leisure destinations on planet Earth. Which of these destinations will you put on your list? Whatever you do, travel light and always take great earrings!