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Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Add These to Your Bucket List

Location: Around the World

It’s blog bonus day! Enjoy this one once again.

We love Paris like everyone else.  But really that’s the problem.  EVERYONE loves Paris (and London and Rome) and so you find lots of crowds and high cost.  In our travels around the world we have really tried to find new places that few tourists go.  Often these destinations end up being our most favorite.  And the more we travel the more we want to encourage everyone to consider stepping out of their travel comfort zone, and exploring the unknown – the favorite destinations no one goes.   Finding your way to the lesser traveled destinations creates less impact on the planet while bringing greater cultural awareness to the traveler.  We ask you to consider these options:

Bulgaria

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Bulgaria

Instead of Croatia consider visiting  Bulgaria, one of our favorite countries we have ever been to.  Bulgaria has so much to offer, and yet we did not meet a single American during the entire month we were there.  We did meet lots of Russians, Germans and some Brits.  Bulgaria has a remarkable coastline along the gorgeous Black Sea as well as great mountains for hiking.  The food is amazing, the wine is cheap and the 5000 year history is astounding.  And the people are so amazing, welcoming and proud. They have endured a great deal in their history, and they have a “come what may” attitude that is infectious. Go visit Bulgaria.

Slovenia

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Slovenia

Instead of Italy go to fascinating Slovenia. From Trieste, Italy it’s just a hop across the border to Slovenia, the tiny country once part of Yugoslavia.  We have been to Slovenia twice and I suspect we will be there again.  Slovenia has a tiny coastline on the Adriatic, and our favorite town of Piran is a perfect place to visit and get some local flavor.  But don’t stop there, Slovenia has some of the most beautiful mountain towns and lakes.  Much of Slovenia is still agrarian and the people are welcoming and patriotic and friendly.  Oh and the seafood.  So darn delicious. Go visit Slovenia.

El Salvador

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

El Salvador

Instead of Mexico go to El Salvador.  We just spent two weeks on the Pacific Coast of tiny El Salvador and we absolutely loved it.  There are some Americans coming here, but mostly 20-year-old surfers. The media has made us believe El Salvador is a dangerous place, and yet it is no more dangerous than Mexico and Americans flock to Mexico.  Come to El Salvador where the water is warm, the people are welcoming, the food is delicious and the history though brutal and bloody – is fascinating.  El Salvador will soon come out the shadow of its violent past, so visit before the secret gets out.  Go visit El Salvador.

Poland

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Poland

Instead of Germany go to Poland.  Poland is just beginning to step out of the shadow and become a tourist destination.  And it should.  We fell hard for Poland spending three weeks there last fall.  Poland has some of the most astonishing history anywhere in Europe.  The food is fantastic.  The people are warm and happy to meet you.  The historic villages are well-preserved and beautiful.  And it is cheap and easy to get to.  We loved Krakow as well as all the other places we visited and using the train in Poland was a great way to travel.  You really should visit Poland now.

Bangladesh

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Bangladesh

Instead of India go to Bangladesh.  I loved our time in India too, but if you want to push yourself and visit somewhere no tourists go, visit the remarkable, tiny country of Bangladesh.  Our short visit to Bangladesh provided us some of the most rewarding moments we have ever had in our travels. It’s difficult to visit Bangladesh without a guide, and we were lucky to find Deshguri, one of the few tour operators in the country.  Through Deshguri we able to meet so many Bangladeshi people, who greeted us with more kindness than anywhere we have ever been in the world.  We certainly stood out in both crowded Dakar as well as the beautiful villages and countryside, since almost no Western tourists come here.  We learned so much during our time in Bangladesh, and left our heart with its beautiful people. A remarkable experience that everyone should have. Visit Bangladesh soon.

Sri Lanka

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Sri Lanka

Instead of Thailand go to Sri Lanka. Thailand is overrun with tourists anymore.  So if you are looking for beautiful beaches, mountains and more, visit Sri Lanka instead.  The young backpacking set has found Sri Lanka, but few American visitors of the Fab Fifties era are traveling here.  Why not?  It is amazing.  We spent three of our most favorite weeks in Sri Lanka, one of the friendliest countries we have ever visited.  The Civil War is over and Sri Lanka is safe and inexpensive.  The food is the da bomb. Hiking and history is around every corner and the beaches are incredible.  We saw elephants and leopards, monkeys and snakes.  Oh my.  It’s Sri Lanka for me.

Namibia

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Namibia

Instead of South Africa go to Namibia.  Our ten-day tour in Namibia with Wild Wind Safaris will go down in our travels as one of the most remarkable places.  This country that nobody has heard of is one of the most beautiful in the world.  We had an amazing private guide during our time there, but you can also see the country easily with your own 4×4 vehicle (careful though, there is a high traffic fatality rate in Namibia). Namibia has a gorgeous Atlantic coastline, dry mountainous region that is like a moonscape, and multiple fascinating cultures such as the Himba, Damara and Herero people.  And to top it off Etosha National Park – single-handedly the best wildlife viewing we have ever encountered.  I absolutely fell in love with Namibia.  If you have ever considered a safari in Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa take a moment and research Namibia.  You will be so glad you did.  Go see Namibia now.

Seychelles

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Seychelles

Instead of the Maldives go to the Seychelles.  First a word about the Maldives.  We loved our time there, and luckily we found a very inexpensive place to stay.  But in general the Maldives are expensive and there is no alcohol! So consider the Seychelles instead.  A beautiful set of small islands out in the middle of nowhere off of east Africa.  We spent a month on the tiny island of Praslin and loved every minute of it.  Groceries were expensive and the variety was less than desirable, but the rest of the experience was very positive.  The islanders speak French/Creole mix, and the shy people are friendly and religious.  If you are looking for a place to kick back and relax with the warmest turquoise waters in the world, visit Seychelles now.

Portugal

Our Favorite Destinations No One Goes To

Portugal

Instead of Spain go to Portugal.  I hesitated about adding Portugal to this list because Portugal does have a thriving tourism industry.  But we met very few Americans while we were there.  Perhaps more Americans go to Spain because Spanish is a language more Americans can handle.  But during our time in Portugal we had very little difficulty with the Portuguese language.  We loved Portugal so much we would consider living there.  The food is incredible, the cities are beautiful and the beaches are fantastic.   It’s a remarkable place with such a variety of geography.  Historically Portugal was once a powerful country of explorers and merchants, colonizers and tyrants but today, this quiet and beautiful country is laid back and relaxed and fun.  Visit Portugal.

What is next for us?

We are now into a full-fledged planning phase of our next chapter of the Grand Adventure. We will spend May-September in the USA then depart again.  Without really trying, we have noticed

Hard to answer questions to a travel nomad

Portugal

a trend in the countries we are planning to visit next, a trend towards less touristy.  A trend towards staying longer in one place.  A trend towards trying to make less of an impact and remove ourselves from the fray.

I think this is what we always intended to happen on this journey, but it just took us a while to get there.  But when we look back on our favorite places we have been so far, it’s always the places with the road less traveled.  It’s always the places with few western tourists.  It’s always the places the cruise ships don’t go.  The authentic and relatively untouched destinations.

One rare Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Our favorite destinations no one goes to.  Fabulous.

Note – we have committed to the following destinations from September to January; China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Kenya and Mauritiaus. Not confirmed but in the works for 2020 are;  Zambia, Uganda, Israel, Cyprus, Malta, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia,Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovakia, Belarus, Estonia, Finland and Greenland.

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19 Comments

  • Reply Megan McC

    I love the less crowded places too! El Salvador is up soon on my travel list. (Living in Mexico, so it’s not too far). Thanks for sharing!

    March 29, 2019 at 3:46 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      Thank you! You will love El Salvador!

      March 29, 2019 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply From Across the Kitchen Table

    Portugal is such an underrated country and those who overlook this beautiful destination are missing out on a lot. I also try to avoid crowded places and avoid travelling at peak times. Myanmar and Laos are also awesome places to go. This is a great list, thanks for sharing with us.

    March 29, 2019 at 6:20 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      We loved Laos and will be in Myanmar for the first time next November!

      March 29, 2019 at 9:40 pm
  • Reply Eric

    I keep hearing great things about Portugal. My friend lived there for a couple months and absolutely loved it. She said they were some of the nicest people she had ever met traveling.

    March 29, 2019 at 7:53 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      I believe I could live in Portugal!!!

      March 29, 2019 at 9:40 pm
  • Reply Karen

    Oh I so agree with you on so many of your entries. Poland a huge YES, stunning country. Slovenia yes, Bulgaria yes and after 40 days in Portugal and big fat YES. Check out Slovakia and Romania next they are outstanding countries touched little by tourists.

    March 30, 2019 at 12:27 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Yes I also loved Romania. We will be headed to Slovakia in 2020!

      March 30, 2019 at 6:29 am
    • Reply Laureen

      You will love it! The Algarve is wonderful!

      March 30, 2019 at 6:30 am
  • Reply Ruth Murdoch

    An inspirational post, thanks. We are heading to Portugal now! and I took note that you could live there, that’s our idea also so we are going to check it out.

    March 30, 2019 at 4:33 am
  • Reply Federica

    I have done many of your suggested countries but like Italy and Slovenia or Thailand and Sri Lanka. I prefer to visit a place for the joy of visiting and not instead of 🙂 another more popular destination as every place deserve to be discovered

    March 31, 2019 at 10:15 am
  • Reply Lisa

    Amazing destinations. We are hoping to visit Sri Lanka soon.

    April 14, 2019 at 3:03 am
    • Reply Laureen

      Sri Lanka is amazing and the people are so sweet. You will love it!

      April 14, 2019 at 5:41 am
  • Reply Candy

    What a great idea! I desperately want to go to Slovenia. And I completely fell in love with Portugal last year.

    April 14, 2019 at 12:36 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      You would
      Love Slovenia!

      April 14, 2019 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply M Blake

    Thank you for these ideas! I’m always looking for more “off-the-beaten” track places – not so into crowds and selfie-sticks. I’m hoping to go to Portugal this summer and maybe Seychelles next summer, so this list helps me confirm my thoughts about traveling to those places.

    April 20, 2019 at 4:25 pm
    • Reply Laureen

      I loved both places and have blogged extensively about them if you need more info. Thanks so much for commenting!

      April 20, 2019 at 5:06 pm
  • Reply Jmac

    Amazing! I’m with you on the “no cruise ship” destinations…we avoided those at all costs while sailing!!

    August 14, 2019 at 6:11 am
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