"Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?" What if instead of a dreaded job interview question, this was asked as a travel challenge? Suddenly the whole world opens up.
You had better start thinking, because the world will look very different in the next decade than it does today. For travelers, this means the time to explore is now. The brave and the curious are seeking out previously unexplored or closed-off destinations. The trend-hungry are prioritizing upcoming hotspots, and as the environment changes rapidly, nature-lovers are rushing to places threatened by rising sea levels and pollution.
Before our world's landscape changes even more, here are the destinations that should go straight to the top of your bucket list in the next decade.
According to the Southeast Asian country's department of tourism, 2015 is the year to visit the Philippines
. If enough people catch on to its diverse beauty, the untouched quality of this 7,107- island nation would of course change very quickly. Chaz Requina of Philippines-based travel magazine GRID
told The Huffington Post that his island of choice at the moment is Siargao
. It has pristine beaches and is known as the surfing capital of the Philippines. Requina also recommends Palawan, "not only the cleanest island but by far the most magical," and Bohol, which is "remote" but "easily accessible," has "amazing beaches everywhere," and "the friendliest people."
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Known for its clear skies, the Elqui Valley has long been known
for its unmatched star-gazing. A verdant, 100-mile stretch of pisco-producing vineyards in the middle of the Andes mountains, the valley itself sounds as dreamlike as its views of the cosmos. The New York Times advises
travelers to visit the enchanting valley soon, however, as light pollution from increasing tourist development is already clouding the famously clear night sky.
PETER PTSCHELINZEW/GETTY IMAGES
Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico is so much more than just a ski mountain. Rugged and remote, Taos is famous for its breathtaking scenery and the "legendary light
" that has inspired artists like Georgia O'Keeffe. Taos has always had a sort of mystique about it. In 2013, billionaire Louis Bacon bought the mountain
from its founders the Blake family, promising this lovably weathered mountain would get a "much-needed shot in the arm
," as The New York Times put it. This year, a chair lift opened to Kachina Peak, which had previously only been accessible by a hike. Thirty-five acres of new tree skiing opened, too, and the village's ski lodge also got an upgrade. Ski Taos in the next 10 years to take advantage of these new developments, and also to experience the unique charm of the place while it lasts.
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Bolivia, which owned the fastest-growing economy in South America last year
, is seeing a turnaround that's sure to lure travelers. It's home to "cultures and languages that could disappear within our lifetime," Lonely Planet warns
, so the time to go really is now. Bolivia also happens to be one of the world's up-and-coming food destinations. Claus Meyer, acclaimed chef and co-founder of Copenhagen's famed Noma restaurant, opened Gustu
in La Paz in the spring of 2013, and the biodiversity in the country provides a huge range of fruits and vegetables -- there are 1,200 varieties of potatoes alone in Bolivia. Whether you're exploring Salar de Uyuni
, the largest salt flat in the world, Lake Titicaca's Isla del Sol
, or are eating at what might become the "best restaurant in the world," you'll find something incredible in Bolivia.
For the "lowest lying country in the world
" built precariously on a coral reef, climate change is an urgent problem. Rising sea levels threaten the Maldives' very existence, while warming and increasingly acidic waters are killing the reefs below, The Guardian reports. Fourteen islands have already been abandoned due to "massive erosion by the sea," The Sydney Morning Herald reports
. Sadly, the loss of this nation, made up of more than 1,200 islands, seems not to be a matter of if but when. While it's not cheap to reach, if you're looking to visit the Maldives, it's probably best to go sooner rather than later.
These two islands off the coast of Cambodia have been described as what the beaches of Thailand were like 20 years ago. Koh Rong
boasts slightly more activity than the slightly smaller, quieter Koh Rong Samloem
, but both are utterly serene and beautiful. Calm, clear water laps lazily on idyllic white sand beaches, and there's not much else to do but kick back and enjoy the sun, sand and waves. Word will get out -- it always does. So get to these islands before they become overrun with tourists.
So, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Correction: This post previously listed Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem as islands in Thailand, when in fact they are in Cambodia.