12/31/2011 09:40 am ET Updated Mar 01, 2012

BootsnAll's Best 10 Destinations For Indie Travelers In 2012 (PHOTOS)

As the year draws to a close, it seems appropriate to begin thinking about where to travel in 2012. At BootsnAll, we've always been fond of pushing the envelope a bit when it comes to the places we go -- we tend to look past the usual tourist hotspots in favor of destinations that are a bit more off-the-beaten-path, a little less-visited and slightly more adventurous.

Most of the 10 spots on our list for 2012 were chosen because there's something special happening next year (or that just happened) that makes now an ideal time for indie travelers to visit. But you can be an indie traveler anywhere. It's not about where you go, how much you spend or for how long you travel. It's about how you travel, what you do and how you learn from and interact with the destination's people, culture and traditions. What's more, there is so much of the world to see that it's simply impossible to say that any 10 places are the only places you should go next year.

When it comes to these lists, no matter how much research goes into them, no matter how objective we try to be -- taking into account upcoming events, cost of visiting and appeal for indie travelers -- it's never going to be the definitive list of exactly where you should go next year. And it's not meant to be. Instead, it's meant to provide you with ideas and inspiration, and get you thinking about where you want to travel next year. We think the places we picked are great, but even if you pick a totally different destination, what matters is that you're going out to see the world.

So, without further ado, here are our recommendations (in no particular order) for 10 of the best destinations for indie travelers in 2012.

How many of these spots will you add to your 2012 must-see list? How many of these places have you already visited? Tell us in the comments.

BootsnAll's Best Destinations For 2012
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