Written by Agness and Cez
Hey, everyone! Agness and Cez of eTramping.com here. As travelers, we all understand getting sick of the usual locations and wanting something different for a change. Well, if you want to go off the beaten path for a while and try something new and exciting – this is a great place to start and these six locations will have something novel for everyone but the most seasoned travelers. Enjoy!
Like many other Latin-American countries, Mexico has a problem with drug cartels running rampant. Fortunately, you should be safe if you avoid the border areas of Mexico where such crime is more present. Another frequent problem you need to be wary of is car-jacking. Though, if you’re just headed on holiday you probably won’t bring your car with you unless you’re from the U.S. Still, none of those should deter you from visiting this culturally rich country. Mexico City, Mérida, Todos Santos, and similar places are great and safe options – if you don’t like the extra adrenaline on your trip.
If you just want a resort city to relax in, Huatulco and Playa del Carmen are awesome recommendations. You can catch some crystal-clear water and fun snorkeling sessions around there.
When it comes to African countries, Tanzania is one of the safest alternatives out there. When you compare it to countries like Sudan or Kenya, this one really keeps in line. In any case, you might hear about poor Tanzanians making up stories to get money from unsuspecting tourists.
Surprisingly, the scammers are actually courteous and their stories usually involve wanting to go to school. Some of those may actually be true, but most of the time it’s just for the quick cash.
One word, though: safaris! Nothing is better than roaming the wild plains of Africa. Looking at both gentle and ferocious wildlife living out their existence can be pretty calming. And nerve-wracking – for some!
#3 North Korea
No, you will not be arrested for looking at someone the wrong way in North Korea. Despite what you may be hearing from the media, your only worry here is that you won’t be able to visit anything without your tour guide. Other than that, you’re free to enjoy your North Korea tours as much as you want. And yes, you are allowed to take your camera, laptop and smartphone with you, take photos, and intensely immerse in the culture through your guides.
If you have the patience to abide by the rules of the country, you can find a country of immense beauty where the locals strive to show you the best they have.
Whether it’s just for show, or not, is entirely up to you to decide. Just make sure that decision is yours, and are not letting news outlets think for you. Visit the place like we did, instead! From what we experienced, nothing was faked for us. They just showed us the best aspects of their lives, which for some prejudiced people may look fake.
Russia is a massive country. It covers one eighth of the entire planet! As such, you will find an assortment of places – and cultures – to visit here. The country basically warrants four or five visits if you want to get a glimpse of the full Russian experience.
If you visit the major cities such as Moscow or St. Petersburg, you don’t need to throw caution to the wind. Then again, you can’t do that in Los Angeles or New York, either. Just be careful as you would be anywhere else and you should be fine.
Want something more extreme? Visit Yakutsk in the Sakha Republic, where winter temperatures can reach −34 °C on average. It’s really a “cool” place to be. But seriously, the Yakuts are quite interesting. If you’re one of those travelers who prefers meeting people over seeing places, Yakutsk should make it to your list.
Ah, Vietnam. The thing about this wonderful country is that people really tend to respect their customs and traditions. Now, this may be good or bad depending on the situation. Agness says she could write a 100-page book of all the blunders she made while we were there.
In fact, here’s a great list of do’s and don’ts while you’re in Vietnam. It’s quite the lifesaver, really. Other than that, the Vietnamese are an easy-going people.
What you’ll notice is that they take their time with everything. This shouldn’t be an invitation to lose your temper, however, as it’s considered extremely rude to them. Take the time to live life at a slower pace. We go too fast sometimes, anyway.
What better place to get your dose of adventure than near the Arctic Circle? Accessible only through Denmark or Iceland – this land inhabited by Greenland Inuit people will give you both the metaphorical and literal chills. Greenland is considered a great place to witness the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in their entire splendor.
Plus, if you come here during the six (!) months of winter, you’ll have the chance to go dog sledding. As well as go on ski trips. In fact, there are no roads in between settlements in Greenland, so those are basically your only options if you don’t want to stay in one location during your Arctic trip.
On the other hand, the best feeling is being allowed to hike wherever you want. To people who are used to following rules about hiking this land is a godsend. Just be careful to bring someone experienced along for the trip if you intend to go far away from civilization!
No matter where you travel, it’s a good decision to bring your common sense along for the trip. Yes, you should do your research before visiting any of these places. But there’s only so much information you can digest about a place without having lived there. As such, if your gut tells you that something doesn’t feel right just don’t do it. Your health is much more important than a few fleeting kicks. Think of it this way. If you avoid drawing attention to yourself now, you avoid a few crafty pickpockets. Not to mention getting to visit every place we’ve listed for you today!
P.S. – We can’t stress this enough, try blending in with the locals wherever you go. Flashing the obvious “tourist” signs only invites trouble your way.