Where will 2017 take you: #TTCTopTen
Although I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many exciting and vibrant places over the years, there comes a time each February when the Christmas and New Year holidays have receded into the distance and there is time after all of the festivities to take stock and think. About where in the world the New Year will take me!
Browsing through the pages of our latest Tailor-made Collection
which showcases the ‘undiscovered’ regions and lesser-known gems of the United States has given me enough inspiration for years to come, but there are also a number of other destinations which have inspired me to create a list of my top ten.
Some of these countries and regions will see me returning to my roots, experiencing unique cultures and uncovering the heritage of far-flung shores, and participating in meaningful community projects. As part of the Travel Corporation
's (TTC) family of brands, we're lucky enough to be joining the United Nations World Tourism Organisation to promote 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism. It’s more important than ever that we promote travel as a catalyst for good, and my #TTCTopTen
this year certainly embodies the spirit of what we are trying to achieve with TTC’s TreadRight Foundation.
I hope you enjoy my #TTCTopTen
and that it inspires you to experience and explore our world, your way.
This year marks 50 years of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the beginning of decades of important conservation work which has seen gorilla populations in the Virunga Mountain Range start to thrive once more. To encounter these Great Apes in their natural habitat would be an amazing opportunity to see the legacy left behind by a passionate and dedicated wildlife warrior. Lion World’s 4 night Gorillas of Rwanda
trip takes you into the mountains for an audience with the gorillas as well as an opportunity to visit bustling Kigali.
The stunning architectural and artistic legacy of Italy keeps drawing me back time and time again, as each visit uncovers a new and unseen gem or opportunity to explore meandering backstreets and sample local delicacies in quaint trattoria. Uniworld’s 15 day Splendours of Italy
journey from Milan to Rome showcases many of the highlights of northern Italy, including the chance to visit the foodie paradise of Bologna and enjoy an exclusive pasta-making workshop.
Last year I was lucky enough to enjoy an immersive cultural experience in Peru with our Lares Adventure
, trekking during the day and staying in deluxe lodges at night and this has definitely given me a taste for the mountains! The 10 day Insight Vacations Luxury Gold Magnificent Nepal and Bhutan
trip takes in the Himalayas at a much more leisurely pace. The sight of the iconic Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched above the verdant Paro valley below offers an amazing insight into a country with a truly unique culture and people.
This trip also takes in the vibrant Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, which was devastated by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Adventure World has had the pleasure of working with the Treadright Foundation
and the Happy Hearts Fund to rebuild a school near Kathmandu which sustained considerable damage during the earthquake. The Prithivi Secondary School in Nepal, which recently reopened by Happy Hearts Founder Petra Nemcova, will educate and empower over 350 students annually.
Growing up in Ireland, family holidays often saw us visiting friends and family around the country, so Trafalgar’s 10 day Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle
would be a fantastic trip back in time and allow me to explore the magnificent castle and its grounds. Set on 350 acres on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib, the castle dates back to 1228 and is home to Ireland's first School of Falconry!
One trip to Africa is never enough! Having spotted the Big Five in Kruger National Park and savoured the view from the top of Table Mountain, it’s time to take a more in depth exploration of South Africa’s ancient history and the beauty of her mountain scenery with a stay at the Red Carnation property, Bushman’s Kloof
. Located in the Cedarberg Mountains, this Relais & Chateaux property is an ecological oasis which offers a distinctive wilderness experience, giving visitors the chance to visit some of the 130 sites of bush art paintings in the area, which date back as far as 10,000 years.
The pristine wilderness of the Apple Isle combined with its colonial heritage, reputation for world-class gourmet cuisine and stunning natural beauty make a trip to Tasmania a must, whether it be for a long weekend break or a two week exploration. A 12 day Perfect Tasmania
guided holiday with AAT Kings showcases the best of the island; savouring local wines and salmon, visiting a lavender estate, hiking the trails of Cradle Mountain and many more memorable experiences.
This year marks the 50th
anniversary of the first citizen expedition to the Galapagos Islands, pioneered by Sven Lindblad whose legacy of exploration lives on today through Lindblad Expeditions
. With the launch of the new National Geographic Endeavour II, I encourage all wildlife enthusiasts to visit the islands which were so instrumental in shaping our understanding of the world around us. There is much more to Ecuador than her islands however, and an opportunity to participate in a sustainable international development project and connect with community members in the Ecuadorian Amazon with our partner, ME to WE
, would be an amazing privilege.
One of the world’s most spectacular natural phenomenon, the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights are an experience not to be missed. Insight Vacations 7 day Scenic Iceland & the Northern Lights
trip explores the astounding volcanic landscapes, hot springs and thundering waterfalls of Iceland with the chance to search the night sky for the spectacle of dancing lights overhead.
With the launch of our inaugural Tailor-made Collection, it’s easier than ever to explore the United States in your own style. For me, a destination is all about the opportunity to explore off the beaten path and to experience some of the amazing cultural highlights which are unique to each country and continent. Adventure World’s 15 day Spotlight on Native America
allows you to learn about the fascinating Native American culture and the history of the Hopi and Navajo people.
Wherever your travels take you this year, our Adventure World family wish you a safe and enjoyable journey, with many memorable moments for you to reminisce over for years to come. The Travel Corporation's (TTC) family of brands have many more destinations and ways to explore the world, whatever your taste, whatever your pace and whatever your place, so I encourage you to visit the website
and explore the world with us.