Phew, it’s tough getting used to this.
For me, for you, for a whole lot of us whose highlight of the year revolved around that one or two vacations we could take.
As you know, “The Girl” and I used to travel four times a year, and now everything has come to complete standstill. Airports are closed, governments the world over are restricting entry to tourists, and frankly, even if they weren’t, the world just isn’t as safe a place to travel these days with this virus everywhere.
But whatever you call this, “Wuhan Virus/Covid 19/Coronavirus” or what have you, it will be over; eventually. And this means, all of us should continue to dream, to make plans, and we shouldn’t let our travel dreams die.
So, where are you travelling to once this nightmare is over?
If you haven’t got an idea yet, perhaps “The Girl” and I can help.
In this post, we’ll share 18 “Post Coronavirus Travel Experiences” that we think will generate powerful memories that you’ll hold with you for a good many years. We've personally experienced these, so yes, we know what we're talking about.
There's something in this list for everyone, regardless whether you're a family with kids, a backpacker, a luxury traveler, or a thrill seeker, so read on.
1. [Camping In Central Asia]
(Lake Kaindy, Kazakhstan)
Central Asia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and diverse scenery. From alpine mountains to flat grasslands, Central Asia offers a diverse camping experience.
Before this, I wasn’t much of a “camping guy”. But I can attest, it was truly a surreal experience huddling over a campfire, enjoying hot food, cold beers, and bonding over great conversations with a roof of stars overhead.
(Song Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan)
We recommend exploring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan via a self-drive. Camping isn’t rocket science. Easy to assemble tents are available at the Decathlon store for S$30. Just add in a portable stove, a sleeping bag, and commonsense items and you’re good to go.
In Kyrgyzstan, you won’t even need tents. Enjoy a yurt stay, ride horses, and enjoy fish freshly caught from the lake.
One thing you’ll have to get used to though, the absence of WIFI.
For more on Central Asia, check out this post;
(Fancy A 2 Week Road-Trip Along The Silk Road? It’ll Cost You Just S$2,500 Including Airtickets!)
2. [Embark On A Star Wars Treasure Hunt]
Don’t you dare call yourself a “Star Wars” fan if you don’t know that fictional planet the show was based on was inspired from Tunisia.
The country is plastered with the actual “Star Wars” filming locations and sets. In fact, while “Star Wars” was filmed across a few countries, majority of the sites are in Tunisia.
Rent a car, plot the locations of the various “Star Wars” sites on your map, and have fun on a “Road-Trip/ Treasury Hunt” for some of the most iconic film locations in the history of Cinema.
Not a “Star Wars” fan? No worries, we aren’t either. In fact, I fell asleep watching one of the movies.
Tunisia has so much more to it than “Star Wars”. Think of it as a mix between Morocco and Greece. Let’s put it this way, while both those countries offer their own magical experiences, Tunisia is on this list and both Morocco and Greece are excluded. That says a lot. For more information on the rest of Tunisia, check this post out.
(Can't Decide Between Greece & Morocco? This Exotic Travel Destination Combines Them Both!)
3. [Take A Chance At Becoming One Of The X-Men]
Ever wished you had powers just like the X-Men? Here’s your chance.
Guess where the most radioactive place in the world is? It’s your best chance of turning yourself into a mutant so you can be one of the X-Men, or Fantastic Four, whichever you prefer.
But jokes aside, while Chernobyl, Ukraine is still the worlds most radioactive tourist destination, the radiation is at safe levels, so long as you don’t touch what you’re not supposed to.
Stepping into Chernobyl was one of the most unreal experiences I’ve felt. It’s a place with history I’d read about. The town of Pripyat was abandoned in 1986 because of an explosion in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which caused a radiation leak the equivalent of 400 Hiroshima’s. Families were forced to evacuate, leaving their life behind.
I visited Chernobyl on a day tour from Kiev (a tour is compulsory). As the guide shared stories of each spot we were at, I found myself imagining what life was like back then. It was like time had stopped in this part of Ukraine.
I highly recommend this experience.
For more on visiting Chernobyl, this post should prove helpful;
(My Trip To The Most Radioactive Place On Earth; Chernobyl)
4. [Enjoy The World’s Best Wine]
If you think the world’s best wine is produced in France, Italy, or even South Africa, you’re far away from being a labeled a wine connoisseur. Abandon those wine tasting sessions and stop pretending to swirl your wine like you know what your doing, because you don’t.
The best, and I mean the best wine in the world is found in Moldova and Georgia. In fact, Georgia is the “Birthplace of wine”. So, if you’re a “wine guy” but you’ve never heard of Moldovan or Georgian wine, you might want to find a new hobby.
Wines from both these countries are so good, I practically had a bottle to myself at every meal. Even better, the wine costs next to nothing. Moldova is Europe’s poorest country, and you can get a bottle of good wine at the supermarket for 2 Euros, or from 8 Euros at a fancy restaurant.
(Left: Kazebegi, Georgia. Right: Tiraspol, capital of Transnistria, a breakaway state of Moldova)
And if you’re wondering what else there is besides wine? Let’s just say when it comes to beauty, Georgia is Switzerland’s equal, with a slight edge over it. And why is that? Well, just imagine this; Switzerland’s beauty at South East Asian prices.
Georgia, I would go as far to say would rank among the Top 10 Countries “The Girl” and I have ever visited.
5. [Be Star Of Your Own “Narco’s TV Show”]
(The streets of Comuna 13, on of the most "supposedly dangerous" areas of Medellin, Colombia)
Everyone who watches Netflix has heard of Narcos, probably the most successful “drug cartel series” of all time that resulted in a whole host of imitation movies and TV shows.
Why not visit Colombia, walk along the “favelas” (the poor part of town), imagining that you are Pablo Escobar of the Medellin Cartel and experience the Netflix hit TV series with you in it? You’ll experience it in Colombia.
(The colorful town of Guatape, Colombia)
Yes, we highly recommend a visit to Colombia. Don’t believe what you see on TV. If you don’t believe that the “Power Rangers” exist, you really should take Narcos with a pinch of salt.
Colombia is safe, it’s beautiful, offers amazing food, and ranks among one of the most amazing countries we’ve visited.
And if you’re planning to not go because “you travel with your wife/girlfriend”, let’s just say Colombia ranks in “The Girl’s” list of Top 10 countries. Last I checked, she’s your usual office lady, just like your wife/girlfriend.
6. [Step Back Into Time With A Cigar]
You don’t have to be a smoker to enjoy this experience. Cigars are nothing like cigarettes, and besides, in Cuba where part of the experience besides its retro vibe is puffing on cigars while enjoying a Cuba Libra (Rum & Coke), why wouldn’t you?
Here, you enjoy the experience of horse riding through the lush green tobacco valleys of Cuba. You’ll then head off to a farm to learn how to roll and enjoy a cigar.
Even if that is not for you, Cuba is perhaps one of the world’s most Instagram-able tourist destinations, suitable for the typical Singaporean. Fall in love with its retro vibes, ride in a classic convertible, and drink all sorts of alcoholic beverages from only $1 USD per cocktail.
Without us promoting the country, Cuba is already on the “bucket list” of a good many people. Trouble is, it falls into same situation as safari’s, everyone says they want to go, but many almost never end up visiting. Which is a real waste.
But Cuba isn’t a simple destination to visit, despite whatever you see on Instagram. So if you’re planning to visit Cuba, I highly suggest you check out this post to prepare yourself before you do.
7. [Journey to the World’s Largest Lava Lake]
I know, I probably shouldn’t waste time recommending this, because I know, probably very few of your, or even none of you will considering visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo.
But I can’t help recommending this, at least for those of you who enjoy tracking and have an adventurous bone in your body, because this experience is simply out of this world.
Don’t compare this with trekking in Nepal, I’ve done that, twice, and that doesn’t compare. And no offence, but Indonesia’s Mt Rinjani, is just a tourist volcano compared to the DRC’s Mount Nyiragongo, the only place in the world where you can come close to an actual lava lake. When I say lava lake, I mean boiling spewing lava in an active volcano.