Guest post by Andy Davis
For some “off the grid” R&R, unplug and recharge in the tropical paradise of Bali. In spite of the “Eat Pray Love” buzz that made it a top travel destination in the past few years, there are still many spots on the island that feel like a well-kept secret. Canggu (pronounced “Chan-goo”) is an upscale surf town, full of modern beach-bums and digital nomads, where one can live on a steady diet of organic food, massages, and dancing. For more of a meditative, reflective experience, Ubud is the spot for yogis and thinkers, and has plenty incredible restaurants scattered among the shops in the middle of town. Don’t miss a walk thru Ubud’s monkey forest, which looks like a scene out of The Jungle Book…but make sure to have bananas on-hand to ensure safe passage thru the temple gates. For an even more remote experience, take a boat over to one of the smaller Nusa Islands, and hole up in an authentic bungalow after a day of snorkeling with manta rays or riding scooters. TIP: To make the trip even more affordable than it already is (the USD is quite strong in Bali), fly from the US into a larger hub such as Singapore, then book a smaller Asian airline into Denpasar.
Sleek, functional design permeates Copenhagen, from the architecture, to the clothes to the decor. This elegant, bustling city feels very European at its core, but with strong overtones of Nordic mystique. The arts are very important here, and many galleries and museums showcase the local work (a great game plan for the common rainy day). Copenhagen is very easy to navigate, thanks to a clean and efficient subway system, and the fact that everyone seems to speak English very well. Cultured, young professionals gather at cozy wine bars in the Nørrebro area, millennials abound in the industrial district, and the hippies keep their distance in Christiania. TIP: Make use of the shared bicycle program there and tackle the city by foot and wheel rather than taxi. Just make sure you follow the local bike traffic rules and do your best to keep up with the locals.
As the birthplace of 3 major world religions, Jerusalem is the focal point in Israel. Standing at the Wailing Wall, or kneeling in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (the site of Jesus’ crucifixion), reverence and awe seem to be the only proper response. Regardless of religious background, the layers of ancient history come to life in a powerful way as you walk the same winding streets as people did thousands of years ago. Outside the Old City, you can float in the Dead Sea, spend a night on the Sea of Galilee, or hike to the top of the ancient fortress of Masada. And don’t skip the throbbing nightlife of Tel Aviv—foodies and hipsters alike will feel right at home with its beaches and hip restaurant scene. TIP: Invest in a great local tour guide to educate you on all sides of the story. Part of Israel’s beauty is in its complexity, and having someone qualified enough to unpack the ancient AND the modern significance of each location is key to getting the full experience.
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