The world now comprises of a plethora of culturally diverse experiences and societies. From nightlife and street parties to sports competitions and music/art festivals, there is an experience out there that caters to every type of traveler in 2018. For those who are looking for a good enough excuse to get on that next flight to your preferred destination, we have found just that. Here are 11 considerably good reasons to get right to it.
The Sun Festival in Cusco, Peru ( June 24 )
For those that would be intrigued by an ancient religious ceremony, you must witness the atmosphere and the energy of the people that are indigenous to the higher portion of the Andes in Cusco, Peru. This religious tradition or festival pre-dates to 1412, when it was first performed by an Incan emperor on the winter solstice- the shortest day of the year in terms of the time between sunrise and sunset and the Inca New Year, in tribute to the god of the Sun, Inti. On the 24th of June, the festivities are initiated with a procession that begins from the center of town to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, where you are surrounded by music, colorful costumes and large feasts.
The FIFA World Cup in Russia (June 14 – July 15)
For those that are looking to throw themselves into a high-energy, exciting month of the biggest international gathering in the football world, this World Cup in Russia will be quite the spectacle. Some of the best contemporary names in football will be in your presence. And the cities in Russia have a lot of interesting things to otherwise offer in terms of entertainment, like visiting Dargavs village (the city of the dead), Stalin’s old bunker, Lenin’s mausoleum and the more generic ventures like visiting Red Square and the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 4 – 28), Scotland
This festival that’s been celebrated since 1947 is one for the natural seekers of creativity. It is the world’s largest arts festival, which in 2017 spanned 25 days and accommodated over 53,000 performances of 3,400 shows in 300 different venues. The official Fringe festival shows involve theatre, comedy, music, dance, children’s shows, musicals, opera, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, spoken word, exhibitions and events. This festival is not one where you need only spectate, it is an open access performing arts festival, with no jury or judges, and anyone willing, may participate in whatever capacity they see fit.
Sumba Island, Indonesia
For those looking for a path less travelled and one that is way more interesting, the Sumba Island, a sibling of the famous city, Bali, is a cult surfing destination that is slowly attracting more of a crowd. Lush and tropical, it comprises mostly of rainforest, waterfalls and picturesque surf beaches. It’s untouched lands essentially guarantee a quiet, nature-filled experience.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
The land of the midnight Sun, Norway’s Lofoten Islands are a craggy cluster of windswept lands, known for its scenic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands, topped with red cabins and bobbing boats of the local communities. This archipelago experiences one of the world’s largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to high altitude. These islands have other exciting activities to offer like mountaineering, rock climbing, surfing and cycling, which is an especially pleasant experience as you will be surrounded by a variety of local species of animals.
Aurora Borealis, The Northern Lights
People often talk about the beauty and wonder of the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis, but not many are privy to the fact that they can be viewed differently from different parts of the world, namely Fairbanks ( Alaska, US), Tromso ( Norway ), Nellim ( Finland ), Akureyri ( Iceland ), as well as from parts of Russia, Sweden, Canada and Ireland. Each point has its own characteristic vibe and feeling with the respective change in conditions of the surroundings. It is a spectacular phenomenon of natural light display in the Earth’s sky and is one that all must witness in person.
Malta is popular tourist destination, but aside from the lovely resorts and hotels, there are some hidden gems here. Armier beach, which is located right across from Comino Island, has the same clear, blue waters as Malta’s famous Blue Lagoon.
Spiti Valley, Lower Himalayas
The Spiti Valley is a cold desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. the land between Tibet and India. The local population follows Vajrayana Buddhism, which is similar to the practices of the people in Tibet. This is an ideal spot for those looking to engage with their spiritual sides and try to find themselves, as the acres of untouched lands and emptiness around you will leave you to your mind. Below, is a photograph of the famous Key Monastery of Spiti valley.
Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Ladakh, the land of high passes, is a region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that currently spans from the Karakoram ranges, the Himalayas and the upper Indus River Valley. The locals are of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. Ladakh is rich in culture and known for its remote mountain beauty. From the traditional noodle soup, their traditional music festivals to ice hockey and archery, Ladakh has a lot to offer even at town’s center. Places that you must visit here are Pangong Tso, Nubra Valley and the Moon-Land, which are surreal in every sense.
Majuli Island, Assam
Majuli is the world’s biggest river island and is located in the Brahmaputra river, Assam, which was first considered to have become a district of India in 2016. Most of this district is accessible only by boats, which connects Majuli to the neighboring city of Jorhat. It is an extremely pleasant, beautiful and exotic location, and surprisingly a rarely visited one. It was deservedly nominated for one of the places in UNESCO world’s heritage list. Majuli, known as the cultural capital of Assam, is rich in ancient culture and traditions. The locals have set up an interesting way to preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewelry and other items of cultural significance. Pottery that is made in Majuli bear a huge resemblance to that of the work of the ancient Harrappan Civilisation. The hand-loom work of these tribes is famous internationally. This is an experience worth setting out for, as the locals have preserved their unique culture and dance forms, which remain untouched by modern influences.