Dreaming of international travel? Fly to these underrated destinations
The pandemic has forever changed the way we perceive travel as an activity. As the world continues to battle the virus, our travel plans still haven’t restored to what they were in the pre-pandemic world. Things like whale watching Los Angeles or frequenting Mount Rushmore are finally starting to resume. Many countries still have travel restrictions, and most travelers are still wary of the virus, enough not to venture with reckless abandon yet.
But the heart yearns for what it cannot have. Here are some underrated international travel destinations on our minds.
Arid mountains & clear blue skies mark the unique geography of Ladakh, the place often called heaven on earth. Apart from the snow-capped mountains, the valleys are a sight to behold. Alchi & Nubra Valleys should definitely be on your list. It’s one of the few places that hasn’t yet been ravaged by a tourist crowd.
Also called the “land of the high passes”, Ladakh has a huge Tibetan Buddhist influence in its culture. The ecotourism industry there is strong, too. Ladakh has a lot in store for you if you’re an adventure junkie, too: from biking, water rafting, and safaris to a good old trekking expedition.
Right at the intersection of Europe & Asia sits the historically significant country of Georgia. Its culture is very heavily rural and rooted in its Silk Road history, but it has definitely made strides in its hospitality.
The architecture of its capital city Tbilisi is matchless, especially if you have a thing for cobblestone streets & a deluge of frescoes. The bustle in the city hits any tourist’s sweet spot: natural wine bars, great clubs, and a plethora of restaurants serving culinary masterpieces like cheese filled khachapuri & chacha.
Definitely visit Gelati Monastery, Udabno Monastery, Vardzia, and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral on your visit & explore the Dry Bridge Market for some flea market shopping. Fun fact: it is believed that Christ’s robe lies beneath the central nave in the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India
Situated in the Bay of Bengal in India, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are secluded from the sheer crowd of the rest of the country. The most remarkable feature of the islands is the aquatic life it carries, including the coral reef.
The white-sand beaches, the mangroves, and the pristine shores make for a picturesque, Instagrammable holiday. Since the islands are just off the West coast, you can also take this opportunity to explore the beaches within the country’s coastline on your way back.
Some areas of the archipelago are still inhabited by indigenous populations, and tales about their possessiveness for their territory are well known. So, apart from the area that’s off-limits, you can explore the islands however you like: diving, snorkeling, strolling – take your pick.
If you’d rather holiday in a landlocked country, book yourself tickets to the horn of Africa. Ethiopia has a rich history & captivating geography and has opened up to travelers only recently. Ethiopia is also home to many UNESCO world heritage sites like the Lower Awash Valley, where many of the archaeological discoveries are believed to be as old as 3 million years.
You can have an immersive experience here if you are daring enough: trek via camels, hop on a safari, or trek at Erta Ale for a sunrise view. The Lower Omo Valley also offers an immersive experience: you can familiarise yourself with a variety of indigenous tribes & their local customs.
Visit Estonia for chocolate & marzipan. Or the Shrove Tuesday holiday for a sledging experience with scrumptious sweet buns topped with whipped cream.
The digital architecture of the country is exemplary, and you could even seriously consider living here if you’ve been a digital nomad for a while. After all, remote work is here to stay.
Are there any travel destinations you’re looking forward to visiting after the pandemic is gone? Let us know in the comments!