Welcome to your summer. Do you have a strong desire to be elsewhere? Somewhere you’ve never been? Travel provides relief and helps us escape our everyday lives for a while by showing us there are worlds and possibilities beyond the one we know so well (and how refreshing is that?!). And there is magic to be had in experiencing those places none of your friends have even thought of. Something innocent about that first encounter: those new smells, sights, and different paces of life. After a while everything grows warm and familiar, and you wonder how you could have lived this long without knowing about that one place. You feel something change inside you.
We’ve done some scouring and have come up with six friendly destinations you’ve probably not thought too much about, but should. These secret destinations await you with open arms and cool beverages:
A country as wide and history-rich as Brazil casts a wide net of culture--there is truly something here for everybody. Here you’ll dance in the home of bossa nova itself or catch a fierce game of soccer in the streets or stadiums of Sao Paulo. See the famous 98-foot Christ the Redeemer monument from your pick of a helicopter ride or cog train via the Tijuca Forest National Park. Enjoy cachacas on any one of the country’s 2,000 lush beaches, or trek to the Iguazu Falls, if you’re a waterfall chaser.
If nothing else, book yourself a spot on the Amazon Jungle day tour to see the pink dolphins. The tour from Manaus (northern Brazil State of Amazonas) will take you to the Rio Negro, where you’ll be able to spot these endangered freshwater darlings.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in wide open landscapes, well-lit spaces, vibrant architecture and a general feeling of mystique, a trip to Morocco is your calling. Morocco is considered the best gateway for those drawn to the Sahara Desert’s red landscape and Merzouga’s highest dunes. The most interesting souvenirs we’ve ever heard of are directly tied to or inspired by the Moroccan landscape: pottery, bright handmade goods, and best of all, desert roses and fossilized snail shells!
When you’re not taking in the spectacular formations and colors of the Todgha Gorge or visiting the Volubilis ruins, you’ll linger for the Berber tajine or the country’s custom of mint tea and local pastries. Other must-dos include the sheer experience of walking around Hassan II, known as the most impressive mosque in all of Morocco (and the landmark of Casablanca).
Some of us have either been to Thailand or at least know of someone who has. Fewer of us know of someone who has made their way into its Southeast Asian neighbor, Vietnam--a gem still largely undiscovered by outsiders, who’ll find with delight that their dollars stretch further. The S-shaped coastal country offers a range of experiences for adventurers of every stripe: go from quiet emerald mountains, ancient ruins, pristine beaches and stalactite caves to buzzing cities alive with the hum of motorbikes, street food stalls, markets and posh shops offering its famous crafts and high-quality textiles on deals you won’t find elsewhere.
It also happens to be the second major coffee producer in the world after fellow Coffee Belt hotspot Brazil, resulting in a dominant cafe culture--meaning you’ll never be too far from a thoughtful, quality cup of coffee and a place to rest wherever you happen to be.
Mozambique’s unique situation as a southeast African country along the Indian Ocean yields a world of riches. It means a long coastline of untouched turquoise beaches for quiet relaxation or surfing, not to mention a whole archipelago of tropical islands to explore. Lush coral reefs make for ideal scuba diving, as the reefs of the Bazaruto Archipelago is home to the rare and cute Dugong, along with some 1200 other marine species. Naturally, the country’s pristine waters also produces fresh and high-quality seafood, with popular offerings like hot and spicy Portuguese-inspired Peri-Peri prawns.
Whenever you need a break from the water, the Gorongosa National Park is known for providing true wilderness experiences.
If you absolutely love animals and have never experienced a rainforest, Costa Rica looks to be the ideal destination. Accessible tours and trails allow you to see sloths, howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, and more species of vibrant birds you ever thought you’d see in one place. Reptiles and amphibians are aplenty, along with all the strange snakes, larger-than-life spiders, and all the glass frogs you can handle. During a night tour you’ll be able to see through the skin of those glass guys, straight into their organs! If you prefer larger animals, make sure you go for the turtle watching and witness the sheer sight of thousands emerging from the ocean to lay eggs in the sand.
If you don’t mind some extra water, visiting Costa Rica during the rainy season (May through November) has its advantages: cooler weather and generally lower prices. Be sure to take any fellow animal nerds and budding biologists along with you!
Dead Sea, Jordan
Those in the know visit the Dead Sea to infuse their bodies in its mineral-rich black mud and breathe in its oxygen-rich atmosphere. People pay the trip for exactly that perfect combination of sun, air and unusually high levels of magnesium, bromide, and potassium, which has been claimed to soothe cases of psoriasis, arthritis, and allergies. Go here and you’ll also be able to say you’ve swam at the lowest point of the earth--430 meters below sea level in a landlocked body of water that’s about ten times saltier than the ocean we’re used to. As its name might suggest, you should visit the Dead Sea for the very reason that it is slowly disappearing and predicted to be gone by 2050.
When you think back to your most memorable summers, what do you remember most about them? We tend to recall the best summers as being more of a feeling, brought on by new experiences. When you encounter that delicious feeling, you want to latch onto it for as long as possible. You want it to protect it and let it fuel you forward. What if you could carry that feeling with you? We believe you can. We believe our nature-inspired wooden watches, personalized with your own 8-word engraving, to be the sweetest time capsule for the memories you share with your loved one. Shop our wide collections and find the perfect canvas.