Reflecting on the past, looking to the future

With 2015 at an end, Earth Uncovered Editor-in-Chief reflects on some of the key moments in 2015 and shares some of highlights for 2016.

Hello and Happy New Year!

Wow how 2015 flew by, and what a great year it was for all things travel! 2015 was the year my beloved Cuba (those who know me, know I am obsessed with the country) opened it’s borders to the waiting world. It was the year Singapore celebrated its 50th year of independence and also the year of the Rugby World Cup in England. Equally, 2015 was a year of disaster and destruction, with the downing of Germanwings flight 9525 and Metrotet flight 9268 over Egypt. That said, despite some high profile events, 2015 was the safest year in aviation history. Whilst 2015 saw troubles all over the world, but from a travel and tourism perspective Greece and Egypt two extremely popular travel destinations were hardest hit, largely due to economic and political reasons. You can check out the latest travel advice for Greece, Egypt and any other country on the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office Website.

Reflecting on the last year, 2015 was a great year in travel. It was a year in which I predominantly visited and re-visited some of my favourite cities – Madrid and Berlin, really stepping off the tourist trail and discovering the hidden gems in both cities. Equally, visiting Athens for the first time, I felt like a child exploring the hidden nooks and crannies of the magnificent city. At the end of the year I went to South Korea, China and North Korea. It’s one of the few times I have been to Asia, but I had an amazing time, albeit somewhat cold with a daytime temperature of -13C in some places. My time in North Korea was super interesting and I will be sharing some of my experiences whilst out there in the coming months. Some of my personal favourite travel memories of 2015 included exploring some of Berlin’s abandoned buildings (thanks Kolja, Phillip and Pieter for accompanying me along the way). Having the best ice-cream ever at Santini’s in Lisbon (thanks Patricia and Iara for the recommendation), hiking with amazing weather in November in the beautiful Swiss Alps (thanks Sven and Darko) and Seoul Searching as they call it in South Korea’s capital.

At the beginning of 2015, I issued a challenge to you, my amazing readers. I asked you to step out of your comfort zone and take a holiday on your own, noting that some of my best experiences have come from things I have done alone. The feedback I got from a number of you on that post and the subsequent travels you did alone was amazing. Reflecting on the last year, indeed the same can be said for my travels in 2015, where 80% of my travels were on my own (out of choice), but where I was blessed to meet some truly amazing and inspiring people along the way. The kindness, hospitality and friendliness of people all over the world is something I truly love about travelling, not to mention the local knowledge and insight you can gain to really go off the beaten track. To the friends I made on my travels in 2015, thank you, thank you, and thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

Moving swiftly on, 2016 promises to be an incredible year in travel. Why not visit the European Capitals of Culture – San Sebastián (Spain) or  Wrocław (Poland). Enjoy a total eclipse in the Far East on March 9th, or enjoy a summer of sport at the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games. Alternatively, head to the birthplace of Shakespeare – Stratford Upon Avon or London throughout 2016 as there are a number of events to commemorate 400 years since the death of the great writer. Whatever your travel plans in 2016, I would love to hear from you – where you plan to go and what’s hot on your travel list for the upcoming year. Feel free to get in touch with me via Facebook, Twitter or by completing the form on the “contact” page. Equally, if you would like to contribute to Earth Uncovered in 2016, feel free to write in or check out the “write for us” page.

Wishing you all the best and safe travels in 2016.

Best wishes,

Editor-in-Chief at Earth Uncovered

P.S. I promise to update Earth Uncovered more frequently in 2016.

Shailyn Desai Earth Uncovered

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