Off The Grid: Travel To The Less Explored

by Kate Brinksman

Raise your hand if travel and wanderlust grips you so strongly that you’ve had to pursue it in order not to go stir crazy? Thought so!

This post will cast some light on places less explored, so you can travel to areas that wouldn’t have typically crossed your mind. The start of a new year is always a perfect time to set goals, to dream and to plan adventures. Instead of just dreaming about foreign lands, put your wanderlust into action and take yourself there.

Unsure what to do for accommodation? Airbnb is one of the best options, with a whole range of affordable prices. Plus, there’s the chance to stay in districts that you may not have encountered on the tourist trail if you were to stay in a hotel. Just be sure to always read the reviews, and preferably look for a place with 10+ reviews to ensure it’s legitimate.

It can be easy to get enticed by warm, tropical lands. It’s also easy to yearn to hike up a jagged, snow-topped mountain. So how do you choose?

1. Iceland:

Iceland is full of jagged, dramatic scenery, blue lagoons, and a friendly atmosphere. Cosy up by the fireplace as you watch the snow drift past the window, paired with some seriously good seafood. Iceland arguably has the best air fares for a foreign trip, thanks to WOW Air. Venture over in winter for a chance to see the renowned Northern Lights shimmer above you. Or go during the summer if you’re into the party scene – the sun doesn’t set, so your night won’t end. Plus, if you’re into Game of Thrones, this is the place to be. Just don’t go too far beyond the wall…

Must See:
• Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a natural geothermal spa and is cited as one of the twenty five wonders of the world. The natural beauty of the lagoon is outstanding. Spend your day covered in a silica face mask, sipping a glass of something cool as you bathe in the naturally hot waters.
•  The Golden Circle. The best way to see the immense Golden Circle is to drive, as the whole area engulfs around 190 miles. Hiring a car is one of the most common ways of getting around in Iceland. It’s the best way to see the three key features of the Golden Circle – the geothermal area, the Gullfoss waterfall and the national park.

To see all these amazing sights, you will most likely want to hire a vehicle to get around the island. Make sure you rent the correct vehicle for your needs so there are no upsets while you are there; evaluate all forms of car, including economy vs compact.

2. Siena, Italy:

Whilst Italy is famous for its pizza, pasta and warm atmosphere, Rome and Florence are the typical hotspots. Siena, located in Tuscany is one of my personal favourite places to visit. The city is unusual, as it is divided into districts, each with its own flag. I’ve listed the places you must see below; however, the best way to discover Siena is to simply stroll through the little back streets and stumble across tucked away gems.

Must See:
• The Duomo. Whilst the Duomos of Milan and Florence are impressive, Siena has one of the most spectacular cathedrals around. Built on the site of a former Roman temple, the Duomo is bathed in steep history.
• Il Campo. Il Campo is the main square is full of bustling activity and life. Embrace the Italian culture and sip an aperitif at a little café in the square as you watch the world go by.

3. Montreal, Canada:

Whist Toronto and Vancouver are typically the cities that spring to mind when thinking of Canada, Montreal is most definitely worth visiting. Canada’s second largest city, and located in the French-speaking region of Quebec, Montreal is an eclectic mix of Old Europe and modern North America. The city is a wonderfully symbiotic blend of culture, arts and festivals, and will engage each and every one of your senses. In my opinion, Montreal is home to the best food in all of Canada. Be prepared to eat…

Must See:
• The Planetarium. Located next to the Botanical Garden, the Planetarium is arguably the best attribute of Montreal’s space for life complex. With breath taking, fully immersive shows, you’ll be transported into another world. You can take a virtual ride through space, or experience the marvel of the Northern Lights, as a screen extends over the entire ceiling and walls.

• Au Sommet Place Ville Marie. This observatory offers unparalleled views of the city. At 185m high, you can take in the whole city from a 360-degree perspective. Plus, for all the foodies out there, there’s a delicious restaurant at the top. Food and stunning views – what more could you need?!

• Old Port. The most European part of the city, the old port is amass with terraces and quaint restaurants overlooking the waterfront. Journey through the cobbled streets taking in this eclectic dreamland mix of Old Europe meets new.

So, now you’ve got your destination, it’s time to book those flights. Pack your bags – this year of travel is going to be a good one.

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