Belize is without a doubt the most beautiful country I’ve ever visited.
With its palm fringed coast line, Rastafarian roots & coral reef, its got a serious tropical vibe. Belize has the second largest Barrier Reef system in the world (number 1 of course is Australia’s ‘Great Barrier Reef’). The protected reef provides calm turquoise waters to the many islands dotted throughout the region.
Do yourself a favour & sail from Caye Caulker to Placencia with Ragamuffin Tours, sleeping on tiny islands like Ambergis Caye, Rendezvous Caye and Tobacco Cayes.
Of course you have to get salty too. From Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye you can jump on snorkel or dive tours & head out to Hol Chan Marine Park where you can dive with sharks (noo, not the scary kind) & an abundance of sea life. I have never seen so many turtles, eagle rays, fish or dolphins!
Belize is also one of the only places that you can swim with manatees & whale sharks. And that is an experience not to be missed, if you are lucky enough.
For more you can click here.
2. New York
New York undid me.
I thought I wanted to live by the ocean forever. I thought there was nothing that could beat palm trees & turquoise bays – until now. It was the b u z z, its ability to be unapologetically its crazy, full on, all-day-all-night, breakfast at midnight gorgeous self. Its ability to take you in, but REALLY IN. When you leave you don’t want to. It feels like home.
From the neighbourhoods which are almost like totally new cities, to the experiences you just can’t have at home, NY has it all.
Amongst my favourite things were evenings spent at MoMA Museum of Modern Art, aerial views from Top of the Rock, Yankees & beers (they go hand in hand), Bagels in SOHO (& at Barney Greengrass!), Chelsea Market in the Meat Packing District, The High Line, Brooklyn’s bars, gardens & Juliana’s (best pizza of your life, trust me on this one) & Central Park.
My affections with the US are obvious. If I wasn’t so smitten with my home in Byron Bay, on the East Coast of Australia, this is where I would wander.
We explored Cali in our trusty Volkswagen over a 6 week period. We visited most places, but the stand outs for me were Yosemite National Park, Big Sur, San Diego, LA, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park & the Slow Coast. I would definitely recommend hiring a car & just getting lost for a few weeks.
You can get more information here.
If you time it right you can experience Coachella too.
Honorary mention goes to the Grand Canyon which is next door in stunning & desolate Arizona. If you visit, make sure you walk to the base. It takes a good 10 hours & is a 40 km return trip, but it knows just how hard to push you to create one of the most magical experiences you will ever have. Be sure to organise camping permits prior to your trip if you are not staying at Phantom Ranch. Phantom Ranch is the only accommodation inside the canyon besides of course camping (which is also very limited) & it provides a hot meal & the best shower of your life. A cheeky loop hole for you… if your dates are not available (which they certainly won’t be unless you are booking a year in advance), you can put your name down at the rangers station the day before, then arrive at 5am the next day to be in the ballot for cancellation / no-show spots.I know this seems nuts, but it is absolutely worth it!