I’ve been grounded in the office for about two months now and have started feeling the “travel- itch” as I like to call it. I’ve had my feel of cold rain, wind, uh and the snow ……. Summer where the heck art thou?! What I would give to sit on a beach overlooking crystal blue water; working away on my laptop feeling the hot sand in between my toes, the sun beating down on me and a cool mojito beside me to quench my thirst. I’ll gladly continue my current 10 – 12 hour days if this was my scenery…. wouldn’t you? I decided to share with you my current top five on the whim go to locations for some much-needed Sun, R & R and IG worthy pictures in the winter time.
1. Perhentian islands – Malaysia
Also referred to as the Maldives of the Malaysia, The Perhentian Islands are a small group of beautiful, coral-fringed islands off the coast of northeastern Malaysia. With countless reefs and crystalline waters surrounded by a diverse range of coral, sharks, colorful fish, sea turtles and sharks it is the ideal location for snorkeling scuba diving and some much-needed recharge.
The islands can only be accessed by ferry from Kuala Besut which is which is usually reached from either kota Bharu, Jerteh or Kuala Terengganu. It takes a bit of logistics to get there but it’s worth it when your front door opens up to the clear blue ocean.
2. Crete Island – Greece
Yes, ladies and gents somewhere other than Santorini and Mykonos. In recent years Greece has risen to the top of the vacation list for most people and we all know why, so we don’t have to talk much about it, however there has been a distinct exclusion of the Crete Islands and one must wonder why.
Crete’s gorges offer unparalleled beauty, their 5 -star hotels cost as low as $86 a night and Samaria (the most famous gorge in Crete) with its world -renowned Portes (Iron Gates) are but a short cheap plane ride away from the bubbling city life of Santorini and Mykonos.
3. Bimini Island – Bahamas
This is my definition of enjoyment in your own backyard that you knew nothing about and I’ll tell you why. I am one of the few people who think Miami is overrated – SUE ME- I’m just not a big fan of the city; that’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed what ‘Ma-ya-mee’ has to offer in my younger years. Enter Bimini Island – Bimini Island is a tiny 10 miles long Bahamian island 50 miles east of the coast of Miami; infact it’s the closest Bahamian island to the US (a little trivia for you here).Photo credit: The Blonde Abroad
I saved the best tidbit for last; how to get to the Island (well the cheapest way): a 2 – hour ferry departs Miami port almost daily at 8AM for the island and departs the island for Miami at 6:35PM all for a small price of $70 – $80 each way. For a little less than a $100 you can go to another country to enjoy some Conch salad (a MUST TRY), Bimini bread (also another MUST TRY), freshly caught fish, an under the sea snorkeling museum in the Caribbean ocean and a rum filled beach party. Where’s my passport, Southwest is currently doing a Spring Sale…. don’t say I never helped you!!!
4. Cape Town, South Africa
How unfair would it be if I didn’t throw in at least one African country. Having lived in Nigeria in recent years, I can attest to the fact that it’s not as cost effective to fly within Africa as it is to fly from North America to Europe, South America or even Africa – this is a discussion for another day- however with travel sites like travelstart , you can get lucky and get decent price ticket for a quick getaway during some of their flight specials or sales.
You can never ever go wrong with Cape Town, NEVER. Surrounded by mountains, rolling vineyards, beautiful beaches, a bubbling nightlife and cuisine that will make you want to cry from sheer joy and happiness, it is one of the most breathtaking natural landscapes I have ever laid eyes on. Did I tell you how cheap the food and drinks are? Your countries currency will go a very long way there. You can choose to spend your days on the beach sunbathing snorkeling in Camps bay, snorkeling at Cape Point, kayaking with the penguins or shark cage diving (surprisingly a popular activity Shark Diving ), but I daresay if you don’t venture away from the beach in Cape Town you are missing out on oh so much. Do make sure to take a ferry to Robben Island for a bit of a history lesson (my little gift to you). Photo credit: CampsBayGirl
5. Isla Holbox -Mexico
I fear putting it out there increases the chance that this location will become more ‘touristy’ but I would feel remise if I kept this beautiful place away from you. When you think Mexico, Holbox will probably not make the top 10 locations to visit, however, if you want to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of your crazy life I give you Isla Holbox. Photo credit: Ambhasaa
Isla Holbox is a small, slender island just north of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. You can either take a quick flight to Isla Holbox from Cancun or drive from Cancun to Chiquilla town, park your car in one of the small car parks and take the ferry into Isla Holbox. Once you get there do nothing but lounge on the beach, or better yet watch the flamingos and pelicans while you lounge in a hammock in the Caribbean ocean enjoying tacos and a cool mojito or explore the colorful murals around town bare feet with a mojito in both hands. BLISS!!!