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The Matador staff gives 16 answers to the question: Where do you most want to travel in 2013?

READERS: Where are you hoping to travel in the new year? Why?
Let us know in the comments.

I’m hoping to head across the pond to track down my distant family in Cork…I already have some names, and it only took one email. In 2013 Ireland is having a year-long event called The Gathering, where basically everyone’s invited to come back to find their roots. Hope to get some good stories about it.

    - Candice Walsh, Lead Writing Faculty for MatadorU
Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

This place has been tapping me on the shoulder for a year now. It’s meant to be cheaper than nearby Roatan and very scuba friendly. A backpacker-friendly island stocked with beer and chill times? I’m there.

    - Tom Gates, Staff Writer
Juan Fernandez Archipelago (Robinson Crusoe Island), Chile

Off the coast of Chile, it’s supposed to have spectacular plant life, it gets almost no tourism, and I think it’s hilarious how even when you go to far-flung parts of Chile, they know Santiago (where I live). Also: lobster.

It’s a 1.5-hour flight (though one went down recently and all 21 people on board died, so not so amped about that), or about 1-1.5 days on a navy ship from Valparaíso, but they only leave about once a month. The flights are chartered, only leave when they have enough people, weather is right, etc.

Also, not sure how the infrastructure is. They had some significant losses with the tsunami.

    - Eileen Smith, Contributing Editor

Because apparently real estate there is super affordable and the idea of living abroad is starting to feel attractive again. This would be a reconnaissance mission.

    - Hal Amen, Managing Editor
Blackrock City

For my 3rd burn.

    - Josh Johnson, Dean of Education for MatadorU

Because I’ve always wanted to go and because I just watched this incredible documentary, Investigation Into the Invisible World, about Icelandic mythology. Swoon.

    - Nina Mashurova, Staff Writer

Allahabad, India

Kumbh Mela is a massive Hindu pilgrimage and festival, considered the largest religious event in the world. The upcoming one in Allahabad is the Maha Kumbh Mela, which only happens every 144 years. It’s next month through February — let me know if anyone is interested in going!

    - Scott Sporleder, Lead Filmmaking Faculty for MatadorU

I’ve wanted to go there for years now and they have this new initiative where a whopping 47% of the land mass of the country is protected. It’s the only country in Africa where large groups of mammals are all growing across the board. Not only is that awesome for seeing wildlife, but I’d like to support a countrywide initiative like that.

    - Ross Borden, Founder of Matador

I’d love to start from Zagreb and fly out of Dubrovnik. I’ve just heard a lot of great things about Croatia — food, culture, and beaches.

    - Noah Pelletier, Staff Writer
Socotra Island

Socotra is an island off the coast of Yemen in the Arabian Sea. It’s a very isolated place with almost no tourists and incredible biodiversity. A third of its flora and fauna is not found anywhere else in the world. Needless to say, it’s a photographer’s dream destination.

    - Daniel Nahabedian, Photography Faculty for MatadorU

Fortunately, I am working there in 2013.

    - Colby Brown, Director of Photography for MatadorU
A ‘Great American Road Trip’

For some reason this morning it doesn’t occur to me to fly anywhere. It just seems like all my friends right here in the US have reached points in their lives and families where visiting them on some kind of extended road trip would be a more soulful story than anything else. We’d start heading west from Asheville, stopping in at Austin. Continue north to Ward, Colorado. Some backcountry missions in the Indian Peaks. West from there to the Sierra via Wyoming. Mammoth Lakes. Bishop. Los Angeles. Surfing spots northward to the City. A link up at Berkeley. Back out to Stinson Beach, Bolinas, the “Patch.” Up to the Lost Coast. Beyond that to Camel Rock, Arcata, Portland, Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula (Port Orchard), La Push.

Then the long eastern blaze across to Missoula. Checking out Moscow. Across the Northern Route. Maybe a side trip to follow our recent favorite kids’ book Paddle to the Sea. Checking out the Ottawa River Valley. What are flows like in winter time. Eventually into New York, then on up to Vermont, Craftsbury. Some cross-country skiing. Then back to the South via Appalachia. Stopping at the right pockets. Morgantown, WV. Richmond. Eventually back down to Athens, Georgia. Out to Savannah. It would take 3 months and a Sprinter loaded with boards and stoke.

    - David Miller, Senior Editor

Ever since I saw the opening shot in the “Marley” documentary (heli footage flying low over these crazy little clumped hills covered in jungle), I’ve been really wanting to explore Jamaica. I’ve never been and I feel like it’s a place where most people make the mistake of spending all their time at ‘Sandals’ and other all-inclusive resorts, leaving plenty of unexplored awesomeness for people like us.

    - Ross Borden, Founder of Matador

Kenya or Ethiopia

To see the solar eclipse on November 3, 2013.

    - Carey Groleau, Layout Design
The ‘non-countries’

I’ve pined for a long time to start seeing some of the countries-that-aren’t-countries. I’ll be in Germany from April, so Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh are the two that I would most like to try and find a way into over the summer. They are close enough to Russia that I assume they are far too cold to enable frolicking in the winter months.

    - Richard Stupart, Staff Writer
British Columbia and the Western US

I’d like to kick it local, do more exploring in the Kootenays region of BC (hiking, biking) and hit up more climbing spots in the summertime, especially some of the bigger ones south of the border: Red Rocks in Nevada, Moab in Utah, Joshua Tree in California.

    - Carlo Alcos, Managing Editor

Matador Community News


  • Geir Ertzgaard

    Why is Gabon never mentioned anywhere? That’s my dream destination.

  • Hal Amen

    good question, geir. why is it on your list?

  • Mike C

    Agree with Carlo, exploring local is my aim for 2013. Just hope I can stay in Canada to do so. I want to hike a lot more in the summer, also visit more lakes in the East Kootenay region. But more importantly make Fernie, BC my home for a long time.

  • Oleksiy Minkin

    Across U.S. by car, or by train. I think, it will be good way to explore rural America.

    • Tatiana Woller

      im gonna be going across… want to join?

    • Oleksiy Minkin


    • Geoff Mills

      Tanya, are you going across America with your boys? FUCK EVERYONE ELSE AND LISTEN TO ME! I LOVE YOU!

    • Geoff Mills

      Tatiana Woller Also.. Don’t ever take a damn flu shot. H1N1 is compete poison.
      Wake up!
      Don’t get injections for you and none for your kids. EVER. Write me ASAP. Need to hear from you. You are TOP NOTCH, Baby!

  • Rudayna Bahubeshi

    Cape Town–I only hear amazing things about it, and it seems to possess the perfect balance between natural beauty and bustling city scenes.
    Eritrea–Despite being half my heritage, I know very little about it, and I’m very curious.

  • TravelnLass

    Funny how some stray note will send we wanderlusts off on our next adventure.

    Whilst drooling over these many destination options here, turns out it was Carey Groleau’s mention of the solar eclipse that most caught my attention. Having witnessed (and photographed!) an incredible total solar eclipse in Costa Rica in ’91 (and more recently a partial in Hervey Bay in Oz) Carey’s mere mention of such in Ethiopia come November, got me seriously Googling for such cosmic events elsewhere on the globe this year.

    Long-story-short – not Africa (given that I’m now based in Vietnam for the past year), turns out there’s a total solar eclipse this May a bit closer to my adopted home – in… my choice: the boonies of Papua New Guinea or the Solomon Islands.

    Thanks Carey, for indirectly inspiring my next adventure!

  • Sharon Bijo

    There are so many destinations I’d like to go to this year, but if I have to pick, I’d say the following: Iceland, for the Northern Lights, Galapagos Island, Tanzania, Madagascar, New Zealand… There are so many gorgeous places to see on this planet!

  • Sharon Bijo

    There are so many destinations I’d like to go to this year, but if I have to pick, I’d say the following: Iceland, for the Northern Lights, Galapagos Island, Tanzania, Madagascar, New Zealand… There are so many gorgeous places to see on this planet!

  • Jacci Linn

    I can give you 16 just from myself and if I’m lucky I’ll hit one of them this year:

    1- Thailand- because it’s lush and exotic and a dear friend from studying abroad lives and works in the tourism industry there. Also, way too many gorgeous places there not to go to.

    2- Montreal- because it’s like Europe was plopped in the middle of no-where Canada, and it’s stunning!

    3- Norway, Finland and Sweden- to explore my family’s roots.

    4- Prague, because every friend who’s ever been says it’s their favorite, and to explore more family roots.

    5- Agra, India- to witness the Taj. It’s on my bucket list.

    6- Istanbul- to visit friends and finally see the Blue Mosque. To explore the spice markets and get lost in their culture.

    7- Spain, Portugal, and Morocco- to visit Majorca and Rafael Nadal’s tennis roots and to buy fabric in Morocco.

    8- Brazil- for 2016, not 2013- to see friends compete in the olympics.

    9- Santa Lucia, Ecuador- to volunteer at the completely sustainable lodge of Cloud Forest.

    10- Thessaloniki, Greece- because it’s been over a year since I’ve last been to visit.

    11- Argentina- to take a long awaited trip with my sister.

    12- Berlin- because I’ve been all over Germany but never been to explore Berlin.

    13- Budapest- because it’s so special and unique to me, I want to explore more!

    14- Egypt- to see the pyramids and to finally check it off my – I wish I had gone while I studied abroad list.

    15- Hong Kong- to visit a native friend I used to work with.

    16- Bhutan- because they have some of the most sustainable forms of tourism known, and of course, the mountains.

    • Hal Amen

      nice, thanks for sharing!

  • Anne Hoffman

    David Miller, I second yr answer.

  • Pete Rojwongsuriya

    All of these are some very interesting places that not many people have on their bucket list. This confirms how unique you guys are! :) Rock on Mataddor Network!

  • Pete Rojwongsuriya

    All of these are some very interesting places that not many people have on their bucket list. This confirms how unique you guys are! :) Rock on Mataddor Network!

  • Scott Hartman

    Before I get to me: Carlo, while in Moab, take a few days and head into “The New Black” – the Escalante area. I lived and worked there for four years. Some of the least explored areas in Utah, in fact, it the last place in the lower 48 where horses delivered the mail (and we’re talkin’ that this happened in my lifetime:) Escalante is known for it’s slot canyons.

    OK, now to me: my hope is not (necessarily) to go anywhere, but To Be – more completely – Where I am. If I can do that, the world will indeed be my oyster.

    • Scott Hartman

      And as to “Why?” . . . I’ve started another long piece of writing, and need, most of all, to Be where I Am . . . (but thank god the writing deals with other places, so in a way, I will be traveling . . . )
      And Nina, as for Iceland . . . nothing but BIG YES to that. I have a portfolio of my own Iceland travels here: I am not a cold person, the prefice “Ice-” to anything makes me want to turn my back and run. But Iceland is amazing. I was there for three-plus months, all around the country, and – when it thawed – into the interior.

      And Scott, regarding the Khumba Mela: think ten million people and one toilet :) Much of my India-time has been spent just downstream in Varanasi (in fact, over a year of my just less than three years in country). Make sure you get there.

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