It’s no secret that Instagram is like an assembly line of travel inspiration. In fact, sometimes it can feel a bit too overwhelming seeing a constant stream of new places I’ve never laid eyes on before. Yes, even for someone like me that travels for a living, it can feel like too much!
But nevertheless, I am continuously amazed by how many new, exciting corners of the globe keep popping up each year, seemingly out of nowhere, and tempting my wanderlust. Before I began life as a travel blogger, I honestly imagined that once I’d been to all my “bucket list” places, my list would get smaller and smaller. In fact, it’s been just the opposite. Now I know that no matter how much I see of this world, my list will only continue to grow.
Since the “save” feature is private on IG for now, I wanted to give you all a little glimpse into what I’ve been saving to my own collections, in the hopes of visiting these beautiful places in the year to come. Thanks to some of my favorite creators out there, the list below is a compilation of the hotels, countries and locales that have personally piqued my interest and hopefully will inspire you as well.
What you’ll probably see is that most of these places are not necessarily the obvious tourist hot spots, and that’s what I love about them. As tourism only grows exponentially, I believe that seeking out more off-the-beaten-track destinations or swapping the go-to tourist town for the more local town next door will bring more joy to many travelers in the years to come (not to mention, lower the impact on places that are suffering from over-tourism).
Here’s to making 2019 our best year of travel yet and I hope you find just as much inspiration in these destinations as I do!
1. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
The appeal of Bali, Indonesia doesn’t seem to be slowing down, but I’m in favor of visiting a different destination in this tropical region that has been said to be a scuba diver’s dream. That would be Raja Ampat.
The Indonesian archipelago is one of the more northeastern areas of the country and is the perfect destination for a live-aboard diving boat trip, like the one my friend Kiersten of @TheBlondeAbroad did this past year. I also fell in love with this other gorgeous photo above from @travelustbyus and can’t wait to have my own Raja Ampat adventure.
2. New Zealand
Stunning Lupin fields, vibrant geothermal pool hikes, views for days…what’s not to love about New Zealand?! It may be a trek to get to from the North American part of the world, but I’m thinking every mile flown to get there would be well beyond worth it. I’m dreaming up an epic road trip exploring both islands thanks to @aaronhaynes and @thesundaychapter.
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While Jordan seems to be getting all of the attention in the Middle East right now, I’ve got my eyes set on visiting Oman, a country which looks both naturally stunning and full of unique culture. Head over to @EllieBullen and @SaltinourHair for more inspiration.
4. Greek islands other than Santorini and Mykonos
I visited Greece many years ago when my Grandma took our entire family on a cruise through Greece and Turkey, but I have yet to be back to visit the gorgeous Greek Islands.
Santorini and Mykonos have gotten the most love for many years, but it’s clear to me from so many incredible images that creators have been posting to their feeds that there is so much on offer throughout the other islands — and likely less tourists to compete with for space on the beach! The shots above from top to bottom: @Finduslost in Milos, @haylsa in Ios and @KaterinaStavreva on Crete. Dreamy, eh?
5. The Dolomites, Italy
After my dear friend Jess of @Bontraveler visited The Dolomites in Italy this past year, it shot straight to the top of my bucket list. Between all of the incredible looking hikes and turquoise water juxtaposed by dramatic mountain faces, this region in Northern Italy looks breathtaking from every angle. Also loving the colors in this shot taken in the fall by @thismattexists!
6. Painted Hills, Oregon
I still have yet to visit the beautiful state of Oregon, and I’m hoping that 2019 is The Year. Seeing photos of this stunning place for the first time from @mysuitcasejourneys immediately incited a google search which left my dumbfounded by the unique colors of the area. I couldn’t believe how similar it looked to Rainbow Mountain in Peru where I visited over 2 years ago — and right in our own backyard!
7. Todos Santos, Mexico
Mexico is a destination that continuously keeps popping up for me year after year, and I’ve had dreamy Todos Santos on the mind ever since my friend @Candida posted this scene from Hotel San Cristobal in Baja. A quick Mexican escape is definitely calling, and this minimal dreamscape should fit the bill nicely.
8. Lapland, Finland
Since visiting Norway at the end of 2018, I’m allll about Scandinavia. Norway especially gave me a newfound love for visiting winter destinations and I can’t think of a place that feels more wintery in the dreamiest way than Finnish Lapland. If you’re not convinced by this drone shot from @alliemtaylor, then feel free to get back to the beach 😉
Slovenia isn’t necessarily a new destination on my bucket list — in fact, I’ve had my eye on this underrated European country for years. However, witnessing my friends at @your_passport visit recently, I was blown away by some of the landscapes they found there that I never would have imagined were located in Slovenia! I’m even more excited now to hopefully add this country to my visit list in 2019.
10. Fall in Maine, USA
Sometimes it takes an outside perspective for you to really appreciate what you have in your back yard — and such was the case when I saw my dear friend @Elanaloo posting the most gorgeous fall foliage shots from my home state this past October.
Yes, I’ve spent many fall seasons in Maine during my childhood growing up, but Elana’s beautiful Maine photography inspired me to do a trip back next Fall and push myself to experience places that aren’t in my typical go-to route.
11. Lavertezzo, Switzerland
To be honest, I never knew this place existed until this year, but since coming across photos of this Italian-speaking Swiss town for the first time, I feel like it keeps popping up everywhere! Isn’t it funny how those things happen?
Lavertezzo looks like the most charming little area of Switzerland where swimming in the canyon in summertime is a favorite pastime, and it’s not hard to see why. Thanks to @thewonderingdreamer for inspiring me to visit this beautiful place!
Samoa, located pretty much smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, seems just about the furthest place in the world to get to. But when @spoart shared photos of his adventures there, I knew I had to find a way to see these remote islands for myself.
Part of the beauty (beyond the obviously natural aspect) of visiting destinations that are difficult to get to is that most people won’t go through the effort when they could catch a cheaper flight elsewhere. To me, however, all the trouble would be entirely worth it to experience a destination like this that literally looks like heaven on Earth.
13. New Cuyama, California
I’ve seen several photos now of this compound of tiny homes popping up in my IG feed over the last year. Officially called The Blue Sky Center, these wagon-esque cabins look like the kind of unique accommodation that offers an experience unto itself, despite the destination. This shot posted by @thevenuereport has me dreaming of another California road trip soon.
14. Menton, France
Another destination that I never knew existed until this year, Menton, France, really piqued my interest after IG superstar @Taramilktea posted some of the most colorful images from the French Riveria town. Plus, I haven’t been to France in 10 years so a trip is very overdue!
15. Puglia, Italy
With so many incredible destinations to visit in one country, it’s hard not to want to spend an entire year just road tripping every inch of Italy. Alas, Puglia has started to bump its way to the top of my Italian bucket list thanks to stunning shots of the white-washed coastal towns from creators like @giuliopugliese.
I’m newly obsessed with @audreyrivet and literally everything she posts on her Instagram feed. Her images from her Tunisia trip in 2018 were no exception, and I found myself being pulled into the dreamy nooks and street scenes she discovered much in the same way that I’m drawn into the aesthetics of Marrakech, Morocco.
I personally don’t know much about visiting Tunisia as a destination, but it’s definitely a country I’ll be researching more in 2019.
17. Castle Combe, England
Could this be the cutest village in England? I think so. Tons of creators including @zorymory seemed to visit Castle Combe in 2018 and I can see why. The medieval Cotswold town is full of charming ivy-covered homes and looks like the most picturesque stop along a beautiful road trip through the English suburbs.
18. Cartagena, Colombia
I feel so lucky to have been able to visit three gorgeous countries in South America last year, but Colombia is still one I have yet to get to. With that said, I’ve long drooled over Cartagena’s colorful streets and selection of hotels for the aesthetically-inclined traveler.
Those dreams were all confirmed when my friend @Annafoushee recently visited in November. Her street scenes of the blossoming balconies and bright homes of Cartagena completely sold me that I need to make Colombia a priority for my upcoming travels.
19. Tyrol, Austria
As a land-locked destination in Eastern Europe, Austria often seems to get neglected by the IG world. However, it’s clear that there is so much natural beauty to be found here beyond the go-to traveler spots like Vienna. German IG’er @MarisaHampe recently showcased some of the most gorgeous Austrian landscapes on her feed this past fall and I hope to experience all of its beauty this year.
RELATED: Read My Full 2018 Recap of All 14 Countries I Visited