Bled, Slovenia
Year 2020, no doubt, is the “annus horribilis” of the world in recent memory. Who would have thought that this year would be a dreadful period to everyone?
We started the year very hopeful, but as days progressed, we were plunged into fear and panic until we soaked deeper into the crisis. The rapid spread of COVID-19 at an alarming rate crippled the socio-economic activities and we were compelled to stay at home.
For how long this setup will last, we do not know exactly. The wrath of pandemic still waging outside. It opened our eyes to many realizations that life is too short. We never know when death knocks us.
The pandemic made our life this year turned upside down. Everything has stopped including our mobility.
For travelers, the most common thing to ponder now is, will there be another chance to see the other side of the globe again? When can we travel again? We can only hope for the best.
However, this makes us also realize that life must be well-lived and should not be wasted on a sedentary existence.
We need to go out and explore the world, see the other side of the earth and marvel at its wonderful treasures. We may never get that chance again.
When countries relax its regulations in traveling, and when every nation flatten its curve on the spread of the disease, it’s good to do some travel planning again.
Here’s one for your travel bucket list.
St. Helena Island
The best-kept secret of the South Atlantic Ocean. Shrouded by thick fog and imposing mountains, protected by rough seas and dangerous harbors and hugged by crags and rugged volcanic terrain.
St. Helena is truly an adventurer's dream!
St. Helena Island
When you trace this island in the map, it looked like a floating green object in the vast ocean without anything in sight but deep blue waters and steep mountain.

Yet, this dot in the Atlantic is inhabited by more than 2,000 settlers, all British citizen.
It is most famous in history as the final destination of Napoleon Bonaparte. And for many centuries, had intrigued tourists due to its very isolated location in the Earth.
It remains mysterious to enthusiastic travelers because visiting there is extremely challenging.

Until recently, only dedicated hikers and old people ever came to visit the island, because the stay could take up to two to three weeks due to unpredictable weather that makes the sea voyage unsafe.
St. Helena, one of the remotest islands in the world
St. Helena has winding country roads rising past to misty green fields, very rural, the area has a very laid-back atmosphere.

A perfect place for hikers and people who love the comfort of walking down the winding path.
But what sets apart St. Helena from other islands in the world is the thrill of adventure it offers to visitors, a quiet life above the breathtaking ocean and a unique bragging right. At the end of the day, it's an island in the middle of nowhere that's so hard to explore.
Home to one of the most dangerous airports in the universe
So you have a bragging right to be the very first in your country to ever set a foot in a secretive island in the South Atlantic.

It has a unique diversity of heritage-based attractions and offers many things to see and do, from its rugged coastline, rolling hills down to its breathtaking view of the vast Atlantic Ocean, an off-the-beaten path adventure awaits every visitor of St. Helena.
Life there, according to the travel documentary I watched, is so immersed in total calmness. A place where life stands still and atmosphere is timeless.

What could be quieter and breathtaking than live in a place squeezed between two mountains and hoisted on the blue ocean?
Hallstatt, Austria
One of the most spectacular villages in Europe where calmness is guaranteed. It is a small charming lakeside village clips to rocky mountains overlooking the Austrian Alps.
Hallstatt, Austria
A charming village that clings to a narrow strip of land between the placid water of Hallstatter See Lake and the imposing Dachstein Mountains, it is cited as a UNESCO-World Heritage Site due to its cultural importance.
Nestled between Hallstatter See and the Dachstein mountains, Hallstatt is Austria’s oldest and perhaps its most photographed village.

This lovely Austrian old town features historical churches, a subterranean salt lake, a museum, and fairytale-like backdrop.
The view is perfect for all seasons. At winter, the atmosphere rings a subdued mood where mountains capped by thick snow, at summer it turns into a photographic scenery with glistening sun spreadinh delight from the summit.

Autumn turns the lakeside into a poetic wonder of nature with brilliant foliage hugging the whole village.
Tuscany, Italy – Despite Italy’s horrific case of Covid19, where the region of Lombardy in the northern part became the epicenter of the virus in Europe, Tuscany in the Central portion of the country remains the loveliest and the safest place to relax.
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Chianti, Tuscany
It’s the cradle of renaissance art and architecture in Europe and houses some of the finest art collections in the world.
Its capital, Florence, is known for stunning art collections, sculptures and classical buildings. And Tuscany's medieval villages are known for tasty and authentic Italian dishes.
Wine region in Tuscany
It has the most beautiful villages in the world. Siena, Pisa, Cortona, Chianti, are medieval towns known for sumptuous authentic Italian dishes, relaxing scenery of nature, beautiful landscape, wineries and tranquil countryside.
Bora Bora, French Polynesia – An irresistible small island in the Pacific northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia. It is one of the fewest nations in the world that has no cases of COVID-19 yet as of April 8.
Bora Bora Island
It is surrounded with beautiful islets and emerald lagoon and known for its irresistible beaches, powdery and sun-kissed sand, clear blue waters, verdant trees, and a tranquil view of the ocean.
Bora Bora is popular for its bungalow villas perched above the water and offers a luxury accommodation, making it one of the most popular honeymoon destinations of the rich and the glamorous.
Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband, Daniel Westling, and Hollywood couple, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, are just some of the world-famous couples who honeymooned in Bora Bora.
Rising from the heart of the South Pacific, this island is an extinct volcano popped up from the Ocean million years ago.

Now, it sits beautifully in the lagoon that shines in varying shades of azure and emerald while the shadow of Mount Otemanu rising in the background
Bibury, Cotswold, England
Once described by craftsman, William Morris, as “the most beautiful village in England”, Bibury is beautiful, quiet district we all love to be at home in time like this. It depicts a scene in a 17th century fiction of a sleepy village where serenity is everlasting.
Bibury village
It frames a typical Cotswold village: modest stone cottages, narrow strip, beautiful gardens filled with blooms and green foliage, sleepy town and postcard scenery.
It is home to Arlington Row, a strip that features Cotswold Stone cottages, originally built in the 14th century as a monastic wool store. It is now a row of weaver's cottages and a photographer's favorite subject.
It is one of the most iconic and photographed sites in the world and often featured in the Royal Mail in its annual Christmas postage stamps.
Known for its honey-colored 17th century stone cottages with steep pitched roofs, Bibury is a depiction of calmness and tranquility.

Fox News called it one of the world’s most picturesque villages. Indeed! It's a quaint English town where charm has not waned even in the age of modernity.
With its classic home design, relaxing gardens, quiet streets, Bibury is a perfect place to be home quarantined without succumbing into boredom and annoyance. Its quiet atmosphere and poetic environment will make self-isolating a well-deserved escape.
Bibury is a village in Gloucestershire, England, where the country home of Prince Charles, Highgrove Estate, is also located.

It is on the River Coln where stone villages strung along its bank. It is just a short drive from Cirencester, the town center in Cotswolds.
Bled, Slovenia – Bled is Slovenia’s medieval town sets on the Julian Alps foothills. The scenic glacial lake of Bled flows through its town where the 11th century Bled Castle with its iconic church perched atop the tiny rock island in the middle of the lake.
Bled, Slovenia
An 11th century castle is located on a steep cliff rising 130 meters overlooking the lake and autumn according to most travelers is the most beautiful season to visit Bled.
In the middle of the lake is a quaint island with a beautiful pilgrimage church called Assumption Maria, it’s one of the most spectacular sites to see where Bled becomes popular.
North Island, Seychelles – The world’s most exclusive hideaway. This island in the Indian Ocean has only few hand-crafted villas gazing into the powdery sand, milky white beach and emerald waters.
Villas creep through a beautiful private garden. Privacy is assured in this island which can only be accessed through a chartered plane. No wonder this was the choice of Prince William and Kate Middleton when they honeymooned in 2011.
Seychelles is a small country floating in the Indian Ocean endowed with rich natural resources and beautiful beaches with exquisite view of soft white sand lapped by azure and emerald waters backed by forest-dense hills.
Santorini, Greece – One of the most beautiful Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Its cobalt blue water washed off the powdery sand where view beckons a mystical landscape. Its villages are known for its blue domed and white structures creeping through the seaside and clinging to cliffs above the sea.
Santorini, Greece
According to legend, Santorini is the lost Atlantis, which according to legend, a continent during ancient time that sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean. Well, it remains to be a legend, but its mystical environment continues to fascinate travelers.
Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, a constituent country in the United Kingdom, and part of Great Britain together with England and Wales. The city has a fascinating beauty due to its beautiful medieval buildings and ancient castles.
Edinburgh, Scotland
The medieval Old Town merges with the modern and classical architecture and its mystic draped with elegant Georgian New Town, gardens, old universities, churches and neoclassical buildings.
At the horizon looms Edinburgh Castle which houses the Crown Jewels of former Scottish rulers. Opposite is the Palace of Holyrood, former home of Scottish monarchs and currently the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II when she is in Scotland.
Windsor Castle, England – Located in Berkshire, England, Windsor Castle is a historical royal residence of British royal family since the Norman conquest in the 11th century.
It’s a massive royal complex above the Thames river and surrounded with lush greenery, gardens and tranquil atmosphere. Diarist Samuel Pepys called it the most romantic castle in the world.
Many English and British monarchs considered it a country home when duties overwhelmed them at Buckingham Palace.
King George III spent his remaining years isolating in Windsor Castle when his mental illness made him unable to fulfill his role as monarch.
Queen Victoria considered it her permanent home when her husband, Prince Albert, died from pneumonia. The current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is very vocal about her love for Windsor Castle, it is her favorite weekend residence.
The most beautiful area in the castle is the Long Walk, the stunning three-mile long avenue has long line of trees, scenic pathways, parklands and manicured lawn. It is a view that perfectly captures the mystic of Windsor Castle.
Lucerne, Switzerland – Touted as Switzerland’s most beautiful city, it sets on the dragon mountain and captures the bewildering beauty of Switzerland. It has fascinating landscape and beautiful scenery.
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Lucerne, Switzerland

Its most famous landmark, Lake Lucerne, flows through the Old Town and medieval buildings and epitomizes the city’s scenic charm. Lucerne has a swirl of natural wonder and visitors are treated to an endless view of nature.
Lucerne offers the best Alpine adventure, picturesque leisure trip and awesome dining experience. It’s in the central part of Switzerland and predominantly German.

Its strategic location at the foot of the Swiss Alps allows visitors to marvel at the breathtaking view of nature and steep mountains.
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The Chapel bridge
The Chapel Bridge, a 14th century wooden bridge that cuts through a flower-lined path, is the most recognizable landmark in the city.
Across the lake is a line of classical buildings, old churches, cafes, museums and monuments, one of which is Lion Monument, an iconic memorial for a Swiss guard who died fighting for King Louis XVI during the French revolution.
Tulip Fields, Netherlands – One of the most iconic vistas that the Kingdom of the Netherlands is very famous of. The sweeping fields of Tulips provide a breathtaking backdrop of colors to a country that’s already known with a unique charm.
At springtime, the brilliant colors of Tulips turned The Netherlands into an endless beauty of magic and thrill.
The municipality of Lisse is the most recommended place to go where the best of Tulip musing can be experienced.
Its most popular attraction, the Keukenhof Gardens, is where the valley of perfect blooms lies. Best time to visit this place is between March and May where Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths spread its magic.
Most Tulip fiends in The Netherlands offer a tour package and a Dutch lunch in the middle of the incredible field. Pretty magical isn’t it?
Kyoto, Japan – Once the capital city of Japan, this beautiful historic city in the island of Honshu is famous for its spectacular gardens, classical palaces and temples, relaxing scenery and authentic Japanese dishes.
Its Gion district is where one can immerse into the traditional Kyoto experience, it is also known for as a Geisha district.
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scenery in Kyoto
Kyoto is also a place where travelers can taste some of the best and exquisite Japanese cuisine and tea. And it is home to some of the country's oldest temples and beautiful countryside.
Kyoto’s Sagano Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama district is one of the world’s prettiest groves. And it is located just outside Tokyo.
Towering green stalks gazing down on endless pathways with swaying greens are just some of the world's most fascinating scenery nature.
Palace of Versailles, France – One of the most splendid royal residences in Europe in the 18th century, the Palace of Versailles is located 20 kilometers outside Paris.
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Palace of Versailles in France

It was once home to the Bourbon Kings which ended in the reign of King Louis XVI when the French Revolution was erupted.
It is now a historical monument and entered as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the epitome of architectural grandeur, opulence and stately elegance where France is known for.
It signifies the country’s status symbol of power, wealth and magnificence as well as the dramatic rise and fall of the monarchy.
Its landscape is spruced up with magnificent flower beds, manicured lawn, beautiful gardens, water fountains. It was constructed during the reign of King Louis XIV but had a grand refurbishment during the reign of King Louis XVI.
His wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, instigated the construction of Petit Trianon with complex structures and a working farm, a peaceful and quiet section in the palace where she could be herself when stately activities overwhelmed her.  
Angkor Complex, Cambodia – Entered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 to preserve its cultural importance, Angkor Archaelogical Park is located Siem Reap, Cambodia and one of the world’s most iconic cultural landmarks.
Angkor thom in Cambodia
Its complex is massive, occupying the 400 hectares of land in the jungle of Siem Reap province and covered by thick vegetation.
It was once a royal court of the Khmer kings. And the construction of the complex was instigated by different kings of the Khmer dynasty.
The carvings, design and style of the buildings were a finest example of Khmer architecture, one of the greatest achievements of humans in early centuries.
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Angkor Wat at Sunrise
At the ground of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat, the largest religious complex in the world, was constructed as a personal homage of King Suryavarman II to the Hindu god, Vishnu.
Bayon temple has many carvings, most were enigmatic faces, that depicted different Hindu deities. However, in the 15th century, the Khmer kings converted to Buddhism so the complex became Buddhist temples until now.
For years since the Khmer empire was dissolved in the 17th century, Angkor temples remained hidden from the world.
It was discovered after the civil war in Cambodia. Now, it is Southeast Asia’s most important cultural landmark swarmed by tourists whole year round.
The complex has many temples, each has its own personality that fascinates tourists. Angkor Wat, is famous for its spectacular view at sunrise, has a massive ground and a lake that runs through the compound. It is one of the highly visited sites in the complex.
Bayon temple in Angkor Thom, 10 minutes from Angkor Wat, is home to gigantic carvings of faces of Hindu deities.
It was once the seat of court of the Khmer kings. Ta Phrom in the deepest part of the jungle is known for its ancient trees.
Ha long bay, Vietnam – Dangling in the Gulf of Tonkin in Quang Ninh province Northern Vietnam, the legendary Ha long bay (which has a literal meaning of descending dragon) is the country’s greatest natural wonder.
Popularly known for its spectacular view of sparkling emerald waters, towering limestone and forest-soak crags, it captivates the minds of scientists, artists and marine biologists.
The picturesque emerald seascape hides a unique allure of adventure and view at the same time species of nature that mesmerize researchers. 
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                Ha long bay, Vietnam
The bay cradles over 1,600 green islands and islets, mostly uninhabited so pretty much undisturbed which add to his majestic appeal.
Like Angkor Wat, it was included in the 100 list of Best Places To Visit on Earth by a London-based travel magazine.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and known as the Land of the Descending Dragon due to the formation of islets and limestone rocks in the bay.
Among the places I have listed, only Angkor in Cambodia so far I have visited. Way to go!