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The 5 most stunning natural wonders in South America

1. Perito Moreno, Argentina 2. Galápagos Islands, Ecuador 3.  Iguazu Falls 4. The Amazon River 5.  Lake Titicaca

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The 5 most stunning natural wonders in Australia

1. The Great Barrier Reef 2. Uluru 3. Shark Bay 4. The Twelve Apostles 5. Fraser Island

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The 5 most stunning natural wonders in North America

1. Grand Canyon 2. The Rocky Mountains: Banff & Jasper National Parks 3. The Everglades 4. The Redwood Forest National Park 5. The Yosemite Valley

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The 7 most stunning natural wonders in Asia

1. Zhangye Danxia Landform, China 2. The Chocolate Hills, the Philippines 3. Gobi Desert Mongolia 4. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam   5. Son Doong Cave, Vietnam 6. Lenticular Clouds on Mount Fuji, Japan 7. Mount Everest

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10 New Year’s travel resolutions for you to keep this year!

Every year we wrack our brains over ideas for how to make the coming year the best one yet. Often we invent complicated and elaborate plans to transform ourselves. Or we phone it in with something vague like “eat less chocolate.” But travel is inherently a wonderful and transformative experience worthy of any resolution which just takes a bit of planning, know-how, and help. That’s what we’re here for!

So here are some inspiring ways to make this a year of travel and experience. All doable!

1. Get a passport

sean hobson @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

sean hobson @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Just having one will open the door to the world. Remove that hesitation and put yourself on the next plane!

2. Experience another culture

Traditional dancing, yes please!

Traditional dancing, yes please!

The world is a colorful, diverse place and people are proud to share their heritage. Even if you don’t leave the country, you can still learn a thing or two by visiting neighborhoods you normally wouldn’t.

3. Get outside more

The Ho Chi Minh Trail

The Ho Chi Minh Trail

City breaks are lovely, but most cities are right on the footsteps of some downright incredible nature. National Parks are stunning and Europe is full of charming villages nestled into mountains. Asia astounds with its terraced wide, open rice paddies and Africa with its grassy savannahs.

4. Be more active

Why not go kayaking?

Why not go kayaking?

Is easier than it sounds. Go for a walk in a new city with a new friend. Stay in the center of town so you’re forced to walk. Go biking! All of these are great ways to travel and stay moving.

5. Learn some new recipes

Greek specialties.

Greek specialties.

Food is a base element of all cultures and is a wonderful way to come together and exchange company. So next trip, why not try something like a cooking course or gourmet tour? You’d be surprised at the origins of most food: they’re often just as revealing as history themselves (I’m looking at you hearty German, comfort food).

6. Be a bit spontaneous

Loren Kerns @ flickr (CC by 2.0)

Loren Kerns @ flickr (CC by 2.0)

The best experiences are sometimes the ones we least expect. Book a flight, a tour, or something random (scroll and click!) and see where you end up. This one is for those who want to get out of their comfort zone a bit.

7. Leave your fears behind

Eric Chan @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Eric Chan @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Afraid of heights? Hate big crowds? Dive in! Try something like bungee jumping or a hot air balloon flight. The best way to deal with a phobia is to confront it head on.

8. Go somewhere with an empty suitcase

Robert Sheie @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Robert Sheie @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

And challenge yourself to bring back one item from wherever you’re headed that encapsulates the entire experience. Sketches of dramatic cityscapes or even just a bottle opener after a long night out will make the trip stand out that much more!

9. Travel with a theme

Moyan Brenn @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Moyan Brenn @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Sometimes we need to see the world through a more focused lens: doing so allows us to dive deeper into a topic and have more authentic experiences. For example, focusing on the architecture of a city can often reveal hidden sights and experiences – like abandoned subway stations or the everyday habits of its residents.

10. Do some good

Tree planting

Tree planting

Did you know you can participate in or help organize volunteer trips? Combine your own passion for a cause with seeing something new. Even if you can’t afford to leave the country, there’s always something at home you can do that will feel like stepping into a new experience.