Has the world ever felt small to you? Filled with the same daily routine, same monthly parties, and same yearly vacations to the same destination surrounded by the exact same people? Don’t worry, I have the same problem. After questioning all the possible reasons why I felt this way, I came to the conclusion that people (especially those residing in West Vancouver) get trapped in their comfort zone, to a point when our vacation turns into the same home routine with a slightly higher temperature. So I did some research, asked some people, and basically did everything I could to find a place that Collingwood families don’t flock to (and no, staying down the block from the Maui Grand Wailea doesn’t count). Enjoy the following list of five places you should visit before its too late. Whether you visit for the beauty, adventure, or untouched serenity, I can promise you will not be disappointed.
Port Antonio, Jamaica
Vancouver residents adore the sun, and this pristine coastal oasis will satisfy our every need. Once a popular port, the town is filled with a surplus of friendly locals, laid back attitudes, and the odd goat. Activities include swimming in the beautiful Blue Lagoon, filling your stomach with traditionally delicious Jamaican cuisine and touring the historical sites that dot this magnificent landscape. Recent secluded retreats have opened up, allowing the few lucky tourists to explore all the possibilities Jamaica and its serenity has to offer.
Often thought of as a smaller, out-of-the-way China, this potato-shaped island is beginning to make a name for itself. Consisting of constant entertainment, to die for cuisine and finally (most importantly), free Wi-Fi island wide, Taiwan is a paradise that never slows down. So if your vacation plans usually involve your parents going to the local bar, try mixing up the bar scene and visiting this remarkable skyscraper-filled island.
If you need a good adventure fix, look no further. Zermatt, the only village on the Swiss side of the Matterhorn, has been attracting adventures since 150 years ago. This vacation has a whole range of winter activities such as skiing, hiking, and hot chocolate sipping. But have no fear, those who lack the athletic ability to climb the peak have the chance to see the mountain beauty up close via a helicopter ride.
Situated along our very own coastline, Haida Gwaii is a paradise known to few Canadians. This forested shore is flourishing with eagles, fresh air, and the constant *whoosh* of the ocean waves. Despite appearing untouched by mankind, scientists have discovered evidence of human fossils stretching back 12,000 years. While staying at lodges such as The Haida House at Tllaal (http://www.haidahouse.com/), guests can partake in forested hiking, or artistic lessons with Haida weavers and carvers. So before booking your next vacation to some far away land, take a look up the coast and see all that our own province has to offer.
Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
Sandy beaches, unexplored jungles, and eye-opening wildlife, what doesn’t Mergui Archipelago have to offer? Often called, “One of the last paradises left on earth”, this Burman island was kept out of reach to foreigners until 1997, keeping the mysterious island both uninhabited and untouched. The waters swell with swarms of eagle rays, and the odd whale shark, while lands vibrant corridors give life to a variety of lizards and long-tailed macaques. When you’re not busy catching a tan in the tropical sun or drinking from a rich coconut, tourists are encouraged to explore the underwater depths of Mergui Archipelago and show the world all it has to offer.
By: Quin Vidilin