I pray the start of 2019 has been good to you thus far. That you are focused, driven and ready to go after all of your blessings this year. Fear and defeat are not an option, you can and will achieve everything you desire this year. BELIEVE!

I know that everyone desires to travel. As kids we all had a list of all the places we wanted to see and now that we are adults that list has only gotten longer. Although traveling comes with its own set of rules and at times it can be stressful, with proper planning, saving and coordinating you can start your exploration of the world. Traveling will be one of the greatest things you do; it will change your life. You will gain a new sense of freedom, love, excitement, exhilaration and you will create memories with the ones you love while making new friends along the way. So, why is it that most of us have never seen things beyond our own backyards? Sometimes we overthink traveling because we create these thoughts in our minds that we don’t deserve to see what else is out there, or it’s too expensive or you don’t have the time. Well my friends, don’t believe that hype. In 2019, you will make the time, you will not overthink and you will have the finances to achieve your dream of seeing other parts of the world. Stay disciplined and diligent in the pursuit of creating the life that you want. If you’ve thought about traveling outside of the U.S, or maybe you’re new to the travel life, here are five exotic places that you need to get to in 2019:

1. Grenada - A country in the West Indies known as the “Island of Spice”. Located at the southern end of the Grenadines that not only holds Grenada itself, but also six smaller islands, offers more than just nutmeg. Grenada is home to some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches and blue water in the world. It is a great place to fish, hike, snorkel and enjoy a plethora of water sports. Grenada offers beautiful waterfalls, such as Annandale which is a short drive from the capital of St. George. If you are an adventurer, such as myself, and love to find hidden gems then you will discover other waterfalls such as Mount Carmel and Seven Sisters. Grenada offers historical and eco sites, gardens and sculpture parks so you’re able to have a well rounded experience. Here you can enjoy local soca, calypso and reggae music, along with the islands sailing festivals and its well known Spicemas Festival that sailors around the world come and partake every year. If you are looking for something spicy this summer, get to Grenada and its other luxurious islands, they will surely give you the spice of your life.

2. St. Martin - The island of turquoise waters, St. Martin is divided between the French Republic and the Kingdom of Netherlands 60/40, but are equal in population. St. Martin offers a variety of water sport activities such as surfing, wakeboarding, sea scootering, kitesurfing, kayaking and deep-sea fishing. St. Martin is a place where you can sunbathe, swim or simply just relax; everyone experiencing their own kind of paradise. With the weather, air and water temperatures between 77 and 84 degrees, you will think that you are in Heaven. There are also activities such as horse rides, quad bike trails to discover more wonders on the island, simple walks through the historic landscapes and bicycle touring. If you are in love with shopping, than you will definitely love the one-of-a-kind shopping pieces that you will find in this lively Caribbean island. St. Martin is also the place where you can experience the vibrant and vivacious nightlife. With its endless casinos, clubs and concerts you will be talking about this place long after you are gone.

3. French Polynesia - With Tahiti and Bora Bora being the most well known islands that encompass the French Polynesia, there are 116 other dispersed islands and atolls waiting to be seen. One being Maupiti, a small coral atoll that holds a small volcanic island in its midst. This tiny secluded island located 195 miles away from Tahiti can offer you white sandy beaches and will engulf you with its quiet pace of life. You can travel by bicycle or canoe once you are within the island and with that you are able to take in all the breathtaking moments this island has to offer. Enjoy outdoor activities such as canoeing, diving in the lagoons, hiking and exploring the caves of Vai’ea. Some indoor activities include getting pampered at one of their spa’s or enjoying some delicious locally grown Polynesian food.

4. Galapagos Islands - Are you someone who loves exploring wildlife? If so then Galapagos is the place for you! Galapagos has some rare and fearless creatures, such as giant tortoises, marine iguanas, frigate birds and sea lions. You can take a cruise and explore the UNESCO World Heritage of Quito or walk on formed volcanic islands, visit the Amazon, go snorkel with marine life and even learn about the indigenous life and culture of the Ecuadorian people that make up the Galapagos. There are endless markets that you are able to sort through to find a vast amount of souvenirs and trinkets to take back home. Galapagos is filled with endless mountains and terrains that are waiting to be trekked.

5. Tanzania - You may not think that the great plains of Africa can be exotic, but I urge you to expand your vision and open your mind to explore the great jewels within Africa. Africa is the biggest continent on the planet and holds some of the most exquisite treasures within its borders and one of those treasures is Tanzania. Home to some of largest and most beautiful game reserves and parks in Africa, Tanzania will take you on a safari you will never forget. You can create your own personal safaris, enjoy sunset boat trips along the Rufiji River, go on guided bush walks to learn about the smaller wildlife or even search for buffalo and lions while driving through the Selous Game Reserve. After a day of touring the great plains, you can relax on Tanzania’s premier beaches in Zanzibar. There you can do some snorkeling and diving in the Mafia Archipelago. The island is fairly remote so tourism is limited, by that you are able to take in the ocean and natural vegetation of the atmosphere. Other activities include exploring their famous spice plantations or even learning about the mix of Arabic and African cultures in Stone Town. From safari’s to snorkeling, the possibilities are endless in Tanzania and are awaiting your arrival.

There are a vast number of exotic places to visit from Thailand, to Egypt, New Zealand and so on. It all depends on what you are willing to experience and if you are willing to come out of your comfort zone when it comes to traveling internationally. I encourage all my bosses to level up this year by making travel a part of something you achieve. Go out and explore the world, your future self will thank you.

By: Etosha Bahaiddin

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