Looking for an unforgettable vacation before Christmas? Tired of following in other people’s footsteps? We know you want to visit some destinations that are popular, but is there a different side of these destinations you can look at? Are there different places you can practice some spectacular activities? This entry is all about the options you have out there and thought starters that will hopefully inspire some transformative travel.

Cruising down the Danube is one of the world’s top leisure choices. Just the mention of it conjures meandering down Europe’s main artery and taking in the castles, the vineyards and the beautiful cities. As we all know, the main asset a cruise line has is its ports of call. Uniworld is offering a new product for 2018 that includes places like Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and Budapest as hot spots to visit. There is even a mixology class on board! Passengers are – get this – “leading immersive excursions to breweries.”

Budapest, sophisticated and exciting, is a top Danube port of call.

As to one of my favorites, Colombia, we all know about Cartagena and the coffee region. Some of the more interior destinations, like the Tatacoa desert and San Agustín offer unique experiences. The Tatacoa is home to the most extraordinary night sky this side of the Equator! Stay at Bethel, the region’s premier boutique hotel and enjoy the stunning views from your “roofless” room. There is nothing like it for romance. Once you’ve spent a couple of days in Tatacoa’s multi-color desert, you can traipse over to the San Agustín Archaeological Park with its intriguing monoliths and statues, the product of pre-Columbian civilization fantasy.

The beautiful, hallucinogenic skies in Colombia’s Tatacoa desert.

For decades, northern Baja California has been home to some great wines. Baja, known for the surfing outposts and luxury hotels of its bottom half, now boasts a solid reputation in its Valle de Guadalupe, an alternative to Napa if there ever was one. Using Ensenada as your home base, you can give haciendas a different twist and taste the wines of Mexico!

From the Valle de Guadalupe, close to Ensenada, Baja California, these vineyards produce award-winning wines.

There’s so much more, the Gobi desert in Mongolia, the Corcovado Park in Costa Rica, the Alaskan interior and Lanai in Hawaii. Take your travel experience to the next level and be creative. More to come!

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Carlos Muñoz
<p>Carlos designs custom travel experiences. Believing life is about the journey ,Carlos is committed to improving people’s lives through travel.</p>

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