Here are my picks for the destinations that I think are going to be most popular in 2014. And remember this is all about travel so it’s entirely subjective!
In less than six months the largest and most populated nation in South America is going to be hosting the 2014 World Cup. Then, two years later it will be hosting another worldwide sporting event, the 2016 Summer Olympics. So it’s no embellishment to say that all eyes will be on Brasil, especially travelers looking to experience the country at its best. However, I’m curious to see how the World Cup plays out in regards to Brasil’s ongoing problems with violence, from both zealous sports fans and gangs. While generally violence in major cities has been contained to the more financially derelict areas, a visitor last year was raped in the the tourist section of Rio de Janiero. So with the hundreds of thousands of people that will be descending upon the country, I hope that the government is able to manage the monumental job it petitioned for.
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal so I think that many people will be traveling to the Central American nation to celebrate such an major commemoration. And while many visitors to Panama typically don’t venture beyond the canal and the capital of Panama City, word seems to be getting out that the rest of the country has treasures to behold-spectacular beaches, incredible wildlife, and some of the best coffee you could ever taste grown fresh. Costa Rica still remains an incredibly popular tourist destination for many American visitors but for those who are growing tired of the crowds there, head south and you’ll discover more of an unspoiled paradise. I personally would love to visit one day.
-Countries associated with the events of World War I
It’s hard to believe but on June 14, it will be 100 years since World War I began. A century since the death of a royal couple that literally sparked the unimaginable horrors of the first ever “world war.” While organizations like Flanders Field 14-18 have been created to mark the centennial in Belgium, a country that was inundated with fighting during the four bloody years of war, one can’t forget about Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, site of the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie. While most people will remember Sarajevo as the place of horrific fighting and bombings during the Bosnian War for Independence during the 1990s (the city earned the distinction of having the longest siege of a city during modern warfare), it’s come a long way and is one of the fastest growing cities in Southeastern Europe with the number of tourists who visit growing each year.
The recent death of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s former president and leader of the country’s fight for an end to apartheid rule, will undoubtedly cause a surge in tourism to an already extremely popular travel destination for many tourists due to the country’s developed infrastructure and economy. Mandela was buried in Mvezo, his place of birth, which is a small village on the banks of the Mbashe River, in the Eastern Cape of the country. I see many devotees of Mandela’s legacy making a quest here as well.