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Through the eyes of Paula...

With the summer season closely approaching, many people will want to start planning their summer vacation (or just daydream about visiting exotic locations while doing important real-life work). Either way, travel is moving to the forefront of people’s minds, and many would like to know about what places are popular and trendy. There are gems all over the world – some hidden, some well-known, and some emerging into popularity. Here are five countries that are buzz-worthy for this year:

  1. Japan: Japan is a well-loved favourite by millions of people, and has been so for a very long time. You can experience almost any kind of scenario here: the hustle and bustle of city life, or the serene natural landscapes. Japan’s rich culture, both modern and ancient, permeates throughout the country, and there is never a shortage of things to experience. One excellent location in Japan is Kyoto. It used to be Japan’s capital city, and it has an abundance of historical significance and lovely temples.

  2. Nicaragua: Not many people think of this Central American city as an obvious tourist destination. But it is slowly gaining popularity as an alternative to the more well-known Costa Rica. Nicaragua is more affordable, and has not yet been overrun with large hotel and restaurant chains. One of the best spots to go here is Granada, a picturesque city that brims with nightlife, festivals, and drinks such as Macua, the country’s popular rum-based drink.

  3. Jordan: This Middle Eastern country has not enjoyed a lot of fame and recognition over the years, but now is its chance to shine. It is best known for being home to Petra, an ancient city carved into the desert mountains. But other features of Jordan’s landscape include the Dead Sea, beaches and coral reefs on the Red Sea, and Wadi Rum – a Martian-looking landscape. While some surrounding countries have experienced dangers, Jordan has remained a safe place, meaning that its travelers will likely get to view breathtaking sights uncluttered by too many people.

  4. Nepal: This Asian country’s tourism is on the rise after the series of earthquakes of the past. Its historic landmarks are slowly being restored, and tourist destinations such as trekking routes are reopening for the adventurous travelers. Home to the incredible Himalayas, as well as jungles and other varied landscapes, Nepal is a must-visit destination for any traveler with a desire for adventure.

  5. Romania: Another country that is frequently overlooked in favour of more popular countries, Romania actually has a lot going for it, if people take the time to educate themselves about what it has to offer. It is home to multicoloured medieval cities, the Carpathian mountains, and multiple historic towns and mystical castles. For those who love road trips, Romania’s geography lends itself to just such an activity, with its winding tracks leading into beautiful wilderness landscapes. Another fascinating aspect is being able to view Romanesque, Baroque, and Gothic architecture.