Here is your 2022 travel bucket list recommended by yours truly. Destinations for all budgets!

Mexico! Yes, I know, I know. Why Mexico? Everyone has been to Mexico. You’re right, but I’m not talking about Tulum, Cabo, Riviera Maya, or Puerta Vallarta. Those are stale and ordinary! I’m talking Mexico City! I love the hustle and bustle of that city, not to mention the incredible food scene and super fun nightlife. I’m talking about getting outside of the city to the Pyramids. I’m talking about taking a drive to San Miguel de Allende or Cuernavaca. Hell, why not go glamping in Las Estacas. Mexico City was so fantastic. I went back five more times in three months! Oh, and by the way, it’s safe. I felt safer here than walking around Hollywood. Use your common senses, and you’ll be fine! If a city break is not what you have in mind, visit Las Alamandas! It’s a private resort 2 hours south of Puerta Vallarta and has the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see. I loved my long weekend here. I forget how beautiful the evenings on the Pacific are. * There are no covid requirements, which makes me put it at the top of the list due to ease. 

Iceland! Iceland is one of my all-time favorite countries in the world. It is the definition of picturesque. I remember driving there, and every few minutes, I would want to stop for photos and realized it would take me hours to get to the tourist attractions if I didn’t stop. There is so much beauty in this country and so much to see! I spent only five days there, and I did not want to leave. It’s magical. So magical the locals truly believe in elves, and there are strong traditions and superstitions about them. There are even elf and troll houses. You have to see it to believe it. The whole country is like walking into a Bob Ross painting. Beautiful lush mountains, black sand beaches, rock formations, dozens of stunning waterfalls, lush green hilltops, and the famous blue lagoon. I will no doubt be back in this country. It’s also very romantic if you want to take a loved one. I recommend missing out on exploring Reyjavik and going straight to do the South Tour and Golden circle. If you have time, definitely make it up to the North part of the country. It’s like no place you have ever seen! Renting a car is the best way to see it all and on your own time. Another thing I loved about Iceland is the amount of horses you see. They are everywhere and so beautiful. Bring some crackers for them and you’ll be their best friend! Also, don’t miss the hidden pools and old plane crash site. These were two highlights of my trip that not many know about!  *Must be fully vaccinated and show a negative PCR test within 24 hours OR quarantine for five days upon arrival if not Vaxxed. (I don’t suggest this).

Peru! Peru is another one of my all-time favorites. It’s another country that has so much beauty and history in it. I was mesmerized by just how much there is to see here and learn. Of course, the main attraction here is Machu Picchu, but do not skip out on all the other incredible places along the Inca Trail, the Sacred Trail, and exploring the Rainbow Mountains! You must spend time in the historic city of Cusco. It’s authentic, quaint, and just so charming. You will see women in authentic Peruvian clothing and taste some of the best food of your life. Peruvian is one of my favorite cuisines. It’s so good. Just stay away from eating the Guinea Pigs. Lol. I mean, I couldn’t do that after having so many of them as pets as a kid. You will also get to see cute baby goals and a lot of fluffy alpacas. The journey on the train to Machu Picchu was just breathtaking. You can opt for the hike there, but it takes a few days, and I know it would have been an unforgettable experience; God knows I wouldn’t be able to hike for hours and days and sleep in tents and not shower! Hahaha! Yeah right! There are some really incredible hotels and hot springs there. Machu Picchu is a Wonder of the World and is one of the most surreal mystical places I’ve ever seen. Enjoy it and take it all in. It’s extraordinary! *Must have a vaccine for indoor spaces and domestic flights and a PCR test within 24 hours of landing.*

Jordan! A country in the Middle East holds some of the best food and best attractions. Like Peru, it homes a “Wonder of the World,” Petra, The Lost City. After reading all about it, it had been on my bucket list for years. The city is centuries old, and the buildings look pristine since being excavated. The people in Jordan are so kind and hospitable, and as I said, the food is delicious and affordable. My friend and I started in the bustling, busy city of Amman and drove to The Dead Sea. I highly recommend that experience. It’s so cool to float on top of the water while reading a book. We then headed to Petra, which was the highlight of my trip. We were the first ones to arrive when it opened at 6 am, and we ended up walking 16 miles that day. I was so excited and fascinated that I didn’t even notice how sore and swollen my feet were. After an incredible day in Petra, back at our hotel, we admired the glistening lights and flickering bonfires from the Bedion camps. We rested in our dome tent and headed for the Wadi Rum desert, which genuinely looks like you’re on another planet. Mentioning another planet, The movie “The Martian” was filmed there. It’s jaw-dropping and infinite. Our driver was so kind and showed us all the beauty! In Wadi Rum, we stayed at Aischa Luxury camp, and to this day, it’s the most fantastic, most unique hotel I’ve ever stayed in. You will not see the stars anywhere as you do in the Jordanian Desert. There have even been many reports of UFO sightings there. How cool! Also, Jordan is so safe. The people love and welcome the tourists, and it’s very affordable! *Must have a negative covid PCR test 72 hours before landing, and then another test is taken when landing in Jordan.

Thailand! Thailand is a stunning place with so many different areas to see. I loved the cities as much as the relaxing lush green tropical areas. I enjoyed exploring the beautiful gold ornate temples in Bangkok and Chang Mai. It is such a beautiful and cheap place, and it’s perfect for a first-time international trip with a smaller budget. It was my first ever solo trip. I was intimidated being alone in Bangkok but quickly found my feet and enjoyed my city escape before heading to Thailand’s breathtaking islands and areas. Krabi was my favorite. We stayed at the Phulay Bay Ritz Carlton Reserve, and it’s one of the most excellent hotels I’ve stayed in, with even more insane views of the sea and rock formations. Koh Samui was also very special. I recommend staying on the Northside of the island where it’s quieter and less of the touristy areas and traps. I would avoid Phuket as it’s so commercialized with too many tourist traps and gimmicks. My first lunch in Bangkok cost me three dollars for the main course, drink, dessert, and tip. How is that even possible? Another random tip, enjoy the monkies but don’t forget they will steal your things! They’re brilliant. Don’t even bother having food around them unless you’re willing to share it. I made that mistake of having a watermelon and bananas, and about a dozen monkeys chased me to hand it over! * Must have negative PCR test 24 hours before arrival and wear face masks inside.

I   Greece! I love Greece for so many reasons. The history and Greek mythology alone have also just intrigued me. Walking around Athens, I was bewildered. I genuinely couldn’t believe I was walking around a city rich in history that, at one time, was one of the strongest civilizations in the world next to Italy and The Roman Empire. It’s surreal. I love sitting at The Grand Hotel Bretagne rooftop, having dinner, and looking over at the Parthenon all lit up and glistening in the night. While two days in Athens is plenty, as the downside is refugee camps, pollution, and super hot weather most of the year, it’s still a place you can’t miss. I would then hop over to many of the Greek islands. Santorini is great for romance and honeymooners. One of the most amazing islands I’ve ever seen. Zakynthos for scuba-diving, Milos for history and relaxing, and Mykonos for the party scene that doesn’t sleep! Those are just a few of the best islands, but there are so many other gorgeous ones that are less touristy, crowded, and expensive. Greek is truly a beautiful country with, again, excellent Mediterranian food! *Must have a negative PCR test within 24 hours of landing and a vaccine for all indoor spaces.

Italy! Italy is another country top of my list for worldwide favorites. I love this country for its rich history the impeccable food, including pasta, bread, and wine. The people are warm and welcoming and quite funny with a good sense of humor. The weather is excellent, and it just has this charming, romantic, joyful atmosphere. Like how could one ever be in Italy and be angry or sad? It’s just too warm and inviting and fun. Italy also has a destination for every traveler. If you want history go to Rome or Florence. If you want romance go to Tuscany or Venice. If you wish to visit seaside resorts, take breathtaking views over the ocean, and romantic hotels, go to the Amalfi coast. This area is just to die for! It’s ultra-romantic and just perfection. My favorites are Capri, Positano, Ravello, and Priano. I’ve heard the town of Amalfi is quite adorable as well. Naples is a dump, and I would only advise getting the train or a flight there and getting right in a car to the coast. Try to avoid pickpockets or scams at the bus and train stations as they are everywhere. Don’t let anyone “help” you because they’re not helping you but trying to scam you in various ways. If you like to geek out, then I suggest walking around Pompei and learning about the devastating volcano that killed many and destroyed the whole area of Pompei. It’s unfortunate. *Must have negative PCR test 24 hours upon landing.

Colombia! Colombia is such an under-rated country and is vast with flowers, jungles, fruits, Botero, and…….Drugs….Joking!!! They have cleaned up since the ’90s, and they really value and protect the tourists here. There are police all over the place to ensure your safety. I loved my time in Medellin and Guatapé. It’s such a beautiful city, and Guatapé has one of the best views I’ve seen in my life. It’s another favorite of mine for views. The food is excellent there, and the restaurants have a great atmosphere. I’m obsessed with the artist Botero, so I went to his art gallery, museum, and park because I’m a super fan. I walked around Communa 13, a neighborhood that used to be dangerous back in the day but is now full of locals so kind and amazing eclectic street art. Colombia is another very affordable destination with a long kind of sad history but a country making a comeback, and its people have so much hope and resiliency. It’s truly inspiring to witness. *Must have a negative PCR test within 24 hours.

Norway! Norway is A country for all of you nature lovers! Norway has some of the most intoxicating hikes with views you’ll ever visit. I did one of the three I was hoping to do, and that alone was just electrifying. I remember getting to the very top and looking at how high I was and how far I could see, and it was just overwhelming. My body was shaking with excitement and all sorts of emotions. The beauty was just something I can’t explain. Norway has fjords as well that are just stunning. I recommend visiting this lovely country and embracing all of Mother Nature’s beauty created here. I would spend just one day in Oslo visiting the parks and museums. The authentic Scream painting is in the National Museum in Oslo. That was cool to see, especially if you’re an art lover. After you’re brief Oslo exploration, hit the trails and maybe some coastal towns like Bergen, Tromso, and Stavanger. If you’re not into hiking or feeling too lazy, that’s ok. Why not go whale watching or gaze at the Northern Lights? If you love animals, try out Dog Sledding. *Must have Covid vaccine and PCR test 24 hours before arrival.

Turkey! I visited Turkey for the first time in 2012 and have been back about five times since then. I love Istanbul. It’s one of my favorite cities. Talk about history. This city has so much of it. It’s also unique because it’s a transcontinental city, which sits in both Europe and Asia. Istanbul is significant for its vast history, remarkable architecture, and plentiful mosques, including the famous beautiful Blue Mosque. It also holds a WOnder of the world with the Hagia Sophia! I love sitting on the many rooftops here for lunch and wine or wandering around the Grand Bazaar looking for a deal, getting true entertainment from my negotiating skills. The food is cheap, delicious, and authentic. There are many options, and the Baklava and Turkish Delight is to die for. Another part of Turkey I love that is a must-visit is Cappadocia. Now, I’m sure you have all heard of it. You’ve seen the many photos on your social media timelines of all the hot air balloons, cave hotels, and rock chimney formations. It is the most outer-worldly unreal place I’ve ever visited, which says a lot! If you can only visit one international destination, then come to Cappadocia. It’s something out of a fairytale book, and you have to see it to believe it. It’s also very affordable, and the hospitality here is second to none! It’s heartstopping in the best way possible! There are so many cute rug and lamp stores and even some you can play dress up in and take photos!  * Must have a vaccine card, a negative covid test within 72 hours, and a visa and completed entry form before arrival.

There you have it, everyone! Those are my top countries to visit in 2022! I’m praying that covid makes its way out for good this year, and we can start getting on planes again. Remember, though, with these restrictions, and this can be a great time to book international travel and save money on airfare and hotels. The tourism industry took a hit and is slowly trying to recover. So take advantage of this time and book a trip! I promise international travel is not as expensive as one would think! If you ever need help planning a trip, you can always drop me a line on email or other social media, and I would be glad to help you as much as I can! Happy Trails, and get out there and see the world! It’s too beautiful to miss. 

Love and Light in 2022, everyone! Stay safe! 

*Covid requirements listed are subject to change. Therefore, I advise you to check all destinations a few days before departure to get up-to-date requirements and regulation information due to Covid 19. 

xoxo KJ