Where Are You Travelling in 2013?
Here's what the gapyear.com community had to say on Twitter this week
There's a definite buzz about 2013 being 'the year' for travel so what better topic could @gapyeardotcom choose for their first #gapyearchat of 2013 than 'Where Are You Travelling in 2013?'. This topic prompted some of the most enthusiastic discussion of all the previous #gapyearchat sessions with some fabulous responses. So what did people have to say?
Q1. Where are you travelling to in 2013?
Long-haul destinations featured heavily in the opening question, with a trend towards gappers heading off to places not usually found on the backpacker trail. Sub-Saharan Africa featured heavily with visits to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Tanzania planned. Russia was a hot destination too, despite Moscow being named the least friendly city in the world in a recent survey and Iceland and the Philippines also felt some love!
Q2. If money were no object, where would you travel in 2013?
It started off sensible and adventurous and developed to absolutely bizarre ("across the stars in a spaceship of the imagination..." erm, thanks @cormacscanlan!). Antarctica was a very popular choice; a destination which costs as much for around 10 days as most people spend in six months in South East Asia. Most people agreed that if money was no object they would simply see where the wind took them and travel to as many countries as they liked! Interestingly North America didn't feature as highly as the desire to travel to space!
Q3. From your travels, where would you recommend people to travel to in 2013?
Recommendations for destinations to travel would always be an impassioned subject, so unsurprisingly the number of responses to this question was higher than any other. Cuba prompted a huge amount of enthusiasm, with emphatic tweets from @smp77 and @TheEventualists "Awesome destination but changing quickly so you've gotta go now!". Every continent (except Antarctica) had a recommended country, from South Korea to Scotland's Isle of Skye, New Zealand to Costa Rica, and Bora Bora to Amsterdam. Better get saving your pennies for this lot!
Q4. Who would be your dream travel buddy?
Perhaps unsurprisingly the top choices for a dream travel buddy were the travel legends we know and love, such as Michael Palin, David Attenborough, Bear Grylls and Karl Pilkington. There was lots of #gapyearchat love flying around, with tweeps declaring their wishes to travel with each other, and that one tweet from Cook Island trip winner @pocket___rocket that made us all go soft inside "not to sound cheesy but I've already found one (he proposed to me some time ago in Thailand)". It almost goes without saying that on some people's lists were the obvious travel buddy choices, Charlotte Letitia of Geordie Shore fame and Yvonne Srahovski.
Q5. Quick-fire round:
Beaches or mountains?
In the battle of beaches vs. mountains, mountains came out on top with twice as many votes. Unwilling to commit to one or the other @NatalieSpires opted for a "beautiful mountainous island with a tropical beach!" With the Philippines offering exactly this, you can understand why it is a popular travel destination this year.
Sun or snow?
Given that the majority of people picked mountains in the previous question you may be surprised that the winner in this round was a resounding 'sun', with 12 times as many sun votes to snow! Again, a few people bending the rules with @LexiLovesTravel and @TheTravelHack opting for sun on snowy mountains. It seems that a love of Vitamin D wins here.
City or sea?
It was virtually a tie here, with city nudging sea out by one vote although cities by the sea, Barcelona and Singapore, rated highly as great compromises for those who can't decide what they want.
Suitcase or backpack?
It was a question that didn't really need asking and when you ask a question like this you should be prepare to be shot down in flames; "is that even a real question??" asked stunned backpack enthusiast @h_simmons. But the top tweet goes to @pocket___rocket who gently pointed out that "most of us would call themselves backpackers after all". @TheTravelHack agreed saying "it doesn't sound as cool if you're a 'Suitcaser'". Needless to say, backpacks all the way.
Would you rather eat a cockroach or a fertilized chicken egg?
A bit of a curve ball here, undoubtedly prompted by @maccathegapper's recent journey into Vietnamese cuisine. This question provoked lots of deep thought into how well done they would take their cockroach, and the nutritional value of both delights. Cockroach was the clear winner with nobody even considering balut.
#gapyearchat is held every Tuesday on Twitter and is our chance to get together and chat about what we love the most... travel! Between 6-7pm GMT we'll be firing an assortment of travel related questions with a different them each week. Just search for the hashtag #gapyearchat to join in with the conversation.
Next week on #gapyearchat we'll be chatting about 'Slow Travel' with Havana Club. We'll even be giving away five sets of Cuba goodies and backpacks for the best Tweeters in the chat!
If you missed #gapyearchat then feel free to let us know your answers in the comments below.
About the Author: Lexi Quinton
Lexi Quinton works for Different Travel, a charity challenge organisation based in the UK and part of her job includes leading charity challenge expeditions overseas.
Lexi is a gapyear.com moderator, and a very experienced traveller. She's visited more than 40 countries since she started travelling in 2000. Lexi's favourite trip to date is her first gap year, aged 18, when she spent three months living and working in Kenya and is where she fell in love with Africa.