Where To Go in 2015

This holiday season I’m partnering with the team at Expedia to share my insights on where to go in 2015. This list is both a reflection of my favorite places as well as a dream destination list, and hopefully travel inspiration for all of you guys too!

While chances are I won’t embark on a multi-month backpacking trip next year, I still have a few international escapes in the works. (I’m particularly interested in Iceland but we shall see what plays out- I’m open to anything!)

The Faroe Islands // Solar Eclipse

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For whatever reason, I love cold, remote, sparsely populated islands; think the Aran Islands or the Isle of Skye. So naturally, I would love to visit the Faroe Islands for their natural beauty and blend of Scandinavian and Celtic heritage. As a language geek I would also love to learn more about Faroese, the island’s dialect. And who knows, maybe meet a Viking or two.

2015 is the perfect time to visit the Faroe Islands as there will be a total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015. Astronomy geeks, take note!

Indian Himalaya // World-class Trekking

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Okay, okay- I’ve probably rhapsodized about the Indian Himalaya enough. Cheap, stunning and undiscovered- need I say more? 

Imagine trekking among pink rhododendron trees, herds of water buffalo and soaring, white-tipped mountains- and for cheap. My life-changing ten-day trek cost only $450 dollars for porters, food and transportation, which you can read about here (Part 1 and Part 2). Worth every rupee!

Mongolia // Horseback Riding

I’ve wanted to venture to Mongolia ever since delving into National Geographic books from the 1970’s as a child, but after reading Young Adventuress’ blog posts I want to explore Mongolia on horseback. I love roughing it in the wilderness for weeks at a time, so I know windswept rural Mongolia would be right up my alley.

Perth, Australia // Perth International Arts Festival

Have you guys heard of the Royal de Luxe? It’s often called “The World’s Largest Puppet Show” . I’ve been trying to track it down for years, and just found out it’s coming to Perth in February, 2015, for the Perth International Arts Festival!

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Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to visit Perth- pristine beaches, incredible coffee, hip local microbreweries like Little Creatures. But the dreamy Royal de Luxe would make a visit to Perth that much sweeter.1024px-Beach_sunset_Perth

Penang, Malaysia // Street Art & Hawker Centers

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Penang is quite possibly my favorite city in Southeast Asia. Penang oozes history; from Straits Chinese mansions to British colonial buildings to Thai temples. When I was there in June, I couldn’t get enough of the tasty Malay food at hawker centers and the bright bursts of street art all over the city. Highly, highly recommended.

Biarritz, France // Surfing

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For a week every July, ritzy Biarritz hosts the Biarritz Surf Festival. Surfers from all over the world compete in longboard contests, paddle board racing and Tahitian pirogue in Biarritz’ beautiful bay.

If you’re in France in July anyway, swing by Paris for the weekend of July 14 for both Bastille Day and the Firemen’s Ball– the latter especially is a must-do!

Central Highlands, Vietnam // Motorcycling

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When I tell people about my travels, they invariably ask me, “What was your favorite country?” And I always respond, “Well, I really love France and Vietnam.”

I really couldn’t recommend Vietnam more highly, and my 600-kilometer motorcycle trip was among my favorite travel experiences ever.

If you head to Vietnam in 2015, start in sleek and motorbike-bamboozled Saigon, dip down to the lush Mekong Delta, then journey up to the Central Highlands, Hoi An and Hue. Finish off your trip with a stay in Hanoi with obligatory trips to Sapa and Halong Bay. And if you do the whole trip on a motorcycle, bonus points.

Amsterdam, Netherlands // Nuit Blanche

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I’m a sucker for Flemish architecture, so naturally, I found Amsterdam stunning. But if I were planning a visit in 2015, I wouldn’t miss Nuit Blanche.

Nuit Blanche is an all-night festivity that takes place the first Saturday of November, during which Amsterdam’s museums are open all night, and revelers enjoy everything from candlelit symphonies and canalside mansion parties.

Austria // Christmas Markets

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Thought Paris’ Christmas markets disappointed me, I absolutely adore Christmas Markets of the Teutonic variety. Sipping piping glühwein while staring up at Christmas lights and just enjoying a spirit of conviviality and dare I say, hygge? Yes, please.

I’d love to visit the Vienna Christmas market, and plus, I’ve always wanted to ski the Tyrolean Alps. Hence why Austria would be an excellent choice for winter 2015.

Denver, Colorado // Great American Beer Festival (or Skiing!)

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You didn’t think I would make this list without including a shout out to my new city, did you?

As I’ve learned in the past few months, Denver has tons to offer: proximity to beautiful mountainstrendy bars and friendly, outdoorsy people.

Oh, and for all my single ladies? Let’s just say Denver is nicknamed “Menver” for a reason.

ANYWAY. There are other reasons besides rugged mountain men to visit Denver too. One is the Great American Beer Festival, held in early October. Though nearly impossible to score a ticket, the Great American Beer Festival is an expo in which the best of American beer is on tap. Yes.

And if you can’t make it in October, the summer concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheater are supposed to be insane too. I’ll certainly be going this summer!

Where do you want to go in 2015? Spill in the comments!

All images not my own are property of Wikimedia Commons.

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

43 thoughts on “Where To Go in 2015”

  1. Hey girl! I love this list!! It’s so original! I especially like the idea of horseback ride in Mongolia and the eclipse in the Faroe Islands!
    And surfing in Biarritz, which is on my list too :)
    Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year in travel !!!!!! :)

  2. Oh my god, I’ve been waiting for this solar eclipse in the Faroe islands for years! I missed the near total solar eclipse that crossed the UK in August 1999 (I was 12 and super obsessed with solar eclipses, that’s why I remember!) because I was on holiday on Crete with my family. I remember finding out that this would be the closest one to the UK any time soon. Of course now that I travel so much, I realise it being close to the UK doesn’t necessarily make me any more likely to go there, but as a teenager I didn’t know I’d be living like this! Thanks for reminding me, though.

    • That’s so funny you mention the eclipse in England in 1999- I was 9 when that happened and remember I had a friend living in the U.K. who sent me an eclipse postcard. Ever since I’ve really wanted to see an eclipse! Maybe you should head to the Faroe Islands and achieve your/our dream, just sayin’! :)

  3. Apparently the Faroe Islands have some great food too (Bon Appetit did a big special on them)! I’m also super intrigued my their remoteness and the crazy dramatic landscapes. Also, Penang. If only for the hawker stalls there, I’ve gotta go.

  4. AH! I got that giant puppet show in Santiago, Chile BY ACCIDENT! It’s such a cool concept – they come up with a story, and then it’s acted out over the entire city. The crowds and energy were unbelievable.
    I hope to go to Dublin for a girlfriend’s bachelorette party next summer, and then back to Ireland later for the wedding!! :D

    • That’s so funny you went in Santiago, Chile, that’s how I heard about the puppet show! My Chilean ex-boyfriend saw the show there and I’ve wanted to see it ever since. Jealous you’ll be in Ireland, I LOVE going there!

  5. Lots of great options here! I’m heading to Amstedam in June so I’m excited that made your list! I think a lot of the western cities/towns have gender imbalances. Bozeman is the same way. It’s like 3 men to every woman! Great for us, but sucky for them. And you should definitely head to Iceland! I’m heading there in October! :-)

  6. I’m now obsessed with the idea of visiting the Faroe Islands for the eclipse. I’m a total nerd and I love stuff like that! I’m also really glad to hear that you’re loving Denver so much. If I ever do move back to the U.S. Denver and Boulder are at the top of my list of cities I’d like to live in. Enjoy!

  7. Wow – you have truly captured my imagination with this list! Wheels are turning with ideas for 2015 travel…right now my only booked trips are within the US, but I’m also heading to Paris for work in the spring (and am loving all your posts on the city as I prepare!) and potentially Belize as well. Keep the ideas coming!
    Jessica
    http://www.thebellevoyage.com

  8. I saw the Royal de Luxe in Antwerp in 2010 and was blown away. My friends and I literally walked out of the train station and into the crowds lined up to watch the show go by. We had no idea what was happening – none of us had heard of it before – but it was pretty awesome. Definitely check it out if you get the chance!

    My goal for 2015 is to make it to either Sri Lanka or the Maldives. Or both!
    xx

  9. Dear Ashley,
    Not sure if my other message went through,
    Just wated to say that your photos were spectacular,
    You exhibited many places to go and places to see,

    Love,

    Gamma

    • Hi Gamma, we just got off the phone but I wanted to say that I was so glad to speak with you! And I apologize that sometimes your comments don’t go through- there must be some kind of technical problem. I’d love to hear your list of where to go in 2015- I’m sure it would be quite a roster of amazing places! Love, Ashley

  10. Great list! India is on my 2015 list, but I won’t make it to the Himalayas unfortunately. I definitely want to visit Penang for the hawker centers, and I would love to see some European Christmas markets!

  11. I would actually enjoy going to Ubud in Bali. I’m a huge yoga/meditation lover and they have so many cool spots to see there. They have yoga centers all over there and tons of retreats.

  12. wow…. all these places look absolutely amazing! in particular amsterdam, the indian himalaya, and biarritz (where, as a surfer, i’ve never thought of as a destination before!). as i’m planning to travel more next year in between college, this is great inspiration. (:

  13. Love this list! Vietnam, in my opinion, is one of the best countries I’ve ever visited too. I also did a motorbike tour through Vietnam. We just went from Hue to Hoi An but I would love to go back and scale the entire coast! I’ve heard about people buying a motorbike at one end and selling it at the other (which I think would be amazing.)

    I’ve also already read your Indian Himalaya posts and this is now on my list. Thanks for inspiring me.
    xx
    Jessica

  14. Great list! I’ll definitely be getting myself to Vietnam next year – and hopefully Malaysia too :) The others will have to wait perhaps until 2016! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for travels next year.

  15. I will be going to the US for the first time in March. Shocking I know, that I haven’t been! Also would love to go back to Bali – it was just amazing!

  16. I’m finally going to Europe in 2015 and I couldn’t be more excited!! I really have no idea of how long I’ll stay or where I’ll go at this point, but much like you I’m pretty open to anything and everything! Maybe I’ll check out some of the places on this list :) Happy New Year Ashley!

  17. I love how engaging your writing is with the reading!

    The Great American Beer Festival is a must for any beer enthusiast! Tickets go on sale world wide and as you said are impossible to get, unless you plan on being there the second they go on sale.

    Personally, I have always dreamed of visiting Spain and witnessing or maybe even taking place of the Running of the Bulls.

  18. What a lovely list Ashley! I especially like the Perth International Arts Festival. In fact, I’ve actually seen those puppets! They came to Berlin (where I live) a few years ago, and we all came out and clapped and waved. It was terribly impressive!

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