If the world and his wife are heading to a particular destination, then I would rather go somewhere else. It's only natural that holiday destinations will fall in and out of popularity. Rather than head to all the usual places, I would recommend looking beyond the obvious and finding the hidden gems.
Lesser known destinations can definitely be more of a risk, because you don't always know what to expect, but more often than not, your decision will pay off. Instead of snapping photos that all your friends also have in their Facebook albums or on their Instagram feed, head to more unusual places that none of your friends have seen.
It seems people are coming around to the idea of going to more unusual places, according to the 2016 ABTA Travel Trends Report:
"...almost one in five people (18%) say they will travel to a country they have never been to before in 2016, compared to 9% who said this last year."
Sure, loads of people might feel the urge to get a picture next to the Eiffel Tower or post pictures of sausage legs on gorgeous beaches, but that doesn't mean you have to.
Find some of the most unique and interesting spots on earth, and take part in once in a lifetime activities in some of the world's most intriguing unknown holiday destinations. I think you see my point here. If I could go anywhere in the world in 2016, these are some of the places that I would choose...
Lesser known destinations I want to visit in 2016
Taking in the Panorama of Raclawice Battle in Wroclaw
Wroclaw is a large city in Poland, which is not as infiltrated by tourism as much as well-known cities like Krakow and Warsaw. However, it's meant to be just as captivating. One of the main things I want to do is visit the Panorama of Raclawice Battle.
Here you can relive the battle by digesting the 120 metre long and 15 metre high painting whilst listening to a fascinating audio tour. It just sounds like a pretty cool experience, and having Polish in my family, I am always interested to learn about Polish history.
Trekking with Mountain Gorillas
Having watched the Netflix documentary "Virunga" (which is definitely worth a watch if you are a wildlife lover), I have developed an affection towards the mighty Mountain Gorillas that feature in it. You can see these Gorillas in their natural habitat in Virunga National Park, Rwanda.
Personally, I couldn't imagine a more exhilarating wildlife experience than being metres away from a huge silverback male, or a mother with her baby. There are plenty of responsible tourism companies that abide by the park's rules and run treks into the jungle that do not disturb these wonderful creatures.
Rwanda is another overlooked travel destination, people are still put off by the troubles the country went through, but the people are resilient and the country has come a long way since the horrors of 1994.
Canyoning in Lake Bled
Slovenia looks like a tranquil, beautiful place to visit, and particularly Lake Bled. Lake Bled is an emerald green lake located in Northwestern Slovenia, it's one of the most breath-taking lakes in Europe. Although it's one of the most popular places to visit in the country, Slovenia is often overlooked as a holiday destination.
Here you can do all sorts of watersports, so it suits me perfectly. In particular, I would like to try canyoning. I have been tempted to go canyoning in Wales for a while now, but something tells me that it might be more fun in Slovenia.
Lake Bled is very peaceful and relaxing (perhaps it's because motor boats are banned), yet you can do some heart pumping and adrenaline fuelled activities. I am a competent swimmer and quite athletic, but even I will admit I am a little nervous of going canyoning. Bled Castle which is like a medieval fortress and the Church of the Assumption which dates back to the 17th century are both worth visit.
Learning how to be a Genghis Khan Warrior
So apparently there's this place in Mongolia where you can take part in Genghis Khan Warrior training. I adore martial arts, having competed in kickboxing, and enjoy learning about ways to protect and defend myself. So this sort of experience sounds right up my street.
You head out to a remote part of Mongolia and get a taste of how the nomads live. You can camp with local nomadic families, take part in some epic training and learn how to do things like making arrows, how to light a campfire and even how to shoot from horseback.
Sampling the cuisine in Lima
According to the ABTA travel report, the cuisine in Peru is about to make an impact on the worldwide stage. I want to head to Peru's capital to sample some of this intriguing cuisine.
Of course it would be amazing to go to Machu Picchu, but that's what everyone does, so I would also like to spend some time in the capital, testing out the restaurants and searching for the city's best street food. Some of the architecture in the city looks pretty impressive, so I would like to get some snaps of landmarks such as the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, the Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) and the Centro Historico de Lima.
See the stunning waterfalls and views in Geirangerfjord
Take a look at some pictures of this place, it looks like a fairy-tale. If I was to imagine a beautiful magical land filled with lush vegetation, waterfalls and beautiful mountains, I would probably imagine something like this.
I really want to visit Norway this year, and especially the Geirangerfjord. It is a UNESCO protected area that's perfect for active holidaymakers and nature enthusiasts. Here you can go hiking, kayaking, fishing, cycling and rafting. This place is often found listed as one of the most spectacular places to see in the world, and it's not hard to see why.
Visit Bahla Fort
The most obvious Middle Eastern destinations are probably Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I have been to Dubai, and have heard many good things about Abu Dhabi, but I would like to visit Oman this year. I would really like to visit Bahla Fort, which is a historic fortress that was built in the 13th and 14th centuries. It is located at the foot of the Djebel Akhdar highlands in Oman.
Unlike some other countries and destinations nearby, Oman hasn't yet lost its traditional appeal. It hasn't been overpowered by skyscrapers, excessive wealth or a huge influx of tourists. The mountains and desert landscapes here are breath-taking, and the gorgeous beaches are too die for.
Spend a fortnight with novice Buddhist monks in Luange Prabang
Last but not least, I would like to visit Laos and spend some time with the Buddhist monks. After learning about mindfulness, Buddhism intrigues me, and it would be great to go on a quiet retreat somewhere in the world. This seems like the ideal place.
Here you can lose yourself amongst the Buddhist temples, monasteries and nearby rivers. You can spend time on the banks of the Mekong River and learn about the Lao culture and the monks that reside in the city of Luange Prabang.
Wish me luck and make your own list
So that's my shortlist of some less obvious places I would like to visit this year. It's highly unlikely that I will get to see most of these destinations in the next twelve months, unless I had an infinite travel budget. Sadly I don't. So if I get to visit one or two of these places this year I will be very happy. If not then maybe I will get to see some of these amazing places in years to come.