I had an exhausting year of travel in 2018 – but many of my journeys were inspiring, with experiences and encounters that I think could serve as examples to cities, tourism organisations and hospitality groups around the world for 2019. While the highlights I list here aren’t solutions to all of the world’s problems, they certainly can lift travel experiences and communities – and I hope to see more of these types of initiatives this year. It would be well worth the exhaustion.
1. Sri Lanka & tea
Let’s see more examples of how passion for a product, in this case divine Ceylon tea, can fuel profitability, community, national development and, frankly, a lot of fun. Dilmah Tea, with its spectacular Resplendent Ceylon hotel chain, achieves all three, with distinction and gusto.
2. New Zealand & green
There’s been a lot of doom and gloom on the climate front this year but here’s a positive stat for you: 83 percent of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable sources. And there’s collective commitment to do more, as quickly as possible. What an example for the world.
3. France & yesteryear
Isn’t it amazing how parts of France, such as Provence, manage to retain the charms, pace of life and traditions of bygone times? Locals still seem to live life much in the way they did in a more innocent era. There’s still so much to be said for no mobile reception and conversation over a glass of rosé.
4. Fiji & hotels
I was blown away by Kokomo Private Island Resort. Take an abandoned island, make it impossibly cool, look after the kids, staff it with lots of friendly people and (most important, if we’re looking for lessons) retain the irresistible verve of local Fijian culture – and presto, you have a winner.
5. Hong Kong & cool
It never ceases to amaze me how authentically cool Hong Kong is. It may be haphazard, uncoordinated and a bit of a headspin (with slightly pricey real estate), but the city remains compelling to those who live there and visit it. The revamped hotel Eaton Workshop in Jordan is a classic example of how the city can remain fresh and exciting.
6. Singapore & healthcare
The system is terrific but what stands out is the kindness, generosity and professionalism in hospitals and clinics all over the city. Singapore is known for its capital success, with the essential decency and harmony of its people often overlooked.
7. Indonesia & pride
Life can be tough in Indonesia sometimes but, boy, do they want it to be better. The 24-hour work ethic and concrete progress within the state-owned and private sectors, which I have seen first-hand, are a fabulous demonstration of the power of Asia and its people.
8. London & spirit
It was a tough year for Brits, with the complexities of Brexit and all. But London remains as cosmopolitan, economically exciting and spiritually vibrant as ever. Lesson: don’t let anything get you down too much.
By the Anonymous Global Nomad
In the past month:
Flights taken: 12
Miles travelled: 32,145
Safe travels. Send your thoughts to [email protected]