So how else can we make a decision? There are endless adventures to embark upon so how can we choose where to go next? Here are some alternative tips for taking a trip:
If you’re a petrol head you may be checking out the Formula One calendar and planning your trips (Melbourne, Australia, and Malaysia are March’s hot spots in case you’re wondering). And the Barmy Army knows where the English are playing cricket at any given moment. If you’re not a sportsman, why not choose a random sport, look up the latest fixtures and just go for it. You don’t even have to go to a match or take part. So, finger in the air, let’s take extreme ironing. According to the Extreme Ironing Bureau this is “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.” Originating in England it is now a World-wide phenomenon that has taken place underwater, on mountainsides, and while parachuting. Does that whet your appetite? A little too extreme? Perhaps a scuba diving holiday to the Great Barrier Reef or hiking in the Alps might be more up your street: leave the iron at home.
Or how about cheese rolling or bunny jumping? If you choose these sports you could be heading to Gloucestershire in the UK or Sweden. Pick a sport and off you go.
Tip #2 Take up a new hobby
Your destination might be determined by an event or a hobby. Tai Chi, for example, is the Chinese martial art practiced for its defence and health benefits. You could be heading for a retreat in Thailand or you may fancy taking part in a Tyroleon Tai Chi Festival in Merano, Italy. Or what about a trip to the Emerald Isle to learn about the traditional ancient craft of basket weaving? Stick a pin in the map, find out what the local traditional craft might be and plan from there. Or if you enjoy reading find your favourite book and follow in the footsteps of the author.
Tip #3 Choose an ingredient
If you like your food why not base your search on an ingredient? If fish is at the top of your menu you may be impressed by the Nigerian fishing festival held in Argungu in February. This festival started in 1934 as a peace building contest between the people of Argungu and nearby Sokoto. The three-day festival culminates in an hour-long fishing frenzy, with up to 35,000 fishermen, teamed in pairs, plunging into the muddy Malan Fada River carrying hand nets and gourds for flotation. The pair that catches the largest fish, possibly weighing more than 50kg, in their bare hands is the winner, claiming a prize equivalent to around $8,000 plus a minibus.
And the famous La Tomatina is always an option. This annual food fight festival is held on the last Wednesday of August in Bunol, near Valencia, Spain. Thousands join what is thought to be the World’s biggest food fight, where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets. The week-long festival features music, parades, dancing, and fireworks.
Tip #4 Choose an object
You’re sitting at home enjoying some wine and you stare into the glass. How about glass blowing? You could be spending August in the Pyrenees in France at the annual Festival des Arts du Verre. Or maybe you’re inspired by the candle twinkling on the windowsill. Try a festival of light. You could be heading to the UK’s Blackpool Illuminations annual Lights Festival in autumn. Founded in 1879, this annual show runs for six miles and 66 days along the Lancashire coast.
Or if you fancy something warmer how about a Diwali festival of light? This five day Hindi festival takes places between mid-October and mid-November and is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore to name a few countries. Decorations, candles and fireworks make this a beautiful time to visit.
Tip #5 Type your name into Google…
…There’s a small town called Helen in Georgia, USA. With its German inspired architecture, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Helen has a distinct Bavarian feel about it. So whether your name is Barry (Wales), Stanley (Falkland Islands) or indeed Alice (Australia) you could be heading for an interesting place. I said could – this is not a guarantee.
So all you really need is a search engine, and an open mind. Pack your suitcase and send me a postcard.
The practical bit:
· Formula 1: https://www.formula1.com/en/racing/2020.html
· Argungu Fishing Festival: https://www.sunnewsonline.com/argungu-fishing-festival-will-be-back-in-2020/
· Extreme Ironing Bureau: http://www.facebook.com/ExtremeIroningOfficial?fref=ts
· Cheese Rolling: https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/gloucestershire-cheese-rolling-2020-dates-3688857
· Swedish Federation of Rabbit Jumping: http://skhrf.se/english/
· Irish basket weaving: http://irishbasketmakers.com/
· Tai Chi Chuan Festivala: https://festivalsandretreats.com/tai-chi-chi-kung-festivals-events-europe/
· La Tomatina tomato festival: http://www.latomatinatours.com/
· Festival des Arts du Verre: http://www.palau-verrier.com/
· Blackpool Illuminations: https://www.visitblackpool.com/things-to-do/blackpool-illuminations/