Most vacation guides will point you toward the same type of destination in the US and around the world: the pedestrian beach. Not only are they usually the same beaches, ones dotting Florida and the Caribbean, they are likely to be crowded with tourists and over-priced. Going somewhere foreign to you and getting a generic, run-of-the-mill experience is like ordering a cheese sandwich at a New York Deli. Throw yourself into a new situation by trekking to one of these more uncommon travel hotspots.
A bustling country filled with vibrant people and culture, Ghana provides a wonderful slice of the real Africa. Most westerners assume that all parts of Africa are jungle and impoverished. Remove that perception from your head—Ghana and its capital city Accra provide a look at the African perspective, more removed from western ideas and a wonderful travel destination for students looking to broaden their horizons.
A meeting of nature and humanity, Iceland contrasts forested landscapes with advanced metropolises to show you the complete scale our globe has to offer. Iceland provides gorgeous hiking trips that will reorient the way you see nature and the best comforts that the Icelandic people have come to enjoy.
A trip to Hungary will provide you a different European vacation than most destinations. Rich in architecture, cuisine and beer, Hungary provides a culture that, while not well-represented in the typical Western sphere, overflows with art and life. Hungary remains a culinary capital (shout out to Malackaraj) that most people won’t encounter in their lifetime but the soul and tongue yearn to experience. Travel to Hungary to experience a place that will enrich your mind and stomach.
A country that openly welcomes travelers, Vietnam brings a wonderful heat to this list (and I’m not just talking about the weather). Vietnam contains some of the most striking and intricate ancient structures that celebrate the long and varied history of the culture. It also contains the fascinating and emotionally-charged War Remnants Museum, showing the brutalities of Vietnam’s conflict with the US.
With a culture as different as its landscape, Turkey brings a middle-eastern context to your worldview. Turkey has been a crossroads throughout its lengthy history and that remains true to this day in all sorts of manners. Next to the ancient spires and domes you’ll find bazaars peddling modern fares and luxurious traditional fabrics. Turkey will change your notions on what it means to live in this area of the world, what the people are afforded and what you yourself may be lacking.