As vaccines continue to be rolled out across the world, employees who have done nothing but work from home in the past year are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Studies show that an overwhelming number of people saw their mental health take a hit due to the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the most pervasive symptoms include feelings of loneliness, lacking energy, difficulty concentrating, feeling depressed or hopeless, and having sleep disturbances.
If you were one of those people, consider taking some time this year to visit new places and surround yourself with new environments. While healing and recovery will take so much more than just traveling, there’s also nothing like going on an adventure to help bring back some semblance of joy as we wait out the pandemic. Now that the world is slowly opening up again, visiting some stunning cities might be what you need to unwind after a long year of working from home. Here are some of the marvelous cities you should consider exploring this year.
London is truly one of the best cities in the world to visit, especially for those who love history, diversity, and a good dose of energy. There are plenty of attractions, from some of the world’s finest museums to exhibits and historical landmarks. There are so many neighborhoods to visit, so whether you like the hustle and bustle of city life or you’re more of a nature person, there is always a place that will tickle your fancy.
The best part is that excellent accommodations in London are not hard to find, and there will always be a place that will suit your needs while still fitting your budget. And who knows? If you fall in love with the city, you might find yourself considering moving there, too.
Ghana’s capital city, Accra, is a bustling city with no shortage of fun activities and stunning landscapes. If you love experiencing cultures outside of your own, you will enjoy the busy neighborhood of Osu, where live music shows often take place. It’s also a place for young travelers who appreciate a fun night out. If you’re a history buff, Ghana’s National Museum should not be missed. For those who want to experience more of nature, the Safari Valley Resort is set to open this year, which will provide travelers with the opportunity to see gorgeous animals like giraffes, zebras, and hyenas in their natural habitat.
If staying in the United States is more your speed this year, Healdsburg in California is a wonderful option, especially for wine connoisseurs who love the great outdoors. Known as California’s wine country, the city is recovering from the devastating effects of last year’s wildfires, and the area could use as much support as it can on its way to recovery. There are plenty of options for lodging, like open retreats where you can experience staying in a place overlooking acres upon acres of oak tree groves and vineyards. There are also mountain views or forest views—whichever helps you feel more relaxed and serene. Who says you need to go to Southern Italy to experience wine culture?
Because the 2020 Olympics were canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis, scores of shiny new train routes and hotel rooms remain unused in one of the most beautiful cities in the world—Kyoto, Japan. But that’s also one of the reasons why Kyoto is a must-visit city this 2021; there are plenty of options for skiing in Hokkaido and even enjoying the wonders of the beaches in Okinawa.
If you love the idea of visiting a thermal spring, the nearby Nijō Castle is for you. Another option for those who love rich histories and culture is the recently renovated Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that provides traditional omiyage or souvenirs but with a modern spin.
While the United States may be opening up again, we can’t say the same about the rest of the world. Whichever city you decide to visit, make sure to follow their health and safety protocols. If the city is currently on lockdown, then consider deferring your visit for a bit, at least until their situation improves.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the value of drawing clear lines between our professional and personal lives, especially if we’re working from home. Traveling can help us see beyond our day-to-day work lives and can remind us that, indeed, there is a bigger world outside the four walls of our office.