Plan your wanderlust.
It's Finland's 100th years of independence and they'll be opening their 40th national park to celebrate, so there's no better time to go. Visit the new park, catch the Northern Lights at the Arctic Circle, see the snow topped trees at Riisitunturi or just find a quiet spot to stargaze. Whatever you do, it'll probably be magical as fuck.
UNESCO named Chengdu a "City of Gastronomy", calling it “the cradle and center of Sichuan cuisine", and the heritage of the region is undisputed. You'll find the awe-inspiring Leshan giant buddha nearby, and the teahouses dotting the city are some of the most authentic in China. Despite this, the area is still described by those who've been as one of the most untouched, naturally vibrant spots in the country.
Both Cyprus' Paphos and Denmark's Aarhus share the title of the European Capital of Culture this year – but Paphos is just a touch sunnier, so wins it for me. Combining heart-achingly beautiful beaches and sea with a deep history (literally – there's an archaeological site), you can soak up as much culture as you do sun here.
You may think of Colombia as a place only for the most hardened of travellers, thanks to its turbulent reputation. But that's really now a thing of the past, with President Juan Manuel Santos earning the Nobel Peace Prize last year, and Pope Francis due to make the first papal visit in 30 years, this 2017.
Cartagena city, the haven that inspired Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love In The Time Of Cholera, is an ideal place to fall in love with the country. Untouched by the conflict, the Old Town is a vibrant daydream of colonial mansions and open courtyards, while the whole city showcases the best of Colombia's culture and hospitality.
In general, the whole of the American Midwest is a sorely overlooked part of the US. State Michigan must be the creme of the crop though. It's a riot of colour and sweeping views, thanks to its position next to four of the Great Lakes, and the beautiful Upper Peninsula, and is home to over 300 waterfalls and mile upon mile of uncrowded beaches and charming towns.
It's a given that Lisbon is filled with culinary delights, but this year if you're heaing to Portugal, be sure to check out Porto. The city is somehow still flying under the radar, which I imagine won't be happening for long, given it's still relatively inexpensive, full of great sandwiches, and resoundingly pretty. And if a city break isn't for you, there's always the mesmerising Algarve coast.
A new $150 million airport has just opened in Zimbabwe's famous Victoria Falls, making it now ridiculously easy to visit this eye-popping world heritage site. Plus, there's been a recent crackdown on poaching and a push on biodiversity in Hwange National Park – a much less pricy, less crowded alternative to the parks of Kenya, South Africa and Botswana.
A safe haven from Zika virus, Bermuda is the perfect alternative for those wary of travelling to the Caribbean, thanks to its crystal clear waters and sunny skies. Plus, they'll be hosting the America’s Cup this June, making this by far the best yacht event to attend this year (because none of the other yacht events will be in BERMUDA).