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Trips That will Change Your Life

by Shawn L Fitzpatrick

While there is nothing wrong with lounging on a Caribbean beach – this year we are daydreaming about vacations that will turn us into better people. Lofty?… I suppose. But here are some incredible trips that will undoubtedly alter the way you see the world.

Beijing, China
Sure, you have seen photos of the 13,000-mile Great Wall, which protected dynasties more than 2,000 years ago. But there is nothing quite like walking from watchtower to watchtower on your own two feet. In order to avoid the throngs of tourists however, and to take highly instagrammable pictures without multiple busloads of tourists in your background – try driving about 90 minutes or 70kms north of the city to the restored Mutianyu section.

Cairo, Egypt
Channel your inner Lawrence of Arabia and head into the dessert on camelback to see the Great Pyramid of Giza. Built by the ancient Egyptian Fourth Dynasty’s Pharaoh Khufu (also known then by the Greeks as Cheops) in 2560 B.C.E, this 481-foot structure is the oldest wonder of the ancient world. Let that settle in.

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
These almost iridescent blue waters in northeastern Vietnam are home to floating villages, uninhabited islets and jutting limestone karsts. A boat trip around Ha Long Bay feels like stepping into another universe or a bygone era – or, you know, the next Jurassic Park movie.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Built into the peaks of the Andes Mountains, this ancient Inca city – which was built in approximately 1450 A.D. as a royal vacation estate for the Inca Emperor Pachacuti; hasn’t changed a bit in the over 440 years of it’s existence. Just watch out for the heat and high elevation, which might, quite literally, take your breath away.

Grand Canyon, Arizona
Staring into this 2 billion-year-old prehistoric chasm, you will feel awestruck and incredibly small. Whether you are hiking the south rim, camping under the star-speckled sky or white-water rafting down the mighty Colorado river, you will leave the Grand Canyon different than when you arrived.

Cappadocia, Turkey
Once a major stop along the Silk Road – which was the trading routes that lasted from 114 BC to the 1450s AD that connected Asia with the Middle East and southern Europe; this surreal country landscape is made up of volcanic ash, clusters of rock formations and an underground system of mazes dating back thousands of years. But the best way to take in the landscape is definitely via hot air balloon.

“Do not go where the path leads, travel instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”   @wbbrjp / Phone  213 387-4345 / 3407 W 6th Street, Los Angeles CA

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