Hard to get to, but well worth the effort, the Bazaruto Archipelago of Mozambique keeps us visiting and dreaming. Barely 22 miles off the east coast of Africa, this group of six islands (Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Bangue, Shell, and Santa Carolina) continue to top our "must-visit" list of places in the world. The entire area was declared a National Park in 1971 and hosts a plethora of snorkel and dive opportunities.
This temperate Dutch island is beloved by divers for good reason. It lies outside the hurricane belt, and it was the first Caribbean island to designate its coasts and reefs a marine park sanctuary. Together, these protections have preserved the surrounding corals, resulting in reefs that remain the most colorful in the region. Moreover, of Bonaire’s 89 dive sites, 63 are reachable from shore. The sites on the northern half of the island are preferable for snorkelers, as there are fewer surges, and the reef plateau starts between 2 and 10 feet deep. Top snorkel sites include Andrea I, Witch’s Hut and 1,000 steps — so named for the staircase to the water. Fear not: It’s really just 78 steps, but the name keeps the crowds away.
At one time, a vast sand-dune wilderness (now the Sunset and Richmond districts) separated Ocean Beach from the rest of San Francisco. Development came in the late 19th century when a steam railroad was put in place to bring people to a fashionable resort on the outskirts of town. Later the Cliff House, and the now-gone Sutro Baths and Playland at the Beach amusement park was put in place. Today, Ocean Beach is still as popular for seaside drives, brisk jogs, and sunset walks as it was in the early 1900s.

Have just discovered your blog today and love it! I am a student from NZ and want to travel to somewhere fantastic next year for a few weeks to get away from the hussle and bussle of study and work. Originally thought Thailand would be fantastic, and I see you agree with me here so great! But I also did not realise Bali was also so cheap. For a first trip overseas for a poor student (apart from Aus), where would you recommend? Bali or Thailand?
At some point after I moved to Berlin in 2015, I learned of the gigantic and easily accessible bubble. Berlin’s winters are cold, but what I find more difficult to endure are the endless string of gray days. T.I. seemed like a gigantic SAD lamp, a tropical Truman Show. I’d wanted to go to, but when I solidified plans to move back to the U.S, my mission felt increasingly urgent. And that’s how I ended up stripping down on a Thursday morning amongst families with young children, retirees, and a surprisingly large number of thirty-something couples.
The small cottages, bungalows, single-family homes and two-storied apartments in the residential areas, were filled with college students from several local colleges, joined by a good number of sailors, retirees and middle-class families. Some of the bungalows built as tourist accommodations atop the cliffs on either side of Niagara Avenue are still in use as businesses and homes.[12]
Hi Kyle… interesting roundup. I’ve been to most of the places you mention over the past twelve years — the period of time I have been living as a “global gypsy.” I know San Marcos well, love the Oaxaca coast, used to really love my village in Goa until the tourists discovered it, and I really love Africa — for those who want a chill cheap life, Swaziland is an interesting choice, hugged by South Africa and Mozambique. It home to the Bushfire Festival, one of the most acclaimed music/ art/ culture/festivals in the world. I also really love Kenya and the beautiful Diani Beach. Ok, here’s my current situation: I have grown weary (and older!) of living out of a backpack and am currently looking for a base. I have also accidentally adopted a rescue dog and am traveling with him. As such I need a beach destination with calm waters b/c he loves to swim — so Oaxaca is out. I also make and sell jewelry so some tourists are needed. I am currently on Roatan and it is just not resonating. It is more expensive than I expected and doesn’t seem to have that sort of “mindful” community I prefer. So… any suggestions? I’m really stymied… I sometimes feel there is such a thing as too much freedom… peace and out.
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Hi Kyle, thanks for sharing such valuable information, it is exactly what I was looking for. My husband and I are considering spending a year in 2 beautiful destinations. He picked Ambergris Caye and I picked Lombok. We ‘just’ need affordable accomodation and a decent Internet connection. I see you have visited both places. How was Internet in Caye Caulker? Do you think it will be a problem in Lombok? Thanks so much!


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Love this empty beach. When I mean empty, not as crowded as other beaches that I frequent. Parking is easy, there's lots of space and the best part is that it's free! A great place to relax or take a walk. If you are heading to the Sutro Baths, make sure to drop by here first. I did and enjoyed it. I'll be back again when in the area. Maybe set up and enjoy one of their fire pits. From the first time I visited here to my most recent, nothing has really changed, which is great. It's good to know some towns maintain a calmness.
I couldn’t tell whether other visitors were drawn to T.I. for the same reasons I was, namely that winter sucks and a tropical air hanger seemed like the strangest way to deal with it. But while there, it occurred to me that T.I. also offers an alternative for people priced out of international travel. And for families with small kids, the heated dome offers a level of logistical ease that’s hard to beat. T.I. may be an approximation of a tropical vacation, but it’s one without long flights or passport stress, where no child could ever claim to be bored and nothing is more than a two minute walk away.
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