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New Year, New You: Top 10 Inspirational Travels for 2011


We’re all for trying something new so when you make your New Year’s resolutions, make them count and accomplish something different, something memorable.

Europe - take the Orient Express
Enjoy a touch of old-world class courtesy of this lavish remaking of a timeless luxury railway service. The Venice-Simplon Orient Express uses many of the original's routes - such as the famous London-to-Venice journey - and even carriages from its iconic 1920s and 1930s golden era. Traveling in style and comfort, this a journey to be enjoyed for its own sake rather than for where it takes you.

Nepal – conquer Everest
Stand on top of the world - literally - and embark on one of the most challenging and rewarding adventures of a lifetime. The world's greatest mountain entices many adrenaline junkies, artists and soul-searches into Nepal’s jaw-dropping countryside every year. Trek through Sherpa country, see the monastery at Thyangboche and brag about your ascent to Everest Base camp.

Oaxaca - have a taste of authentic Mexican food
Its recent addition to the UNESCO world heritage list illustrates the esteem in which Mexico's cuisine is held, and what better way to enjoy it as it should be than in the place that gave it to the world? The state of Oaxaca is renowned for its traditional food and drink and is the ideal place for succulent hot tamales, quesadillas and enchiladas made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Your local restaurants will never seem the same again.

France - Tour De France's L’Etape du Tour
If you thought the most important cycling event in the world was a competition for only the professionals, think again. Test yourself in one of cycling's grand tours and see the beauty of France while you’re at it or appreciate the country's amazing food as you follow the grueling tour with camera in hand.

Namibia – Save the elephants
Give something back to the world: volunteer abroad and help to save the elephants of Namibia. As one of the last true wildernesses on Earth, the Namib Desert hosts one the biggest conservation projects ever. Choose your length of service, work with local communities, see Africa at its finest and gain a truly rewarding experience.

Pakistan - Basant kite festival
Traditionally, the massive kite festival was confined to the old Walled City but has now spread throughout the ancient city of Lahore. The national holiday has fast become a major tourist attraction with fireworks, whistles and a huge variety of kites used to celebrate the end of winter with as much vigor and enthusiasm possible. Don your most colorful outfit and enjoy the competitive kite flying during this timeless event.

China – Trek the Great Wall
The physically demanding trek of a lifetime would be one to boast about to your friends: not only can you say that you hiked across the winding, twisting wall with its crumbling watchtowers but you’ll also be rewarded with stunning views and an incredible insight into China’s imperial past.

Run Morocco – the ultimate 100km challenge
What better way to learn more about yourself and the world than this incredible journey through an ancient and evocative country? From the mighty Atlas Mountains to the ever-popular Marrakech and all the souks and sand in between, this breathtaking challenge is sure to leave an everlasting impression. Running 100km over four days would be well worth it.

India - Holi festival
Bring some color to your life at this joyous celebration. Rainbow-hued powders (gulal) and scented water are thrown around with abandon, so you can quite literally paint the town (and yourself) red - or whichever shade you wish. Festivities begin with bonfires the previous night and continue, after an afternoon of fun, into a relaxed evening where everyone cools off.

New York Marathon
Run for charity and run for yourself. The New York City Marathon is not only world famous but worthwhile. If you’ve never run a marathon before, this is the one to enter. You get to run with thousands of participants from all over the world, donate money to a worthy cause and of course spend some time recovering watching Broadway shows or with some retail therapy.