The advent of a new year often brings with it dreams of transforming oneself into a fitter, healthier, more cultured, better organised and generally super-charged version of the previous year's self: new year, new you and all that jazz. But now that the New Year hangover has worn off and the cold light of 2018 has hit that all feels rather… ambitious. Well, fear not, because the team here at Original Travel is here to keep you on track with our Official Guide to Loving Life in 2018 (catchy). We've got a little bit of everything to make sure you tick off your various New Year's resolutions: adventure, health, culture and more zen than you can waft an incense stick at…
Up the Exercise Ante
We have plenty of much more exciting ways of getting active than joining the gym. Set sail for Antigua and experience superb winter sailing at Nonsuch Bay on the island's east coast - a perfect destination for families who want to learn.
If you haven't quite got a hold of your sea legs just yet, how about taking them on a walkabout in South Australia's wilderness. Towering rocks, native pine forests, sandstone peaks and sleeping al fresco on cosy star beds. Eat your heart out, Crocodile Dundee.
Or, perhaps you wish to walk on the wild side on a walking safari in Zambia. Follow the Mupamadzi river across the remote wilderness of Zambia's South Luangwa, staying in luxurious mobile tents along the way.
If you're a certified cycling fan, it's time to get on your bike this Summer in Spain. Cycle across undulating hills among ancient olive groves and through historic towns on a cycling tour of Andalucia.
Sack the Stress
This year is all about self-care and wellness, and we think that your time getting away and re-charging should most defintely reflect this practice. Whether it's escaping to the desert in Oman, staying in some seriously luxurious tented camps in the Wahiba Sands and Hajar Mountains, or '"livin' on a prayer' in Bhutan - a country of spirituality, tradition, epic scenery and very few tourists (it's difficult to be stressed in a country that measures Gross National Happiness), we've got your stress-free holiday covered.
Be More Adventurous with Food
Here at Original Travel, we all are strong believers that food and drink are a hugely important part to any successful holiday. If you're into catching your own dinner, or it's something you've never done before and really want to try, why not 'mussel in' in west coast Sweden. This possibly isn't the first place that springs to mind as a foodie destination but there are few better epicurean experiences than hopping aboard a boat with a local fisherman and catching your own lunch.
Or, when landing in Peru's capital, Lima, why not stop for a bite. Whether buying papas rellenas (stuffed croquettes) or ceviche from a street food vendor, or scoffing Peruvian mountain food at Virgilio Martinez's Michelin-starred Central restraurant, Lima is bursting with flavour.
Be More Spontaneous (City Break, Anyone?)
One of our latest city breaks gaining momentum this year is Italy's city of Bologna which is finally getting the attention it deserves (many thanks to Eataly's new foodie theme park). Small but perfectly formed, Bologna is a slice of true Italy; fewer tourists than many other Italian cities; quintessentially excellent food and wine; and some wonderful architecture and culture.
If you fancy nipping over the pond and turning up the heat, Miami is synonymous with hedonism, which fits perfectly with the totally spontaneous vibe you're going for in 2018. Soak up its Cuban character, contemporary art and, lest we forget, insane nightlife.
In search of spicing up your life in Marrakech with its bustling souqs, winding streets and oases-esque riads? Morocco is one of our all-time favourite Big Short Break destinations. Where else can you be within four hours of London that is as exotic as Marrakech?
Are you a fiend for a fine vintage? Bordeaux is a brilliant blend of Gothic and Neoclassical splendour with modern innovation, oh, and mile upon mile of undulating vineyards beyond the city walls.
Learn a New Skill
With Blue Planet II, Attenborough et al have caught the world's attention and interest in learning to dive has soared. Hop on the bandwagon in 2018 and head to Gozo for some of the best diving in the Mediterranean.
If you prefer to keep your head above water, why not learn the secrets of the night sky in Soneva Jani's over-water observatory. Or spend a night on the resort's sandbank learning all about cultural astronomy from the in-house Astronomer. To infinity and beyond.