The advent of a new year often brings with it rather lofty ambitions 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. And by about now those ambitions have normally fallen firmly by the wayside along with dry January and the gym membership you shelled out for but haven't used yet. Well, it's time to hop back aboard that bandwagon and reboot your resolutions with the official Original Travel Guide to Loving Life in 2017. We've got a little bit of everything: adventure, health, culture and more zen than you can waft an incense stick at...
Three questions: are you a lover of lycra? Do you know what bulgur wheat, quinoa and chia seeds are? Have you ever thought about going the full Ben Fogle and signing up to an epic physical and mental challenge in a far flung part of the planet? If the answer to those three questions is yes then may we point you in the direction of our good chums at IGO Adventures, organisers of ultimate quadrathlons across the globe? They take care of everything from logistics, to nutrition, to medical analysis so you can get on with conquering some of the world's most challenging wildernesses.
Sack The Stress
Need to get away from the chaos of (delete as appropriate) screaming children/ work/ perpetual traffic jams/ phones buzzing left right and centre/ all the aforementioned? Sack the stress of the daily grind and head to the remote and isolated Titilaka on the shores of the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca in Peru. With just 18 rooms, panoramic views across the peaceful waters and two private beaches, you'll feel like you have the lake to yourself. The hotel also has relationships with local villagers so those who do fancy a spot of exploration will have access to areas your average tourist does not.
Be More Spontaneous
There's something very liberating about being spontaneous, so why not make 2017 the year of the last minute city break? And while the possibilities are quite literally endless, our top picks for 2017 are the timeless classic of Florence and the more under the radar Porto. Regarded by many as the most beautiful city in Italy (if not Europe), Florence is jam-packed with culture, architecture and history. Meanwhile Porto is all about, you guessed it, port - whether it's enjoying a tipple after a tour of one of the many warehouses or walking through the beautiful vineyards in the surrounding Douro Valley.
Climb a Mountain
The words 'climb a mountain' doubtless feature atop many a New Year's Resolutions list, so make 2017 the year that you actually do it. Head to the beautiful Indian Ocean gem of Reunion and climb a very live, lava-spewing volcano - the Piton de la Fournaise. While not a walk in the park, the climb can be done in five or six hours and offers wonderful views of the Piton des Neiges, the highest peak in the Indian Ocean. And the best part? Once the mountain is conquered, you'll be able to enjoy the unspoilt beaches and verdant jungle of Reunion.
Health and Fitness Overhaul
It's rejuvenation station at COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali, where guests can join various wellness programmes, typically lasting between three and seven days. Taking a holistic approach to wellness, guests will eat meals tailored to their specific goals and requirements, enjoy spa treatments ranging from hot stone massages to reflexology, and take part in everything from tai chi to rock climbing, as well as classes like 'The Healing Power of Water' and 'The Art and Science of Change'...
Learn a New Skill
While the skills you observe on a Kalahari Bushmen initiation hunt may not be ones you implement in everyday life (we hope), it will certainly be an experience you'll never forget. Accompanied by safari expert extraodinaire, Ralph Bousfield, guests at Jack's Camp in Botswana's Kalahari Desert have the opportunity to accompany and observe local hunters as they use ancient techniques to track, stalk and hunt their wild quarry. And you never know, if Bear Grylls ever comes calling you'll certainly be well equipped.
Try New Cuisines
We've always been firm believers that the way to the heart of a country is through its collective stomach - food is one of the great pleasures of travelling. Guests at Belmond La Residence d'Angkor in Siem Reap, have the opportunity to properly put this theory to the test with their Mystery Dine Around Tour. Starting with an amuse bouche in the hotel's Martini Bar, guests are then whisked around Siem Reap by Tuk Tuk to enjoy local food at four mystery locations. Delicious.