By Matthew Rollinson
With Christmas fading into memory, and the ‘end of the decade’ New Year celebrations over, it’s easy to catch the January blues.
As Christmas and New Year are so close together, a long holiday period of festivities can leave you both elevated, and drained. With the Easter break feeling little closer than the Earth is to Pluto, what better way to see in the new decade than to start planning all the places you want to visit in 2020 and beyond?
Cayman is ideally situated as a jumping off point to all sorts of adventures that lie just a dream and a click away. Here are three suggestions to get you started:
With multiple daily flights from numerous operators servicing Grand Cayman, Miami may seem like an obvious choice, but with a little imagination, flying there can open up a whole host of diverse and exciting possibilities.
Almost everyone will have passed through Miami Airport from time-to-time, and many will have enjoyed a city break there, indulging in the delights of Miami’s ubiquitous shopping opportunities, such as Dolphin Mall, or sampling the night-life. However, why not venture a little further?
You can hire a car and drive down to see the Florida Everglades. It really is a uniquely beautiful place. Consider exploring Cape Sable and Florida Bay by boat, or, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Run by the National Audubon Society, it comprises 13,000 acres of wetlands, pinelands, and old-growth bald-cypress swamp, and is one of the very few places in the United States to see a blooming ghost orchid.
Although Cuba is only a short hop from Cayman, landing there still feels like entering the country that time forgot.
Whilst parts of Havana have benefited from the tourist dollar and have been tastefully brought back to life, much of Havana’s charms lie in its crumbling old, less travelled areas.
The city is one of the safest in the world so you shouldn’t be shy in wandering from the beaten track. There are now many upmarket hotels which offer all modern advantages and comforts. However, if you really want to immerse yourself in the culture and character of this historied land, why not try homestay accommodation, staying in a 'casa particular' with a local family. It's authentic, and of direct benefit to local families where sharing a traditional meal has to be one of the finest ways to learn about a people’s culture and day-to-day lives. It will be sure to add a completely new and vibrant twist to your stay.
For the truly adventurous romantics, hire a classic car and go on a road trip. That way your memories will play like a movie!
There are many who fly to Jamaica to enjoy its beautiful beaches and swish hotels in places like Montego Bay. However, if you live in Cayman, such bounties are never in short supply, so the discerning Cayman-based wanderer needs other motivations to visit.
Luckily, Jamaica has a bounty of cultural and topographical riches to entice and enthrall. For the music lover, a trip to Trench Town and the Bob Marley Museum, both located in the city of Kingston, are a must.
Kingston is also great place for lovers of live music and dance generally and should rank high on the list of those who just want to get down and party! On the flip side, sports lovers can also enjoy top class cricket at the world-famous Sabina Park if judicious in booking dates. A little less well known as a holidaying possibility, Kingston is also a great place for track and field lovers, with regular competition events held year-round and accessible at modest entry prices.
If you are just not into the city vibe, famed resort Strawberry Hill, which is nestled in the Blue Mountains, lay only a short distance away, accessible by car from Kingston. From the Blue Mountains you can explore the country’s colonial past and its rich coffee making history.
Which destination will you enjoy in 2020?