Stop what you’re doing and listen here. I’ll tell you the best places to go far and near. But don’t just take my words for it because I’ve compiled this list from all other lists. I even added my own top 16 for which this comprehensive destination tally consists. Using all the sources listed at the end of this post, I counted the destinations common to them all. Then the ones that got the most “votes” made it on this honorary 2016 top destinations wall. If you’re an enginerd like me, you’ll appreciate the data collections. If you hate stats, then just feast your eyes on these delectable picture selections.

Giant picture of the data that’ll hurt your eyes

data showing which source chose which destinations

data showing which source chose which destinations

An even bigger picture that shows the results

results showing the top destinations as voted by various sources

results showing the top destinations as voted by various sources


1. US National Parks

US National Parks top this year’s best destinations as it is the centennial of the National Parks founding – so go out there and explore these places astounding.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

2. Australia

With sunshine aplenty, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities for you to enjoy.

Beautiful Australia - by Hai Linh Truong

Beautiful Australia – by Hai Linh Truong

3. Cuba

With relations between Cuba and America opened, now’s the time to see Cuba!

4. France

Love is in the air, and so is the aroma of fresh French baguettes and wine.

France by Dennis Jarvis

France by Dennis Jarvis

5. Japan

Cherry blossoms, sushi, and everything in between – what else can you ask for?

Japan by amira_a

Japan by amira_a

6. Spain

Beautiful coastline and beautiful people.

Spain by Les Haines

Spain by Les Haines

7. China

Great Wall, Beijing, Kung-Fu, and Chinese food.

8. Hawaii

Get lei’d. ‘Nough sei’d.


9. Brazil

2016 Olympics.


10. Italy

The birthplace of the gelato I hope – they have some good wine and olive oil too.


11. England

The Queen lives there – or something like that.

England by Ian Muttoo

England by Ian Muttoo

12. Morocco

Culture, sights and sounds that’ll overwhelm your senses.

Morocco by Jamie McCaffrey

Morocco by Jamie McCaffrey

13. California

NorCal versus SoCal – let the debate begin!


14. New York

New York is more than just the Big Apple, you jerks – there are also small apples.

New York by Henry Hemming

New York by Henry Hemming

15. South Africa

Let’s forget about the vuvuzelas okay?

South Africa by Celso Flores

South Africa by Celso Flores

16. Ecuador

Nature surrounds us all!

Simon Matzinger

Ecuador by Simon Matzinger


These beautiful images are provided by the talented people of Flickr, please check them out!

Travel on my friends!

Links where you can find the various media outlets’ rankings:

Reading time: 3 min

Welcome to 2016! I’ve compiled 99 inspiring travel quotes to spark that desire adventures. Let this year be the year you see more of the world than you’ve ever done before. Please comment below to let me know your favorite(s) or if you have some that aren’t shown here. If this inspired you, please share so that others might be inspired too! Thanks and have a wonderful 2016!


1. Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we might even become friends. – Maya Angelou travel quote 1

2. To travel is to evolve. – Pierre Bernardo travel quotes 2

3. We travel not to escape life, but for life to not escape us. – Anonymous travel quotes 3

4. Travel makes on modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. – Gustave Flaubert travel quotes 4

5. Reading ten thousand books is not as useful as traveling ten thousand miles. -Chinese proverb travel quotes 5

6. Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shores. -Andre Gide travel quotes 6

7. The real voyage of discovery consists of not seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust travel quotes 7

8. We do not take a trip; a trip takes us. -John Steinbeck travel quotes 8

9. Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien travel quotes 9

10. Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. -Ibn Battuta travel quotes 10

11. We shall not cease from exploration, and to the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. -T.S. Eliot travel quotes 11

12. Better to see something once, than to hear it a thousand times. -Asian proverb travel quotes 12

13. I would rather own little and see the world than own the world and see little. -Alexander Sattler travel quotes 13

14. There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars. -Jack Kerouac travel quotes 14

15. For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. -Leonardo da Vinci travel quotes 15

16. To travel is to live. -Hans Christian Andersen travel quotes 16

17. If at some point you don’t ask yourself, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ then you’re not doing it right. -Roland Gau travel quotes 17

18. If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space. -Anonymous travel quotes 18

19. Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled. -Mohammed travel quotes 19

20. Half the fun of travel is the esthetic of lostness. -Ray Bradbury travel quotes 20

21. The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page. -Saint Augustine travel quotes 21

22. I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question. -Harun Yahya travel quotes 22

23. One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. -Henry Miller travel quotes 23

24. Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves. -Carol Pearson travel quotes 24

25. Adventure is worthwhile. -Aesop travel quotes 25

26. Certainly, travel is more than seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. -Mary Ritter Beard travel quotes 26

27. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime. -Mark Twain travel quotes 27

28. One travels to run away from routine, that dreadful routine that kills all imagination and all our capacity for enthusiasm. -Ella Maillart travel quotes 28

29. The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends. -Shirley MacLaine travel quotes 29

30. To travel is to take a journey into yourself. -Danny Kaye travel quotes 30

31. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. -Susan Sontag travel quotes 31

32. Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. -Mark Twain travel quotes 32

33. The world is the traveler’s inn. -Afghan proverb travel quotes 33

34. If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. -Glenn Clark travel quotes 34

35. To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted. -Bill Bryson travel quotes 35

36. Travel is like a giant blank canvas, and the painting on the canvas is only limited by one’s imagination. -Ross Morley travel quotes 36

37. Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure. -Irving Wallace travel quotes 37

38. Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else. -Lawrence Block travel quotes 38

39. We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. -Pico Iyer travel qutoes 39

40. Take only memories, leave only footprints. -Chief Seattle travel quotes 40

41. Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey. -Fitzhugh Mullan travel quotes 41

42. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. -Helen Keller travel quotes 41

43. Traveling is a return to the essentials. -Tibetan proverb travel quotes 43

44. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao Tzu travel quotes 44

45. The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for. -Louis L’Amour travel quotes 45

46. When overseas you learn more about your own country than you do the place you’re visiting. -Clint Borgen travel quotes 46

47. The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see. -Gilbert Chesterton travel quotes 47

48. Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone. -Wendell Berry travel quotes 48

49. You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world. -William Hazlitt travel quotes 49

50. Traveling – you realize that differences are lost. -Italo Calvino travel quotes 50

51. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before. -Dalai Lama travel quotes 51

52. We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. -Jawaharal Nehru travel quotes 52

53. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. -Ray Bradbury travel quotes 53

54. He that travels far knows much. -Romanian proverb travel quotes 54

55. We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. -Hilaire Belloc travel quotes 55

56. I still make sure to go, at least once every year, to a country where things cannot be take for granted, and where there is either too much law and order or too little. -Christopher Hitchens travel quotes 56

57. If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal. -Paulo Coelho


58. Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. -Anonymous travel quotes 58

59. Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way that they have been told to. -Alan Keightley travel quotes 59

60. Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. -Pico Iyer travel quotes 60

61. A traveler without observation is a bird without wings. -Sheikh Saadi travel quotes 61

62. He who is outside his door already has the hardest part of his journey behind him. -Dutch proverb travel quotes 62

63. Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled. -Robert Frost travel quotes 63

64. No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. -Lin Yutang travel quotes 64

65. You don’t have to be rich to travel well. -Eugene Fodor travel quotes 65

66. A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. -Lao Tzu travel quotes 66

67. The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are. -Samuel Johnson travel quotes 67

68. Oh the places you’ll go. -Dr. Seuss travel quotes 68

69. To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries. -Aldous Huxley travel quotes 69

70. Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. -Seneca travel quotes 70

71. Long-term travel doesn’t require a massive bundle of cash; it requires only that we walk through the world in a more deliberate way. -Rolf Potts travel quotes 71

72. Travel tends to magnify all human emotions. -Peter Hoeg travel quotes 72

73. Wisdom can be found traveling. -Sri Lankan proverb travel quotes 73

74. It’s a big world out there. It would be a shame not to experience it. -JD Andrews travel quotes 74

75. When the traveler goes alone he gets acquainted with himself. -Liberty Hyde Bailey travel quotes 75

76. I am not the same, having seen the moon on the other side of the world. -Mary Anne Radmacher travel quotes 76

77. Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection. -Lawrence Durrell travel quotes 77

78. To travel is to see. -Tswana proverb travel quotes 78

79. A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for. -Gael Attal travel quotes 79

80. The further one goes, the less (one realizes) on knows. -Lao Tzu travel quotes 80

81. No matter where you go, there you are. -Anonymous travel quotes 81

82. For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move. -Robert Louis Stevenson travel quotes 82

83. No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be. -Chuck Thompson travel quotes 83

84. I love the feeling of being anonymous in a city I’ve never been before. -Anonymous travel quotes 84

85. If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home. -James Michener travel quotes 85

86. Live, travel, adventure, and don’t be sorry. -Jack Kerouac travel quotes 86

87. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. -Andrew Zimmern travel quotes 87

88. Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it. -Eudora Welty travel quotes 88

89. I traveled in the most inefficient way possible and it took me exactly where I wanted to go. -Andrew Evans travel quotes 89

90. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road. -William travel quotes 90

91. How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -R. Buckminster Fuller travel quotes 91

92. It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. -Ernest Hemingway travel quotes 92

93. All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. -Martin Buber travel quotes 93

94. Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken. -Frank Herbert travel quotes 94

95. Investment in travel is an investment in yourself. -Matthew Karsten travel quotes 95

96. He who does not travel does not know the value of men. -Moorish proverb travel quotes 96

97. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. -Neale Donald Walsch travel quotes 97

98. The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them. -Amelia E. Barr travel qutoes 98

99. I read. I travel. I become. -Derk Walcott travel quotes 99

I hope you’re as psyched as I am for the year of travel ahead. If you’ve been inspired, please share this article to inspire others. Let me know below which one was your favorite. If you liked this, you can sign up for my newsletter to get more travel inspirations straight to your inbox once in a while.

Travel on my friends!

Reading time: 9 min
solfar, reykjavik, iceland

As I mentioned in my previous post, 33 Tips for First Timers to Iceland, Iceland is incredibly safe. I experienced this myself, both mentally and physically speaking. Not once did I feel threatened even while strolling the streets in the middle of the night. I became so curious with this aspect of Iceland that I’ve spent the last few days researching crime rates of Iceland and other countries as well for comparison.

Before I reveal the data, I just want to preface the fact that statistical data cannot fully tell the whole story. First, the data shown is collected from official reports. Depending on the integrity of reporting in these countries, the data might or might not reflect the truth. There’s also the very real possibility of unreported crimes due to social pressures or whatnot. Second, different countries provide different definitions for the same crime so the numbers might not truly be comparable. For example, the definition of assault might be different in Croatia than it is in Japan. Also, the “trend” columns in these statistics are my own judgment. Lastly, the data do not explain the “bad neighborhoods.” A majority of reported events might only occur in small pockets of a country. The data do not account for this skew.

These reports are available on UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)’s website. You may pull the full set of data to study for your own amusement. To keep from inundating this post with massive spreadsheets, I’ve narrowed down the focus to 16 representative countries with a study space between 2010-2013. Why these 16 countries? There’s no particular reason why. I did try to include a variety to show the range for a more complete analysis. Though there are dozens of crime categories and dozens of measures such as drug trafficking, gun ownership and etc., I’ve chosen 4 main areas of focus that might be indicative of “safety” overall and that might be of special interest to travelers: assault and battery, robbery, car theft, and rape. I’ve excluded homicide in this analysis. I believe the 4 barometers I’ve chosen are sufficient enough to tell the story.

Now let’s get into it.


travel medical insurance



UNODC defines “assault” as “physical attack against the body of another person resulting in serious bodily injury, excluding indecent/sexual assault, threats and slapping/punching.” In this category, Iceland’s assault rate has been rising consistently. The influx of tourism might have something to do with that. However, when compared to other developed countries, Iceland consistently beat them in this statistic. As shown below, Iceland’s assault rate per 100,000 people is 8 times less than the United States’ rate. It also beats out the majority of the countries shown on this list, only losing out to Croatia, Poland, and Switzerland.

assault statistics

assault statistics

It’s surprising to note that the Maldives fared way worse than what I expected based on all my friends’ personal experiences. I’m not surprised with the rate shown for Switzerland though. All in all, Iceland fared very well in this category.


UNODC defines “robbery” as “the theft of property from a person, overcoming resistance by force or threat of force. Where possible, the category ‘Robbery’ should include muggings (bag-snatching) and theft with violence, but should exclude pick pocketing and extortion.” Iceland performed incredibly well in this category, placing second only to Japan. I guess it’s shouldn’t be surprising considering this is a country with donation programs focused on sending people off on vacation. Such a program indicates that its people are pretty well off; thus, there’s no desire for robbing others. And though Iceland is becoming more and more of a tourist paradise, the rate seems to be remaining relatively even. Once again, the Maldives didn’t fare very well, but compared to Belgium the Maldives looks like a heaven on Earth. Holy cow Belgium! I was also incredibly surprised to see the high rate for Costa Rica. I was just there last year! I suppose we were pretty sheltered traveling in a tour.

robbery statistics

robbery statistics


I chose to include this category because many travelers rent cars while on vacation. Don’t let this data deter you from renting cars, but you can use this data to judge whether you need car insurance or not. Though, I think it is good practice to get car and trip insurance regardless. Protect your vacation!

car theft statistics

car theft statistics

Anyway, the UNODC defines “car theft” as “the removal of a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner of the vehicle.” Looking at the data, I’m actually surprised that it’s that high in Iceland. I mean… there are about 300,000 people who live there, wouldn’t it be pretty obvious when you jack someone’s car? Well, I guess when you look at the “count,” it does make sense. There’s not that many stolen vehicles overall. Now I’m curious to know how many of those car thefts were on tourists. So though I’m a bit surprised by the rate, Iceland still ranks extremely well in this category, losing out only to Japan, Poland, and Croatia.

RoamRight Travel Insurance


In this category, which the UNODC defines as “sexual intercourse without consent,” Iceland did not fare as well as I had hypothesized. Note: from 2010-2013, this category was blank for Iceland (no data available). The data you’re seeing is my extrapolation of available numbers from 2003-2009 (not shown). Its rate is relatively high when compared to other countries in this category. I am a bit skeptical about Maldives’s extra low rate. Social pressures to not report might be a factor in the numbers being so low. Based on other categories where the Maldives didn’t do as well, I had concluded that the it would be the same in this category. I can trust the other numbers way more than I can trust Maldives’s data points.

rape statistics

rape statistics

This is an especially difficult category to judge. The definition of “rape” varies so much between countries that it’s hard to do a good comparative analysis. Furthermore, as with my thoughts on the Maldives, this category might be grossly under-reported. Iceland’s numbers, though surprising to me, seem to be on par with countries like the US and the UK.


I threw this in here as a bonus. I think it speaks volumes about the sense of “safety” or lack thereof. For this analysis, I calculated the percentage of the overall population that is currently in prison (dividing the prisoners count by the total population). The percentage of incarcerated persons in America is about 16 times that of Iceland’s. Nothing surprising there – I believe the US might be the leader in this category. It is also interesting to note that the current inmate count for Iceland in 2013 is a mere 116 people. It must really suck to be an inmate there because everyone would know that you went to jail.

inmate statistics

inmate statistics


When you look at the overall picture, the data suggest that Iceland is an incredibly safe country. I can back this up with my own experience; however, that doesn’t mean you should set your common sense and awareness free. Again, the data shown here can only provide a statistical viewpoint. And while my own personal experience can attest to the validity of the data (for Iceland), you must make your own conclusions. For your own safety, you must assume that I am completely wrong. Be on alert wherever you travel. Obey the local laws. And be mindful and respectful of the customs and cultures of the place you’re visiting. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

For more tips on Iceland, read 33 Tips for First Timers to Iceland. To learn about what I did on my trip there, read Adventuring with 3 days in Iceland. If you would like the complete reports shown in this post, join my newsletter or send me a note in the Contact page. If you found this useful, please share so it can be of use to others as well.

Happy trails!

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