Like any other industry, the world of travel is shaped by trends. This is particularly true in the Instagram era — when a few photos by prominent personalities can lead to entire islands shutting down. Backpacking tastemakers quickly turn sleepy towns into hippie havens then tourist hot spots, we’ve seen it in Tulum, Bali, Palawan… the list is long.
To a certain degree, it’s all of our responsibility, as travelers, to fight against this. To seek out the less-Instagrammed corners of the world. And to be constantly aware that our adventures have an impact — positive or negative — on the local residents of the places we visit. But none of that precludes the desire to know what’s next. Everyone’s naturally eager to be keyed into the most hype-worthy destinations.
With the 2019 Uproxx Travel Hot List launching next month, we reached out to some of our all-time favorite travel personalities, influencers, and photographers (plus our own team of writers) and asked them about their favorite adventures of 2018. This is a sort of litmus test — a sampling of where the boldest vagabonds we know ventured off to this year. The answers we got back are sure to offer plenty of motivation for your next trip.
–Steve Bramucci, Travel Editor
Chelsea Yamase — Photographer, Influencer, and Writer
My first time highlining in Moab, Utah was definitely the most memorable and emotional adventure I had this year. It’s something I’ve been working towards both mentally and physically for a while now, but I couldn’t have ever anticipated how much it would make me FEEL. Four hundred feet up in the air, dangling between canyons on a piece of webbing the width of two of my fingers —with my friends singing and cheering and encouraging me through my fear — it was exquisite.
There’s something so magical and surreal about the landscapes in Jordan, particularly the Dead Sea area and the Wadi Rum desert, that I consistently consider it my favorite trip I’ve done this year. It was the kind of place that made me not only pause but stop in my tracks and lay down to look at the stars. It’s the most creative I’ve felt this year and I think what they say is true – certain places just naturally inspire art.
Check out more of Chelsea’s adventures here.