Cover Where would you travel to first when the pandemic ends?

If you could only go on one trip this year, make it an epic journey with ideas from adventure travel expert Jimmy Carroll Of Pelorus

Where would you travel to first when the pandemic ends? After almost a year of restrictions, many of us fantasise about getting on a plane and heading somewhere exotic. While “going back home” would likely be the most frequent answer to the question, the travel-starved are using the downtime to plan for epic journeys—perhaps not so different to the 'revenge spending' phenomenon that happened in China last year. According to Tripadvisor's 2021 Travel Outlook Report, “74 per cent of travellers surveyed globally say they will spend more time choosing a destination this year".

Remote hotels and adventure travel will continue to trend, something that Jimmy Carroll, co-founder of travel company Pelorus, knows very well. A fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and a former captain in a British Army reconnaissance regiment, he is an expert living on the edge and travelling off-the-grid. Here, he shares ideas for transformative trips to unexplored parts of the world to book and plan for in 2021. 

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Discover Culture and Marine Life in East Timor

Our philosophy at Pelorus is to dream big and travel better—with a more conscious approach and enhanced guardianship of the locations, communities and environments we champion to our clients. One of my recommendations is to discover the culture and marine life in East Timor. Timor-Leste is one of the world’s unsung tourist destinations, with low visitor numbers in spite of its impressive natural credentials, which provide the setting for a perfect secluded adventure. 

On land, there are forested slopes teeming with birdlife, jungle caves tattooed with ancient rock paintings and crumbling Portuguese colonial towns to discover. Adventurous guests can embark on a submersible to hunt for lost Second World War wrecks in the depths of the straits. Travellers are also sure to encounter dolphins, manta rays, whale sharks and more than 30 different species of whale, ranging from migrating blue whales to the resident sperm whale population.

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Manta Ray Diving and Active Adventures in Fiji

The opportunity to join the manta ray cyclone-feeding in Fiji in September 2021 is at the top of my bucket list, as I am an advanced diver. Known as the soft coral capital of the world, Fiji’s waters have thousands of small colourful fish as well as beautiful sharks and manta rays that surround the abundant corals. It’s an incredible opportunity for guests to watch manta rays as they cyclone-feed off the coral, then explore fascinating dive sites first encountered by Captain Bligh after the mutiny on the Bounty.

Divers can experience wall dives, swim-throughs, caverns, canyons, and incredible blue water encounters. On land, they can take part in a meke dance celebration and present Kava to village elders in a traditional ceremony plus hike and dirt-bike through volcanic jungles before diving into refreshing waterfalls. You can also explore stunning lagoons and caves by kayak, and see nesting sea turtles and rare seabirds from a canoe. There’s also the chance to go white‑water rafting and surf world‑class breaks... the options in Fiji are endless.

Solar Eclipse and Skiing in Antarctica

An amazing trip to look forward to is witnessing the solar eclipse in Antarctica. The continent is well known for its breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife and the opportunities it provides for scientific research, conservation and discovery, which make it the ultimate destination to experience this natural phenomenon.

On December 4, 2021, travellers can view a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse from aboard a superyacht, then partake in unique adventures in Antarctica. Pelorus guests can venture into the deep waters of Paradise Bay in a submersible or visit Trinity Island, home to various penguin colonies. They can also cruise to Enterprise Island to see humpback whales and orcas before skiing down heavily glaciated mountains above fjords dotted with icebergs. Finally, they can take a helicopter to Mount Shackleton to watch the sunset and explore the old whaling station and shipwrecks. 

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A Natural Immersion In Kazakhstan

Another destination worth exploring is Kazakhstan, a country of astounding natural beauty. Kazakhstan has mesmerising landscapes and enchanting culture, best enjoyed when travelling deep into the Kazakh steppe in a 4x4, traversing luscious green mountains where streams and waterfalls bless the fertile valleys and grasslands.

One of my favourite experiences is paragliding above the Tian Shan mountains, soaring above towering peaks, sunken forests and turquoise-blue lakes. Pelorus can also arrange a dining experience with local Kazakh families, who will treat guests to an intriguing and authentic feast, before sharing traditional Kazakh songs and dances around the campfire, underneath a blanket of stars.

See also: 5 Once-In-A-Lifetime Trips To Book In Advance