Cover Lake Tekapo, New Zealand | Photo: Unsplash

City dwellers have been itching to take a breather for quite some time now. And while domestic travel has started to pick up, we've also been dreaming of the day we can dust off our passports and visit these gorgeous countries once again!

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Vietnam

There are so many reasons as to why we love Vietnam—after all, their culture is a rich and fascinating one, with multiple facets that must be experienced. The entire country seems bathed in golden glow, with delicious food and adventurous terrain to boot. In particular, we're missing Hoi An, a small town just south of Da Nang in Central Vietnam. While Hoi An seems a humble locale, tourism had begun its boom in the late 2010s. Here, travellers discovered a delightful haven of idyllic lifestyles nestled along gorgeous seasides and complemented by some of the country's most authentic food—from cao lầu noodles to street-side bánh mì

Other popular destinations include Hanoi, where a delightful afternoon can be spent riding through the emerald green waters of Ha Long Bay, and Ho Chi Minh, the bustling city of Saigon, where Vietnamese city life proves an invigorating respite from the usual humdrum of everyday routine. 

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South Korea

Who hasn't fallen completely in love with South Korea? The multitude of K-drama content we consume has been more than enough to ignite a sense of wanderlust in us. Now more than ever, we've been craving for a stroll around Seoul or a relaxing afternoon spent amidst the verdure of Jeju.

There are just so many things to enjoy around South Korea: from delicious (and authentic) food and drink (Soju and samgyeopsal are sure to satisfy) to tours around the scenic locales of some of our favourite Korean series. Adventure seekers and history buffs aren't likely to pass up a chance to visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ), where a quick peek into North Korea is sure to educate and enlighten. In a country as versatile as South Korea, we're sure everyone can find something to enjoy. 

Read also: 7 Unique Disneyland Experiences Around The World

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India

India has always been on our bucket list. While not as mainstream as other travel options, India is a fantastic destination for thrill-seekers, adventurous eaters, and culture enthusiasts. It's a country rich with history, and thanks to its geographic size, it's also one with much to see and explore. The food is relatively cheap and unlike anywhere else! 

Nature-lovers can enjoy world-famous beaches in Goa or Maharashtra. Meanwhile, Bollywood fans are recommended a tour around Mumbai, while history buffs opt to take a lovely stroll through Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. We can't forget to spend an enlightening afternoon touring the Taj Mahal in Agra either!

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Greece

Greece has always held a magical quality to it. There are the adoring sunshine and the blue, blue oceans, plus plenty of wildlife and nature (as attested to by the Durrells). This is truly the place to be for those dreaming of an idyllic vacation. From Mykonos to Santorini, Greece is a gorgeous slice of paradise for the modern traveller. Not to mention, those looking to understand more about our society (or simply be inspired!) can also take trips to iconic landmarks such as the Acropolis or the Parthenon. 

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France

France is a no-brainer when it comes to picking destinations. While Paris enjoys worldwide renown, we'd like to put the spotlight on other equally charming sites around the country. While we've found that nothing can compare to the dynamism of the City of Love, those looking for a restful experience are likely better suited to visit the surrounding towns of France. Places such as Colmar, Riquewihr, or Bayeux are just as charming—if not more. Plus, there's less of a bustle so you're more likely to appreciate the darling parks, historic architecture, and nuanced culinary practices of these often-overlooked areas. 

Read also: Susan Joven Recounts Her Travels: Cannes, Instanbul, And More

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New Zealand

As one of the handfuls of countries that've effectively tackled COVID-19, New Zealand has been constantly praised in international media. The country, which boasts more sheep than people, has been a haven to its citizens who now lead fairly normal lives. Masks are only encouraged, no longer compulsory, and people have been free to travel without restrictions within their own borders. Talk about the perfect pandemic getaway!

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Japan

Japan was a huge travel destination for Filipinos in 2019—and it's no surprise as to why. High-tech innovation, delicious food, and an interest in mainstream Japanese culture (such as anime) had prompted a huge surge in tourism. And also: who doesn't love their high-ceilinged markets (and Don Quijote), their convenience-store food, and the TOTO toilet bowls?

Another reason why people seem to love Japan is the country's beauty. No matter the season, there's always something to look forward to: be it winter in Sapporo, cherry blossoms in Tokyo, or the ever-changing autumn leaves in Fukuoka. 

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