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There are destinations that you spend a lifetime dreaming of; there are others that you stumble upon and wonder how they escaped your list of “Must Visits.” There are countless locales around the world that offer exceptional opportunities, endless possibilities for adventure, romance, relaxation, culture.  Which are the destinations of a lifetime?

The answer varies for every traveler and what they seek when they set out on their adventures. Our top 3, though, represent the best that the world has to offer in their own unique ways:

 

Australia

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Sophisticated culture; refined cities; rugged terrain; sandy beaches. Australia simply has it all. This dynamic locale is one of the world’s favorites. But the intrepid traveler can still find new and rarely seen gems far from the maddening crowd. From the Ningaloo Reef, with its shockingly blue water and bright array of tropical underwater denizens, to the aboriginal sites of Arnhem Land, where visitors can experience the world’s oldest living culture, there is a sense of a land still pristine and wild. Travel back in time – and forward with resorts committed to eco-friendly, sustainable practices that redefine luxury accommodations.

Australia enjoys the unique position of being a well-traveled destination with plenty of untrodden paths remaining.

 

United Arab Emirates

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Luxury and exclusivity are the hallmarks of the UAE. Even an activity as pedestrian as going to a mall becomes an extravagant experience. At the Dubai Mall, for instance, visitors can stroll through an Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, home to 33,000 marine animals, or visit an ice rink in the middle of the desert that offers skates imported from Italy’s best craftsman. At the same time, you can visit the artist colony at Bastakiya or the bustling souks for a taste of real life in the UAE. Dubai and the other emirates offer luxury accommodations, exclusive resorts, private beaches, and exceptional activities. The UAE throbs with intensity and opulence – a rare treat for those seeking thrills and adventure.

 

Cambodia and Laos

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Far from the wealth of the UAE, Cambodia and Laos offer a starkly different experience. Less traveled than China, Japan, and other Asian destinations, these two countries are quieter, the pace slowed. Life is far from opulent, but it is rich with natural beauty and hospitable people. From the wonders of Angkor Wat in Cambodia to the sweeping vistas, lush mountains, and plunging waterfalls of Laos, these two southeast Asian nations are deeply spiritual and offer a break from technology, from schedules, from having to “keep up.”

Do these destinations intrigue you? Do they visit you in your dreams until you can visit them? What are your “destinations of a lifetime”?

Enid Glasgow