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20 Travel destinations you must see before you die

Kortney Gruenwald is an internationally published journalist, writer and founder of lifestyle blog Western Charm. Originally a west coast American girl, she is currently living in Germany but still fueled by iced lattes (even in winter)....

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Traveling isn’t a luxury; it's a necessary activity to complete and understand the human soul. Going through life without seeing the world is like having a rose in front of you but never daring to smell it. There are many corners of this planet to explore, but here are 20 places you absolutely need to see.

Neuschwanstein Castle and southern Germany

No matter how old we are or how saturated we are in the realities of life, a part of us will always believe in happy endings. Visiting southern Germany is like walking into one of the pages of your favorite fairy tale. Explore the hills of Bavaria and don't forget to see the awe-inspiring Neuschwanstein Castle, which is said to be the inspiration for Cinderella's castle at Disney World.

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Photo credit: Daerson Oliveira via Flickr


Masai Mara, Kenya

Witness the circle of life in person by going on an African safari in Kenya. The blue skies are endless and the magic of Africa will never leave you. Kenya was known to be Princess Diana's favorite place on Earth. If you're an animal or Lion King lover, you're in luck. This area is known for its high populations of lions, zebras, leopards and cheetahs.

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Photo credit: holydog via Flickr


Zion National Park, Utah

The scenery of this national park will simply leave you breathless. See the southwestern desert and all of its incredible history and wildlife in a bright new light. If you're at a stressful and overwhelmed point in life, travel here to find balance and peace.

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Photo credit: Doug Kerr via Flickr


Tuscany, Italy

If pop culture hasn't put this one on your list yet, we know what will: lots and lots of vino. Imagine Napa Valley's wine country combined with rich Italian culture and some of the best tastes in the world. Oh, and in Tuscany you'll also find some of the most beautiful beaches Europe has to offer. Go ahead, book your tickets.

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Photo credit: Bongo vongo via Flickr


Bali, Indonesia

For those yogis or stressballs who have always wanted to do a spiritual retreat, Bali is the perfect spot. Traveling to a culture where relaxation, peace and elephants are worshipped is always a good decision.

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Photo credit: tripletrouble via Flickr


Northern Norway

On top of offering some of the most beautiful scenery in the northern hemisphere, Norway is a prime spot to watch a spectacular show: the northern lights. Your soul will be just a touch more complete after watching the glowing colors dance across the sky.

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Photo credit: kerry ritz via Flickr



Geneva is one of the most economically and politically important cities in the world, not to mention one of the most beautiful. Make sure to carve at least two days out of your schedule to explore the nearby Swiss Alps.

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Photo credit: CameliaTWU via Flickr


Chichen Itza, Mexico

If there is any other ancient culture not to miss other than Egyptian, it is Mayan. Chichen Itza is one of the largest Mayan cities known. Full of mystery and fascinating archaeological sites, this is a must-have experience. Oh, and beautiful sandy Mexican beaches are not far away.

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Photo credit: Grand Velas Riviera Maya via Flickr


Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Travel can teach us things about ourselves and the world we might never have learned otherwise. There is no better place on Earth to learn about life than the Galápagos Islands. Take a trip to this amazing spot whose wildlife gave Charles Darwin a lot to think about.

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Photo credit: Paul Krawczuk via Flickr



You can't die without having the ultimate tropical island experience. The Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, offer one of the most unusual and personal escapes in the world. And, psst: The majority of tourists haven't quite discovered it yet. This place is the true definition of paradise.

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Photo credit: Commonwealth Secretariat via Flickr

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