Top 10 places in 2008 for backpackers

What I love about all these lists you find online and in print is that they’re great for finding that one nugget you haven’t really come across yet. The truth is, most of the time, almost all of the places on these lists turn out to be duds. But I came across one list of relatively off-the-beaten-path destinations for this year, courtesy of, and now many are on my to-do list.

  • Buenos Aires – I’ve recently met several guys who’ve raved about how insanely fun the nightlife here is, and how surprisingly affordable it happens to be (especially when you compare it to its wealthy neighbor to the north, Brazil).
  • Morocco – I was actually choosing between going to Peru or Morocco this winter. Peru won out just because it was closer and the flights were less expensive (a relative term, to be sure). This was a good year for Morocco, with several movies filmed there. Looks like a good place to go for a dose of Islamic culture, without the violence. (Like Turkey)
  • Ethiopia – This one really caught my eye. Any other old list in all likelihoods wouldn’t have included Ethiopia as a must-visit destination, especially with the tensions flaring up in some parts of the countryside earlier this year. But the scenery looks beautiful–could be because of the lack of all those pesky tourists.

The other places include Belize, Nepal, Jordan, Sicily, Queenstown (New Zealand), Chiang Mai (Thailand), and Budapest. Check it out!