Bucket List Part 2
By Paul Rubio
Friends, family, and fans often ask the question, “What’s your favorite place in the world?” or “What is the one thing I must do in my lifetime?” After dedicating most of my adult life to travel, it’s only natural that I have multiple favorites! Below I share with you five more of them and encourage you to take life by the balls in 2011 and experience this vast, wonderful world. Carpe diem, and Happy New Year!
Snorkeling/ Diving in the Maldives
Below the surface of the world’s most exotic country, time becomes irrelevant. The marine diversity and richness straddling the Maldives’ coral reefs is so captivating that it’s hard to understand why Ariel ever wanted to leave her life “Under the Sea.” The abundance of colors, shapes, and sizes lend to an underwater rhapsody for snorkelers and divers. The faces of this marine biology kaleidoscope interact like animated Disney characters. During dry season from December to March, the water achieves peak clarity, facilitating encounters with schools of docile banner fish and the five-foot plus Napoleon fish. As the (moderately) rainy season gets into full swing by June, the mega mantas return for their seasonal cameo, congregating various islands and allowing personal interaction with the giant beasts. Year round, energetic spinner dolphins perform spontaneous tricks in the Maldives open ocean.
in the southern hemisphere at the crossroads of Paraguay,
Argentina, and Brazil, the world’s widest waterfalls, Iguazu
Falls, mercilessly beat the earth with a water flow in excess of
Plaza Athénée, Paris
Of the forty internationally recognized 5 star hotels scattered throughout the “City of Lights,” a select few garner global reverence, none more so than Plaza Athénée, backdrop for Carrie Bradshaw’s ephemeral Parisian life in the final episodes of Sex in the City. For nearly 100 years, Athénée has reigned as a celeb-stacked paragon with the likes of Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy patronizing the iconic Haussmann masterpiece. The hotel is universally recognized for its geranium-clad exterior, 1900 luminous red flowers spread over 380 baskets on guest room windows. Hotel guests and well camouflaged imposters stroll the premises dressed to kill in haute couture and oversized sunglasses.
Nandana, Grand Bahama
At the westernmost reach of the
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Thailand
Capturing a living history of the Lanna Dynasty took incredible determination, research, and foresight. A decade in the making, the ambitious project of the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi reinstated the glory and grandeur of the Lanna region, constructing an entire village as a 60-acre resort near Chiang Mai. Mock temples double as common areas, infinity pools spill onto rice fields, expert artisans pass their knowledge onto curious visitors. Every building, every spire, every façade tells a profound story. The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is a global destination in and of itself. The rustic chic masterpiece is that rare hotel experience of a lifetime.