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Where to go in 2013

Let’s go out on a limb and predict that the world isn’t going to end tomorrow. Christmas and New Year’s will come and go, and then those of us in the northernmost parts of the northern hemisphere will enter what one Trufflepig planner calls “the long, dark tea time of the soul.” Give your soul a break; keep a little hope alive with a trip on the horizon. If you’re looking for destination inspiration, this is it: our top spots for travel in 2013.

New Zealand—As you probably noticed last week, we’re having a bit of a love affair with New Zealand. Mike just returned from nearly a month of research from the top to bottom of the country, and between helicopter rides and 10 course tasting menus, it’s a rare traveller who can be disappointed by the incredible Kiwi hospitality.

Botswana—Thanks to Dan’s extensive research in 2012, we’re now planning even further off the lion-beaten track in one of southern Africa’s finest game destinations. Perhaps canoeing past pods of hippos floats your proverbial boat? Or a high-speed ATV ride toward an infinite horizon? In Botswana, luxury can mean beautifully furnished tented camps, or a simple canopy of stars for the night.

France—He salts and smokes his own geese, attends small town fetes, and spends his weeknights taking in Parisian theatre: it’s no wonder Jack Dancy has been named as one of Conde Nast Traveler’s Top France Specialists for the second year running. From remote villas in Corsica to the most unusual markets imaginable, Jack can make first-time travellers feel like locals, or help 50th-time travellers discover something brand new.

Brazil—This year, Anton forded South American rivers to serve you better. He scaled Sugarloaf Mountain using just ropes and harnesses, and lounged on countless beaches just to determine which one has the softest sand for our clients. Sprawling and incredibly varied, Brazil has a landscape for every taste, and tourists from far and away are discovering the gems that Brazilians have been keeping to themselves for years.

Tanzania—In just one country, you can interact with your Chimpanzee cousins in the jungle, and then experience some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet in Zanzibar. This eastern Africa destination has long been visited to view the great migration, but with our help you can plan a journey that covers multiple different experiences.

Amy Smithers is our longtime Sounder editor sadly resigning her post as of tomorrow. She wishes all you loyal readers a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Perhaps canoeing past pods of hippos floats your proverbial boat? Or a high-speed ATV ride toward an infinite horizon?