January is in full swing and the festive season is but a fading memory. Travel is the key to combat those January blues. Escape the gloom and head to a paradise beach, or battle the end of seasonal celebrations by visiting a city alive with a culture festival. Here’s some inspiration for the start of your new year…
A paradise in Central America, Nicaragua offers the paradise that will put that gloomy January feeling to rest. In January, Nicaragua has little rainfall and softer winds making it the perfect time of year for relaxation in the sun. The lesser winds also make the surfing conditions ideal for learners, so try your hand at some water sports in between cocktail sipping on the beach. Nicaragua also hosts some exciting festivals in January. The Feast of St. Sebastian, 20th January, celebrates the feast of the Holy Martyr Saint Sebastian and is the country’s most authentic connection to its people’s indigenous and Spanish roots. Running the week after is the 7th annual Nicaraguan Cigar Festival “Puro Sabor.”Visit the festival and you’ll get the chance to participate in workshops and tastings at some of the factories and fields of the world biggest cigar manufacturers. It’s a unique way to enjoy the rich culture and natural surroundings.
A different kind of paradise, Hokkaido, Japan, offers a snow-filled adventure wonderland. It never seems to stop snowing in Hokkaido, the sky unfailingly provides big dumps of snow all over the area. Ideal for skiing and snowboarding the January blues away. The most famous resort is Niseko, offering the best snow and following are Rusutsu and Furano. All the areas are relatively close meaning you can take a huge tour of the area. Runs offer a range of difficulty, from the nursery slopes to the harder, veteran runs. Japanese culture is a beautiful harmony with the snowy, mountainous background. Do as the Japanese do and soak in the onsen, hot springs, to finish a day of snow sports.
Venice is a unique city of Italian romance and history. Its undisputable drawback? The stifling crowds. However, these crowds are not unavoidable as in January the city’s fabric loosens as tourist numbers die down. The climate is cooler which makes city wandering more pleasurable, the winding alleys can be explored without any claustrophobia. January is also fantastic time to visit Venice because it’s alive with culture. The Venice Carnival begins at the end of the month and its traditions are irresistibly Venetian. Two boat parades take place on the iconic canals. The Rio Di Cannaregio is an illuminated floating stage show taking place on the 27th. More traditional, the boat parade and feast, Festa Veneziana follows. City wide events stretch right into February and are not to be missed for a taste of Venetian culture and delicious cuisine.
Jaipur, the capital of India’s Rajasthan region is a flamboyant and colourful city. The royal past of the region pop up majestically around the city giving the city its romantic and glamorous character. At the heart of the city, the Palace continues to house the former royal family and has a fabulous royal observatory. Nearby, on the hills is Jaipur’s most famous attraction, the fairy-tale Amber Fort. In January, Jaipur transforms into an international platform of culture as the Literary Festival takes place. The festival has been described as ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’ and has welcomed speakers and booklovers from across the globe. Past speakers have included J.M. Coetzee, Wole Soyinka, Ian McEwan, Margaret Attwood and Orhan Pamuk. It’s completely free and brings together a diversity of people and ideas in freedom of expression and debate. This year the list of speakers is impressive, including stars like Jayed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and Anthony Horowitz. Not only is Jaipur a worhy destination in itself, but in January it offers unforgettable experiences.
Another city alive with festivals in January is Quebec City in Canada. During this season, the city is covered in a sparkling blanket of snow and its charming winding streets create a fairy-tale winter city. At the end of the month the annual Carnaval de Quebec takes over the area offering exciting celebrations. Quebec has a long history of celebrations as being the capital of snow, the population faced the harsh winters by using festivities to warm their hearts and spirits. Carnival traditions include red clothes, songs, the arrow sash, Bonhomme’s Effigy and little shots of caribou on offer everywhere. There’s ice hockey, night parades, an ice palace, an international snow sculpture competition, giant football and much more. Follow tradition and warm your cold January heart in Quebec with the locals.
Retail therapy is the answer to any problem. January blues can be combated with the perfect piece of eyewear.
The ultra modern Tom Ford sunglasses in shiny rose gold are ideal for the new year. The unique frames are contemporary and eye-catching with a striking bridge detail.
The Havana round glasses by Gucci are classic and elegant. A timeless round frame in a neutral Havana adds sophistication for any outfit. The ideal accessory for an international festival of culture.
Where’s your favourite January destination? Let us know in the comments below.