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10 Travel Destinations You Can't Miss Visiting This Year

From the Midwest to the beaches of Brazil, add these top spots to your travel bucket list.

Life & Travel

It's that time of year again! And if you didn't get a chance to check off all of the travel destinations on this year's wish list, it's about to get even longer. Airbnb just released their top 20 travel spots for 2020, and the list has something for both international and domestic travelers alike.

So, whether you want to experience Victorian-era architecture on another continent or enjoy some of the most beautiful beach-fronts the U.S. has to offer, we've got you covered.

1.​Bilbao, Spain

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Located in the north, this city began to draw significant tourist attention after the opening of its Guggenheim Museum in 1997. Since then, there has been a burst of creatively designed museums, hotels, and restaurants that reflect its cosmopolitan vibe. If the architecture isn't enough to pique your interest, Bilbao boasts over 40 Michelin-starred restaurants, rolling green hills with beautiful scenery and in 2020 it'll be a host city of one of Europe's most popular soccer competitions.

2.Vanuatu

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A perfect destination for people who love to go off the beaten path, Vanuatu is just a few hours from Australia's eastern capitals and is made up of about 80 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The island nation features unique natural experiences like hidden sea caves, volcanoes and some of the most beautiful marine life you've ever seen. The local cuisine uses a mix of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish to create signature dishes.

3.Ubatuba, Brazil

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Did somebody say beach? This city located on Sao Paulo's North Shore is the epitome of paradise. With over 100 beaches to choose from, gorgeous trees and lush waterfalls, this is certainly a getaway to remember. Other activities for those who love the outdoors include bird watching, surfing and hiking. You can also find some delicious seafood dishes by the waterfront.

4.Malindi, Kenya

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You could spend your entire life attempting to discover the beauty of Africa and you'd still need more time. But this bustling beach town should definitely be at the top of your list. From its historic ruins dating back to the 13th century, to its Swahili culture and natural wonders, Malindi is both stunning and special. The port town is a melting pot with beautiful beaches and a plethora of unique marine life.

5.Eugene, OR

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Just two hours south of Portland, this Pacific Northwest city is a hip spot with a potpourri of activities for people who love food and fun. It's affectionately called "Tracktown USA" because it has historically been home to one of the most famous track and field destinations in the world. Visitors can enjoy canoeing or hiking along the river, take a stroll in the Owen Rose Garden, or partake in the hometown craft beers paired with one of their farm-to-table dishes.

6.​Cape Canaveral, FL

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Home to the Kennedy Space Center and Airforce and Missile Museum, this popular cruise ship port is a great destination for families. Enjoy a variety of activities from surfing and fishing to local brewery tours. If you're looking to relax, there is 72 miles of beachfront land that is perfect for tanning. Next summer, Cape Canaveral will be the site of NASA's Mars 2020 Exploration Program.

7.​Cali, Colombia

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Medellin and Cartagena are great cities with a lot of flair, but if you're looking for a Colombian experience that stands out from the rest, Cali is it. This city is not only the "salsa dancing capital" but it has rich Afro-Colombian history and caleno culture. A must-see landmark is the Cristo Rey statue of Jesus Christ that resembles the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

8.Les Contamines-Montjoie, France

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In southeast France, there is a charming French village perfect for a winter ski getaway with that special someone. Lovers of the outdoors who want to skip the usual ski resort destinations will find this place a romantic and cozy getaway. The quaint wooden chalets and beautiful natural scenery are truly breathtaking.

9.Tokyo, Japan

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This July and August, some of the world's best athletes will take part in the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, making it a worthy destination on this trending list. The largest metropolitan area in the world is making sure that the summer games are energy efficient and that large crowds are as manageable as possible, so needless to say the Olympic Games will be a huge event. This popular city is known for its great food, unique transportation system, religious temples and tech culture.

10. Milwaukee, WI

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Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, this Midwestern city is many times overlooked because of its proximity to Chicago, but it actually is a gem in its own right with an influx of great breweries, restaurants and entertainment. Sites like Pabst Mansion and Villas Louis are some of the many interesting stops that give you a peek into the city's history. In the summer of 2020, Milwaukee will be home to the Democratic National Convention.

For the full list of Airbnb's 20 destinations to visit in 2020, click here.

Featured image by Shutterstock.

Did you know that xoNecole has a podcast? Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to join us for weekly convos over cocktails (without the early morning hangover.)

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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