If we were able to coin a term in advance for the year 2014, it would most certainly be the Year of The Sports-Mad Traveller.
From the Winter Olympics, to the FIFA World Cup, to the Commonwealth Games, if you love your sport, then there are number of events you need tick off your bucket list next year.
That said, if you are not into watching others play games, then why not jump on a plane to experience some of the more important cultural events worldwide.
Here are our top eight picks for 2014:
When: February 7-23
Why: The Winter Olympics are being held in Russia for the first time in 2014. Museums and culture aplenty in this region with Moscow only two hours away makes this the perfect opportunity to see history being made and experience Russia’s rich existing history.
New York, United States
When: March- May
Why: The long awaited opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is on track to happen in the Spring of 2014. A poignant homage to the almost 3,000 lost souls and their surviving loved ones, the opening of the Memorial will be another important moment in history on the Manhattan spot.
In addition, New York is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world- overflowing with activities, sights and culture, including the premier of Disney’s Aladdin the Musical which opens on Broadway on the 20th March.
When: 6 April
Why: Marathon de Paris. Running is no easy undertaking and travelling to partake in one of the world’s premier marathons is testament to the dedication. Besides, how can you resist a marathon that flanks the Seine and some of Paris’ treasures including Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe?
When: 23-26 May
Why: Fiji is more than just sun and surf, it is a prime destination in 2014 with a flurry of events ranging from festivals and several sporting events including the Fiji International Triathlon Festival (23-26 May), the UTT Rugby 7s Challenge (8th February) as well as the First Annual Bula Belly Dance Festival on the 8th-13th September.
For those that want a slower pace to their island holiday, plan a cruise out to the Lau Islands between late April and early May, when the weather is perfect.
Why: Voted world’s most liveable city for 2011, 2012 and 2013, if you haven’t discovered Melbourne yet, then you are missing out. Boasting edgy street art, sophisticated architecture and Michelin-star food, this Australian city is one place where culture buffs will be right at home. In June, Melbourne will play host to the new on-stage production of Le Miserables giving you yet another reason to visit.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When: 12 June – 13 July
Why: It has been 74 years since the World Game’s greatest tournament was hosted in stunning Brazil and, rest assured, the Brazilians are ready to put on one heck of a show. You will need to train your wallet to afford the prices to the event, which do not come cheap. The most affordable tickets begin from $90USD for a Cat 3 Group Match.
When: 23 July – 3 August
Why: Kicking off just 10 days after the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games this year boasts fans a chance to see Usain Bolt do what he does best- blaze a trail in the 100 metres sprint. With 71 teams competing across 21 sports, Glasgow will be a city buzzing with the Commonwealth’s best and greatest athletes.
When: 4 August
Why: London offers everything for the intrepid traveller- history, culture, art, music, romantic getaways and the perk of being linked to the rest of Europe. In August, London (as in many other parts of the world) will commemorate the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Although it is hard to put a figure on it, it is estimated that over 37 million people died in one of the most horrific episodes in world history. With a poppy on your chest, there’s no better way to pay your respects to those who have laid down their lives, than by attending the candlelit vigil of prayer and penitence at Westminster Abbey at 11pm on 4th August – the moment war was declared.