Good Surprises 😮

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! The crisp days of November are here for most areas of the country. Thanksgiving and the holiday season are on our minds knowing there are many things we must do to prepare. I encourage everyone to think about giving the gift of incredible travel memories this year. Why? Because travel does all of these important things:

  • Creates lifelong, cherished family memories for all ages
  • Forces us to slow down, relish in a new environment, and live in the moment
  • Shows us that as human beings, we are more alike than different
  • Is life-enhancing as travel teaches, inspires, and puts us in awe of our incredible world

One of the most memorable aspects of travel is when you feel surprise and delight. Can you think of a time when you had this feeling? Everywhere I travel, I have this emotion multiple times and very often it happens when I turn a corner to see an unexpected sight down a small street or alley.

Read on for the scoop about a few examples from my global adventures…

Sydney, Australia

Travel to Australia is finally reopening, and I can’t wait to return and explore more of this amazing country. Yes, the flight is daunting but it’s well worth it (I’ve done it twice). If you’re thinking about at trip to Australia (or New Zealand), reach out to me as I work with some excellent in-destination partners.

I loved this street (pictured) in downtown Sydney not far from my hotel. When I looked up, I saw birdcages!

💎 Hidden Gem Tip: If you’re already intrigued, you can schedule a chat with me here:

Greek Islands

There are so many charming small streets and alleys in Greece and the Greek Islands. Mykonos was a photographer’s dream on this gorgeous, sunny day. I’m not a professional photographer but found it easy to take vibrant photos with my iPhone 13.

💎Hidden Gem Tip: One of the top destinations for my clients is Greece. If you haven’t been, reach out to me. I’ll suggest islands and experiences that aren’t typically visited but that will truly surprise and delight you!

Venice, Italy

Venice is a maze of small streets and canals! Walking from the main tourist area of St. Mark’s Place, you’ll wander and find some breathtaking sights (stroll in the early morning to avoid the crowds).

Venturing to the islands – i.e. Murano, Burano, Torcello, Chioggia – is a must-do when in Venice. You’ll find plenty of cool places to stroll and explore. I loved my April deep dive trip through northern Italy with plenty of hidden gem experiences.

The Narrowest Street in Canada

I was delighted by Victoria for many reasons and always encourage my clients to add this city when planning a trip or stopping in Vancouver.

You’ll find the narrowest street in Canada in the Chinatown section of Victoria. Once a street filled with elicit activities like opium dens and gambling, Fan Tan Alley is at its narrowest only 4 feet wide, and lined with cute shops.

Umbrellas & Flags

There’s a trend you’re probably aware of where small streets are covered with multi-colored umbrellas or flags. I love this effect and have seen it in many places.

Recently, I saw these colorful streets in two diverse places: Dublin, Ireland, and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Where have you walked under an umbrella or flag canopy?

Make your own Wanderlist for any of these destinations! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you, including accessing VIP status and perks. Check it out here!

Inspired? Reach out to me now for 2023 and schedule a chat here.

Follow my Facebook and Instagram pages this week for more travel inspiration.

Wishing you and your family continued good health,


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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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