You’re trapped in your nine-to-five, with the pale skin of long-term strip lighting exposure. You’ve got marks on your wrists from being handcuffed to your desk. It’s time to get out of Dodge – it’s time to take a holiday.
Indeed, when the sun is rearing its head, who wants to be trapped in a musty office? What you want is some mystery, adventure and sun kissed delights. All you want to do is chuck a dart in a map and head where it lands.
And that’s exactly what we’ve done. Using Stansted Airport as our base of operations, we’ve left our cars with the Stansted meet and greet, headed to the departure lounge and hit a flight to some mystery destinations.
Here’s what we found.
A sun-filled manmade paradise, Dubai is home to huge beaches, huger buildings and one of the hugest skyscrapers in the world.
Break through the veneer of supercar-driving expats and you’ll even be able to find some of the authentic culture of the city. The Dubai Museum will guide you through the history of the capital, from its precocious beginnings to its recent iteration as a futurist metropolis.
For a more artificial, but no less jaw-dropping sight, head along to the Palm Jumeirah. A manmade island in the shape of a palm tree, you’ll never bore of its magisterial construction.
Barcelona isn’t just a place that Freddy Mercury croons about – it’s one of the coolest capitals on the planet.
You can marvel at fascinating architecture, take in the tapas bars or simply sit back and feel the throbbing pulse of this bustling city.
If you’re searching for culture, why not head along to the Picasso Museum? The godfather of Cubist painting, this features some of his finest and most spectacular works. You’ll never believe that a series of squares and triangles could move you quite so deeply.
And when you’re feeling peckish, head along to the Agut for some of the finest tasting Catalan cuisine in the city. Featuring fresh ingredients and a varied menu, you’ll understand why Spanish food is so widely feted.
You probably think of Amsterdam as the sin city of the world, but there’s more to the Dutch capital than hash cafes and the Red Light District.
Through its canals and walkways lies some fascinating nuggets of culture. Take the Anne Frank House, for example. A poignant location where teenage Frank wrote her diary as she hid from Nazi soldiers, it serves as a stark reminder of the futility of war.
But if you’re looking for a brighter side to your holiday, book a canal trip and ride past the cobblestone pavements and beautiful buildings. It’s the perfect way to lounge, and all without a cafe in sight.