I am heading to South Africa to take a 30-hour train ride across the country to the shores of Cape Town. I'm going to see USA Soccer play in the FIFA Confederations Cup, which is held every four years, against Brazil and Italy in June. I'll also be golfing in Sun City and ending the trip with a thrilling shark cage dive.
--Chris Allen, Tarzana, Calif.
Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge
The refuge, which recently reopened to tourists, is currently home to almost a million nesting pairs of albatrosses (Layson and black-footed), the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and Laysan ducks. It is also one of the only places in the U.S. that you can see the "golden gooney," or short-tailed albatross. The 5-mile-diameter atoll and its surrounding waters also host incredible marine life, including sea turtles, spinner dolphins, five shark species and more than 260 fish species.
--Wayne Sentman, Boston, Mass.
Vietnam and Angkor Wat, Cambodia
I have always had an interest in the region, and I am fascinated by its ancient history and culture. I love to visit new places and have not traveled much in Asia, so this year it's on the list.
--Susanne Hilgefort, Greenwich, Conn.
I have always wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona.
--Rey Alton, Houston, Texas
Editor's note: The running of the bulls, also known as the festival of San Fermin, begins each year on July 6, a tradition that dates as far back as the 13th century.
Cartagena was one of the jewels of the Spanish empire in the Americas and is a quintessential "diamond in the rough." The colonial walled city and fortress are in excellent condition and were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The city boasts excellent restaurants and hotels and is already frequented by European and Latin American tourists. Spirit Airlines now flies to Cartagena nonstop from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., making it more accessible and affordable. The exchange rate also is quite favorable.
--Benjamin Taylor, Washington, D.C.
Nepal, India and China are Himalayan countries that receive thousands, even millions of visitors a year. Who do you know who's been to Bhutan?
--Terence Lau, Shanghai, China
DESTINATIONS FOR 2009
Readers share their travel plans and recommendations for 2009
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