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The Follow-Your-Bliss List

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(15) Shenzhen, China
Tee off on a new golf course every day for a week.
Imagine Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, and Sea Island all in one location, and you’ll get a sense of Shenzhen’s new luxury mega golf resort, Mission Hills. Ten eighteen-hole courses stretch over 50 miles of lush fairways, all designed by PGA champions (Vijay, Ernie, Annika). The centerpiece is Jack Nicklaus’s World Cup Course—the first in China sanctioned for PGA tournament play. But start with Greg Norman’s monstrous creation, with endless high-backed and gleaming bunkers—not to mention a slope rating over 140 (read very difficult). Once you’ve played that, the par-three sixteenth on Nick Faldo’s course, with its minuscule island green, will feel easy (missionhillsgroup.com).

(16) Buenos Aires, Argentina
High-kick your way into the tango underground.
At Porteño y Bailarín, a below-the-radar Microcentro newcomer, co-founder Jose Garofalo leads informal crash courses on Tuesdays, coaching sweaty couples in the art of the high kick, the deep lunge, and the come-hither gaze. Stick around to test your new moves with porteños of all ages and skill levels at the milonga (a kind of tango rave) that kicks off about 11 p.m. Around midnight, head to the real action at La Catedral, an unmarked, underground club in the chic Palermo district, with a reddish glow and edgy art plastering the walls. Throw back a Fernet-Branca and Coke, a bitter B.A. favorite, and tango into the fray (porteybailarin.com.ar; parakultural.com.ar).

(17) Chitkul, India
Brush up against the border of Tibet.
Before Tibet’s border was closed to travelers, Chitkul was just another spectacularly situated, remote village on the trade route from India through the Himalayas. Now it’s the last legal outpost before the closed border, which gives it an outpost’s isolated glamour. Start your trek from Simla (a relative bastion of civilization 150 miles to the east), and bring aspirin: It’s a grueling, bumpy drive along cliff’s-edge roads. The goal is priceless, though: a tiny village of wooden houses, frozen in time, where the spectacularly beautiful Kinnauri inhabitants will insist you stop for a cup of locally brewed chuli (wild apricot) liquor.

(18) Lisbon, Portugal
Watch the sunrise from a medieval tower.
Book the 6:15 p.m. TAP Air Portugal flight from Newark to Lisbon, which touches down around 6 a.m. Take a taxi directly to the Palácio Belmonte, a converted section of a fifteenth-century castle, where you’ve booked the Bartolomeu de Gusmão room—a sprawling four-level suite in a Moorish octagonal tower. Splash some water on your face and go right to your private rooftop terrace, where the sun is rising over the city’s red rooftops and the sparkling harbor beyond. With any luck, just as the church bells are ringing, you’ll be surrounded by a flock of wild lime-green parrots racing off to start their day (about $840; 351-21-881-66-00).


Londolozi Tree Camp, South Africa  

(19) Londolozi Tree Camp, South Africa
Watch a warthog chow down below your feet.
The porcine tuskers really might run beneath your deck high in the jackalberry trees at the Londolozi Tree Camp in South Africa—and don’t be surprised if buffalo come to graze round the trunk, too. If that sounds a little too close to nature, sunset soaks in an open-air hot tub (after side-by-side massages) or the view of giraffes loping along in the distance should compensate (rooms from $600 a night, all-inclusive).

(20) Turin, Italy
Get great tickets to the Winter Olympics.
The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the national anthems you don’t recognize: This winter’s Olympics, held in Turin in the Italian Alps, are not entirely sold out, which means if you move fast enough, you can feel the breeze from Bode Miller’s 75-mph run down the giant slalom (CoSport; 877-457-4647; cosport.com).

(21) Machu Picchu, Peru
Be the king of the hill.
You can see Machu Picchu in a day, but why rush it? Atop the mountain, there’s one hotel—the Sanctuary Lodge—with only 31 rooms. And since all tour buses head down the mountain by 4:30 in the afternoon, the only folks remaining to wander these five square miles of mountaintop mystery are a handful of trekkers and the lodge guests. Whatever your views on the spirituality of the place, having Machu Picchu pretty much to yourself is, well, awesome (from $565; 800-237-1236).

(22) Victoria, Australia
Take the ultimate scenic route.
Forget Maui’s road to Hana, or pretty much any other scenic drive you’ve contemplated. If being behind the wheel is the stuff of your dreams, this is the apotheosis. The course starts in bayside Geelong, snakes west along the Southern Ocean to Warrnambool, and back to Melbourne (to do the 360-mile trip loop, allow at least four days). The views are so different from each direction that the return trip won’t look anything like the outward leg. Detour for a leg-stretch at the koala-filled Port Campbell National Park; by night, hoist beers with unreconstructed Aussies in slumbering whaling towns like Apollo Bay and Port Fairy. Make sure on day two that you reach the 180-foot natural-limestone piles known as the Twelve Apostles in time to watch the sun paint the sky behind them.


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