Off-the-radar cities to explore in 2018; Larry Bleiberg; USA Today

Eritrea – Asmara: a Modernist City of Africa

Obscure destinations can be the most memorable.

If your new year’s resolution is to travel, you might want to follow in the tracks of Sal Lavallo, who at 27 is one of the youngest Americans to have visited all 193 U.N. member states. During his explorations, which were partially underwritten by Marriott International, he found that obscure destinations were the most memorable, and he shared many on his Instagram feed, @sallavallo. He recalls some favorites with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY. But before booking a trip, check U.S. State Department warnings because some destinations are near trouble spots.

Baku, Azerbaijan

This oil-rich capital city has invested billions in culture and modern architecture, making for a surprising stop in the Caucasus. “Walking around the city is like an open-air museum. They have these ancient ruins and in the background are modern buildings,” Lavallo says.

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