Since launching in March of this year, Far & Wide has published nearly 200 stories that have been viewed more than 20 million times. We've covered spectacular beaches, top-rated restaurants, towering skyscrapers and iconic bridges. We've looked at the lighter side of travel by sharing hilarious airport photos and travel-fail tweets. And we've examined the extraordinary power of travel to transform lives in essays exploring getting stranded in Cuba and meeting a shaman in Mexico.
Like travel itself, it's been an amazing ride. Here are 10 of our most-read, most-discussed, most-loved stories of 2018. We can't wait to explore the world together more in the new year.
"Forbidden Destinations You Can Never Visit"
Proving once again that people want what they can't have, our most-read story of the year was about destinations travelers are unable to access. On average, people spent over 7 minutes reading this piece, which contains fascinating facts about snake-infested islands, top-secret military bases and fiercely guarded historical archives.
"Overhyped, Overrated Tourist Traps to Avoid at All Costs"
"Extraordinary Prehistoric Animals You Can Visit Now"
It should come as little surprise that readers loved learning about peculiar animals — including giant lizards, one-humped camels and flat-bodied sharks — that have survived for millions of years.
"Hilarious Terrible Yelp Reviews of National Parks"
If you need more evidence that people can complain about anything, look no further than this round-up of absurd grievances about some of America's most astonishingly beautiful sites.
"Aerial Shots of the World's Greatest Destinations, Like You've Never Seen Them Before"
Our most popular photo essay looked at major cities around the world in a new way — from the vantage point of drones. The resulting shots are both surprising and awe-inspiring.
"The Least-Visited National Parks — And Why They're Worth a Look"
Readers enjoyed adding to their bucket list with the help of this piece, a helpful guide to amazing parks too few have visited.
"World's Worst Airports, Ranked"
Everyone's endured terrible airport experiences, making this round-up of the worst-of-the-worst extremely relatable. In fact, many commented that there were many more terrible airports that could've been included. (See also: World's Worst Airlines, Ranked.)
This much-discussed story laid out all the reasons some of the world's popular attractions, from Times Square to Stonehenge, aren't actually anything to write home about. Disagree? We welcome the debate.
"How to Beat the Crowds at the World's Most Visited Tourist Attractions"
This list combines surprises — no Eiffel Tower in the top 20? Alcatraz doesn't make the cut at all?! — with practical advice on enjoying destinations that can be too crowded to enjoy.
"Top 10 Beaches in the USA"
Beach guides are always a hit with readers, and this compilation was the most popular of all. Other widely read beach stories included "Best Clothing Optional Beaches in the U.S.," "World's Deadliest Beaches" and "Europe's Most Instagrammed Beaches."
"What Maps Get Wrong"
Did you know most maps contain egregious geographical errors? And that this misinformation can powerfully influence the way we view the world? Thanks to this thought-provoking story...now you do.