By little reckoning, we welcome 2021 as optimists, and perhaps, pent-up travelers.
This forecast may rely on the fortitude brought forth by the ongoing pandemic and the fast recuperation of the travel industry, but the mood seems only foreseeable with the last-minute help of Pantone Color of the Year. Or, should we say colors?
Now, we have two for 2021: According to the company, the bright yellow shade Illuminating evokes an “optimistic promise of a sunshine-filled day,” while Ultimate Gray represents “composure, steadiness, and resilience,” confuting its dull shade as the undertow, or merely a grain of salt.
Marking Decembers with its annual hue selection for next year’s commercial trends, Pantone didn’t look any further than the sun shining on weathered concretes, road lane markings, or train stations in the mundane outdoors to make sense of our concurrent landscape and echo a social statement.
It takes a whole month (yes, it’s actually that fast) before we encounter yellow and gray palette everything, but for inspiration and high hopes, we present places that blaze in these colors, both artificially and in all their natural splendor.
📍 Lisbon, Portugal
Portugal’s coastal capital has a mind of its own. The only thing keeping you from getting lost in all that endless ceramic-tiled thoroughfares is the familiar yellow tram that goes all over the city. Yes, as pictured, it also passes through narrow alleyways with striking paint jobs.
📍 Hoi An, Vietnam
This monochromatic yellow village-cum-port area is a cultural paradise with its preserved oriental shophouses, French colonial buildings, and iconic tube houses.
📍 Jal Mahal, Jaipur, India
Tourists shouldn’t miss out on numerous elaborate yellow forts and structures across Jaipur, one being Jal Mahal. Although this submerged “water palace” has stopped inviting tourists in, Jal Mahal stands still in the middle of a man-made reservoir to amaze onlookers from a distance. It also lights up—in yellow, of course, at night.
📍 Antigua, Guatemala
You will love this UNESCO world heritage site for its multicolored ruins and grid-like structure inspired by the Italian Renaissance. Cruising along the Santa Catalina Arch is like walking on sunshine, and it’s definitely on our bucket list.
📍 Bo Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town locals are in luck as they can easily spot canary houses up the cobbled rainbow village of Bo Kaap for their Instagrams, and live a day—or life in Wes Anderson‘s world.
📍 Golden Canola Fields, Luoping County, China
Luoping’s golden rapeseed flowers illuminate the scattered karst hills, making it a great 2021 Pantone landmark. It’s much like Provence’s lavender fields during the spring, only Luoping’s are bigger, and very yellow.
📍 Dallol, Ethiopia
The hottest place on Earth is home to literally nothing but an active cinder cone volcano with yellow sulfur springs and hyperacid pools. Only the intrepid tourists and arriving locals from Danakil dessert breathe life into this unlikely “hotspot.”