Jerusalem, Israel
Credit: John Silver / Getty Images

Why You Didn't Want to Go: In the nineties the Israeli capital was rocked by regular suicide bombings that made traveling to the holy city a nervy affair. The completion of the West Bank separation barrier twelve years ago, seems to have cut the number of attacks. The wall has been fiercely criticized and loudly lauded by political opponents, but the Old City is safer than ever.

Why You Want to Go Now: Jerusalem is mind-boggling thick with history and religious import. Visiting the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock, and Yad Vashem is an emotional experience even for the agnostic and provides perspective on the whole of human history. Also, the city has some amazing hotels. Plan ahead so you can get a room at the David Citadel overlooking the Jaffa Gate.