Happy 2018, you crazy cats! It’s strange to be writing “2018” everywhere. But I like even numbers.
Typically I’d wrap up the year with a reflections post, because there’s nothing I love more than a good ‘ol naval gazing session. But 2017 was all about slowing down: working my butt off, diving into the arts, and taking a few trips here and there.
I feel weird about wading back into the travel waters; I’m not even sure I know how to trip plan anymore. I have plans to revisit a handful of destinations that mean a lot to me (Berlin! Sligo!), but other than that, I want to hit up a few new countries.
I’m pretty sure travel planning gets me high. Because just writing about this has me excited AS HELL.
After last year’s incredible all-inclusive vacation in Jamaica, I decided I wanted to do another this year. I mean, I can travel all I like, but taking a real vacation? That’s a rare gem. No WiFi. No cellphones. Nada. Just a week of relaxation in the sun with some very cool people.
This time, I’d like to check Cuba off my list. Me and my friend Lesley are booking a spot at the new Iberostar Bella Vista in Veradero, mainly so I can tour into Havana at some point. (If you know of any local small group tours for Havana, let me know!)
Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
Isn’t it about time I head to Southeast Asia? I have about a six week period in the spring where I’d like to flee Canadian winter. So, I’m thinking of taking off.
I’m not sure if six weeks is too little time to tackle four countries, but I’d at least like to fit three of those countries in. All I know for sure is that I want to explore Thailand and eat tons of soup in Vietnam. Of course, now that I’m working full-time, I still have to figure out the work/travel balance. That’ll be a fun challenge!
Remember that time I went on a cruise in the Caribbean? I didn’t think I’d do another, but here I am. My boyfriend decided he wanted to try the whole cruise experience, and naturally I’m not gonna turn down a fun-fuelled romantic trip. This time I’d like to splurge on the whole she-bang: drink packages, a room with a balcony, and some off-ship activities.
I’m thinking about cruising out of New Orleans, and maybe hitting up somewhere like Belize. I’ve also basically decided I don’t want to do another Carnival, so I’m leaning more towards Norwegian. I’d love to know your recommendations!
Shetland Islands and Sligo
Last year, in June, me and Julia vowed that we’d try to get back to Sligo at least once a year. It’s SO cheap from Newfoundland, and I’d like to spend more time during this visit actually doing things and exploring the area rather than just living in a bar.
Plus, y’know, maybe I’ll hit up somewhere new in Ireland. I hear Derry is lovely.
Then I’m hoping to follow Julia back to the Shetland Islands, where she’s currently living. I think I’m actually most excited about the crazy journey — it’s an epic train and overnight ferry trip from Glasgow. Shetland is rugged and lovely and exactly the kind of thing I love. The last time I was in Glasgow, I didn’t fully get to live the experience (thanks to an insane bout of gastro), so perhaps I’ll spend a bit of time there too.
Even if I didn’t want to go back to Berlin, I still have a suitcase of belongings there! It’s so crazy to think I left nearly two years ago. I want to visit in spring/summer, drink beers in the park, and revisit all my friends and old haunts. I’m aching just thinking about it.
I’d also like to journey up to Hamburg for a few days while I’m there. One of my biggest regrets about living in Germany wasn’t seeing enough of the country. So, there’s a start.
I have so many friends scattered around the world right now, I’d be silly not to take them up on their invitations to visit. There’s no better way to see a place than to do it with a local. Ukraine and Japan are two options I’d love to tap into, if the budget allows!
Do you have any recommendations for me? Blog posts to help me plan? Let me know! The winter is long and awful and I’ll need something to distract me icy sidewalks and endless blizzards.