2016 is almost over and after looking back at last year, I’m looking forward to 2017 and getting my planning hat on. Like every other year I’m torn between wanting to visit new places from my wishlist and wanting to go back to old favourites I already love. But I’m hoping I’ve got the balance right (whilst also knowing I’ll undoubtedly end up in a few places that I’d never expect to!). So here’s where I’m hoping my travels over the next 12 months will take me – ranked in order from the already booked to the fingers crossed.
A New York birthday
There’s a milestone birthday looming on the horizon for me in 2018. But I’ve got a few friends who’re celebrating theirs first – the perfect excuse for a big trip. So I’m heading back to one of my favourite places in the world to help two friends celebrate their 40th birthdays in New York this June. As well as introducing them to some of my favourite spots from previous visits, we’ll be checking out a few new places (Brooklyn, One World Trade Center and the Roosevelt Island Tram are on my list so far). I’m also planning to combine the city with a few days in the forests of New York State. After discovering a new love for the outdoor lifestyle on my Canada RV trip last year I’ll be taking it up a level and giving glamping a try.
Even more Scotland
After three trips to Edinburgh last year, there’ll be lots more to come in 2017 as my sister has bought a flat up there, so I have the perfect base to explore Scotland from. As well as exploring everything Edinburgh has to offer (I have a very long list of bars and restaurants I’m slowly working my way through) I want to head further afield and visit places like St Andrews and Fort William. The West Highland Railway is right at the top of my train travel wishlist too, and after loving the Isles of Lewis and Harris last year I’m on the lookout for the next Scottish island to visit – Shetland, Skye, Mull and Orkney are all contenders so far.
An overdue Italian Renaissance
Italy is another of my old favourite destinations, but I’ve not been back for way too long. One Italian destination I’d love to visit this year is the Cinque Terre. Gorgeous pastel-coloured seaside towns, hidden coves, coastal paths and those amazing sunsets. What’s not to love? Plus I haven’t been back to Italy since I had to stop eating gluten, and it’s is the place for delicious gluten-free pasta and pizzas. So I’m planning to eat pretty much everything I see, then do a lot of walks along the coast to make up for it. There are so many other Italian spots I’d like to visit too – Florence, the Dolomites and the far south among them.
The Caribbean with a French twist
My husband has an obsession with the TV show Death in Paradise (a very British show about murders on a Caribbean island that’s a winter TV regular). And I have an equal obsession with lounging on a sandy beach with a tropical cocktail – especially if I don’t have to pay a fortune to do it. I’ve discovered some budget flights via Paris to the French-speaking Caribbean islands, and as they’re really close together so you can easily make it a two (or three) for one trip. So I’ve been concocting an island-hopping itinerary which mixes up the French flair of Martinique and Guadeloupe with the wild jungle landscapes of Dominica.
The Northern Lights
There are a few trips which have been lurking on my travel wishlist for years and years. A South African safari was one until last year, and this year I’d love to finally see the Northern Lights (atmospheric conditions permitting!). It might be in Finland, Iceland or even Sweden (which has appeared in my travel plans for the last two years and I’ve still not been). I’m getting a new camera soon and planning on upping my night photography game, so hopefully by next winter I’ll be able to do the Aurora Borealis justice.
So those are my 2017 travel plans so far. How about you, where do you hope to visit over the next 12 months? Or do you have any tips for any of the destinations I’m planning on visiting?