Am I still allowed to say “Happy New Year”? I hope you had a great one! I’ve been busy jetting, boating and driving around Europe the first month of the year: exactly how I like it! You’ll see where I went for my first two trips of the year below, as well as discover what I have planned for February and beyond! Enjoy!
My first trip of the year has brought me to cold Finland, where I just got back from. It’s a place where I usually wouldn’t go in January, but I got invited to speak at the Finnish travel fair Matka which was absolutely amazing. I stayed in Helsinki for a couple of days and have done two trips, both before and after. The first trip went to Åland, an island group in between Sweden and Finland. Though the official language here is Swedish, the island group belongs to Finland. It’s the perfect vision of Scandinavia with its frozen lake, woods and wooden houses. I did some cross-country skiing (hated it), some yoga (loved it) and ate the best food ever! I made sure to buy a completely new winter wardrobe, jacket and snow boots, so I was totally prepared, but turns out it wasn’t even that cold!
After the fair I also went to Talinn for two days. I had never been there before, so that was very exciting for me. The itinerary was really very relaxed, which was amazing after a busy week rushing around Finland. We mostly spent our time wandering around Tallinn, eating amazing foods, and hiding out in some crazy awesome historical mansion in the Estonian countryside.
In February it seems like I’m going skiing in Germany, hopping over to Liechtenstein for a day, and then another week of skiing in Austria. Looks like March takes me back to Germany for a few days in Berlin, but afterwards the schedule is open. Possibly another week in London in late April, but we’ll see about that! Seems like I have plenty to choose from in terms of a travel wishlist for the next year though!
* the list is in no particular order
Sweden is a big, missing gap on the list of countries that I’ve visited. It’s right around the corner, but I still haven’t managed to pay a visit. Slowly Stockholm went further up my wish list. It looks like such a beautiful city, with all those little islands! The old city centre looks really cute, and it seems like it’s perfect for shopping too (if you pay with your eyes closed, that is).
By now I’ve visited quite some European cities, but strangely enough Lissabon is still missing. I don’t really know why, because every time I look at pictures of winding streets, red rooftops, beaming sun and tasty Pastel de natas, I just want to get on the first flight to the Portugese capital. Life just seems a bit more easygoing here, and I think I’d like it.
I’ve also never visited Madrid, Prague and Vienna, and funnily enough I started to have some interest in visiting Vienna. That’s the funny thing about lists like this: they change every year, because I change my interests every now and then. I feel like visiting the stately, chique Vienna, so hopefully I’ll manage to go this year.
I’ve only visited New York once, in 2009, and to be honest I’ve been dying to go back. I can’t wait to wander around the city, from one hip coffee place to the next eatery, going on a morning walk through Central Park, or just crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. I actually would love to live there for about a month, to really experience the atmosphere.
The feeling has grown stronger over the past few years: I want to go to Australia. Renting a van and driving it up the coast for two or three months, drinking coffee in Melbourne, surfing in Sydney, watching the sunrise at Uluru… I hope I can make it happen this year, because the tickets aren’t even that expensive!
In my last post I already mentioned I’d like to go to South America this year. Just to broaden my horizon. And if I’d have to choose, I think I’d want to go to Brazil or Peru. Friends of mine recently visited Machu Picchu and it really looked spectacular! It looks like a beautiful spot to start off my visit to South America!
I’ve been wanting to go to Jordan for years. I have an incredible fascination for the Middle East, the beautiful culture and the old architecture. And, well… with a world wonder like Petra you’re obviously in the right place. I hope I’ll get the chance to go to Jordan for a week this year, I think it would be spectacular!
I’ve been to Morocco before, but that was just a super quick two-day trip through the country. I absolutely loved Fez and Volubilis, but I actually haven’t seen anything of Meknes and Rabat. There’s so many things I’d still like to see! Marrakesh obviously, where I know someone who organises her own food tours, the beautiful blue Chefchaouen, and how I would love to spend a night in the desert as well! What I think I’d like most is traveling through the whole country for two weeks or even more.
Canada is being mentioned on all sorts of list as the country to visit in 2017, and with such a handsome prime minister I obviously have to take my chances (just kidding ;-)). Last year my parents visited the west of Canada and went to beautiful places like Banff and Jasper, and since then Canada has gone way up on my wish list. Driving around for a week or maybe two really sounds like a good plan!
I’ve been wanting to go to Dubai for years. There’s something about the ultimate luxury in this city that really appeals to me. I think that you’ve seen enough after a day or two, but I still would like to have seen it. I always get these Sex & The City 2 vibes when I think about the city, but there’s also some adventures to go on (like jeep safaris) so it sounds like a cool experience!
I’ve also wanted to go to the Dutch Caribbean. Curacao sounds like a logical choice, and I would love to go, but Aruba is just a little bit higher on the list. What can I say? I just like an underdog ;-). I think I’ll especially like the rough nature, the nice food and the upcoming nightlife. And it’s a bit of a shame I’ve never been in that part of the world, isn’t it? (It’s Dutch after all)
For the past couple of years I’ve seen plenty of beautiful pictures of the chalk cliffs in Étretat, Mont St-Michel (ok ok, it’s actually Bretagne) and Rouen. So I’d love to visit that corner of France. I’ve been to many parts of France (I think I’ve been over 20 times!) but never the north-western corner. And since it’s not too far away from home, I’m sure I could easily turn it into a four or five day trip!
These are my travel plans and dreams for 2017! It’s quite a long list, and I don’t expect all these dreams will come true this year. But it’s so nice to dream and make plans. And wouldn’t it be nice if three or four of these plans would actually happen? Other than that I’m just going to see what comes across my path, because isn’t that the fun of traveling? :)
Where do you think I should go? And where would you like to go?
PS: Do you want to collaborate with Explorista in one of these or another destination? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org