Saturday, 23 December 2017

My 2018 Travel Plans - And Travel Bucket List!




  I've made it no secret that the last few months of 2017 were pretty bad. In fact, the only thing that I looked forward to for the majority of it was a trip that ended up having the flight cancelled the day before - although that did mean a last minute trip to Costa Rica ended up happening, which turned out to be a wonderful country to visit! (By the way - the above photo was taken in California, and I've love to tell you where exactly from but it was actually at a random road-side toilet!)



  2018 can only improve, and I'm pretty sure that's largely responsible to the fact that I've already got three great trips planned and two other annual leave slots left to fill (or one super long one? Not sure!) that I'm really looking forward to. This year, I'm going to be visiting a couple of countries I've been wanting to go to for the longest time - but there's still a fair few left that I'd like to go to as well, and  Destination2.co.uk has asked me to have a think about what the top destinations left on my travel bucket list are. A few of the ideas are places that I've been wanting to go to anyway, but I also took a look through some of their inspiration pages to come up with some new ideas to add to the list. I also took a look at my travel wish list from January of last year (here!) to see how much my interests have changed this year. Well, I've ticked off Copenhagen (here) and Costa Rica (here) and am conquering Japan this year - so that's three out of the ten ticked off! A couple will definitely stay on the list for this year, but there's some changes going to be made too...! Even though this post is in collaboration with Destination2.co.uk, they haven't asked me to include anywhere in particular so I can guarantee you that all choices and ideas are my own!

  So, let's start with what I already know 2018 is going to bring!

My 2018 Travel Plans
January - I'm going to Lyon! I've not been to Lyon before, and though it's not the fairytale side of France that I've been really really wanting to visit lately, I'm still looking forward to going. It's odd as until a year or so ago France wasn't really on my list at all, but now there's all sorts of little villages and cities that I'd love to go and take a look at. This isn't really a sightseeing trip though - we're going bobsledding!

March - I'm going to Japan! Japan has been on my travel bucket list for the longest time, and I feel like I'm a bit late to the party as it seems pretty much everyone went last year. My itinerary for Japan is pretty varied - of COURSE I'm going to be going to Disney, and the obvious suspects like Tokyo and Hiroshima are there too. The part I'm most looking forward to though is spending the night in a Buddhist temple and having a day learning from the monks. I did something similar but on a much smaller scale in Thailand and really enjoyed it, so I'm hoping this will be really interesting too. There's so much to tell you about Japan and what my plans are, so I'l leave that one for another post!

June - I'm going to Croatia! I've wanted to go to Croatia for so many years, and naturally the year I finally actually book everything is the year it's suddenly become really popular and expensive. We're flying into Zagreb and out of Dubrovnik and hitting some beautiful looking places in-between. I'm most looking forward to visiting Hvar. And the Plitvice Lakes. And, oh, you know what? All of it! Everywhere in Croatia looks like it's going to be so nice!

November - ?? I've got a week off in November, and I know which friend I'm going with. But we don't actually know for certain where we're going yet, although Norway seems like it's going to be quite a high chance! I've got another week of annual leave I can use too, though I haven't yet decided whether or not to add it to this one or put it on it's own somewhere as there's quite a big gap between this one and the June one!

My 2018 Travel Bucket List

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001. Antarctica
I've wanted to go to Antarctica since I was about five, for the same reason anyone else picks it - penguins, obviously. Every year it becomes closer to reality as my holiday fund goes up and the prices go down just that little bit to make it almost a possibility. I actually thought this year might be the one for it but unfortunately my holiday dates just didn't work out for it (Although now I'm thinking maybe I can use those extra 7 days I have, hmmm) It's super pricey, it involves a crossing that is guaranteed to make me throw up, but... it's Antarctica, and I will never stop wanting to go to Antarctica.

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002. The Maldives
Duh. Who doesn't want to go to the Maldives? The beautiful little island resorts just look so amazing and so peaceful that I'm sure I don't actually need to give you any reasons to want to take a visit!

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003. Cinque Terre
I included this in my list last year, and it's still there. I really want to hike the pretty little Italian villages! It's been a few years since I lived in Italy and though I definitely wouldn't live there again, I do miss so much about it. I want to go and visit these colourful little houses and enjoy the walk between them!

004. Peru
There seems to be a bit of a hiking theme in the list this year (just wait...) but Peru is still very much there. I actually thought this year might be the one to do Peru in, but I decided Costa Rica was just a little too similar and that some time away from Latin America is in order, even if it is my favourite area by far! There are so many places in Peru I'd like to visit, and, yes, I want to do the Inca Trail - even though no part of me actually thinks I will enjoy it!

005. Everest
Yep, that's right. Everest. I want to do Everest. Okay, not the whole thing - but I'd really like to do the hike to base camp. This is a fairly new idea but one that has very quickly made it on to my bucket list!

006. Koh Samui
I visited Thailand about two years ago and for the most part skipped the islands. I was there on my own and it seemed like they aren't really the sort of thing you do unless you're on some sort of romantic retreat, but I really feel like I missed out by not visiting. I went to Phuket but, well...that's Phuket. Koh Samui on the other end? Looks absolutely amazing. And maybe let's chuck in a couple of the other islands while we're there too.

007. Vietnam
I've never heard a bad word about Vietnam. And when I was in Thailand, I met with a lot of travellers who had just come over from Vietnam. The general impression that I got was that it was like Thailand, but better, and more undiscovered. And that sounds like my sort of place!

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008. Cuba
Similar to Vietnam - I've never heard a bad word about Cuba. I'd love to go and experience the lifestyle over there!

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009. Amsterdam
I've never been to Amsterdam. Unless you count the fact that I transferred in the airport there once, but, well, you probably shouldn't. My Instagram feed has been filled with lots of photos from there over the last few months, and it's one of those places I consistently TRY to go to, and then don't. Because it's so nearby I think I keep expecting it to be much cheaper than it actually is for a last minute trip and that keeps putting me off it - but perhaps this year is the year that I actually PLAN a trip there, and make sure I go?

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010. Zion - Again!
Beautiful Zion is the only one on this list that I've actually already been to. I loved Zion. I loved Utah. And it rained and was miserable the whole time I was there, so I'd really like to go and do it again when the emerald pools aren't going to just look like mud. There are still so many hikes left to do there too, and I genuinely believe Zion is the most beautiful of all the parks I've visited anywhere in the world so I really do have to go back and see some more of it!

So, that's my 2018 travel plans and my 2018 travel bucket list - I'm not sure if one of the above will make one of the final two (or one?!) annual leave slots, but let's hope!

What's on your travel bucket list?
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