I love it when the calendar turns over, despite the fact that I’ll continue to write “2016” down for the next 2-19 weeks until “2017” truly kicks into my consciousness. I love January because it’s when I plan out all of my journeys for the coming year. It’s a time when I look at the possibilities, scour travel sites for deals, and dream of places I may or may not get to. To me, half of the fun in exploring the globe is in the planning. Planning allows me to live virtually in another world for a while, an escape I need when it’s -20 outside and I need to dry my hair before I go out, lest it freezes in long strands and snaps off, leaving my coif dangerously uneven.
I rarely go anywhere in January, so it’s my time to visualize far-off lands, tropical climates and exotic food. This January is particularly exciting, as I’ve just created a dynamite list of places to hit in ’17. I’ll break them down for you, ranked from most to least likely.
1/ Southeast Asia:
Thailand – It’s no secret that Southeast Asia is my favourite travel destination. Thailand, with it’s warm weather, delicious food, roaming dogs, fantastic beaches, and general disdain for political correctness is my favourite country in the world. I first visited in 2005 and have been back many times since. This year the plan is to cover the songkran festival (ie. Thai New Year, quite possibly the world’s largest water fight) in April, zipping from one town to the next so I can really gain an in-depth understanding of how people there celebrate this holiday. It’s something I’ve wanted to do since my first songkran a decade ago (when people were leaping out of buildings to take shots at me in my flowery beach shirt).
Singapore – I haven’t been to Singapore since 2013 when I was facilitating a seminar there. I like Singapore a great deal; it’s a fantastic starting point for people exploring SE Asia for the first time. It’s a cultural melting pot, bringing together influences from all over Asia and India. The food is fantastic, the people friendly, and you can get by using English. Singapore isn’t cheap, but it’s a brilliant city with plenty to do and see.
The Singapore Flyer, viewed from the Marina Bay Sands
Cambodia – This country has been on my list for a long time, but I’ve never had the opportunity to work it into my travel plans. As a photographer and history nerd I am dying to see Angkor Wat and explore Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Vietnam – I spent a week in Ho Chi Minh City on a work assignment last year and loved the people, the food, and the energy around HCMC. Didn’t love the traffic, but then again, feeling the elation of simply being alive after crossing the street is an energy rush you don’t get to have in that many places. I’d love to see more of HCMC and venture out to explore more of this fascinating country.
Laos – Never been there, but it’s been on my radar for the last couple of years. I hear it’s akin to Thailand twenty years ago, and that the people are amazing. Trying to work a quick trip to Luang Prabang into my plans for ’17.
2/ France – The Sequel
I was just there with Angela a few months ago, but we kind of have a thing for Paris right now. Everything about it speaks to me, and the food is ridiculously good. French people are way more friendly than they’re given credit for, and if you find yourself bored in Paris, the problem is you. It’s worth a visit just for the bread and the cheese.
3/ Nova Scotia
The East Coast of Canada is rarely talked about in travel blogs, but man it’s a fun place to visit in the summer. There’s nothing like it, and the donairs in Halifax are nature’s perfect food. The busker festival is one of the best in the country, the music scene is always hopping, and you’re not far from miles of Atlantic coastline.
It’s unlikely I’ll have time to work in this gorgeous city during my Paris trip, but I hope so. I’m kind of obsessed with it right now.
Honourable mention: Southern USA (Huntsville for TBEX North America; Nashville; New Orleans); Iceland (en route to France); Hong Kong. Dream locales unlikely to happen in ’17, but I would be happy to cover if invited 😉 include Sri Lanka, Beijing, Shanghai, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil.
A year of possibilities is exciting, for sure! Looking forward to covering as much of the globe and the world of travel as I can for you in the coming year – please feel free to join the conversation!
What are your plans for 2017? Share away by commenting below! Cheers –