According to the doomsday-sayers, the world is going to end before the year is over.
If 2012 is supposed to be the year the world ends, then you had better believe I'm going to make the most of it and go out with a bang.
And, for me, “making the most of it” means traveling as often and as far as I possibly can.
My 2012 Travel Wishlist
Though my travel plans are far from complete at this point, there are a lot of places I plan to visit in 2012 — and even more that I want to visit if possible.
Here, then, is my travel “wishlist” for this year:
It's only mid-January, but I've already crossed this destination off my list. I spent 5 days in Canada's capital city last week, exploring all the things Ottawa has to offer in the winter.
It was a nice escape for a few days (despite the chill and snow in the air), and has me motivated to try and travel somewhere each month, even if it's not very far from home. And it also has me interested in seeing more of Canada.
If I have time this summer, I'm thinking a Canada/New England road trip might be in order. I figure I could take 10 days and visit Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and then drive back home through New England.
Speaking of traveling closer to home, there are still plenty of places to explore in my own country. After my epic summer road trip last year, I've come to realize just how huge and diverse America really is. And I want to see more of it.
I already know I'll be back out West in June for the TBEX travel bloggers conference, which is taking place this year in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I'll definitely be exploring Denver on that trip, and may even tack on a few days in Utah, seeing as how I fell in love with it last summer.
Before then, though, I have a week to travel in March during spring break from grad school. I've been contemplating a whole host of options — all of which would include warm weather.
- I could go visit a friend who moved to Los Angeles last year and force her to show me all the touristy spots in Hollywood.
- I could go back to Hawaii to explore some of its other islands, since I only visited Oahu last year. Flights to Hawaii are actually more affordable than you might think this time of year, and I won't lie — I've already been perusing hotels and dreaming of visiting volcanoes.
- I could head South and visit Savannah, Georgia, a city that has been calling to me ever since I spent a day there back in 2006. I want to walk under trees draped with Spanish Moss and listen to the city's creepy ghost stories, all while taking tons of photos.
- Or I could go to Orlando, Florida, to finally give in to my geeky side and spend a few days at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
People tell me that Iceland is just as wild and beautiful as New Zealand. Which means, of course, that I've been dying to visit for quite some time. I think 2012 will finally be the year.
Even though I'd really like to travel somewhere warm in March, there's a good chance I may scrap all those warm-weather plans and trade them in for Iceland instead. March is still prime Northern Lights-viewing time, but the days begin to get much longer as the country nears spring. Plus, I generally enjoy traveling in the off-season when I can (especially when the destination is not a cheap one!).
If I decide I must have a tropical break in March, however, I'm going to tack a stopover in Iceland onto my big European adventure this summer. Either way, I WILL get to Iceland this year.
Ever since I read “The Historian,” I've had a nagging urge to visit Eastern Europe. And, since I'm back in school now and get a few months off in the summer, I figure this year is as good a year to go as any — perhaps the best opportunity I'll have for quite some time.
So, come July, I'm going to be squeezing in:
- Bulgaria, to visit some monasteries and hopefully listen to plenty of folk music.
- Romania, to visit medieval towns and search for vampires.
- Hungary, to explore Budapest.
- Slovakia, to visit family that I've never met and learn where my dad's side of the family came from.
If possible, I would also like to include:
- Austria, to see the Alps and hum “Sound of Music” songs in Salzburg.
- Slovenia, to see if I'll fall in love with the country like so many others have.
It's a lot to fit in, and it will be the longest, most “foreign” solo trip I have ever undertaken. But I'm super excited to finally experience this part of the world.
After my Eastern Europe sojourn, I'll be hopping over to the UK for a few weeks.
Though nothing is set in stone yet, my UK destinations will likely include:
- London, to see the sights and soak up some Olympics fever.
- Oxford, to feel like I'm in a Harry Potter film.
- Bath, to visit Stonehenge.
- Liverpool, to stalk some old Beatles haunts.
- Edinburgh, to walk to Royal Mile and eat some haggis.
- The Scottish Highlands, to hunt for Nessie and see some beautiful scenery.
- Glasgow, to watch the World Pipe Band Championships with some friends.
This will be my first time in the UK, and I definitely plan to make the most of it!
My year already seems unbelievably full of plans and possibilities, especially for someone who doesn't travel full-time. But, like I said, if the world is going to end before we reach 2013, I plan to go out with a bang! If any other travel opportunities crop up, I will definitely be taking full advantage of them.
So how will my year pan out? Well, plans will undoubtedly change, of course, but here's how 2012 is shaping up so far:
January: Already visited Ottawa, Canada
March: One of the following: Los Angeles, Hawaii, Savannah, Orlando, or Iceland (which would you choose??)
May: Maybe that Canada/New England road trip
July: Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia for sure, maybe Austria and Slovenia, too)
August: The UK (England and Scotland)
What kind of travel plans do YOU have for this year? What countries appear on your wishlist?
*Note: This post was sponsored by a third party.