Life Lately and What’s Coming in 2017

Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown, Ohio
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Usually around this time of year I do a big post listing all the places I'm hoping to travel to in the new year. I usually dub it my travel wish list, and you guys seem to enjoy reading it.

So where is that list for this year and why have I been so quiet about my upcoming travel plans?

Well here's the truth about 2017, guys: I don't actually HAVE a lot of travel plans yet, and I may not be able to do as much traveling as I did in 2016.

And there are two very good reasons for this:

1. Elliot and I are getting married!

Yes, we were one of those sickeningly sweet couples that cluttered up your Facebook feed on Christmas Day with engagement announcements. I feel no shame and do not apologize. He completely surprised me, and I may or may not have cried. (I totally cried.)

Amanda and Elliot

(After the crying was done.)

And, due to a couple different factors (including venue availability and the fact that I would love for my 91-year-old grandma to be at my wedding), we're being crazy people and getting married this year, in October. Plans are already coming together, and maybe I'll share more with you guys as the process goes along (I mean, if you want?). We're getting married in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is very fitting since it's one of our favorite places to spend time together when the weather is nice.

2. We're also buying a house!

Well, technically a condo. But we are still buying property, and it's quite time-consuming (and a bit stressful) on top of all the wedding stuff. Fingers crossed, though, that it all works out and we get to move into our very own space in March.

(And if this is surprising to you because of what I do for a living, I've actually never been a full-time traveler and never plan to be! I love having a home base, and fully believe that you can travel AND have a “normal” life, too.)

Amanda and Elliot

Our home will never have a tree like this, but that's okay.

These two things put together mean that I'm going to be confined to short trips within North America for at least the next couple of months.

It also sadly means that we're going to have to reschedule our trip to New Zealand, which was originally planned for March. There's just no way we can close on a house, move, AND go to New Zealand all in one month. I think we're going to push it to March 2018 and treat it as a delayed honeymoon.

Wellington Cable Car

New Zealand, you'll just have to wait a little longer for us!

Which brings me to what I DO have planned for this year. Some of the plans are still very tentative, but I still hope to have plenty of travel adventures to share with you this year.

My 2017 Travel Plans

I'm not even going to bother with a wishlist this year, because I think that might be a bit unrealistic with everything else going on. So, instead, here are my current plans and rough ideas for the year:

January: New York

Towards the end of the month, I'm heading to New York City for a few days to visit with friends and go to the New York Times Travel Show. It seemed as good an excuse as any to get out of Ohio for a little while after nearly two months of sitting still!

April: The Midwest

Along with maybe taking a long-weekend trip with Elliot to somewhere like Chicago to celebrate buying our condo, I'm also heading to Milwaukee towards the end of April for the Women in Travel Summit. I'll be speaking on a panel during the summit's “Blogger 101 Day” – and I'd love to see you there! (Pick up a ticket here.)

May: Norway (maybe)

One international trip I'm hoping to make room for in 2017 is another return to Norway. I'm obsessed with this country, and I know you guys like reading about it! I'm hoping to visit some places I haven't been before (like Bergen and the Lofoten Islands), though no official plans have been made yet.

August: Road trip

On a whim a couple weeks ago, I booked a hotel room for two nights in Idaho in August. Why? Because on August 21 a solar eclipse will be fully visible from the United States for the first time in decades. And it just so happens that Idaho is right in the path of said eclipse! So I booked a hotel room, and now my sister and I are planning another road trip out west. Along with viewing the eclipse, we definitely want to visit Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, and spend some time in South Dakota – so if you have tips for this part of the US, be sure to send them my way!

October: Wedding!

We're getting married on October 8! And before you ask about the honeymoon, I have no idea what we'll do directly after the wedding. I think we'll treat New Zealand in March 2018 as our delayed honeymoon, though we aren't opposed to going somewhere closer for a shorter amount of time right after the wedding.

Virginia Kendall Ledges at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

This isn't where we're getting married (we're using an old historic visitor's center as our venue), but it's just around the corner!

Other plans

Elliot and I have also talked about going out to Oregon for a handful of days sometime this summer, both as a vacation and to visit his sister, who lives in Bend. We'd like to do a mini road trip in Oregon to see things like Multnomah Falls and the Painted Hills, and think that early summer might be perfect.

And, of course, I'm open to other travel opportunities, too! If the right offer comes through, this list could definitely look different by the end of the year.

2017 goals

So, keeping in mind all the huge changes coming this year, here are my rough goals for 2017:

  • Not lose my mind dealing with mortgage lenders.
  • Not lose my mind while planning a wedding.
  • Fill up more pages of my passport before I have to change my name.
  • Go to at least one new country. (I went to 11 new countries in 2016 – I think I'll be happy with one new one this year!)

So there you have it: updates on my life and what my 2017 might shape up to look like. No matter how you look at it, it's going to be a pretty crazy and exciting year!

What sort of things do YOU have planned this year?

 

 

85 Comments

  • Haha I feel you girl! We’re also doing the wedding + a move this year, and it makes it way harder to figure out just how much travel we can reasonably expect. We will see what we can fit in! Congratulations again <3

    • Amanda says:

      I think I can probably manage more in the summer, and then after the wedding – but I’m definitely going to be mostly Ohio-bound for at least the next couple of months! Congrats again to you guys, too!

  • Brian says:

    Congrats again on getting engaged and your upcoming wedding! I think it sounds like you’ll still have a pretty great year of adventures. Much you like guys, we’re getting married this year, in August up in Jackson near the Grand Tetons. We’re planning to visit both the Tetons and Yellowstone, including catching the eclipse! We also got a National Park pass this year, so we’ll probably be taking trips to some of the California parks like Sequoia, Joshua Tree, maybe Yosemite. Hope to also do the mighty five this year if we can squeeze it in and the Grand Canyon too! No international trips planned of yet, but we’d love to get to Iceland if we can make it work!! Here’s to a busy 2017!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you! It sounds like your year is going to be pretty great, too. I have to keep reminding myself that there’s still a TON of things to do in the US (and even just within Ohio). So plenty of adventures will still be had. 😉

  • Ashley Smith says:

    Congratulations on everything! I did the same — got married, bought a house, and turned 30 all at once, it was an insane year haha! I love that you booked a couple of nights in Idaho, it seems so random but I bet the eclipse will be amazing. I’ll be at the NYT Travel Show as well, should be a good time. 🙂 Good luck with everything this year!

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you! And yes, “intense” is definitely the word for it!

      Idaho is definitely a bit random, but everything in Wyoming near the eclipse path was already booked solid and I’ve never been to Idaho… so why not?? Hopefully we’ll cross paths at the NYTTS!

  • Brianna says:

    Yayy! Congratulations on your engagement! Wedding planning isn’t nearly as terrible as people make it seem. Just stay organized and remember that at the end of the day, its the two of you that matter most. I’m sad to hear that you won’t be able to make it to New Zealand this year. I know you were looking forward to returning! What will happen with the arrangements you’ve already make for the trip? Maybe you could write about expert ways to cancel a trip 😛

    • Amanda says:

      Luckily we hadn’t made many concrete plans for New Zealand yet. I’m hoping we can still hang on to our campervan rental but just transfer it to next year. And the couple hotels we had booked all have free cancelation – it’s just lucky we hadn’t booked flights yet! 🙂

      And you’re right – so far the wedding planning hasn’t been too bad! I’m lucky, though, in that when I find something I like (be it a venue, a dress, etc.), I just go with it instead of looking at more options.

  • Brianna says:

    Oh! And you should come up to Michigan in the summer…It’s a close trip! Have you visited Frankenmuth yet?
    Brianna recently posted..Hostel Takeover: A Review of Hostal Casa Verde

    • Amanda says:

      Michigan is definitely a possibility! Elliot used to live in Kalamazoo, but there are still plenty of places in the state that neither one of us has been to!

  • Tana Henry says:

    Congrats on the upcoming nuptials and buying a house! So exciting!

    I’m from the Black Hills (western SD) and live in NE now. I have lots of ideas for the Black Hills, but haven’t gotten around to blogging about them yet. I’d be happy to share if you want to chat or email sometime. Or I’d love to meet up with you if you don’t think that would be super weird and it worked in both of our schedules, as I have family back there and never mind a trip back. 🙂

  • Ali says:

    Congrats on the engagement, wedding plans, and condo! Exciting year! Try not to stress about the wedding stuff too much…you won’t remember the tiny details anyway. I basically decided there were a few things that were important to me, and the rest would work itself out. Like the flowers…I told the florist purple, no baby’s breath, not too much greenery, make it pretty. She was like, really, what about this or this or that? No, really lady, just make it pretty and purple, I don’t know one flower from another. New Zealand as a delayed honeymoon sounds perfect! Andy and I went to Turkey almost a year after our wedding and called it our honeymoon. We also joked that TBEX Vancouver was our honeymoon since it was a week later! And your solar eclipse Idaho road trip sounds like fun! Here’s to a great year!
    Ali recently posted..My Not-So-Straight Path to Making Money From Blogging

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you! The wedding stuff is thankfully much less stressful than I feared (so far), and now that we have the venue and catering more or less locked down, I think the rest should just be fun!

  • Raechelle says:

    Congratulations!! We actually looked at getting married at the venue that you’re alluding to (didn’t because of reasons totally unrelated to the actual venue – we thought it was a really cool spot!) We also bought a house and got married the same year, so it’s possible to do it without losing your mind! Good luck!

  • I’m so glad you mentioned the travel summit in Milwaukee. This is my last summer in Chicago and I just sat down today to try and plot out the Midwest cities I want to visit. I’m hoping to make 1 trip a month – Minneapolis, Detroit and Milwaukee…so maybe I can time MKE with the travel summit.

    Oh and congrats! I bet you will still manage to squeeze plenty of travel in this year!
    Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted..Year in Review: 2016

    • Amanda says:

      I always manage to squeeze in more travel than I think I will. Haha! And it would be great to meet you at WITS! I’m excited to spend some time in Milwaukee, too.

  • Alouise says:

    Congratulations on your engagement. That ring is beautiful. You might not have a ton of travel planned this year (you still have a fair bit though) but a wedding and real estate purchase, well you’re certainly going to be busy. Saving New Zealand for a delayed honeymoon in 2018 sounds like the right move. I’m sure you’ll find somewhere closer to home get away for a quick honeymoon if you want as well. Best of luck. What an exciting year this will be for you.
    Alouise recently posted..Moving to Ireland – Getting Settled and Paperwork

    • Amanda says:

      Busy but exciting year, yes! And yeah, delaying the New Zealand trip does make me sad, but it’s definitely the right move. And this way we can save up for the most epic trip EVER next year!

  • Leah says:

    Congratulations on the engagement and the condo! A wedding in CVNP sounds super dreamy! Sometimes it’s hard to put travel plans on hold for other life plans, but looks like this is a year you won’t regret!

    • Amanda says:

      Definitely won’t be regretting it. And like I’ve been telling Elliot, New Zealand will still be just as awesome a year from now. (Plus, we’ll be able to save more money AND get to tell people it’s our honeymoon – win-win!)

  • CONGRATULATIONS, Amanda!! What an exciting time in your life! Don’t worry too much about the wedding planning and mortgage lenders, just trust that everything will work out! I remember buying my first condo, and yes, between the inspections and the mortgage lenders dragging their feet, it was pretty stressful. But in hindsight I realized I was just putting unnecessary stress on myself by worrying about nothing.

    As an Oregon resident, you should definitely not miss the painted hills. Simply jaw-dropping. GOOD LUCK to you!

    • Amanda says:

      While my sneaky anxiety has been flaring up in the past few weeks, I’m definitely a firm believer that you can only do what you can do, and then you just have to trust that things will work out. So that’s definitely my attitude right now!

      And the Painted Hills are most definitely on our list if we make it out to Oregon! I showed a photo to Elliot the other day and he got all excited too.

  • Congratulations Amanda 🙂
    Enjoy the wedding planning to the fullest, it can be so much fun!

    Also, I hope you do make it out to Norway this year, I loved your previous posts! I’m hoping to visit in winter later this year, or maybe early 2018 so would love to read more posts from you on Bergen & Lofoten, which will both definitely be on my itinerary ! Good luck for 2017 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    Congratulations and good luck with all the life changes. Originally, I’d planned to do a road trip to see the eclipse in August then found out that my house in South Carolina is basically in the eclipse path–so I only need to take the afternoon off from work. Second if you do get a chance to go to Oregon, do it. I went last October and it was amazing. Traveling the Lewis and Clark trail and seeing the falls were awesome. I also stayed in one of the more amazing properties I’ve ever stayed in–a combination of spa/hotel/hostel–just outside of Portland.
    Enjoy the upcoming changes.

    • Amanda says:

      Oh wow! Lucky you being right in the eclipse path! I know I could have just gone down south instead of across the country to see it, but I figure this will be a great excuse to visit some of the states I still haven’t been to!

  • Hilary says:

    Bend, OR is pretty cool….

    Would LOVE for you guys to come visit!

  • Sam says:

    Wow! 2017 is going to be a huge year for you. Glad to see you’re doing well, Amanda. The Loften Islands in Norway are FANTASTIC! I’d highly recommend getting there. Safe travels!

  • Ella says:

    Congratulations on your engagement and good luck with your big move! This is so exciting! I think if you manage to travel quite a bit too, as well as planning a wedding and buying a home, then your name should be changed to Superwoman. It sounds like you have A LOT going on this year but all good stuff and quite an adventure in their own right. Congratulations and enjoy your 2017! 🙂

  • congrats!
    Tanja (the Red phone box travels) recently posted..Top 10 of the Imperial Treasury Vienna

  • Congrats on your engagement, I hope you have an awesome wedding!

  • Heather says:

    I went to South Dakota a few years ago on a road trip and as a very liberal and cynical new yorker, i was pleasantly surprised by how much I fell in love with the state. Try to make it out to badlands national park, its gorgeous (drive through there while playing rolling stones’ Wild Horses, you’ll see a lot of them). Mount Rushmore is cool to see too. Also try to go to Deadwood (in the black hills) – its an old west town where they reenact gun battles and old west scenes. It’s def. something you can only find in America.

    • Amanda says:

      I’ve heard about Deadwood, and that definitely sounds like fun! (Though I don’t think I could visit now without thinking of the HBO show Westworld! Haha.)

  • So exciting! I’m living between the Tetons and Yellowstone for the winter and it’s wonderful! Definitely do some hiking around Jackson Lake in the Tetons, that was my favorite. I’m not sure about summer, but so far this winter the Gros Ventre area is awesome for seeing tons of moose and bison!
    Megan | Red Around The World recently posted..6 Things to Love About Guatemala

  • Elisa says:

    Congrats and best wishes! 🙂

    One wedding tip I once heard was keeping your wedding registry open for 6 months after the big day. It’s great for guests who aren’t able to come for one reason or another, so they can still give you something.

    • Amanda says:

      Good tip! We may look into one of those sites where you can let people donate to your honeymoon instead of buying a gift – we’d love to be gifted travel way more than stuff!

  • Ahhhh, I’ve been waiting for the official blog wedding announcement. Yes, please, share to your little heart’s content! =)

    Also, Nashville is the only city in the direct path of the eclipse, so I’m pretty stoked to see it from here!
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Bon Bini, Willemstad! Meet the World’s Most Colorful City

    • Amanda says:

      Haha I debated announcing it on my blog or not, but I figured it’s kind of a big deal! Haha.

      Definitely jealous that you’ll be able to see the eclipse in Nashville – that’s so awesome!

  • Dominique says:

    Congratulations on the engagement!! 🙂 What a great way to start the new year! Good luck with the condo as well, I hope it all works out! A quiet travel year is never a bad thing, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of opportunities to explore sights even in your own backyard!
    Dominique recently posted..Iceland – A Three Day South Coast Tour

  • Laura says:

    Congratulations! And like you said, you shouldn’t have to apologize for being one of those “sickeningly sweet couples”; being happy isn’t something to apologize for! Crying is okay too 🙂

  • Natalie says:

    Congratulations on your engagement!

    Condo loans are a pain. I know from experience. Hopefully, everything will go swimmingly!
    Natalie recently posted..Is It Time for a Mom-caytion?

  • Congratulations Amanda! Have fun and enjoy being engaged. It’s a really special time in your relationship. Just enjoy it! Also, the book A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene totally saved my life in the stress department more than once while wedding planning. 🙂

  • Russ Holzer says:

    ABSOLUTELY=CONGRATULATIONS!!!. I love reading & following your adventures & I’ll continue to follow. Good for you guys!

  • Congratulations! I got married in December and we did an Oregon coast road trip for our honeymoon, ending in Portland. I highly recommend a couples road trip in that area! Have a great 2017 and good luck with planning! We did a half marathon in Cuyahoga park – it’s beautiful!
    Julie @ Millennial Boss recently posted..Did I Waste My Twenties or Did I Beast Them?

  • Julie says:

    Having visited CVNP in the fall, your wedding locale sounds wonderful! And congrats on all the big and yet exciting changes. Having survived both planning a wedding and buying a house, the former is definitely more enjoyable but the latter isn’t as bad as you think.

    Having now finally made it to Washington state, I would definitely love to see Oregon.

    For me, the only things booked so far are a trip to Arizona next month for a warm weather weekend getaway (hoping to see Tailesin West-I’m a huge Frank Lloyd Wright fan and also Sedona) and a cruise to Alaska in late spring. I’m trying to incorporate a third destination that starts with the letter “A.”
    Julie recently posted..Giving Up Everything to Travel the World

  • Congrats Amanda!! What awesome news!! All the best to you and Elliot this year!!
    Kara @ Creative Heart Travel recently posted..My Favourite Travel Moments of 2016

  • Arianwen says:

    Congratulations on getting engaged. Sounds like it will be a massive year for you! I just arrived in NZ and am aiming to get a visa so I can still be here next year. Drop me a message when you’re on your way!
    Arianwen recently posted..A CabinZero Luggage Review and Free Giveaway

  • OMG! Congratulations Amanda. That is marvellous news. I’m happy for you both. xx

    I love the way that you’re travelling, living the dream AND having a full life too. Great stuff.

    I’m not in the least surprised that your wedding is taking place in October, and you’re not crazy at all, as this happened to my husband and I too! We announced our engagement at a New Years’ Eve party that we went to with our Spanish /French/Finnish/German friends, and got married in a German castle in October that year, ‘cos my mother-in-law was seriously ill. She passed away 2 weeks after our wedding! We were so glad that she held on, and lived to see it, as my German husband is an only child.

    Re-planning. Let your friends help you. ‘Remember it’s about the 2 of you. And don’t sweat the small stuff. It’ll all work out in the end! xx
    Victoria @The British Berliner recently posted..How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

    • Amanda says:

      To be honest, the wedding planning has gone so smoothly so far. I’m sure it will get a little more stressful as the date gets closer, but so far I’m having fun with it! (The home-buying process, on the other hand… not so fun! Haha.)

  • Csaba & Bea says:

    Warmest congrats! We’ve just bought a home recently so we could totally feel your pain. Long-long months of negotitations and paperwork… But then comes the next stage when we wake up with a smile every day as we look around and realize that we are really at home. 🙂
    Csaba & Bea recently posted..[Video post] Let Slovenia Steal Your Heart In 2 Minutes!

  • NTripping says:

    Amanda, congrats! Seems like it’s going to be a wonderful and busy year for you 🙂 All the best!

    Funny thing, I’m also going on a road trip in August 😉 Seems like we’re on the same vibe!

    Cheers, N.
    NTripping recently posted..12 Travel Ideas – One Big Adventure For Each Month Of The Year

  • eric schaadt says:

    If you time it just right, you two can spend your honeymoon in Findlay, Ohio to watch the flooding of the Blanchard River! 🙂
    Blessings on your lives together.

  • Kathy says:

    Congratulations Amanda! Don’t worry – a wedding and a new home in one year can be done! It’s funny, because I’ve done almost exactly the same as you just a year before – we moved into our first home in 2016 and also got married last October! AND we pushed our dream trip to New Zealand to February 2017!!! I can’t believe there are only a few weeks left!!

    Oh, and we wanted to go somewhere low key just after the wedding for a few days – we thought somewhere in Europe but….that turned into a trip to Japan!! Oops! This is what happens when you get the travel bug! I highly recommend going – October is a lovely time of year there. We might as well match up 100% so yea go to Japan! We loved it and are hoping to go back in spring 2018 maybe 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      Haha! We are leading parallel lives!! Japan is somewhere that Elliot and I would both love to go, but it won’t happen this year – he’s gotta save up vacation days for the few short trips we’ll be taking, and then for NZ next year! (But I know a trip to Japan and South Korea is definitely on our radar in the next couple of years!)

  • Congratulations Amanda!! I love that you’re able to balance your love of travel with all of the other wonderful aspects of life like marriage and owning a home. It’s really inspiring! All the best to you both!
    Liz @ poulet s’il vous plaît recently posted..Armchair travel: satisfying your wanderlust from home

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks so much, Liz! I really do believe that you can have all the trappings of a “normal” lifestyle and still travel a lot – and I’m happy to keep showing people how I manage to do it! 🙂

  • NZ Muse says:

    Congrats you two!!!

    This year is all about home – hoping to renovate our kitchen, build up the veggie garden, and better train our dogs 🙂

    Probably smart to push back the NZ trip 🙂 For us planning a wedding and subsequent RTW trip immediately following, was crazy!
    NZ Muse recently posted..Link love (the ranty edition)

  • Rebecca J says:

    How did I miss this post?? :O :O congratulations! I recently got married (September just gone) and it gets very stressful towards the end 😛 the most annoying thing is people not RSVPing, or saying they can come, and then after the RSVP date saying they can’t make it :@ anyway…I personally would love to hear some updates about the wedding, and am looking forward to seeing posts about USA travel! 🙂 🙂

  • sajid says:

    I am that postponing the NZ trip was definitely the right decision!

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