Wanderlust: 14 Destinations on My Mind
Look, I was pretty proud of myself for making it to the one month mark after returning home from my 9 months of traveling before I was on Skyscanner and thinking of my next trip. I can't help but think about all the places left in this world to explore and all the people I still have yet to meet.
In the past, I used to take one trip abroad a year, lasting about 20 days by spanning weekends, a holiday, and all my vacation time. Now I'm looking at traveling to more places in a year, both domestically and internationally, but for shorter amounts of time.
So, here are 14 trips I'd love to take, ranging from weekend getaways to bucket list items to repeat offenders (I'm looking at you, Canada). The first four destinations are trips that I've got my eye on for 2018 - they are definitely going to happen, fingers crossed!
Germany and the Netherlands - 2018
I haven't been back to Europe since 2011 when I was studying abroad in Spain. I never looked at the region afterwards because it was too expensive for my backpacker budget, but curiosity is getting the best of me now. I'd love to take a train through these countries and stay with friends along the way. I haven't done too much planning, but Berlin, Munich, and Amsterdam are obviously on my list. I also want to bring out the history buff in me and explore a few WWII haunts. This is a trip that I definitely hope to take sometime late next year.
Honduras - 2018
I want to dive Utila or Roatan. I debated between Honduras and Belize in 2016, and Belize won out, so Honduras is still on my radar. I've considered doing my Diver Stress and Rescue certification course in Honduras. Of course a beach destination is always on my radar, so hitting this spot in 2018 would be ideal.
New Orleans, LA - 2018
Yeahhh, NOLA! New Orleans has been on my list for ages, but now that I'm moving to Mississippi, it's way more feasible to make a great weekend trip out of one of the best cities in the south. This is a city that seems to carry a certain amount of lore and mystique and energy; I definitely want to check it out for myself. Mardi Gras is in February, but I'm not sure if it's better to take in the city in all its Mardi Gras glory or visit during a less hectic, less crowded weekend.
Portland, OR - 2018
Portland makes this list because I've honestly been trying to make a trip out to the PNW for a few years now and it just hasn't panned out. I've never been to this part of the US and was disappointed when I had to drop Seattle and Portland from my last backpacking trip - I had definitely run out of money by that point. I'd love to make a long weekend out of this trip, so I am intent on making it happen for 2018. Done and done!
Laos and Cambodia
I'm kind of annoyed that I haven't ticked off all of Southeast Asia because I had to skip these two countries during my big trip. It was rainy season and roads often get washed out in those parts of Asia. I'd like to explore Northern Vietnam some more, then cross over into Laos and then Cambodia. I've heard Laos is stunning for its natural beauty and Cambodia's raw past is devastatingly fascinating.
Melbourne and New Zealand
NZ continues to be #1 on any bucket list of mine. I was heartbroken to not make it to NZ on my big trip, which meant I also didn't make it to Melbourne. I want to fly into Melbourne, soak up all the hippie culture in that magnificent city, then spend time in NZ. I'll probably have to choose between North and South Islands, but I'm hellbent on doing this country and having enough money to do it the way I want. This trip is probably slated for 2019 (yes, I think that far ahead!).
For such a beach junkie, there's not a lot of beachy spots on this list. But Panama takes care of all of that, with cheap accommodation on the beach, scuba diving spots, and sailing trips. I'd love to do Panama sooner than later, just because I can actually afford it with my budget.
The United Kingdom
I've actually been to the UK - England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. It was my first trip abroad and I was 15. I was with 20 other high school students and we all wore matching polos and lanyards. That trip gave me the travel bug. I'd like to go back and spend more time in either of those countries. Maybe a week getting lost in London's fog or kicking back with sheep in Wales' countryside. I have no problem going back to countries I've already been to. It just gives me another chance to fall in love all over again.
Chile or Argentina
Both countries make this list because I can't decide between the two for now. I don't want to do both countries in one trip, so I'll have to choose one or the other at some point. Both countries capture my imagination; I can sense an amazing backpacker adventure either way. I haven't been back to South America in ten years - since I was 16 years old - and I think it's about time I return.
The Galapagos Islands
These islands sitting off the coast of Ecuador are a mystery to me and unfortunately, not really backpacker budget material. They are extraordinarily expensive to explore and scuba dive. Most trips are through a tour operator. So this trip is a pipe dream for now (honeymoon, anyone?). But I'd love to do it. It would be crazy amazing to see wildlife in its prime and get so off the grid.
The Pacific Coast Highway
I keep trying to explore more of the US, but whenever I've got any chance to travel, I can't help but look abroad. Road-tripping the PCH has long been on my list, though. I want to start as far north as possible, in Washington, and take it all the way down to San Diego. I'm embarrassed to say that I've been to very few national parks and have seen very little of the US overall, so I'd love to take advantage of a big road trip like this and explore the West coast.
Okay, so I've never been to Mexico! Not even for a spring break booze cruise. But I've met a handful of people from Mexico during my travels and I'm convinced there's more to this country than what's splashed across US media reports and bachelorette photo albums. I'd love to be shown around Mexico City by a local and then head to the Yucatan Peninsula for some epic diving.
Okay, cool, Canada is another repeat offender like the UK. But I like Canada because it doesn't require too much vacation time. I would totally fly to Victoria, Toronto, or Montreal over a four-day weekend and make the most of a quickie trip. Plus, I love Canada. Why wouldn't I go back?
Ugh, I gotta admit that Iceland is on this list because it launched one of the most successful tourism campaigns in recent memory, sending everyone from honeymooners to backpackers to this stunning country. I can't ignore the amazing photos I've seen splayed across IG and Girls Love Travel. I've got to see it for myself, so renting a van and traversing Iceland is a must.