If you’re anything like me, you love reflecting back on the year that has ended and make a list for what you want to happen next year.
You learn your lessons from the previous year and you create goals, resolutions, themes and intentions for the year ahead. If you love to travel then perhaps you’ve chosen to prioritise travel more or have decided on new countries that you’d love to visit in 2017.
Themes and intentions that I’m setting for this year are:
- Joy & Fulfillment
- Creativity & Expression
- Form deep connections with other Souls
- ‘Perform’ better than I did in 2016
- Improve my musical skills & knowledge
- Create my first eBook
- Cultivate better sleeping habits
But despite being a travel blogger and a flaming travel enthusiast, I’m actually not making travel a priority this year.
I know, that’s almost blasphemous to say that as a travel blogger.
The truth is, while I LOVE travel and definitely hope to still get my satisfying travel fix this year, I’m choosing to prioritise other things.
Travel is one of my biggest passions and something that I think about a lot, but I have other passions & goals that I need to attend to too. It’s very important to me that I spend the time & money needed to achieve my non-travel related goals.
Especially because they’re pretty big life goals that I really do want to achieve.
However, just because I’m choosing not to travel a lot this year doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on the idea of travelling in 2017 all together!
On the contrary, I have had many different ideas about trips that I’d like to take this year. And who knows, perhaps I’ll be able to squeeze in even a couple of short trips during the course of my busy 2017.
A girl can certainly keep on dreaming, can’t she? 😉
So here is my list of Countries I’d Love To Visit In 2017.
Spain is the country that I have visited most recently and I loved my time there. I was there for a yoga retreat and I had such a fantastic time. But because I was at the retreat, I didn’t actually see Spain at all. I didn’t see any of the sites and I haven’t learned anything about the culture. My sister has recently started learning Spanish as a hobby and she really wants to visit the country and has expressed interest in travelling around. Our idea was for us to do a road trip together for about 3-4 weeks, exploring as much as possible in one region. Our favorited region is Andalusia, which was where I did my yoga retreat. We want to stay in cities such as Granada, Cordoba and Seville for a few days at a time, but also spend some time exploring the smaller towns and villages too. Unfortunately we dropped this idea for now because this is out of our budgets. We’re putting ourselves through university which will start next year, so we can’t fund a big road trip right now. But we’ll definitely resurrect this travel dream when we can.
France is just one of those countries I know that I have to spend a significant amount of time in. I gladly spend some of my free time practising my french skills and I’m already obsessed with the gorgeous city that is Paris. I really want to explore France deeply and ultimately fall in love with the whole country, not just it’s magnetising capital city. Other than actually living in France for a good amount time, my dream is to do a 1-2 month road trip across the whole country. Spending a few days at a time in the big cities such as Paris, Nice, Strasbourg, Marseille & Bordeaux, but also some of the smaller cute towns such as Annecy, Colmar, Equisheim and Lourmarin. Whether I take the train or rent a car, go by myself or with a travel partner, this trip is one that I’d really love to do. It’s not likely that I’ll achieve this travel dream in 2017, but I imagine that I could easily do this during a summer holiday from university. At some point in my life, this trip will happen.
Canada is a gorgeous country known for it’s awe-inspiring nature and friendly people. It’s a country that I’ve always been interested in, but my interest has expanded because of Lonely Planet’s recent competition called #MyBestInTravel. Travellers would submit their favourite travel photo of 2016, for the chance to win a 10 day trip to Canada with flights & accommodation covered. This sparked an immediate daydream session of what I’d want to do with 10 days in Canada and it’s now a dream of mine to spend a week on each coast in the cities of Montreal and Vancouver, and see the natural wonders that are the Niagara Falls and Canadian Rockies . Of course, a couple of weeks is a very short time to explore a a big country like Canada with a lot to see, but an intense introduction to this country is something I’d really enjoy. Especially with one or both of my sisters. It’s a great mix between lively cities and gorgeous nature.
Here is another trip idea that’s all about that balance between a great city and beautiful nature. Slovenia has been featured in a lot of travel posts recently and it definitely seems within good reason. It’s rising to fame an inexpensive holiday destination that boasts gorgeous nature and great initiatives to look after said nature. It popped up on my radar when my friend and fellow travel blogger Denise from Travelous Mind, talked about her amazing experience in Slovenia. She went on a road trip with some friends and stayed in a cottage by the lake. Her amazing experience has made me want to travel too! I’d love to spend about 7-10 days in the country, splitting my time between enjoying Lake Bled and exploring Ljubljana. This is a trip that I’d love to do by myself. Stay in an AirBnB in the city, a cabin by the lake, and just enjoy some quality solo time. An introvert’s dream.
Scotland is a great country that boasts a massive amount of nature. See a theme running here? I’m definitely a hippie at heart. But it’s not only the nature that captivates me, it’s also the cities, with the city of Edinburgh in particular. I’ve actually visited this city already but that was around 15 years ago and I barely remember my trip. I’ve heard from so many people how great Edinburgh is and it’s a city that I’d very much love to wander around in. Especially during the festival season. My sisters and I (another running theme here) are all very artistic and creative so getting to experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival and more, would be such a treat for us. My sister and I were seriously discussing visiting Edinburgh in August for a couple weeks to experience the festivals, with a weekend dedicated to hiking in the Scottish Highlands. But unfortunately this trip would also be seriously out of our budget. So Scotland is not a country we’ll visit in 2017. But perhaps sometime in the next few years.
My only brush with the Netherlands was when I had a long layover in Amsterdam, on my way to Kenya. After spending 5-6 hours wandering the city on a free walking tour and with a new friend, I knew that I had to come back to explore this city properly. To me, Amsterdam strikes as a really cool city that doesn’t care about being cool. Which just makes it even cooler! There’s such a big cafe culture and cycling culture (both of which I love) and just a lot of culture in general. My dream is to come back for a week, stay in an AirBnB, rent a bicycle and just explore the heck out this city. Really pretend that I’m a local as I wander the streets, window shop and people watch at cafes. Of course, I know that Amsterdam is not the only city worth visiting in the Netherlands, but it’s the one that has captured my heart and I want to give it my full attention before exploring the other great cities in the country. Maybe I’ll succeed in actually doing this one in 2017.
Kenya will always be a very special country for me. Kenya is the country where I did my first solo trip in which consisted of me volunteering for a month and going on a safari where I got to see the Big Five in Maasai Mara National Park. One of my friends who I met during my time there has recently gotten engaged to her Kenyan-American boyfriend and they’re considering doing the wedding there. They’re thinking of getting married in July and my friend has informally invited me to come! It’s unsure yet whether I’ll actually be able to because a) none of these details are official yet and b) July is likely to be when I need to do my entrance exams for university. But getting to celebrate the beginning of my friend’s marriage in person and visit a country that means a lot to me, is a trip that I’d love to do in 2017. I’ve already done a lot of the more ‘touristy’ activities in Nairobi but I haven’t ventured much outside of the city. And it would be great to catch up with my local friend and host mamas. I’m also really keen on getting my hands on an Africa shaped jewellery box that I saw at the Maasai Market one day. I don’t even wear jewellery but I’ve been thinking about that box for 2 years now!
Turkey is one of those countries that is quite new on my bucket list but very high. Particularly the city of Istanbul. I’ve heard such wonderful things about this city and the more that I read about Istanbul, the more that I want to visit. It’s a city where there’s a perfect blend between eastern and western cultures and boasts plenty of majestic mosques, exciting bazaars and more. It’s my dream to go for a week, stay in a hostel where I can meet fellow travellers and just explore this enigmatic city. I was actually thinking of doing this trip in April of this year, but that seems unlikely as I’ll need to be preparing for my entrance exams to university. Music is a big part of the degree I’m going for and I have to prepare 3 pieces and increase my knowledge in music theory. And let me tell you, I am not in shape! But perhaps I can still manage to visit in 2017 and if not, this will be a great trip to take during a school break.
Why have I included Spain again on this list? Because this is the trip that I’m most likely to take in 2017. Back in October, I did my first ever yoga retreat in the hills of Andalusia, Spain and it was truly a very significant and transformative experience for me. At the end of my time there, I knew that I’d be making my way back some day, either as a retreater again or as a volunteer. I wasn’t sure exactly how or when I’d come back, but the desire to be back at that retreat with the Yoga Sutra Shala family is so strong, that I think I’ll be making my way back this year. My plan is to go back as a volunteer around August and to be there for at least a month. Again, I’m a bit dependant on my application process for university, which starts in October. But this is the trip that is the most achievable this year. Getting to be in the same supportive environment, with the same embracing family and help out around the retreat that I’ve done and loved… what could be better?! I’d even get to join in on the occasional yoga class and since this would be a workaway experience, food and accommodation would all be taken care of. The prospects of doing this trip are high and very exciting.
And there you have it! My list of Countries I’d Love To Visit in 2017!
Despite knowing that I won’t be travelling that much this year, I’m still excited for some travel-related experiences I will be having.
Of course, hopefully I will actually get to check off one or more of these trips. But if not, maybe this will give you guys inspiration for what trips you’d like to take.
How much travel are you planning on doing this year? What are the countries that you’d love to visit in 2017?
Be Brave & Be Kind,