I was so apprehensive this year about daring to make travel plans. The last couple of years have thrown those plans back in our faces a little! For the years prior to the, (lets call it, hiccup), come December, Nik and I would plan. We would each say places that we would love to visit the following year, and they would get written down. A travel wish list curated together. A rough idea of when we may fit trips in would be formed. It was exciting and one of our favourite things to do in December.
But then Nik got cancer. All of a sudden we were being mocked by any plans that we made. The excitedly scribbled notes were folded up, stuffed into drawers. Those plans made Nik feel guilty, me feel scared. For the last couple of years, plans were for others. Simple survival was our only plan.
But not this year! This year we feel confident to make plans for next year. Can you even believe it! Nik’s clear blood results after his op mean we can make plans! Aghhhhh! It feels soooo good to say that, and I will cheers to that! The travel notepad is back out and Lonely Planet books are being poured over. Sometimes, these discussions are accompanied by tea, sometimes wine! The lists we made may reflect what particular beverage we were consuming when certain destination’s were added…. Either way, we have a travel wish list as long as our arm! The world is our oyster this year! Let me share some of it with you.
Nik and I have both said we would like to do our travel a little differently next year. We want to slow it down. Do more staycations to be more sustainable. Find eco friendly resorts and simpler accommodation. Go back to the slow travel we enjoyed for many years. I am not sure how that is going to take shape as yet, but we have a few ideas. I would also love to do another retreat this year. I got so much from the meditation retreat I did in France last year. I felt it was incredibly grounding for me. I am on the look out for a yoga/meditation retreat for this year! All recommendations welcome!
We also feel so very grateful for the life we have, so feel incredibly compelled to pay that forward in some ways, (I’m not talking financially here, we have to save up hard for trips, like most people) But we do feel so grateful for the privilege, choices and chances we have. We have been looking at a few volunteering trips. Nothing is firm yet, but there are a few front runners. It will definitely be something that we do this coming year, for sure. There are so many amazing, worthy programmes to get involved it, it is so hard to decide where to go! I would love to hear of any schemes that you know of doing great work!
What we have booked.
The only trip that we have booked and paid for so far is Sofia, in Bulgaria. We have booked a 4 day trip there for end of February/beginning of March. It is somewhere a little different, so I am excited to see what it has to offer. We do blooming love a City break!
We have also just come back from a little trip to stay in Hever Castle. It was amazing! I was totally at home in that Castle! In fact, I am sure that the Ancestry DNA test that Nik got me as a Christmas gift is going to prove I descend from Royalty. Gotta be a bit of blue blood in my make up somewhere right???? I will tell you more details about the Castle stay very soon.
A Travel Wish list
Nik has a big birthday this year, so you can bet we are gonna celebrate it! We are not usually people that do a two week, beach type holiday. Our last one was Cape Verde, a couple of years back. However, he has his sights on a more relaxed, warm holiday this year. We are looking at doing a two week paradise trip somewhere. Nik fancies Bora Bora, that is his ultimate. However, it is a colosal amount of cash! I think I would need to sell a lung and a kidney to afford it! Other options are The Seychelles, Lombok or Zanzibar. Our research continues…
I know from talking to my travel buddies, that we are all love ourselves a city break. I think they are just so easy to try to squeeze around the day job rightttt?? Nik and I have been really trying to explore more European cities the last couple of years. I feel like I have seen very little of Europe. We have definately seen more in the last couple of years, but still so many that intrigue me! Some of the runners and riders in the City break race are; Venice, Florence, Cappodocia, Sibiu, Tallinn and pretty much anywhere in Germany. Oh, and I would also love to explore Austria a bit more. I fell in love with Salzburg last year.
One of my favourite trips in the last few years has been our Scottish road trip. I just loved it so blooming much! We have both said we fancy doing other trips like this. Norway is somewhere I have been obsessed with in forever! I have a Pinterest board full of photos of it, that I add to on a daily basis! I would love to do a tour of Norway, via the train. I have started exploring how we could make it happen. It looks like landing in one part of Norway, travelling around and leaving from a different part is going to be the best option. Doing a trans-siberain trip would alaso be amazing!
Ireland is also a place we are planning to tour. I have been to Dublin many times, but not really ventured out from there. My Mum’s family are from Waterford in Ireland, so I would love to see that area. See The Mother Land as it were… We would love to do a Ring of Kerry tour, ( no pun intended….ahem….), exploring the more rural sides. County Wicklow also holds a huge fascination for me. Again, I have Pinterest to thank for that! Oh, and the tv series Vikings! A lot of the Scandinavian scenes in the show were shot there and it looks absolutely STUNNING!
Lastly, let’s talk about the good ole Staycation. I know for many people, holidaying in your own country does not feel like travel. I don’t agree and Uk travel is firmly on our travel wish list. I LOVE exploring the UK. In fact, we even had a trip in our home County of Essex last year! It was an eco friendly glamping trip, and we loved it. Our London breaks are also a fab way to recharge. Staycations are also a great way to be more sustainable in our travels. We all know that the aviation industry is a huge contributor to damaging our planet. Doing less flights should be on all of our agendas. Getting the train up to Scotland was a lovely, stress free way to get there. I will be looking at taking the train on more of our staycations.
Up until a few years ago, I had seen very little of the UK in truth, so it all feels new and exciting. We received a Christmas gift last year of a National Trust membership. Once we got over the fact that it must mean we are almost 107 years old, we blooming loved it! It has really encouraged us to explore. I even used my membership to visit a NT property, (The Vyne) in Basingstoke the day Nik was having his op! I can not tell you how grateful I was of the distraction. We got a lot of fabulous history in this country of ours UK dwellers!
Again, I have a travel wish list as long as my arm when it comes to the UK. If you follow me on Instagram you would know my obsession with getting to The Cotswolds. I still have not got there! I have visions of me living in Kate Winslet’s cottage from The Holiday while there….(and Yes, Jude Law would be very welcome to pop in for a G&T). This year is a must! I also have Oxford, Cornwall, York, Edinburgh and Canterbury on my list. Oh and despite STILL not having read the Harry Potter books, (or seen the films) I really want to do a Harry Potter filming venues tour. Is that even a thing? I’m not sure but I fancy that!
So there you have it! A very brief introduction to my travel plans for 2020. I think it is safe to say I have one heck of a travel wish list. That’s ok though right? We are making up for time lost after all!
What is on your travel list this year? Is there anywhere you have been that you think I need to add? Do you think a staycation is travel? I would love to hear any of your travel plans for this shiny new year. You know I love to get ideas from you all x