This weekend, Colin and I holed up in a log cabin in Hope, BC and it was glorious. More on that in this post!
While we were there, I saw a flight deal to Thailand. I see flight deals all the time and Thailand has never been super high on my list, but this one was interesting. It was the first flight deal I had seen for 2019.
As far as big travel goes, Ireland is our trip for 2018. We’re going for 10 days in April and we got an amazing deal ($340 r/t each). Neither of us have ever been to Ireland so it will be a fun adventure.
We also have Phoenix coming up next month and then I’m doing Hawaii in June with a girlfriend. We’ll go to Pender Harbour in July and maybe up to Kelowna at some point to visit Colin’s brother and his family. We’re also talking about a cabin weekend with some of Colin’s work friends and I’m hoping we can do a mini getaway for my birthday on July 17.
Our year is pretty full! The fall is actually kind of open, but I’m not sure our wallets will be by that point. Plus, Colin is out of vacation days. And we’re still planning to go back to Toronto for Christmas, which is another wallet hit and use of vacation days. I’m hoping something else comes up in the fall, even if I’m traveling without Colin, but nothing is firm.
So instead I’m looking forward to 2019 already.
I’m a planner. I love to look ahead and plan the next big thing. I struggle on living in the moment. So of course, I’m busy planning and researching trips for 2019 instead of focusing on whatever is happening this month or next month. When I saw that we could get the deal ($519-$580 r/t each) to Thailand for January and February 2019, I was really intrigued.
I started doing a little bit of research and realized there’s actually a lot about Thailand that I’d love to see and experience. I want to explore temples, give an elephant a bath, relax on the beach, take a Thai cooking class and shop the night markets. I love the idea of exploring more of SE Asia. I think Thailand would be reminiscent of my Vietnam trip, which was a blast. And I would love to experience all of that with Colin, as it’s something he has never done before. Plus, traveling in SE Asia is cheap which would be a nice change!
I also liked the idea of doing Ireland this year and then Thailand next year – so Europe and then Asia, not just heading back to Europe again. I like the thought of us having an international destination every year that’s a new experience for both of us. Is that too crazy to think we can cross off a brand new country every year? Maybe. We’d probably have to skip some years when we have local travel that comes up or if we’re saving up for something bigger or longer the next year. But I really like the sound of a new country every year for a little 10-14 day trip.
My fear about booking Thailand now is that it’s the first 2019 deal I’ve seen. There are likely going to be other ones and better ones. So if I grab this, I won’t be able to afford something else. And the trip is for early 2019, meaning I would want to fill the rest of the year with travel we probably can’t afford. Like I said, I’m a planner. So if I book this, I’ll struggle with wanting to book a bunch of other stuff that comes up.
So I’m kind of fence-y about Thailand. I love the idea of it and I think it would be an awesome trip for Colin and I to take. But if we let it go, I wouldn’t be heartbroken. Something else will come up.
When we were sitting in the log cabin this past weekend, I asked Colin where he wanted to go next year. He didn’t really have anywhere specific in mind. It is so cool to just have the whole world open to us. In 2019, we’re planning to stay in Vancouver for Christmas so we don’t have to budget for a flight to Toronto or use up those vacation days. So far, we don’t have any weddings to go to, houses to buy or any other commitments for our time or money. So 2019 is a blank slate. Colin can book off his vacation days whenever and I can leave with my remote work whenever. We just get to wait until that perfect flight deal comes up. Lucky us!
I’ve also been thinking about all of the awesome places I’ve been. It’s hard to remember all of the travel experiences that I’ve been lucky enough to have when I’m constantly seeing new countries pop up in my inbox or newsfeed and thinking about where I can go next. But man, I’ve been to a lot of places! Probably not a lot of places by travel blogger standards. But for someone who blogs about travel infrequently and does not make a living through my travels or my blog, I think I’m doing pretty good!
Before leaving high school, I had done a number of trips to the US and visited a few countries in the Caribbean. I also joined a family friend on a summer trip to the Philippines and South Korea. But things really ramped up once I graduated.
After my high school graduation, I went on a volunteer trip to the Dominican Republic for a month. This was one of those life changing trips that really opened my eyes to some harsh realities of the world. While my thoughts on voluntourism have changed since then, I think that trip definitely changed me for the better.
Still on a high from my DR trip, after first year university I went on another voluntourism trip. This time it was three weeks in Lima, Peru. And sadly, I didn’t make it to Cusco to see Machu Pichu.
2012 was the year that I think really defined traveling for me. 2012 was when I did my first solo trip to Europe. I was feeling directionless back home in Toronto for the summer and came across a great flight deal to Europe (about $400 r/t if I’m remembering correctly). It was the most amazing experience to see the sights of London, Paris, Nice, Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon and to be doing it all by myself. I learned a lot about travel and a lot about me. I also ended that summer with a surprise trip to the Bahamas with my family.
From there, I was off to the races. In 2013, I spent the summer on a service learning trip in Swaziland and did some traveling through South Africa. In October of that same year, I spent about a month in Australia, courtesy of a free ticket I won from Air Canada. Africa and Australia in the same year? Amazing!
And then in 2014, I studied abroad in Amsterdam for five months and really made the most of being in Europe. I visited London and Italy a number of times. And also traveled to Iceland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, and Hungary. Towards the end of my semester in Amsterdam, my mom visited and we traveled to Germany, Croatia, Montenegro and London (again) together.
In 2015, I was officially done with university and into my first real job working at Free The Children. With FTC, I traveled to China, which didn’t actually work out so well. Eventually, I’ll need to find my way back to China and make peace with the motherland. In 2015, we also had a family trip to the Dominican Republic, a girls trip to San Francisco and my first trip with Colin to NYC.
2017 was a bit of a slower year travel-wise. Well, actually, we went to Mexico twice last year, and I had never been to Mexico before. Too funny since Mexico is a common travel destination for Canadians and Americans. But for me, it was the 32nd country I had visited. We also had our trip to San Francisco to see Hamilton and our train trip down the coast through Oregon and California. So we didn’t leave North America, but we still did quite a bit travel-wise!
And now we have 2018. We’ve got Phoenix in March, Ireland (my 33rd country!) in April and I have Hawaii in June. So already, it’s set to be an awesome travel year. And who knows what else might sneak in there?
The last eight years of travel have been amazing. Even farther back, including my Caribbean travels, US trips and time in the Philippines and Korea, make the last 12+ years of travel amazing. My whole life has been some amazing traveling! I know I’m so lucky and it’s important for me to look back and appreciate everything I’ve seen, done and experienced.
But I still can’t help to look ahead and wonder where I get to go next!
Where are you headed next?