Dream Destinations and Actual Travel Plans for 2018
One of the best parts about the year ending, is reflecting on just what the new year will bring. Particularly in terms of travel.
I’ve been writing these roundups for a couple of years now. When I first started, I was living in the UK. This was a round up of places that I’d probably legitimately end of travelling to over be course of twelve months.
Now I write them simply because I must sincerely enjoy torturing myself.
This is because Australia is about the worst place you can move to if you wish to travel internationally often. I’d say it’s third to Antarctica and New Zealand, in that order.
If you want a breakdown in comparison – in 2016 I visited 21 countries. In 2017, I hit up three on my one holiday abroad. Which is fine. I had a lovely time and I know it is almost sacrilegious to write such a thing on a “travel” blog, but I was happy to have a bit of a break from travelling.
Plus coming home from three years spent overseas forced me to sit up and look at things that I’d long neglected.
There are so many places I would like to visit, but there are other things I want desperately out of life, too. Like, owning a piece of real estate in my overly expensive home country one day. Having a proper garden. Coming home one day to a pet dog (omg, I want a dog so badly) and chickens. Not having to pick up and move every twelve months or less.
This is all tempting stuff. And if life teaches one anything… you can’t have it all. Maybe a little bit from column A and a bit from column B, if you’re lucky.
But, for now? Well, my feet are a bit itchy. I’ve got a couple of concrete trips planned and beyond that, a handful more places that I’d like to visit. Here are some of them.
Thanks to Australian carrier Jetstar’s epic 13th birthday sale earlier this year, I managed to nab super cheap flights to Bangkok return, in February.
This will be my first time in not only Thailand, but the entire region of SE Asia (yeah. I’m a living, breathing Australian who has never been to Bali. Zero regrets from this gal).
I’m not entirely sure of plans yet, but I’m hoping to spend a couple of days in Bangkok before heading to an island to soak up some sun on the beach – something I don’t get to do regularly (read: at all) in Melbourne. Suggestions are welcome!
Perth’s been pretty high on my “must-visit” list for some time now. It’s the only capital city in Australia that I’m yet to step foot in and I’d love to tick them all off my imagined list.
It also seems like half my friendship group hail from the place and I’ve heard enough both good and questionable things to refuel my intent to finally visit the country’s most isolated city.
I would be doubly happy for 2018 to be the year I visit NZ for the first time in my life (I know), mostly so I can stop feeling crap about the fact I’ve never been there.
I’ll admit, I never really had any burning desire to visit Australia’s biggest neighbour in the past. If I was going to take time off work, I wanted to go further afield – mostly to America or Europe, not somewhere that seemed like it was a cooler version of Australia (I mean in both general attitude and actual temperature, there).
Yet there’s no denying that New Zealand is a beautiful place and considering how quick it is to fly there (it takes more time to fly to Perth from Sydney or Melbourne), added with the occasional bargain of a flight… I can’t think of a single reason not to go (and it would have to be to the South Island, for sure. My mind is already made up on that!).
I’ve long wanted to visit an island in the South Pacific and spending time in Hawai’i this year has convinced me that this would be a Very Good Idea. Fiji is still high on my list, along with Vanuatu.
The only problem with the South Pacific islands, is they seem like they are very much a “couples destination”. I’m not entirely sure if I’m into that. Yet, I’ve heard accounts from others who have ventured there alone and a good time was seemingly had by all.
Lord Howe Island
If you were to ask me where in the world I would most like to go, I’d answer with “Greenland” and then “Lord Howe Island”.
This is a small island off the coast of my home state New South Wales and it looks like paradise. It also costs the same to travel to as a flight to Europe would, upward of $1000 AUD return, with Qantas.
The only way I can justifiably imagine this happening, would be to pay for part of the flight with frequent flyer points. My main goal for this year (along with buying a car) is to amass enough points to make this dream a reality. We’ll see how this goes.
Once I do get my car (I’ve tried to make public transport in Australia work, but I just can’t take it anymore. It’s doing my head in), I would love to start seeing more of the state I’m living in.
Victoria is full of historic towns, sprawling mountain ranges, beautiful national parks and most importantly, top-notch vineyards. Plus, it’s tiny as far as Australian states go, meaning much of the region can be seen in weekend or even day trips.
Australia is so expensive to travel in, that any chance to save a bit of dosh should be seized upon eagerly.
I’m not surprised that Alaska made it onto Lonely Planet’s best regions to visit in 2018. I’ve already wanted to visit for awhile now (due to the ongoing obsession with places that are cold and have crappy weather) and wish I’d done so sooner.
I love travelling to the USA and have done so every year for the last five now. Having ticked off some of the more popular states, Alaska is one of many others that have started to pique my interest, along with Wyoming, Montana and Maine.
It’d be radical to visit all fifty states one day, probably an ambitious plan for an Australian, but it’s good to have goals in life.
I’ve been to Wales once – a whirlwind weekend trip to Cardiff for a travel conference in early 2016. It wasn’t enough time to take the city, let alone the country in and I’ve been intrigued by Wales ever since.
It definitely gets overlooked, when paired up against Scotland or England and I’m not really sure why… Northern Wales in particular looks like a dream to visit. High on my list of Welsh experiences is poking around the secondhand bookstores of Hay-on-Wye and a day spent at the seaside, preferably in the rain.
I’d be pretty lucky to make it to more than a small handful of these places (I made it to 2/7 on my list last year) but who knows what the next twelve months will bring. Which is certainly one of the joys of life – you never know where it’s going to take you.
What are your travel plans for 2018?
PS. If you’re interested…