Since I never managed to post trip reports from Speyside, Killarney, Munich, or Iceland, it seems a bit odd to kick of 2017 by telling you what my travel wish list for the year is. After all, if these past five months are any indication, even if we do any of these trips in 2017, I probably won’t get around to writing about it. On the other hand, that’s a pretty good sign that we’re off exploring and enjoying ourselves … so that’s good too. (While I may have been a terrible blogger the latter half of the year, I did manage to keep my Instagram feed up to date so you can always check it out to see what – and where – we’re up to.)
This past year we crossed two major bucket list items off – seeing the northern lights in Iceland and walking in the torchlight processional in Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival. I’m hoping 2017 gives us the chance to check a few more items off the list. Our visa is set to expire in at the end of August but we’re hoping to extend for another year. If we don’t/can’t, the hope is we take a month off before the big move back home and do a huge European trip by train. If we do extend, there are a number of places we’ll add to the list. It really just all depends on how things play out with Alan’s contract. But let’s not talk about that because thinking about leaving Ireland is depressing and this is supposed to be a fun, happy post.
So without further ado … here is my 2017 Travel Wish List
Prague (January 2017)
Photo courtesy of Prague Travel
This weekend trip – to celebrate our 21 years together – is already booked and it’s one I’m really looking forward to. I know a number of people who have visited Prague in both summer and winter and all things being equal, I’m more excited about seeing it with the possibility of snow and cold winter days. Because the dollar goes so far in Prague, we were able to book the Four Seasons for the first time and so I’m looking forward to a stay there as well.
Photo courtesy of Pedro Szekely
We definitely want to see Greece this year. We’re thinking a stopover in Athens and then a handful of days in Mykynos and Santorini. If you have any recommendations, we’d love to hear them. Based on the travel seasons and the weather, I’m thinking May would be a good time to go but am open to suggestions. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo courtesy of Saffron Blaze
Yup, we still want to walk The Cotswolds Way. Unfortunately, this is one I don’t know is realistic. Last year I looked into a five night trip, but then we did a huge hike in Killarney National Park for my birthday and ever since then I’ve been suffering with a hip flexor issue, so I’m not sure going on a walking tour through the English countryside is a great idea, but I figure if we went on one of the shorter ones we could make it work. Especially since I can traipse through a city like Edinburgh for hours on end and generally be okay. This one will take some extra planning through to make happen. I found a really great 5 night / 4 day tour where the biggest day is a 10-mile trek, which is right around where things start to become a bit twingy, so I should be able to manage.
Photo courtesy of Cruise Critic
This one was on last year’s list too so it’s no surprise to see it pop up again. The problem now is that I’m torn on it. I really, really, really want to see all the places on the itinerary – especially St. Petersburg – but I’m torn on the whole Russia thing, especially knowing what we know about Putin and his meddling with the election. (I’m still very bitter over how that all turned out, in case you were wondering.) World affairs being what they are, I don’t even know if they’d allow us off the boat when we arrived. Then again, Trump and Putin are BFFs so who’s to say what would happen. On the one hand, I hate the idea of giving any money to Russia, but on the other, I want to see the beauty of St. Petersburg. So … we’ll see I guess. There’s always the possibility of doing long weekends in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Olso, and Talinn without this cruise.
Photo courtesy of K is for Kani
This one is a bit of a wild card addition to the list. If you had asked me two years ago if I’d be excited about visiting there, I probably would have shrugged and muttered something about wanting to see it all, but a number of people I know visited this past year and I admit to being intrigued by their photos and descriptions, especially activities on Lake Bled and Ljubljana. Add in the fact that it’s a fairly quick flight from Dublin (plus my understanding that it’s not that expensive), and you’ve got the ingredients for a fantastic long weekend.
We’re not too picky here when it comes to which one, but I’m thinking either Tuscany or Bordeaux. The fact of the matter is, we used to visit Sonoma up to six times a year and we’re really Jonseing for rolling hills of grapes and conversations with winemakers about their craft. The problem I foresee is the conversations part since we’re not exactly fluent in Italian or French. Hell, we’re not exactly conversant either. That said, I have friends back in the U.S. who have arranged their own driving tours through the Tuscan countryside and I’d probably just replicate one of those, especially since we followed one of their advice back in 2006 and stayed in a lovely, tiny b&b in Florence with a direct view onto the Duomo. Between Italian and French wines, I think I like Italian better (I’m a sucker for Sangiovese and Amarone), but I really want to learn more about French wines. Such a horrible conundrum to have.
We also want to visit somewhere warm and tropical, but we’re really struggling with where and how. In theory, The Maldives sounds fantastic for our 15th wedding anniversary (especially since we got married in Hawaii and a return to the tropics would be a nice nod to that), but I just don’t know about the long flight. Everytime I start to wonder if this would be something worthwhile, I find myself on Hand Luggage Only ogling their photos and thinking “Yes, yes I would.”
And of course, it goes without saying that we’ll do as much traveling in and around Ireland as we can. We definitely want to hit up the Antrim Coast, Mayo, Donegal, and Sligo so I foresee many future closer-to-home weekends away as well. (Hopefully we’ll have more visitors this year who we can show around as well.)
So tell me, where are you looking forward to traveling in 2017? If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, I recommend you check out the link-up hosted by Adventures of a London Kiwi, Follow Your Sunshine, and SilverSpoon London. And don’t be shy – you can even add your own travel wish list to the mix.