Thursday, January 25, 2018

2018 Travel Goals & Then Some...

Hi Friends! Happy Thursday! I hope that you are having a lovely week! The weather here is ALL over the place.. and my allergies are feeling it. Otherwise it's a decent week, if not a bit busy!

This year may be kind of an odd one. We are planning to buy a house, or at least look for one. We're not in a hurry to move, so we'll see how it goes. Things at my office seem more unstable than ever, so you never know how that will go... Not to mention some lingering things from last year, and some continued medical stuff for me. Bleh! 

BUT I am trying to focus on fun things.. like reading, scrapbooking, and TRAVEL! :) 

KC and I discussed our ideal amounts of travel in a year, and within that the ideal range of trips, it's yielded these ideas, but no real plans have been made just yet. I'm hopeful to travel more than last year, but less than 2016.

Here's what we have "planned":

Winter Road Trip:

image via Pinterest

We like being able to travel within the first few months of the year, it gives us something to look forward to right off the bat. We typically aim for a road trip so we don't have to deal with the possible travel woes of cancelled flights, etc. Plus it is cheaper to take a long weekend somewhere close!

This year we are considering Bentonville, Arkansas. Sounds random, but I have wanted to go for ages and check out their art museum! They also have so many lovely shops there and in nearby Fayetteville! Another option is to make the quick trip to Pioneer Woman's Mercantile in Oklahoma OR an old favorite of ours: Elves Manor in St. Louis. So we'll see how it goes! :) 

See our trips to St. Louis April 2011 & February 2014 - we love staying at Elves Manor! (that 2011 post has BABY pictures of me and KC! :P)

Summer Cruise:

image via Pinterest
Ever since our cruise to Canada in 2013, KC has really wanted to take another cruise. I know that my in-laws love the heat and being near the water. We asked KC's sister and her husband if they'd like to go on a cruise... and they did want to! SO we are working to get something planned for this summer! This time we will be going somewhere in the Caribbean, which will be new for me. Likely much too hot, but that's ok! I really do love being in and near the ocean when it is actually warm enough to get in. Right now my top choice is Cuba... because you guys, CUBA! But I'd be happy getting to be in the ocean just about anywhere. The draw of Cuba is definitely the cultural element. I don't want to go somewhere that feels like a resort, or like I'm just there to have a good time in a cheaper country... if that makes sense. I'd like to explore the culture with local guides, and learn things as well! If we do go to Cuba, Airbnb has a lot of "Experiences" in Havana. I'd be interested in doing those vs. cruise line excursions. Cooking in a Cuban kitchen? Yes, please! Salsa with local dancers? Sign me up! :) A tour with a local? So much better than a tour bus!

If we go, I will definitely brush up on my (rusty) Spanish and do a lot of reading on Cuba's history. I find doing (even a little) research before travel really helps me understand places we are visiting, and I firmly believe that that is what travel is all about: learning about the world, it's history, and the people living within it.

I also have a soft spot for Dirty Dancing Havana Nights. (I have no illusions that the trip will be like the movie, I just enjoy watching it.)  :) 

Late Summer Road Trip:

via Pinterest
This may depend on the possibility of moving into/purchasing a house not long before this... but we've been talking about a September road trip out to Charleston, SC. We LOVE NOLA (obviously!), we really liked Savannah so we've been wanting to go to Charleston for a few years! We also haven't been a ton of the places in between. I've never been to Kentucky (we've driven through...), we've never been to North Carolina. Etc. I'd LOVE to meet up with a few of you in Louisville if it works out, and then spend a bit of time in Asheville, NC, and visiting our friend Emy in Columbia, SC before making it to Charleston. It should still be warm enough for getting into the ocean in September, so that is the main reason behind the time of year. Of course since things are not planned yet, we could end up doing this in April, or just flying. You never know! Our friends Brittany & Tyler, that went to NOLA with us last spring, said that they (and their sweet baby Ada!) would like to go to Charleston too, so we may meet them there!

Visiting Friends!

We try to visit our far away friends on our travels. We visited Mariana & Eric in California in 2016, and they now live in Seattle. Though we've been to Seattle, it could be fun to go again, and certainly to see them. If the stars aligned I'd love to visit British Columbia again while we're up there. Maybe go up to Vancouver or back to Victoria. Or maybe South to Portland, OR. We've got options.

Also depending on time and budget, it could be fun to visit Brittany and Tyler (& Ada!) in Boston. We've been meaning to for such a long time! Fall would be the ideal time of year to go!

We've also talked about visiting Juliet & Dustin in Taiwan. Which is more of a time and money commitment, but would be such a great opportunity.

Further into the Future!

We are definitely still hoping to make it to Europe, but it will likely just depending on timing and budget. So much of travel is dependent upon flight deals and days that can be taken off work, so we try to be more and more flexible every year!

What are your travel plans this year?

Have you been to any of these places? If so, I'd love your recommendations!



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