Being a travel blogger, finding new places to lust after is forever high up on my agenda. I wrote a travel bucket list a couple of years ago, which gave me a good excuse to start saving. I’ve been lucky enough to tick a few of those off since, and now I’m well and truly bitten by the travel bug. I’ve pulled together my ultimate travel list for 2018 with the hope that it is useful or inspiring to anyone else looking to make 2018 the year of travel.
Without wanting to sound too emo, after a hectic year, I’m asking myself ‘If not now, when?’ on an almost daily basis. I’ve made a four year long dream into a reality, going self employed back in April. My main motivation for this move has always been to have more time to see the world. Being as impatient as I am, twenty two days holiday a year when in full time employment, just wasn’t going to cut it for me.
So now it begins. I’m working hard, saving like mad, and booking in as many trips as I possibly can. Marc and I are talking about doing a three month working holiday next winter, so fingers crossed that becomes a reality…
I must stress, this is a wish list, and if I’m lucky enough to tick off any of these dream destinations, I’ll be a very happy travel blogger indeed.
Long Haul Travel 2018
I’ve not done nearly enough long haul trips, sticking mainly to Europe in my travels so far. This is the year I’m breaking that habit. Here are some of the destinations on my hitlist…
Cape Town, South Africa
Starting with a bit of a cheat, we’re actually heading out to Cape Town in three weeks time with Marc’s sister and her husband. We’ve got loads planned in with a couple of Airbnb’s in the Waterfront and Camps Bay areas. We’re hiking up Table Mountain, skydiving, and getting pampered at One&Only Spa. We’re planning sunset yoga on the beach, and a visit to the Cape of Good Hope, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.
We’re spending a night in Simon’s Town so we can visit the penguins at Boulders Beach, and we also have two nights booked at the beautiful La Cotte Cottage in Stellenbosch wine region. It’s a short walk from the wine tram that you can hop on and off to visit the different wineries (!) and we’ve read that the average cost of a tasting is £1.20. It’s fair to say that of everything we have planned, we are most excited about this part of the trip.
I’m sure I’ll have a couple of blog posts coming with an itinerary, and places we stayed for anyone interested.
After visiting ten years ago (how has it been that long?) with my family, another visit to California has been long on my travel wish list. Travelling from San Fransisco to Yosemite Valley, then on to Big Sur, and straight down the coast to LA and Orange County beyond. I’d give Vegas a miss next time around, and instead spend a night or two in the incredible Yosemite National Park, which is probably my favourite place I’ve ever been (so far). Well worth a visit for the jaw-dropping scenery that instantly makes you feel tiny. Mother Nature at her finest.
After going on and on about how incredible California is, I’ve finally worn down Marc who hasn’t set foot on USA soil since 9/11 (he was in NYC on holiday at the time and got caught up in it). So when Thomas Cook Airlines did a promotion a few months back, we managed to get direct return flights from Manchester to San Fran, for £300 per person. Tip: sign up to Jack’s Flight Club who send out weekly emails with the best flight deals around. We’ve booked two trips off the back of one of these emails and they really do all of the scouring for you.
Byron Bay, Australia
I’m yet to go to Australia, and i’m determined to rectify that this year. I have developed a slight obsession with Byron Bay and Bangalow in-particular, and the Instagram account fully responsible is that of Courtney Adamo. She is one of the ladies behind Babyccino Kids and documented her family gap year on the blog Somewhere Slower. The whole family (5 children and husband) have set down roots in Byron and I watch their IG stories all the time, lusting after their idyllic outdoorsy lifestyle of after school surfing and ice creams, whole weekends spent at the beach and farmers markets, and hanging out with other equally cool families. I basically want Michael and Courtney to adopt me and to re-live my childhood in Byron Bay as an Adamo kid.
Alternatively, I’d like to go to Byron on holiday, do a day trip to Nimbin and get stoned to the bone.
Yoga Retreat, Thailand
I’m eight days in (at the time of writing this) to Adriene’s 30 day yoga challenge, and I’m already feeling the benefits. I’ve had a really calm start to the year, I’ve not set myself any punishing goals like 6am gym classes or salad only diets. I’m for once, going easy on myself, and feeling a lot better for it. I’m putting it down to the yoga and now I think I’m ready for my Eat, Pray, Love moment. I think I want to do a solo yoga retreat in Thailand. I love the idea of going off on my own (not something I’ve ever done before) and meeting other people there. A week of eating well, being bendy and trying new things like Reiki, and Ayurvedic massages, sounds like a dream.
There are some really cool retreats listed in this article: ‘Yoga Retreats You Can Actually Afford‘.
Sidenote: I think we can all be too hard on ourselves, pushing to do more, achieve more, set bigger goals, etc. and it’s easy to forget to just be nice to ourselves. I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s podcast, where she talks about treating yourself like a small child (sounds weird but she explains it well). You wouldn’t berate a small child all the time, so stop beating yourself up, and give yourself permission to just be.
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
I’m hearing lots of wonderful things about this city, and I’d love to book in a trip for late this year. I know there’s so much history and nature to take in, but I think the main draw for me is the food and the spas. I’d love to spend a couple of weeks in Vietnam, just taking in the atmosphere and eating everything in sight.
Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia
White powdered sugar beaches, palm trees, and crystal blue waters. I’d love a few days on this tiny island, reading and sunbathing. If we do manage to get ourselves organised for a working holiday next winter, this tiny island is firmly on the hitlist. It’s more peaceful than the party island Koh Rong, and although the accommodation on the island is very basic, I think a few days would be incredibly peaceful.
European City Breaks to do in 2018
I love a city break, and am always the first to suggest we go when there’s £30 return flights to somewhere new. I love Lisbon, Copenhagen, Berlin and Amsterdam, as they are awesome to visit all year round basically. But this year I’m craving the sun.
Southern Spain stays warm well into November, and averages 17 degrees C in March. I’d love a long weekend in Granada in late March, visiting the Alhambra and maybe a day of skiing in the Sierra Nevada. It’s a short and cheap flight from Manchester to Malaga, and renting a car is probably easiest so you can do a trip to the mountains too.
Another great place to visit in autumn or early spring, Puglia tends to stay above 15 degrees C until mid November, so is the place to go for a mini break before the long, cold British winter really sets in. Bari, the capital of the region is a beautiful old port town, with stacks of history and culture to soak up.
I would love to know if anyone has been to any of these places and can recommend things to do/see/eat. Particularly Cape Town as we’re heading there at the end of the month. If you know of anywhere else that should be on my travel blogger radar, please do let me know!
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