When it comes to travel, I’m a big dreamer. I love reading travel blogs, following travel photographers, and Pinterest browsing destinations. Three months into this new year, I’ve finally put together my travel plans, hopes & dreams for 2017. I thought I’d share my list and why I hope to visit these places this year, and perhaps inspire others to dream towards the horizon.
This tiny island of Indonesia is home to the largest lizard on Earth, the Komodo dragon. The island of Komodo is only 150 square miles, and is entirely a national park. To get to the island, we’d have to fly to neighboring Flores, and take a four hour boat to the park island. In addition to the deadly and fascinating dragons, Komodo has beautiful beaches and some great diving/snorkeling sites. As we currently call Indonesia home, I’m hoping to branch further out this year in my Indonesia travels, and Komodo looks like an amazing place to start.
This is another Indonesian island I’m hoping to visit this year. It’s off the beaten path, out of the tourist track, and full of natural beauty. Clear turquoise waters and white sand beaches create the perimeter of this 4,000 square mile island in southeast Indonesia. I love experiencing the tourist sites that Indonesia has to offer, but I also love seeing what’s unknown and less traveled. Here’s hoping to seeing less discovered Indonesia this year!
Seoul, South Korea
Bright lights, big Asian city. That’s really I pictured about Seoul when I imagined it in my mind. I’ve had friends travel through there, but nothing about the place really stuck in my mind, other than it’s the capital of South Korea. Then when we began searching for flights back to the States this year, a well priced flight through popped up with a long Seoul layover and I began to take another look at this South Korean mega city. And I got quite excited. Seoul is a beautiful blend of ancient & modern, urban & natural, trendy & classic. The more research I do about this city, and all it has to offer, the more I look forward to visiting.
My fascination with Tokyo has developed by proxy. My younger sister has been mildly obsessed with all things Tokyo for as long as I can remember. She’s never been, but holds the culture in her heart. So when the same amazing flight that would take us through Seoul, would also take us through Tokyo, I immediately asked her for advice on what to see and do in the city. Tokyo is a city alive that never sleeps. If I could just sit in a character cafe, eat fresh sushi and ramen, my trip to Tokyo would be complete. But there’s just SO MUCH TO SEE in this urban metropolis. Here’s to 24 hours of sensory overload.
Amber Cove, Dominican Republic
While we are home in the States during the Fall 2017, my family is planning a Thanksgiving Caribbean cruise. One of the perks of living in Florida…we get cheaper cruise tickets, and live close to ports! The route we’ve chosen takes us through some beautiful spots, like Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. This spot in the DR was specifically crafted to be a Carnival cruise port of call, which is interesting. While I’m sure the $85 million development is indeed lovely, I also hope to travel the surrounding areas of see more of the Dominican landscape, especially Puerto Plata, which was used as a filming location for the first Jurassic Park film! A cruise can be limited way to experience the culture of a location, but hopefully we can be resourceful and creative to get the most out of each spot.
Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos
Another cruise stop in paradise! If we could do one thing in Grand Turk, it’ll be snorkeling. While living in Bali, I’ve gotten so much more adventurous in the water, and I know this spot is famous for it’s underwater beauty. Hopefully, we’ll get to glimpse the underwater paradise as well as it’s on shore beauty. Apparently Grand Turk is credited as the location of Christopher Columbus’ first landfall in the new world, as well as nearby where John Glenn’s inaugural orbiting Friendship 7 rocket came to land. It’s sure to be an interesting stop.
Half Moon Cay & Nassau, Bahamas
Could any location in the world conjure more paradise fantasies than the Bahamas? OK, maybe Bali. It’s just that the Bahamas is synonymous with paradise, vacation, holiday, and beautiful beaches. Our cruise would make two stops in this 700 island archipelago nation. One at Half Moon Cay on Little San Salvador Island, which is a popular port of call for many cruise lines. But we’ll also make a stop in Nassau, which is the capital city of the Bahamas. Hopefully this where we can get a taste of the local culture and island life.
This nation has suddenly become quite the travel destination. Since President Obama reopened relationship with Cuba, allowing US citizens to travel with more ease, tourists & travel bloggers have been flocking to this island nation. Someone once asked me why I wanted to visit Cuba so badly. I think it’s because it’s still a nation frozen in time. Living for 60 years under US sanctions dramatically halted the modernization of this island, which has resulted in a time capsule like feeling for modern travelers. I grew up in central Florida, with an influence of Cuban culture all around me. I’d love to see Havana and it’s modern past before the high rise hotels come in.
Places I’m Revisiting This Year
In April, it’s back to Singapore for 2 days as we do some paperwork and eat really good food. This will be our third time in Singapore, and we are starting to find our favorite places to eat & shop. Looking forward to another quick trip to this modern & efficient city nation.
Hanoi & HaLong Bay, Vietnam
Last year, we visited Vietnam for the first time, and had to purchase a one year visa when we did. And we fell in love with the country in a way we were not expecting. So, in April, we are traveling back to Hanoi in northern Vietnam and cruising HaLong Bay as well! I’m looking forward to traveling through Vietnam again.
Home sweet home, land that I love. We will be back in the States for a few months year, including for the holidays. Can’t wait.
Where are you planning or hoping to travel in 2017?