Looking Forward: Travel Dreams for 2012

 Happy New Year everyone!  It’s officially 2012, which means that even though it’s just a regular day–much like yesterday and the day before that–people all over the world are reflecting upon the past year and looking forward to the new one.  Of course, many of them are doing that with a wicked hangover, but still.  My point is that it is time for both reflection and planning (and, if you live in Pennsylvania Dutch country, pork and sauerkraut).

As I look over my past travels, I too wonder where this year will take me.  My plan for this year is to take more travel risks, visit more varied locations, and take full advantage of the second half of my year-long leave of absence (and of shoulder season fare sales!)  Thus, my 2012 travel wish list includes many domestic destinations as well as several international locales.  Will I get to all of these places?  Probably not.  But I will forever have more places I want to go than time or money to visit them.  And that’s fine with me.

In 2012, if at all possible, I would like to travel to…

Iceland.  Ideally during the summer solstice.  To drive the entire Ring Road.  My husband and I already chose this as our summer trip, but that may change for a number of reasons.  Stay tuned.

New Orleans.  A friend of mine is going there to run a marathon, and I think I’m going to join her (in New Orleans–not in the marathon!)  It seems like my kind of city–combining history with drinking.  Those are a few of my favorite things.

The Florida Keys, particularly Key West.  I’d like to fly into Miami, rent a car, and drive slowly to Key West, stopping overnight wherever I feel compelled.  I’d also like to not over plan this trip.  We’ll see how that goes!

Peru.  I’ve always wanted to visit Machu Picchu, and it seems that the best time of year to do that is late spring.  I don’t know when I’ll ever have the time in late spring again, so this year seems like my best option.

San Antonio.  This season’s Top Chef started out there, and it looks like a cool city.  From what little research I’ve done so far, it seems like it has a great food scene (and I love food), a lot of history (and I love history) and a quaint, walk-able downtown area (and I love quaint).  I’ve also never been to Texas, and San Antonio seems as good a place as any to start.

Seattle.  I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest, and if I can find a reasonable fare, I’m there.

San Francisco.  I keep saying that I’m going to visit my oldest friend in the world–and then I keep not doing it.  This spring, I’m going damnit.

Panama.  I’d really like to do a Panama canal cruise.  If I find one with a single supplement that I can handle, I’m there.  I already have my eye on one in April.

Barcelona.  I planned to visit in 2010 but then cut my Europe trip short.  I still really want to visit this city to enjoy the food and architecture.

Munich and Bavaria.  My obsession with King Ludwig II may require that I visit this part of the world–and soon.  I’m carrying around a book about Ludwig II’s life in my purse.  Not kidding.  I’ve also always wanted to see the Alps.

The Grand Canyon.  I’ve still never been here.  I will get there this year.  Yes, yes I will.

Niagara Falls.  See above.

Montreal.  My husband and I have planned to visit Montreal for the past two summers.  I’m saying screw it and going without him just as soon as the ice thaws.

Boston.  I only live 6 hours away, and I’ve never actually been there.  Well, I was there for a few hours maybe ten years ago, but that super doesn’t count.

Paris.  Yes, Paris.  I refuse to have a city beat me.  I’m going back damnit, and I’m going to have a better time.  As god as my witness.

I’d also love to see Norway by cruise ship, sail anywhere in the Caribbean (San Juan is of particular interest for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on), and generally be at sea as much as possible.  A transatlantic cruise would be super–particularly one specific one that leaves from San Juan and sails to Spain (and is very reasonably priced–I’m not sure why I’ve not booked it yet!)  I also really like trains, so a train tour of Great Britain would be nice, too (particularly if I can find a crazy low spring fare like I found last year but couldn’t use).  And the possibility always exists that I’ll just get in my car and drive in a direction for several hours.  I’ve not been anywhere in over a month, and I’m starting to go a bit crazy!

So–what do you think of my 2012 travel dream list?  Which places should I make a priority?  Which places should I scrap?  And what’s on your own list?



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