Consider this our 2019 bucket list.
Although we’re a small group, 2018 took us far and wide, to 6 continents on trains, planes, boats, cars, and on our own two feet. While we can’t travel as much as we’d like to (we have books to publish and a website to run, people!), when we do travel, we always try to make it count. Here are the trips we’re looking forward to (and daydreaming about!) for 2019.
As a travel editor, I find inspiration every day at work, editing stories and reading reviews of wonderful and fascinating places all over the world. But for me, the biggest inspiration is our annual Go List—I think about it and look forward to it all year, and this year, I think we’ve come up with an especially dreamy list. While I don’t have any travels planned just yet (apart from a few weddings, I’m 30), it’s fun to think about the places I’d like to go. In fact, it’s one of my favorite pastimes.
I haven’t seen much of Africa at all, and I’m especially enamored with West Africa—specifically Ghana, Senegal, and the islands—Cape Verde, Sao Tome, and Principe, and this archipelago I found on Google Maps called Parque Nacional Marinho João Vieira e Poilão in Guinea-Bissau.
But perhaps number one on my list for 2019 is Oman. To me, there is something over-the-top, sublime, and Romantic with a capital R about the Middle East, which I also think is one of the most misunderstood regions in the world. The architecture, the landscapes, the food, the smells, and the indefatigable Middle Eastern hospitality make this a place I can’t get enough of. Oman seems to have it all—incredible craggy mountains and white sand beaches, a unique seafood-focused cuisine, and some chic and understated (a rarity in the Middle East) hotels at which I’m longing to luxuriate while wearing a caftan. But first I have to figure out how to get there.
30th Birthday Celebrations
My friends and I are all turning 30 this year, so there are a lot of group celebratory birthday trips in the works. Vegas? Greece? Switzerland? All of the above? Nothing is finalized yet, and the list keeps growing.
I will be traveling to Japan in late 2019 for the Rugby World Cup which runs from September 20th to November 2nd. I’ve had this trip planned in my head for a few years and I am soooo excited to actually start solidifying details. I’ve never been to Japan and having events to plan around–i.e., Ireland winning the semi-final and Ireland winning the final–helps focus my time, itinerary, and even my wardrobe (all green!).
I’ve always been turned off by the crowds of Angkor Wat even though I’m so wistful looking to see it in photos. But this year, we published an insider’s introductory guide that had incredible tips and tricks for really enjoying the temple complex which consistently ranks in the top of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now I feel like I can do it properly and without losing my mind in throngs–and I finally have a great camera to capture all that gorgeous light.
I’m headed to Bolivia in January! The salt flats there, which are like giant never-ending mirrors from another planet, have been on my bucket list forever. I’ll also be catching my breath in La Paz, the city that touches the sky, and venturing out to the Atacama Desert. The trip will be led by small-group adventure tour operator Intrepid Travel, who I’m really excited about because they’re dedicated to sustainable travel and authentic local experiences.
The Christmas Markets
I haven’t made up my mind yet where I’ll be going in 2019, but I’m looking seriously at Egypt, Switzerland, and China. And I’m trying to put together a group for a Christmas markets river cruise on the Rhine.
Snowboarding in Canada
I make it a habit to do my first multi-day snowboarding trip in January of every year. This year, I’m heading to Washington state and Canada to do some backcountry riding in the Cascade Range and North Shore Mountains. After that, I’ll be spending a few days in Seattle, where I’ll be visiting my favorite farm-to-table dining spots.
Ecuador and More
My best friend is teaching English with the Peace Corps and I am sick of hearing about the beautiful mountains, mysterious jungle, and bustling city of Quito over Skype. I’m way too jealous not to go check out this place for myself. I’m also going to Brühl, Germany to visit a friend who is–brace yourselves–working as an ice skating performer at a theme park called Phantasialand and living in a 13th-century monastery. I can’t decide if I actually believe it either, so I am going over to investigate in person like any real friend would.
West Coast Road Trip
Next year I don’t want to go very far, but I want to see a lot and travel often. I want to go up and down the West Coast, to offbeat destinations in Southern California and up through Northern California to Seattle. I’d also love to go back to Oregon, at some point. I’d like to visit Austin, Texas–I’ve just never been there is all. Also, I want to see mummies. So, if anyone has a suggestion as to where I can see some good mummies, please email me. I’m serious. Next year, I want to stay close to my home base while still covering a ton of ground. Unless there are mummies somewhere. I’ll go wherever. Unrelated, I want to go to Berlin. No reason.
The Great Northern
Next year, I’d like to go to Washington state. I’ve never been to Washington, or the Pacific Northwest for that matter. I currently live in Southern California and while I do love the weather here, the CONSTANT warmth and lack of seasons can be a little maddening at times. I grew up in Appalachia and from time-to-time, I miss nature. I miss dark clouds. I miss falling asleep to the sound of rain hitting the pavement outside my window. The flight to my home state of West Virginia from Los Angeles does not come cheap. However, there are certainly more financially-manageable flights to the much-closer, equally-wooded Evergreen State. Also, as a big Twin Peaks fan, I’d like to visit “The Great Northern” and just really immerse myself in the region’s atmospheric environment.