After a fairly dull and UK-based 2014, this year has been a good year for me and travel. I’ve been on 6 trips outside England, 2 for work and 4 for pleasure, covered 5 countries, 3 of them new ones for me, attended the TBEX travel blogger conference, found a new spiritual home in Budapest and ticked off my bucket list location of Plitvice National Park. Not too shabby. But of course I always have new countries and new adventures in mind! Of course time, available annual leave and money are always a challenge, but here’s what’s on my travel wishlist for 2016.
The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights have always been a bucket list dream of mine, and this year could be the last one in a while where I have a decent shot at seeing them. I found out from my friend Emma that due to the cycles of the sun, the Lights go through periods of intensity, and are therefore easier to see at some times than others. The Lights hit this cycle’s peak in 2013, and after 2016 they will be be significantly weaker for at least 8 years before they approach their next peak. Reykjavik is a possible base city for catching a glimpse, but my dream experience would be to stay in one of the glass igloos at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland. Might need to save up a bit for that though…
Slovenia is still pretty up-and-coming in terms of mass tourism, and I’m keen to get there before the crowds really swoop in. The capital, Ljubljana, looks adorable, and I’d really like to hit the lakes in May/June time. One thing I’ve never done before and really want to try is solo travel, and Slovenia feels like a good place to try it out. It’s in Europe, fairly cheap, small enough to cover several major locations in a short space of time, and is rated as a very safe country for solo travel. Flights from the UK aren’t currently that regular, so I’m considering adding a couple of nights in Prague or Zagreb onto my trip to open up some more flight dates.
Did you know you can get flights from London to New York for under £300 now? This year Norwegian Airlines started doing Gatwick-JFK flights from just £149 each way – what a time to be alive! I’ve been to New York a couple of times in my life but only ever with family and way under 21, so I feel like it’s time to go back and rediscover the city as an adult of legal drinking age. I’m really not a fan of long haul flights for short stays, so I’d definitely commit to at least a week and spend some time in Boston as well.
An Irish Wedding
Travel is all about experiences, and I have a feeling this will be one of the most memorable experiences of my year! Two of my good friends who I met in Noosa while travelling up the east coast of Australia are getting married after almost 10 years together, and I’m lucky enough to have been invited to the wedding. The date is yet to be set but it’s looking like summer 2016, and I can’t wait to see what goes down at an Irish wedding. Knowing the couple, it will be one of the best piss-ups I’ve ever been to…
Me with the happy couple (far left and right).
What’s on your travel wishlift for 2016? Have you already got some trips planned? Let me know in the comments!