It’s that time of year!!!
It’s always super exciting looking at a fresh year and dreaming about where I’m going to go. Looking back at 2017, I’m pretty stoked that I managed to get to 6 of my top 10 Places I’m Dying to Visit in 2017. That is not a bad track record for turning wanderlust into reality!
So here are ten places that are fueling my wanderlust dreams right now. Are any of these on your list? Where are you dreaming of in 2018??
1. Dubrovnik & southern Croatia
My love of Croatia is well-documented, but I’ve only been in the northern parts—the charming hill towns of Istria and the stunning waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park. I’ve never experienced the multicolored blue water and red roofs of Dubrovnik’s walled-in buildings, or the whole long coastline and islands that Croatia somehow lucked out with when Yugoslavia broke up. I have to find a way to visit this year!
2. Banff/Lake Louise
I mean, look at that water! I got a tiny taste of what Canada can offer in beautiful nature while driving the Sea-to-Sky Highway and visiting Whistler and Joffre Lakes in 2016. But they pale in comparison to the majesty of Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. The Canadian Rockies are just breathtaking, and it looks so peaceful. I picture myself driving and stopping for photos, hiking, and then cozying up with a cocktail by a fire in the evening.
3. The Oregon coast
Oregon has an embarrassment of riches, as far as U.S. tourist destinations go. Portland and the Willamette Valley were on my 2017 must-visit list, and our girls’ trip there over Memorial Day weekend was soooo much fun. Awesome wine and beer, delicious food, and beautiful waterfall hiking. I foresee a few more trips in my future, starting with the Oregon coast—with which I’ve developed an odd fascination.
I’m a sucker for the ocean in general, but the combination of dramatic cliffs and moody, chilly beaches (not to mention epic sunsets) is a winner for me. I feel like it’s a girls’ trip waiting to happen!
4. Prague (again)
Back on the inaugural annual parents’ trip, my mom and I visited Paris, Salzburg, Prague, and Sofia in an ambitious (and exhausting) 10 days. It was amazing—but meant that we only had about a day and a half in Prague. Now, *today* I could really see and do a ton in a day and a half, but back then I was still pretty new to traveling and so I don’t feel like I really did it justice. And I fell in love with this beautiful old city, its pointy little building details, rusty-red roofs, and suuuper delicious food. So I’ve been dying to get back and really explore!
Look at me almost 10 years ago…so young!!
5. Greek islands
Sadly I did not make it here in 2017 even though it was on my list, but I want to so much that it’s definitely going back on the list. The whitewashed buildings, bright blue roofs, azure water, amazing food, and happily-colored flowers of Greece’s islands have been calling to me and it’s time I answer that call.
Santorini and Mykonos get all the hype (and the crowds), but I’d love to maybe go to Oia, Crete, Corfu, or Zakynthos.
Where to begin?? To me, Iceland is just pure DRAMA. Black sand beaches. Crashing, misty waterfalls. Hexagonal basalt columns (a la the famous Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland). Steaming aqua lagoons. Rich green mossy landscape. And of course the Northern Lights during a big chunk of the year. So yeah, sign me up. The hardest part is figuring out what time of year to go…
7. One of the U.S. national parks
Yeah…this was on last year’s list too. Specifically, I said Zion National Park, and it’s still toward the top of the list for me. It’s just a shame that I haven’t been good about planning ahead for one of these destinations—and for the most part, they DO require planning ahead. Whether it’s the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, or Yosemite, housing options are at a premium during peak season so I’d better get a move on!
8. Talinn, Estonia
This featured on last year’s list, and I’m still fascinated by this former Soviet country. It has super interesting history, beautiful old forests, and its relatively small size makes it easy to see a lot in a short time. I’m hoping to maybe add it to another itinerary, since it’s just a ferry ride away from Stockholm or Helsinki and has easy access to Russia as well. It’s much more affordable than Scandinavian countries and even most other European countries, which is a bonus.
9. Vietnam, Thailand, or somewhere in southeast Asia
I stated in my travel intentions for 2017 that I was going to get to Asia for the first time, but despite my best efforts it just didn’t work out. When someone asks *where* in Asia, I’m like…a lot of places? How do you choose? But I know I’ll be a little overwhelmed if my first Asia experience is something like Tokyo or Shanghai (though I’m not opposed), so I’m inclined to start somewhere like Thailand, Vietnam, or Cambodia. Plus, beautiful beaches will always be a draw for me, and I’m obsessed with those boats!
I had the most amazing desert experience in Jordan in 2017, and now I’m eyeing Morocco. It just feels so exotic and interesting, with its intricately tiled buildings, medinas, camels, mint tea, and spiced cuisine. From Marrakech to Chefchouen to Fes to trekking the desert on a camel, I’M IN.
Let’s see if I can make 2018 just as epic as 2017 was…where is on your “must” list for 2018?? Let me know in the comments!
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