Monday, September 26th, 2016

Coming Up: My Plans for 2014

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Kate at the Tarxien Temples

2014 is going to be a year of major milestones and changes. No, Mario and I aren’t getting married this year — we’ll be in hardcore wedding saving mode instead — but there’s a lot more in store. Here’s what’s coming up in 2014:

Visiting my 50th Country

I’d be nearly there if I counted the “technical” visits to Oman (a drive across the desert; it’s the quickest way from Dubai to Hatta), China (an overnight in a hotel outside Pudong Airport in Shanghai), and the Philippines (we were sleep-deprived on a long layover and left the airport to snooze for a few hours).

I’m not quite sure how I should classify Hong Kong and Macau, but if I take the route of bucketing them into China, I’ll be at 49 by the time we get back to the States.

Visiting 50 countries is something of which I’m very proud. I don’t live to count countries, but I do recognize that it adds another level of credibility in terms of my career in travel.

Once I hit 50, I think it would be a nice idea to do a series of retrospective posts on my travels — my favorite countries, cities, adventure experiences, etc — so keep an eye out for that this summer or so.

Turning 30

I’ll be turning 30 this August. I think you’ll find me in better spirits than Joey Tribbiani.

Am I sad? In denial? In crisis? Not at all. I’ve lived my twenties very fully and I’m happy to be entering my 30s with a bit of hard-wrought wisdom.

So where will I actually turn 30? Somewhere special but not too crazy. Maybe just a quickie trip to Paris. I want to eat at that restaurant where you get a steak frites and as soon as you finish they serve you another steak frites…

Settling Down in London

It’s time. And I couldn’t be happier about it. After nearly four years of full-time travel, I’m ready to have more long-term stability in my life. Mario and I have begun the process of looking for a flat starting at the end of May.

And, to be completely honest, I’ve begun freaking the f*ck out. I haven’t paid “real” rent in nearly four years. Now I’m going to have a huge financial commitment every single month, paying more than I paid for my pricey apartment in downtown Boston. Oh my God…

Is this the end of my travels? Of course not. I’ll just be spending most of my time in London, which happens to be the best place in the world for a frequent traveler to be based. You can fly everywhere from London!

railay-krabi_flydime

January-Feb 14: Asia

Koh Lanta/Ao Nang. We leave Koh Lanta on January 9 and will spend four days in my old hangout of Ao Nang in Krabi. I plan on taking Mario to Railay one day, because there’s no way you can be that close and not see that glorious beach.

Brunei. We arrive in Brunei on February 13. I know next to nothing about Brunei, but Mario’s friend has been living there for years and she plans to show us the ropes.

Philippines. Two weeks in the Philippines — not as much time as I originally envisioned, but it should be enough to see the Ifugao rice terraces in north Luzon, check out the nearby hanging coffins of Sagada, and get some beach time in Boracay. And definitely a meetup or two — I’ve always had tons of readers from the Philippines, and I’d love to finally meet them.

Hong Kong. Our four months in Asia will conclude with ten days in Hong Kong, a city that both Mario and I are really excited to finally experience. Macau will be visited as well.

New Orleans - French Quarter "Miltenberger House"

Feb 14-mid-April: USA

California. We start with a week in San Francisco, a $1 bus ride down to Los Angeles (seriously! Book the Megabus early and you can get $1 fares!), and a few days in LA before heading out.

The South. We are in the midst of planning a Southern USA road trip that will take us from New Orleans (during Mardi Gras!) to Washington, DC — or at least Charleston. One of my biggest US travel dreams has been to road trip the Gulf Coast and explore the South in depth, and I am so excited about this upcoming trip.

The Northeast.Β DC, Philadelphia (Mario really wants to run up the art museum steps like Rocky), New York, Boston.

Valletta

Mid-April-late May: Europe

Germany. We’re heading back to Europe earlier than we originally planned because Mario and I both have an opportunity in Germany. It’s a new city for us both, and you’ll find out more soon.

Malta.Β Mario and I have been kicking around the idea of just heading back to Malta and chilling out for a month after we finish in Germany. After ten months of constant travel, that sounds perfect.

Hare Krishna Parade, London

Late May: Move to London

I’m incredibly excited to make a home in London, yet incredibly nervous about settling down after being untethered for so long.

Also on schedule is getting me a visa. We need to do a lot of research into that.

Summer 2014: London/Europe

This summer I’ll be doing several short trips around Europe as part of a fun Europe-based campaign currently in development. You’ll hear much more closer to the launch date.

Fall and Winter 2014: Some Home Visits

I’ll definitely be back in the Boston area in October for my best friend Beth’s wedding, and I plan to spend Christmas at home this year too.

Poros, Greece

The Possibilities

I’ve had an eye on the possibilities for traveling in Europe this summer. Here are a few places that I could potentially visit:

Greek Islands. I’ve wanted to visit the Greek Islands for years if not decades, and I’d love to finally make it there this summer.

More Balkans. The Balkans are one of my favorite regions, and it would be great I could get to one or more of the remaining Balkan countries I haven’t yet visited: Serbia, Slovenia, and Albania.

More Central/Eastern Europe. I’d like to head back somewhere new in Central or Eastern Europe for my two-week undercover trip for 2014. (Undercover trip is traveling like I did pre-blog: solo, super-cheap, nobody knowing I’m a blogger, no crazy work schedule, no freebies, no special treatment.) Could be Poland; could be the Baltic countries.

But this year’s undercover trip might have a twist — I could pick three or four options and have YOU vote for where I ultimately go!

Machapuchare

The Long Shots

Because you need to have a few dreams, here are a few places that probably won’t happen this year, but if the stars aligned, I’d be off in a flash.

Nepal. The Himalayas have been on my mind a lot lately — it would be amazing to make it there.

Antarctica. This winter, I’d love to finally make the journey to the wild seventh continent.

Georgia and Armenia.Β I’m not sure what it is about these countries, but they’ve intrigued me for a long time.

New Zealand. I can’t wait to drool over this country’s amazing scenery in real life.

Where are you planning to go in 2014?

Comments

109 Responses to “Coming Up: My Plans for 2014”
  1. Sounds like you have a really exciting year coming up. Make sure you go to Milos if you’re visiting the Greek Islands. It’s incredible!

    • eleni says:

      Yeap! I was going to comment the same about Milos! it’s really beautiful with a variety of beaches, small island but with various things to see! not a lot of nightlife though..

  2. I leave for Australia at the end of March but definitely let me know if you make it down before then! So many lovely things to show you.

  3. Mallory says:

    I love reading about travel plans for the new year. It helps fuel my wanderlust, thinking about all the amazing places to travel. You’ll have such a fun and exciting year! I can’t wait to read all about your travels.

  4. Clare says:

    I’m really excited to stay tuned to the Europe plans you have in development! But it sounds like a fabulous year for you. And turning 30 is great – I’m actually loving my thirties more than my twenties. It sounds odd, but I feel much more like the me I was meant to be now. I won’t lie though, I’m glad 40 is still a very safe distance of 8ish years away (though with age comes wisdom, so I’ll hold on to that when the time comes)!

  5. Those all sound great! you’ll love albania if you make it there. I’m thinking in march I might head north to burma and bangladesh for 4-5 weeks.

  6. It looks like you have a great year planned ahead. I myself had considered moving to London last summer after I visited the city and fell in love. Although I will not be moving there (at least anytime soon), I plan to return for visit over the summer. Cannot wait to keep reading about your travels!

  7. Trish says:

    I’ve just discovered your blog and am enjoying reading it. I’m an American currently living and working in Germany. My travels are somewhat limited by my 9-to-5 job and I’ve been mainly focused on travel in Europe for the 3 years that I’ve been living here. I was compelled to comment after seeing your desire to visit Slovenia. I’ve visited about 33 countries in Europe and that one is in my top 3 of the ones I’ve visited! I’ll look forward to reading about it if/when you visit.

  8. Laura says:

    Definitely an exciting year coming up! You know your life is in a good place compared to many Americans when you can say “I’ll take a little trip for Paris for my 30th, NBD” πŸ™‚ Settling down in London sounds perfect, good luck!

  9. I love your outlook about turning 30 (though I’m a year behind you!). I feel like I’ve accomplished more than I expected to, and that is a reason to celebrate! Enjoy it!

  10. Edna says:

    We’re just missing each other in Hong Kong. Boooo5

  11. Amanda says:

    Sounds like an incredible year coming up! I don’t know if our paths will cross, but I know I’ll keep following along!

  12. Renuka says:

    I really have no idea where I will be going in 2014, as I believe in the philosophy – life is unpredictable. Your travel plans sound exciting! All the best for 2014.

  13. Stefania says:

    Wow, you already have all the year planned, it’s amazing!

  14. Sally says:

    We may be in Germany and later the Balkans at the same time! And can I suggest a trip to Pittsburgh while you’re in the Northeast? I’m pretty sure you’d fall in love with it. Have fun this year, it looks awesome! Maybe we’ll see each other in Germany or elsewhere! πŸ™‚

  15. Sabina says:

    GO TO ANTARCTICA!! We have been living back in London for around 5 weeks having spent 14 months travelling and Antarctica is unlike anywhere else you will ever go. It is expensive but it is worth every penny!!!

    I would still love to head to Nepal, Iceland, Arctic, Greenland, do a USA road trip (maybe during Fall), Petra, Egypt, Israel…….the list is huge πŸ˜‰

    p.s. It is pretty weird being back but London is an excellent city to be based in πŸ˜‰

  16. Victoria says:

    Sounds awesome! And it looks like we may cross paths at some point in Europe. Happy New Year! x

  17. Lauren says:

    Oh, I’ll *just* miss you (yet again!) a couple of times.

    I’m planning a quick Southern US road trip that starts in mid-April and then I’ll be back in London for a few weeks but leaving mid-May! Yep, my plans are all over the place at the moment.

    Your year sounds great though. If you do manage to swing an Antarctica trip at the end of the year… that’s when I’ll be going πŸ™‚

  18. Ashley says:

    It sound like you’ll be busy!! Antarctica has always been a dream of mine. All the cruises I have found that will actually get you down there are so pricey, I decided I had to do Europe first. I wish I had it all figured out so I could just stay on the go like you do!
    If you guys end up having time, you should come check out Portland, Oregon in the states. If you want to do nothing but eat amazing food for a few days, it’s a good place to be!

  19. Trish says:

    Hi Kate! Looks like 2014 will be great for you. I also turn 30 in August. Feels like just yesterday i was 20 and studying abroad for the first time… Congrats on coming up on 50 countries. I’ve just hit 34 and am hungry for more. Let me know if you want to come inland an hour when you visit San Fran. We live in Sacramento. Have you been? I love it here!

  20. Emy says:

    I’ll be going to France (2-3 weeks touring around France), a few days in Paris, 2 days in Dublin (extended layovers-17 hours each way) and I’m hoping to make a trip out to Bruges and Luxembourg during my trip.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Sounds like an exciting year with some new, exciting destinations! We’ll also be visiting our 50th country very soon. It’s exciting!

  22. Emily says:

    My 3+ year trip begins in September of this year and I couldn’t be more excited/nervous/scared/thrilled! I’ll be traveling through China, Mongolia, Nepal (hell yea Mt. Everest!), India, and SE Asia before spending a year in Australia and a year in New Zealand (thank god for WHVs). Nine months to go and I already feel like I’m behind on my planning :).

  23. Finding your blog was what seriously made me finally make the decision to start preparing for long term travel (no joke, it was an overnight thing). I leave late 2014. So ironic that you will be settling down more as I’m letting go more. Always enjoy reading your updates and can’t wait to see what happens in 2014 for you! πŸ™‚

  24. These are some amazing plans! And definitely go to that restaurant in Paris for your birthday- it’s AMAZING.

  25. Marissa says:

    San Francisco! I know you’ve been here before but feel free to crowdsource for recommendations. You will get people fighting for their favorite burrito place in the Mission (it’s like a serious holy war—with guac) but please know that La Taqueria is the best πŸ˜‰

    • Mario is convinced he doesn’t like Mexican food. I’m trying to convince him he’s never had real Mexican food (only had tacos in the US once, and the rest has been in Europe/Asia). So when we’re in the States I want to force-feed him the best Mexican food in every city we visit until he admits that he likes it!

      • Marissa says:

        He obviously just doesn’t know how much he loves Mexican food yet. I can’t wait to hear about his enlightenment!

  26. Katrinka says:

    Haha, Kate, your potential summer plans are almost EXACTLY the same as mine– currently thinking about Greece/Albania or Poland/Baltics. Or both! Maybe this is where our paths cross again, eh? πŸ˜‰

  27. I’m excited to read about your road trip though the southern United States. I have always wanted to do a cross country road trip – hopefully it’s in my future!

  28. Jamie says:

    Wow HUGE plans for you! Congratulations and good luck! I’ll be hitting Thailand for my first time in February and hope to have another little getaway in November to Indonesia. The Baltic’s have been intriguing me more and more as of late the more I read about them so I do hope you make it there.

  29. Julie says:

    Definitely do Paris for your 30th. I’ve ate in the restaurant with the steak frites.. they do an amazing sauce with the steak.
    My plan is to do Moscow this year and places closer to home in Ireland.

  30. eemusings says:

    Planning to stay close to home in NZ and make the most of our lovely country. Drop me a line if you make it down under, won’t you?

    Being settled after travelling extensively is unbelievably nice – even if it is weird/annoying to chuck so much money at rent.

  31. Globe Guide says:

    Very cool, sounds like a busy and fun year ahead! I visited Brunei a few years ago, here is my post about it if you’re looking for inspiration πŸ™‚
    http://globeguide.ca/2013/05/15/the-mysterious-country-of-brunei/

  32. Neysha says:

    Hi Kate!

    I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now and love your unique voice, and the way you see the world. I noticed one thing about this blogpost that I have a question about: You mentioned traveling on an undercover trip when no one knows you’re a blogger – do you usually get perks when you travel because of Adventurous Kate? Just curious how much impact the blog has on you while you travel, from an aspiring travel blogger!

    Best,
    Neysha Bauer

    • If I wanted to, Neysha, I wouldn’t have to pay for anything while traveling ever again. But I don’t do that because I don’t want to spam my readers with sponsored content on a constant basis. Now and then, I do sponsored travel with companies that I like, trust, and admire, but I always keep it at a ratio where the vast majority of my content is about travel that I pay for out of pocket.

      I know of some travel bloggers who these days only write about travel that was sponsored in some way. I don’t begrudge them for working hard and getting these sponsorships, but when non-sponsored travel disappears completely, it makes me wonder 1) if they even enjoy traveling anymore if they’re not getting paid for it 2) if they’re making too little money to travel without a sponsor.

      As soon as people within the travel industry (ie hostel owners, tour guides, travel excursion company owner, etc) find out that I’m a blogger, then learn the size of my audience, things change. They start talking up their product, offering me free stuff, etc. It’s good to get away from that once in a while and be anonymous (until someone recognizes me, which happens a lot these days).

  33. Can’t wait to show you around Hong Kong! See you soon!!

  34. That looks like a great year. I saw that you were thinking about Greece. We went to Greece in October, the weather was great, the prices were cheap and all the crowds were gone so it was a great time to visit, FYI.

    For me in 2014, I am not sure. I work in Alaska and expect to explore the state and in the fall I will have three months to travel. I am thinking about just living in one spot for three months, maybe in Asia or Latin America. Any suggestions?

  35. *cough*visitTaiwanafterHongKong*cough*

    Aaaanyway….your plans sound fabulous! I’ll mostly just be in Taiwan this year if all goes well, hoping to get over to Hong Kong, Japan, and maybe even Thailand or the Philippines at some point.

    As for the Balkans, go to Serbia! It’s absolutely fantastic, and I think you’d love Belgrade. Although I did read a post over at Yomadic the other day which makes me REALLY want to go to the Albanian Riviera. Looking forward to keeping up with your travels this year πŸ™‚

  36. Amanda says:

    Definitely try for Nepal. It was my first trip to somewhere that wasn’t the USA or Canada (home). It was amazing and I find myself dreaming about going back and also comparing every trip since to that one.

  37. Megan says:

    I can emphatically recommend Armenia & Georgia! They’re both a pain in the butt to get to, but so worth it. I’m also pumped to see that you’ll be exploring the U.S.! I’m totally guilty of thinking “eh, it will always be there,” but a huge goal of mine is to see more of the Western U.S. this year. Looking forward to reading your posts…and possibly viewing a cheesy Rocky-esque video montage of Mario running up those steps? Because that would be badass.

    I’m not entirely sure where else 2014 will take me, but a trip to Guatemala is on the books for March, so I figure that’s a good start (and good incentive to get my booty moving on freelancing!)

  38. My vote is for the Greek Islands. Would love to read more about that. For myself, I’m planning a motorcycling trip to Vietnam this year! Can’t wait.

  39. I just visited my 54th country, and I seriously can’t believe that I’ve been able to go to so many. We’ve got Scandinavia and aurora borealis hunting on the agenda this year, and I cannot wait!!

    If you haven’t been to the Greek islands yet, you must go. I recommend Naxos…not too touristy (mostly Greeks), not expensive and with one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen (Agios Prokopios). I also vote for Albania (my husband is Albanian – Canadian),and I think it’s one of the few remaining unique places you can still visit in this world (i.e. no Mcdonald’s, Starbucks etc…)… πŸ™‚

  40. You should definitely extend your south trip a bit into Texas if you can!

  41. Jessica Wray says:

    Amazing plans ahead! Glad to hear you are embracing 30 and a more permanent location (at least for a while) πŸ˜‰

    If you can, I vote you get to Nepal! Do a trek. It is so amazing in the Annapurna region!

  42. Brian Evidente says:

    Good to see that you’re heading over here in the Philippines. Obviously, a Filipino here. =)
    Suggest you visit El Nido Palawan also, before you head to Boracay.

    Big fan here by the way, you’re on of my favorite travel bloggers. You tell it like it is and you write from the heart. Your post on how you saved $13k in 7 months, inspired me to consider long term travel. Hope to start my journey later this year too! Cheers!

  43. I am buzzing with envy – what an incredible way to bring on 30! If you and Mario want a place to stay on your route up the coast, we have a free guest room in the tidewater region of Virginia (near Colonial Williamsburg). I’ve unwittingly lived in the southeastern U.S. for ten(!) years now – first south Georgia, then North Carolina, and now Virginia – apparently the military doesn’t want us to let it go.

    Along with Charleston, you should also check out The Outer Banks in North Carolina if you’re sticking close to the coast. I-95 is a boring drive (I’ve done it multiple times all the way south to Miami and north to Philadelphia), so get off of it as often as time will allow. πŸ™‚ Best of luck in the new year!

  44. Brandy says:

    Your travel plans for 2014 sound amazing! And I’m sure living in London with Mario will be the start of a great new chapter in your life. Paying rent sucks, but it’s definitely nice to have a home base.

    I’m not entirely sure what my 2014 looks like, travel-wise, but between work trips and personal trips, I’ll be gone quite a bit through April. I’m really hoping to make it to Japan this year – I’ve been wanting to go the last couple of years but the timing (and the airfare) has never been right.

  45. Katie says:

    Your year sounds amazing! Both the travelling and the settling down in London – I have such a soft spot for the city. I’d love to be able to afford to live there one day, but for now I’m having to content myself with the occasional visit.

  46. Shardae says:

    Yay for London! I’m hoping you’ll do some kind of meet-up. Also, I hope you make it to New Zealand one day soon (my home!), it’s so worth the trip. AND if you do your research, it’s really not as expensive as what some people think πŸ™‚

  47. Ruth Leslie says:

    So glad to see you’re planning to travel the USA. I spent 18 months traveling only in America. Regarding the South, I would visit Nashville or Memphis for sure. Consider Savannah, GA and Myrtle Beach, SC. Try to make it to the panhandle of FL. You’ve definitely picked the best weather months for US travel. Enjoy!

  48. Looks like you’ll have another busy and fulfilling year. It looks like a good variety of countries you’ll be visiting and all sound fantastic.

  49. Katie says:

    You will absolutely love the south. If you need a tour guide around Tennessee then I am your girl. I’ve been following you blog for quite sometime and you have given some amazing tips to this fellow travel girl. Looking forward to reading more of your upcoming adventures! From one Kate to another! Be blessed and keep traveling!

  50. Looks like you have a pretty great year lined up. For what it’s worth, I count Hong Kong as it’s own country. It’s simply not China. Hope you guys hit me up when you get to New York. Would be fun to say hi.

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