Travel Plans: Where I’m Going in 2012!
2012 is going to be an amazing year for travel. I’ve been working on some trips for awhile now, and I’m excited to share the preliminary plans with you!
While many of my upcoming trips are in the development stage at the moment and shouldn’t be unveiled just yet, I’m able to share several of them with you right now. Here goes!
It’s been five years since I’ve been to Paris, and it’s definitely time to return. I went to Paris on my first overseas trip in 2001, and no other city has been able to shake Paris from its position of my favorite city in the world.
This will just be a weekend trip from the UK, but as short as the trip is, it won’t be lacking in culture: I plan to spend lots of time on the Left Bank, visit quirky museums, and eat decadent French food in between raving, full-mouthed, about how good the food is. My first trip of the year isn’t a solo one — I’m bringing Dave with me.
January: Up Helly Aa, Shetland Islands, with Haggis Adventures
The Up Helly Aa is a Viking festival up in the Shetland Islands (northeast of Scotland). On the last Tuesday in January, they light a Viking boat on fire and dance and drink all night long. My first thought: “I HAVE to go to this!”
As soon as I found out that this insane festival actually existed, I contacted Haggis Adventures. Haggis Adventures is an renowned tour provider in Scotland that focuses on providing fun, affordable — and a bit wild and crazy — tours for backpackers and budget travelers in Scotland. I will be attending their popular 5-Day Up Helly Aa tour.
I’m very excited to see Shetland and to work with Haggis Adventures, and I already know this is going to be a trip I never forget. Stay tuned for much more information on this trip.
Mid-February to late March: India
Yes, I’m going to India! I have never been to India and I am SO excited to visit this fascinating country.
I am happy to announce Adventurous Kate’s latest partnership is with Intrepid Travel — an excellent tour company that offers adventure trips for small groups of travelers of all levels, in a way that is responsible and sustainable for the local communities and the environment.
Awhile back, Intrepid Canada blogged about how the types of tours I encourage people to take are exactly the kinds of tours that they offer. Between this and Intrepid’s philosophy, it’s clear we were a match made in heaven!
I will be traveling on Intrepid’s South India Unplugged trip, which will take me from Chennai to Goa via Kerala in two weeks — a very ambitious itinerary that covers a lot of ground but will allow me to see so much.
Afterward, I plan to spend around three weeks on my own, traveling from Goa to Mumbai to Rajasthan, ending in Delhi. I will also be in India for Holi, the Hindu festival when people throw colored powder on each other!
Stay tuned for much, much more on this exciting trip in the coming weeks.
Late April: Umbria, Italy
TBU is taking place in Umbria this year! I had such a great time at the last conference in Innsbruck, and it doesn’t take much to get me back to Italy.
I’ve been to Umbria a few times before, but this time, I’d like to fit in a visit to the city of Perugia. Considering how much I loved Bologna, I’m eager to visit another mid-sized, less touristed Italian city.
April-May: Northeast USA
For many reasons, this is an ideal time for me to return home to the USA. I have plans with family and friends in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.
I won’t be staying as long as I did this winter — probably two to three weeks.
Late May to Mid-June: Balkans
This is the latest development — Dave and I will be spending three weeks in the Balkans this summer! I’ve wanted to visit the Balkans for SO long and I’m thrilled that my travel companion is equally excited to visit this region.
With three weeks, you can do a LOT in the Balkans. But neither of us wants to move at a breakneck pace, so we will probably stick to Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. Stay tuned for much more on this.
I won a trip to Stockholm from Visit Sweden at WTM this year! The prize includes flights for two from London, three nights’ lodging, and city passes. I’m definitely using it during the summer, when the days are long and warm and the parties last all night.
Thanksgiving: Home to Boston
There are two reasons why I will likely be heading home at this time: it will be my first Thanksgiving at home in three years, and I also have my ten-year high school reunion, which should be pretty hilarious. Still, it can’t top the five-year reunion, where the open bar ran all night, 28 glasses were broken, and we were thrown out at 1 AM.
Other Travel Priorities for 2012
While I don’t have plans yet for these destinations, I hope to work them into the year somehow:
I’ve flown through Iceland enough times while crossing the Atlantic. This time, I want to make time for a visit to see all the natural wonders!
I fell in love with Edinburgh pretty much instantly and was crushed that I had arrived at the end of Scotland’s tourist season — and would have to wait months to see the highlands and the islands in their full glory.
It’s close, it’s warm, it’s cheap for Western Europe — and just look at it. I want to go!
Time to Plan
I swear, planning travel is almost as fun as actually traveling. I just have to get through the nitty-gritty things like buying new drybags, booking travel insurance like InsureandGo holiday insurance, finding some destination-themed novels for my Kindle (Midnight’s Children, anyone?), and I’m good to go!
What do you think of my 2012 plans? Know any places I should consider? Sound off in the comments!
Images from top: DarkB4Dawn, Vincenzo_1949, ruffin_ready, Un ragazzo chiamato Bi, Werner Kunz, photographerglen, Claudia.Ar, kisses are a better fate than wisdom, Stuck in Customs, Allan Gourlay, Fr Antunes.