Remember at the beginning of 2020 when we were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with excitement, eagerly compiling our travel wish list for the year?
My own heart was so full of anticipation for my future travel plans that I was already mentally packing my carry-on. I even wrote a post about where to spend your vacation time in 2020! That did NOT age well…
As a rule, I’ve been trying to keep my thoughts during quarantine focused on gratitude. I don’t think I’d survive if I let myself continually fixate on the things I lack or the aspects of “normal” life that I desperately miss.
At the same time, the mental discipline that’s required to stay positive 24/7 is exhausting.
Sometimes it’s ok to not be ok — it’s called being human.
So I’m going to say it; all the things that I freaking miss:
I miss weekly family dinners. I miss hanging out with my friends IRL. I miss being in crowded bars. I miss sweaty salsa dancing socials. I miss meeting new people. I miss hugging (any kind of physical contact, really). I miss wearing red lipstick. I miss weekend workout classes followed by indulgent brunch feasts. I miss wearing nice outfits.
And yes, I miss TRAVEL! 😭✈️
I miss travel like it’s a corporeal being and I guess in a way it is. Most of my close friends live all over the world, so travel has been a way for me to spend quality time with them (see: force them to hang out with me).
At least with the prospect of receiving a vaccine, there’s a bright spot on the horizon.
Uncertainty has been tentatively exchanged for hope that it’s finally time to dust off the forgotten travel wish list.
To kickstart your imagination and and get your travel inspiration flowing, here is my own, personal travel wish list for the near (hopefully) future. Feel free to add them to your own lists!
Cold destinations aren’t usually high on my travel wish list but Iceland’s remote location, sparse population and otherworldly landscapes are ideal for post-pandemic travel. Imagine setting off on the Golden Circle tour of the Nordic island country, passing moss-covered lava fields and breath-taking waterfalls, making pit stops at steamy hot springs and marvelling at the elusive Northern Lights. It’s definitely worth stuffing a winter jacket into your suitcase.
It feels very unpatriotic to admit, but I haven’t explored very much of my home and native land. With international trips up in the air (pun intended), now is the perfect opportunity to cross destinations within Canada off of my travel wish list. Time to explore the Canadian Rockies and the turquoise waters of Lake Louise in Alberta, the great outdoors in Vancouver and schedule plenty of summer glamping trips within Ontario. Perhaps even another visit to Prince Edward County?
The last time I was in Puerto Rico was a brief stop during a Caribbean cruise and a bird pooped on my head. No bueno. But after a torturous year of not being able to salsa dance, it’s back on my radar as one of the top spots to shimmy to Latin and reggaeton beats. By day I’ll wander the candy-hued buildings of Old San Juan, kayak through one of the three shimmering bioluminescent bays by night, and drink pina coladas by the bucketful every moment in between.
Lockdown has eliminated all those little expenses (like my daily Starbucks run) that add up. Instead, I can put those pennies towards splurging on 2 of the more costly experiences on my travel wish list: 1) Spending the night in a treehouse and 2) heading out on a South African safari. I’m dreaming about counting stars at one of the luxe, open-air treehouses at the Lion Sands after a day spent spotting the Big Five the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo).
If my stomach were in charge of my travel wish list, Vietnam would be at the very top. Obviously, there are a plethora of reasons to make the lengthy journey to this Southeast Asian country, from the bustling markets to the stunning natural scenery. But my stomach’s reasons are all to satisfy my tastebuds— pho, banh mi, rose dumplings, cao lau, egg coffee, etc…GET IN MAH BELLY! Plus, apart from the expensive plane ticket everything is fairly easy on the wallet.
In case you couldn’t tell from my jam-packed itineraries, I’m not much of a lie-on-the-beach kind of traveller. You’d think that after lockdown I’d be raring to go! go! go! but it’s actually the opposite. Before I can return to the rigorous pace of “normal” life, I need a complete reset, ideally in a distant tropical locale like the Maldives. I’d lose myself in one of the countless islands that make up the exotic archipelago, lazing about a luxe water villa and snorkelling in the crystal clear ocean right outside my door.
Honestly, at this point venturing anywhere beyond my home would be glorious. But since I’m a very willful optimist, I’m hoping that I’ll still be able to hit one of this destinations post-lockdown once it’s safe to travel. Where’s the first place you’re going to hit up?
For more travel wish list inspiration, check out this post.
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