With most of my life still stretching out ahead of me, I have to say that I’m thrilled with how much travel I’ve been able to accomplish so far. However, the world is massive, and the more I see, the more I want to see. Fortunately, I’ll be taking off on a huge trip in just over a month, which will allow me to tour many of the destinations I’ve been dreaming of for years – the current plan could have me seeing over 25 new countries by the end of 2016!
Oh the amazing things I’ve seen so far! Ollantaytambo, Peru in 2011
While there are plenty of ideas that I’m actively working toward or that should be easy enough to accomplish within the next few years, here are a few of my more grandiose travel dreams that I fantasize about experiencing at least once in my life.
Another year in the books already! Just a few days into 2016, I’m going to make a bold prediction: this will be one of the best years of my life, on account of a big travel announcement I’ll save for an upcoming post. That said, 2015 was also quite the year. Though it didn’t take me to as many destinations as other years have (see my recaps of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014), I marked my second anniversary of moving to Australia and continued exploring the country and beyond. Here are my travel highlights from 2015.
Wrapping up 2015 in Trinidad, Cuba
What is it about the new year that inspires epic travel plans? I recently announced my exciting plans to roll into 2016, and 2015 kicked off just as spectacularly with a four-day layover in the tropical paradise of Fiji. After staying on a private island and relaxing at a quiet resort, we returned to Viti Levu, Fiji’s mainland, for a final day at Anchorage Beach Resort and the city of Nadi.
Loved all the little touches at Anchorage Beach Resort
Five minutes in Fiji, and you’ll no doubt have already heard a few mentions of “Fiji time.” As Fiji’s particular brand of island time, this refers to their laid-back, relaxed approach to life. No worries, no pasa nada, hakuna matata. And what better attitude to be surrounded by on a four-day vacation to a tropical island?
How could you possibly be in a rush with these surroundings?
After our days on private Beachcomber Island, we were off to our second accommodation, Funky Fish Beach & Surf Resort on Malolo Island. Our transfer boat was definitely on Fiji time, but this allotted us some extra time to laze on Beachcomber’s incredible beaches and even fit in a round of mini golf. But at last, our chariot awaited, a rustic fishing boat, where we perched atop shipping boxes and zoomed off into the blue.
Another year abroad meant another trip home to California for Christmas. If the Christmas season is the happiest time of the year, imagine how much lovelier it is when it means reuniting with family and friends for the first time in months. And this year, I added a cherry to the top: through careful strategizing, I managed to turn a multi-hour layover in Nadi, Fiji into a four-day vacation in paradise.
What I was up to while the Northern Hemisphere was suffering through winter.
About a year ago, I moved into my current apartment and met my to-be (and now former) roommate, who was born and raised in Fiji. Before I even moved in, he and his friends invited me over to drink kava (more on that later) as he shared videos, music, and information about his homeland. Fiji sounds like a paradise, but it had always been a distant, overlooked travel destination in my mind until that night, when I was blown away by Fiji, and the island nation jumped toward the top of my bucket list.
So it was just my luck that when booking flights home to California for Christmas, the least expensive ones were on Fiji Airways with a layover in Nadi, on Fiji’s main island. I quickly determined that I would be able to extend that layover from a few hours to a few days, and, thus, I went from thinking I wouldn’t be able to squeeze in any new destinations for a while to planning an absolutely alluring trip to the South Pacific.
Visiting sixteen countries in 2013 made for pretty much the best year imaginable. But, as anyone addicted to travel understands, it also fueled my wanderlust, instilling an even greater yearning to see the entire world as soon as I can. Instead, somehow, my three to six months in Australia plan turned into over a full year here (happy Australiversary to me yesterday!), which I have zero regrets about, but, having only spent the past year in Australia with a few weeks back home, I’m dying to visit new places.
Working full time, using my vacation time for trips home, and being in a country as geographically isolated as Australia, my travel options are fairly limited. So I’m completely thrilled to have booked my flights home for Christmas and to have tagged onto that trip a four-day “layover” in a place completely new to me.