Up And Coming: Travel Plans For 2019
One of my favourite things about welcoming in the new year is thinking about my up and coming travel plans for 2019. If you’re anything like me and have a serious case of wanderlust, then you’re constantly dreaming about where to travel to next.
Although I’m not currently travelling full-time, or have many concrete travel plans for the upcoming year, I certainly have lots of ideas of where is next on my travel wish-list. Perhaps a better name for this blog would be ‘Travel Goals for 2019,’ as the following are all places that I’d love to visit when I get the chance.
Even more exciting than making resolutions for the year ahead is brainstorming the adventures you’d like to have over the upcoming months. In no particular order, here is my travel wish list for 2019:
Swapping winter sun for skiing…
A couple of years ago I escaped the UK winter by heading off to Tenerife in February. I was so overjoyed by seeing the sun and feeling some heat on my skin that I vowed to get away for a week every time I spent under the grey skies of an English winter. I followed up this experience by seeking warmer climes at the end of January 2018 by flying to Gran Canaria.
This January I’m switching things up by fitting in a week’s skiing in Chamonix, France. In 2014 and 2015 spent two winter seasons working as a ski guide in New Zealand and it’s been three years since I hit the slopes since. I love to ski so I’m looking forward to the mountain views and the challenge of finding my ski legs again!
Exploring Central and Eastern Europe
Now I’m based back in Europe, I’m really keen to explore more of the central and eastern countries of this sprawling continent.
In 2018 I spent five days in Bratislava, Slovakia and found it was in a perfect location to do a couple of day trips on the train to Vienna, Austria and Brno in the Czech Republic. From this, my interest was piqued to embark on a interrail journey that would take in more of this part of Europe.
Nothing is organised yet but the vague idea is to use a Eurail pass to explore more of Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary by train. For 440 Euro you can buy a Eurail Global Pass that allows you to travel in up to 7 countries in a fifteen day continuous period. It will be great to dust off the backpack again and spend a couple of weeks on a proper adventure.
The Yorkshire Dales, UK
My new home base is in the north of England and I live in very close proximity to several gorgeous national parks.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a stone’s throw away from me and I’ve vowed to spend more time camping and exploring this beautiful area. One of my most hilarious camping experiences happened in the Dales, which you can read about by following this link. Let’s just say that it involved a tipi and some unexpected nudity!
In 2019 I’ve set myself the challenge to walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks. This 25.5 mile (39.2km) walk takes in the three peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough and the aim is to walk the circular route plus scaling the three peaks within one day.
With this being a full day of walking, I’ll need to stay the night before and after the walk so it’ll be a great long weekend adventure for the summer months when there is more daylight in which to complete the course. In November 2018 I spent the weekend at Chapel-le-Dale, a tiny hamlet in close proximity to Ingleborough and that’s what sparked my interest in the walk. There was loads to do in the area for a weekend; from the Ingleborough Waterfall Walk to the White Scar Caves, so it’s an area I would happily revisit in warmer weather to spend more time exploring.
The Lake District, UK
To prepare for the Yorkshire Three Peaks I’m going to use the vast training ground the Lake District has to offer. Shamefully, I’ll admit that I’ve never been to the Lake District, despite living only a couple of hours drive from it so this year I want to flex my walking boots by exploring some of what this beautiful national park has to offer.
The highest peak in the Lake District is Scafell Pike, which would certainly put me in good standing for the Three Peaks Challenge. The area is home to many forests, mountains (known as ‘fells’), valleys and of course lakes. It was an inspiration for authors such as Beatrix Potter and poets like Alfred Wainwright who wrote that those who walk in the Lake District will be ‘blessed in both body and mind’.
The Lake District is home to England’s longest lake, Windermere, which is 10.5 miles long although there is only one official lake – Bassenthwaite Lake – as all the rest are ‘meres’ or ‘waters.’ I can’t wait to see just a fraction of this beautiful area.
This is a little more of a wild card entry. I don’t have any long-haul plans for 2019 after spending the last few years in Australia and New Zealand, but the lure of more far-flung destinations is always at the back of my mind.
Given my incredible experience in Borneo, where I obtained a life time goal of seeing orangutans in the wild, I am really keen to see another of my favourite animals in the wild: the sloth. Costa Rica’s rich rainforest and wildlife is definitely a lure and it would be fantastic to visit a sloth sanctuary and try to spot these intriguing creatures in their natural habitat.
Yes, a girl can dream as I am fully aware that a trip like this couldn’t be rushed and so I’d want to dedicate at least a month to it.
How To Travel More in 2019
Are you feeling a little dispirited by the prospect of not being able to travel much during the year? There are many ways that you can enjoy little snippets of travel cheaply and without taking huge chunks out of your annual leave.
I was also recently having this conversation with a friend of mine who suggested a really simple way to keep your exploration levels up even if you don’t have the chance to get away.
She explained that a goal she had set herself this year was to visit 12 new places. These places do not necessarily have to be a new country or even a city/town. Checking out a local landmark you’ve never visited before would count; something like a waterfall or a building with cultural or historical significance. By setting yourself this smaller goal, you can see benefit from the change of scenery and the pleasure of seeing something or some place for the first time.
For more ideas, I wrote a blog about travelling more when you are time and cash poor a few years ago. Staycations, making plans to visit family or friends in other parts of the country or even just organising a few weekend walks are ways in which you can explore without the cost or many days off work.
Are you planning any local trips near to where you live? I think it’s a positive thing to support local tourism when you can, although you can’t always rely on the British weather even during the summer!
A Location Independent Lifestyle
In the latter half of 2017 and in 2018 I’ve been working hard on my own business as a virtual assistant. I support kick-ass female entrepreneurs by taking admin tasks off their hands to free up their time. Check out my business website, Smash Your To Do List, and drop me a line if you’re a blogger or a business owner who may need some help!
Going self-employed means that my work can be done location independently. After almost six years of travel, it was a priority of mine to shape my working life around my passions for travel.
But, like all best laid plans, setting up the business has taken a huge amount of my time and so in 2018 I had to scale my adventures right back whilst I concentrate on shaping my life post full-time travel. I’m at a place now where I can slowly start to fill my life with more travel, so here’s to another year of exploring!
I’d love to know where you dream of visiting this year! Let me know in the comments where is on your must-see list for 2019!