My Travel Goals for 2017

My husband thinks I have a traveling problem. Perhaps I do. Is it the worst problem to have? Not really, in my humble, somewhat indignant opinion. It's been comforting in the past few years to join communities full of people who also have this "issue". That tugging, pulling, restless feeling of a wanderer. It's only gotten stronger as the years go by. I'm learning how to balance it better and make sure my priorities are in order (hmm...invest in the new laptop I so desperately need or snag that flight deal that just landed in my inbox?) before I click purchase on my next ticket to who knows where. All that being said, I can't help but daydream about where I am going this year.

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In my whole life I have been to 11 countries. Here's a little breakdown:
  • Cape Verde: My first out of country experience was at 16 years old during a student exchange program. Don't remember the student part, just lots of dancing, night swims and Cachupa.
  • Bahamas: My mother, brother and I all graduated (masters, bachelors and high school diploma) that year, so it was only right to celebrate with our family's first big trip together.
  • Puerto Rico: I know this isn't technically another country, but I still felt like I was exposed to a different culture. This was my first trip with my then boyfriend and now husband. We only went for a long weekend but San Juan and the private beach on our resort were amazing.
  • Turkey: Randomly went with my best friend,. We were two single girls in Istanbul who thought strolling around at night with our legs showing was a good idea. It wasn't. Days were full of bazaars, mosques and delicious Turkish breakfasts.
  • Canada: I've been here a few times as it's not a far drive from home. Montreal was my favorite!
  • Virgin Islands: This was a huge girls trip, I believe there were 7 of us. Somehow I survived.
  • Costa Rica: Another couples trip, the first half in Manuel Antonio was amazing. It was our first time using Airbnb. The second half it rained the entire time and we were pretty miserable. Learned that trip to always check the seasons.
  • France: I got engaged in Paris that year. What more is there to say? (ok ok, blog post on that later)
  • Spain: The husband and I hit up Barcelona for 5 days. Gaudi and chorizo tapas changed my life.
  • Colombia: We took our honeymoon trip here. It was definitely the best vacation we've taken together. Click here for my travel diary and video!
  • Mexico: Our most recent trip lead us to Tulum and I was in bliss. I had the best swim of my life in the cenotes. I plan on going back and adding Mexico City and Playa Del Carmen to the itinerary.

From Left to Right: Puerto Rico, Turkey, Costa Rica, France (2), Colombia, Spain, Mexico

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I know that sounds like a lot for many people, but that doesn't mean there isn't more for me to see! This is what I love to do. It's not all about drinking, showing off on Instagram and laying poolside. I like to get into the culture, I like to meet new people and understand how they live. I like to go off the beaten path, I like to find the perfect Airbnb. I want to come home and share information with all of you. This year I'm in a very special position where my husband is working overseas for 4 months. Traveling is so much more accessible and affordable when you're not coming from the States, so I'm taking this time to check off a bunch of places on my list and double my number of countries visited, and hopefully take my first solo trip (I'm terrified). Here are the goals:

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  • Ireland: This will be our home base for a while starting in just a few weeks!
  • South Africa: I'm planning on attending ESSENCE Festival Durban as a photographer/content contributor.
  • Italy: It's so cheap to fly to Italy once you're in Europe! I want to do Rome, Venice, and somewhere south like Positano.
  • Bolivia: My mother's friend is from here and she wants to take us. Sucre looks so gorgeous. My mom and I have been doing mommy daughter trips for a few years now and it's so much fun!
  • Cuba: I have to get there this year and the sooner the better. Now that the floodgates are open it's only a matter of time before it changes forever.
  • Portugal: The student who I stayed with in Cape Verde lives in Lisbon now. This will probably be my solo trip since I know someone there already.
  • Switzerland: Because the Instagram pics I've been seeing lately are killing me softly.
  • Netherlands: Amsterdam is quick, easy, beautiful and just looks like a good time ;)
  • Morocco: This is a trip I've been talking about for over a year now. You know, the kind where you already have all your outfits and Instagram shots planned out.
  • Great Britain: It's so close to Ireland, so why not?
  • Iceland: Being from the Northeast I don't usually see the appeal in going to cold places but those mountains, waterfalls and thermal pools are calling my name.

Now, these are goals, but things change. I may substitute said countries with something else. And this doesn't include domestic travel. Looks like I'll be headed to Atlanta, Austin, New York, LA, Detroit and maybe Miami. It should be an exciting year! Where are you headed in 2017? Sound off in the comments!