Hello, 2017. You’re a sight for sore eyes.
You’re also, so far, a bit of a mystery. Since I started this blog, I’ve never kicked off a year with less travel on my plate. In a way, it’s thrilling — anything can happen! — and in another it’s a little scary. Can I really let a year pass by without ticking one of my dream trips off my list? For someone who often can’t fall asleep at night because they are so consumed by all the places in the world they still have yet to see, it’s kinda of a panic-inducing thought.
And yet I find myself quite content, settled back in Koh Tao with a bright and cheery little apartment, a faithful little motorbike and unpacked bag nestled in the corner of my closet. As I do weigh up options for the year, I’m torn as always between revisiting old favorites (oh hello, island I’ve been returning to for seven years and currently living on again) and big bucket list dream trips (oh hey there, diving in Mozambique, which I daydream about constantly yet have no plans to actually make a reality).
Anyway, last year’s post outlining my 2016 travels was fairly accurate — it will be fun to see how this one fares!
January-May // Asia
I state this with a pretty inordinate amount of pride for someone who makes a living as a travel blogger, but at the moment literally only like 14 out of the first 120 days of 2017 will be spent not in my bed here on Koh Tao. I need this for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being I am so backlogged on content here on Alex in Wanderland. I just need to lock myself away and furiously type until I’m caught up writing on all my trips! I’ve already nixed two opportunities to travel to new countries in the first quarter of this year, with this being one of my primary reasons.
So what will I be getting up to?
In January, I will spend just three nights off Koh Tao — a quick trip to Bangkok to see my sister off. (In fact, I’ve already come and gone!) I actually wasn’t planning to leave the island at all as I really just got here in December, but alas, I can’t say no to Olivia — nor can I turn down a weekend in one of my favorite cities in the world. In fact, what started as a fun fantasy over the years solidified on this quick jaunt into a very strong determination to rent an apartment in Bangkok for a month or two someday, and see what it’s like to experience one of my favorite places for longer than just a few days at a time. Maybe in the fall that will come to fruition.
I have some pretty exciting plans at home for the rest of the month, though, like a week-long aerial silks workshop with Flying Trapeze Adventures and all my favorite shows re-starting after their winter hiatuses (don’t judge).
In February, I’ll be taking my “big trip” of this Southeast Asia stretch. First, I’m cobbling together a big crew to take to Wonderfruit, a festival in the Pattaya countryside that I couldn’t be more excited about attending. Between the fanciful stages hosting musicians from around the world, the wonderfeasts by some of Thailand’s top chefs, and the workshops on everything from yoga to living a plastic-free life, I’m not even sure which aspect I’m looking forward to the most.
After the festival, Ian and I are off to Penang, Malaysia — Ian has to go to process his Thai work permit, and I’m tagging along for fun (and to reactivate my own visa.) I’ve never been to Penang other than in transit and look forward to exploring the city of Georgetown and hiking in Penang National Park. I’m still fairly bitter that the direct flight to Penang from Koh Samui has been discontinued, but alas, I still want to go. Who knows, we might even tack on a few days in Bangkok in-between!
In March, I currently have no plans to leave Koh Tao. Gasp! Now that you all convinced me to get PRK surgery I am considering blocking off a week to go to Bangkok and do it then, but I also might also put it off until the fall. Back on Koh Tao, there’s going to be a big new festival that I’m pretty excited about (if you haven’t sensed a theme for the year yet, you will soon!)
In April, I’ll pop over to Koh Samui for a few days to meet a friend and possibly attend Paradise Island Festival. Otherwise I’ll be on Koh Tao enjoying Songkran, Easter, and my last long stretch of stillness for a while.
In May, I have a one last little trip in the works before catching my flight to the US for the summer. It’s all in pencil now but it involves a river cruise, showing Ian around one of my favorite Thai cities, and (duh) more Bangkok. Fingers crossed it all works out!
May-August // USA
I’ve fallen into a pattern of spending more and more time back in the US every year, however I have to be frank — our current political climate makes me want to spend less time there than ever before. I’m not being defiant or trying to make a statement. It’s just that my heart literally sinks out of my chest every time I think about home, and unless that starts to fade I don’t know how many consecutive months I can walk around with that heaviness. I’ve never felt more disconnected from the place that made me. I’m adrift. Here’s hoping some peace and clarity find me in this department in 2017.
That said, I have three confirmed weddings and one other up in the air, one confirmed festival and a few others on the back burner (wink wink, fellow playa fans!), and lots of family and friends I love dearly and need to catch up with, regardless of what else is happening around us. Here’s a peek:
In May, I’m flying to Florida for the wedding of one of one of my closest high school crew in Sarasota. I’ll also be visiting my girl Angie in Jacksonville, heading to Orlando for a bachelorette weekend I’m planning at Universal Orlando, and hanging with my two favorite aunts in Tampa. I’m obsessed with Florida and would be thrilled if time allowed for me to dip over to Miami to see my cousin Eric, do some diving, or maybe even take that road trip down to Key West I’ve been dreaming of… but allegedly there are only thirty days in this particular month, so we will have to see how flexible the time space continuum ends up being.
In June, I’m going back to Bonnaroo. Even better? I’m bringing my mom and her boyfriend Miller! The two of them hit it off big time with blogger bestie Kristin this past summer, and we all vowed this would be our year for fulfilling Miller’s dream of making it to ‘Roo. A festival as a family affair? I can’t wait to try it.
In July, I’m going to Maine! This is actually the only new state and/or country I currently have on the docket for the year, which is kind of crazy pants. Another one of my dearest friends from high school is getting hitched in Harpswell, and I’m pining to turn it into an excuse for a full-blown road trip. At an absolute minimum I want to spend a few days in Portland and check out Kennebunkport — and if the calendar shakes out enough days for me, I’ll venture north to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, too!
In August, I’ll head to Chicago for my cousin Kirsten’s wedding (congratulations to the beautiful bride-to-be!).
Aside from those anchors, the summer is still fuzzy. Here are some maybes: I might be sticking around post-Bonnaroo for a bachelorette party in Nashville. I will most likely be in Martha’s Vineyard the first week of July for family time — and I’m also considering popping over to Nantucket for the Nantucket Yoga Festival! I may have another family wedding in Illinois before the year is out.
And then there’s Nevada. I may return to the playa — Burning Man is still very much on my radar. I may put into action the Nevada road trip I’ve had percolating for the last year or two (I need to see Britney’s revamped show, visit the Seven Magic Mountains art installation and camp in Valley of Fire National Park, stat) so if those came together it would be pretty perfect.
Also, some big changes are heading my way and while I’m not ready to discuss them publicly just yet, I might be popping down to Central America for a bit over the summer to let them percolate in private first. More details coming your way soon.
September-December // And beyond…
Nine months down the line is simply too far to predict with too much accuracy where I’ll be. This time last year, I could have never guessed I’d spend these months in the United Kingdom, Hawaii and Jamaica (content coming soon!)
In the last month, as I started to feel the pressure of writing this post and having basically nothing on the horizon — a lot of the above has come together in the last thirty days! — I started to think more about really prioritizing my dream trips rather than just waiting and seeing what the universe throws at me or what’s convenient, as I have fallen into a habit of doing. In fact, I recently started working on actually putting pen to paper and writing a comprehensive travel bucket list, which I may turn into a blog post soon.
So in that spirit, here is a sampling of some of my dream trips that feel feasible for 2017, which I may work on slotting in somewhere from June onward, en route back to my winter basecamp of Thailand.
• Uruguay: I just really want to go here. I don’t know why. I feel like Uruguay is usually an afterthought tacked on to trips to Argentina or Brazil but I’m completely captivated by this little country. Maybe it’s my obsession with tiny nations, maybe it’s my love for their famously humble ex-president, maybe I just like beaches and wine and yoga. Bonus! This would be a new country for me. However, Uruguay’s beach cities and towns have a fairly tiny window of action in December-March, and since I’m in Asia through May this would have to be a December trip.
• Burma, Borneo and/or Brunei: It’s now been eight years since I first began traveling to Southeast Asia, and I regularly marvel that there is still so much I have yet to see. Including both the countries of Burma and Brunei (I still have Timor Leste still to visit as well, but I’m shelving that one for the moment) and the Malaysian state of Borneo. Eventually visiting every country in this region is important to me, and so I hope that either a trip to Burma or a joint trip to Borneo and Brunei is in order for late 2017.
• Jamaica: I’ve had a Jamaica road trip on the noggin for a while now. My surprise trip here at the end of 2016 (more on that coming soon!) only made taking a big one feel more urgent. I want to rent a car, hit the open road, and explore the raw, soulful side of this island nation in a way that few get the opportunity to do. Unlike Uruguay, Jamaica is a place I’d be thrilled to travel in the low season, and so summer or fall might be the perfect fit.
• Mexico: There’s a glaring un-scratched swath on my scratch-off travel map, and it’s Mexico. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to wait and really do justice to, but I’m starting to think I just need to start somewhere and dive in there and get hooked so I can keep coming back over and over again. It’s hardly unchartered territory, but The Yucatan Peninsula is calling me pretty loudly. Whale sharks of Holbox… here I come! And yup, this would be another new country to add to the list.
I have a lot of other dream trips rambling around in my mind — CONTINENT OF AFRICA HI I WANT TO BE IN YOU — but these are the ones that I feel I could realistically tackle right now given my current energy levels and priorities and desires, though clearly, a lot can happen in a year. I think I kind of need a lower-key year in order to get my house in order — lol JK I don’t have a house but it’s a thing people say right? — and get really whipped up into a travel frenzy again for some wild adventures in the future.
When I first began this post I fretted that you all might think it a bit boring. Now that I’ve put it together, I couldn’t be more excited about the year ahead! Festivals, weddings, and so many favorite old places to fall even further in love with.
Okay so now that I’ve dished… what are your travel plans for 2017? Which of these trips are you most excited to virtually come along on?
Looking forward to talking all things travel in the comments!
I recommend going to Borneo for all of the eco-tourism. I’ll be traveling to Borneo next month and will be diving in Sabah and visiting Orangutans and Sun bears in Sandakan. I’m super excited about this trip. I’m also happy to share resources from my itinerary.
Oh and happy new year!
Hey Daisy, that would be awesome, please do! Shoot me an email 🙂 And thank you, happy new year to you as well!
2017 may not end up as extravagantly vagabondish as in past years, but it still seems exhilarating! It’s good to prioritize family and friends, and that definitely seems like a major goal for you this year (aside from festivals, hehe). My 2017 travel plans involve London for 18 days, a semester in Russia, a week in Scotland, the summer visiting friends and family in Germany, a girls’ trip to Belize with my best friend, a volunteer trip in the fall, and, if time and money allows, Israel and Jordan in the winter! Whew. I’ve loved following your adventures and can’t wait to keep reading!
“Not as extravagantly vagabondish as past years” is the PERFECT way to summarize 2017 for me 🙂 Your plans sound fabulous, excited for you!
Uruguay has also been a fascinating country to me, as well. Beautiful beaches, beautiful architecture, home to the first World Cup tournament, and yet it is the “forgotten country” stuck in between Brazil and Argentina. I really hope you end up there later this year so I can “virtually” tag along!
Maybe I should make a poll… definitely always curious to know what you all are most excited to read above! One vote for Uruguay!
Though I loved so much of Malaysia, I have to say I think Penang was not only my favorite city of Malaysia, but quite possibly one of my favorite cites I have ever been to! They are known for their amazing street art – I made myself a little scavenger hunt and spent a few hours roaming the city trying to locate nd visit all of the amazing street art! If you have time I highly recommend doing the same! It’s amazing to see the respect the city has for the street art! Enjoy!
Yes we are definitely planning to do the same! I was looking for an official street art tour (since I do really enjoy the insights behind them) but haven’t found anything, so we will indeed be DIYing. Your comment makes me even more excited!
Looks like a relaxing and rejuvenating travel year! So many festivals!! I am so excited to virtually go to Maine with you- that part of the country is gorgeous. My travel plans for 2017 are: Washington D.C (maybe), Mexico, Malta, Belgium, Peru, and Long Island. I am so excited!! Wishing you the best year of travels.
Wow you’ve got a lot of my favorites in there! I love it! 2017 is going to be a great year!
Your plans for this year sound great! I’m taking it slow this first half of the year as well. I’ll be going to St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, a “surprise” birthday weekend trip (surprise because I don’t know where I’ll go yet), and to a wedding in Ireland. Other than that I would like to visit all microstates in Europe; and I’d like to go on one big trip. I don’t know where yet, but I hear the lemurs in Madagascar calling out to me. It’s not very likely it will happen this year, but it’s one of the places I’d like to explore as soon as possible. Here’s to an awesome 2017! 🙂
Well as a certified lover of all things holiday, I adore the sound of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland! The rest of the year doesn’t sound too shabby either 😉
Good news – May has 31 days 😉 Your point still stands, I’m just being cheeky 😀
I could have easily been convinced that Wonderfruit was your very own festival! It sounds so you, right down to the name.
Hope you have a great 2017!
Ha ha — I love when I try to be cheeky and trip and fall on my face instead. And yes, Wonderfruit does sound suspiciously like something I dreamed up! Here’s hoping it fulfills all my wildest dreams!
I’m having one of those surprisingly unplanned Q1s, as well, and it’s odd, right? Part of me wants to delight in the time home, while part of me is getting the shakes to just BOOK A FLIGHT OR SEVEN ALREADY.
Regardless, I’m SUPER excited for you and Miller and Kathryn to come stay this summer! I think we need to get Olivia here, as well!
Also, totally in for that Jamaica trip if it happens! One of the few major Caribbean isles I’ve yet to visit, as you know, and we could make that our Camels & Chocolate/Alex in Wanderland dive trip for the year!
P.S. that aerial silks workshop is GOALS. Wish I were coming to visit during that week!
(Elbows gently to remind you about the yoga festival that I want to be acro partners at…)
I love ALL these ideas. So happy to have at least one trip on the books, with I’m sure many more to come!
Never boring Alex, always interesting, informative and full of life 🙂
I too would love to live in Bangkok for a while. The first time I visited I hated it, the second, I loved it by the third I wanted to try living here. I think it would be such an interesting experience!
Look forward to finding out more about your trips and business plans. Like finding you on the TUI video. Such a lovely surprise.
Hope its not to bad now on Koh Tao from the rains.
I think a lot of people go through a similar journey with Bangkok! Clearly, I’ve also reached the “live there” stage. Can’t wait to see it become a (albeit brief) reality. And we are hanging in there from the rain… put some photos on the Alex in Wonderland Facebook page.
You’re going to love Maine! I used to go there every year with my family for vacation. Make sure to stop by ogunquit which isn’t too far from where you’ll be and Perkins Cove. There’s an ice cream place there that is awesome and lots of great restaurant options plus some awesome sightseeing 🙂
Awesome thanks for the tips! I have heard of Ogunquit but not Perkin’s Cove. Will look it up!
Travel is good, I like to travel and then I like to come home to my own bed
I’m enjoying that as well… at least for the first four months of the year!
I’m not a travel blogger, at all, I actually work all the time (in a job I love). But I also can’t sleep sometimes because I want to see so many places. 1) this year I am going to South Africa for two weeks and it’s my only big thing but I couldn’t be more excited. 2) I do find making lists and remembering even if I only do one per year, that someday I’ll look back and have seen a lot of amazing things, makes some of my anxiety subside.
I feel ya Kate (and congrats on South Africa amazing!) Someone once advised me to make a “reverse bucket list” of all the amazing things I’ve already done. Really helps when the fear strikes!
Such a great line-up of trips & places! But good that you’re spending some time to work in a more stable environment for the first part of the year. Sounds like you need it – just reading your post made me feel jet-lagged! It definitely reaffirmed my belief that being constantly on the move is not something I want for myself. As much as I love travel, for me it’s those weeks in between that really make the travelling part sing.
Lately, I couldn’t agree more. Loving having this “down time” at the moment! (Well, down time in the sense that I’m in one place, though I’m busier with work than ever!
I’d offer you my Airbnb in Chicago, but that’s the month that I am moving into my car! Ok, technically, I’m going to Switzerland, but giving up my apartment and putting everything in storage…woohoo!
Mexico…yes, go! I actually went twice this year (Mexico City and Baja) OMG, the food! My mom predicts I’ll be an expat in Mexico by the end of this year and I hope she’s right!
Aw, you’re so sweet Leigh thank you! I love your mom’s prediction… and I might not be too long behind you!
Hey Alex, that sounds like a lovely balance between travel and a bit of R&R. Good luck with catching up on the backlog of posts – I’m looking forward to reading about travels through the UK and your Hawaiian road trip in particular.
That Wonderfruit festival also sounds amazing. Do detail everything you learn about plastic-free living and pass it on please… always looking for tips in that area!
Absolutely! Your journey so inspires me. A friend of mine is currently working on developing tooth powder that I’m literally giddy to try… can’t wait to ditch the plastic tube!
I would suggest including India as well in your itinerary for first half of the year if possible. India is so vivid in colors with a rich cultural heritage, I am sure you will love it.
Hey Shailendra! I don’t think India is on the itinerary for me this year, but perhaps in the future!
Burma is absolutely amazing! You should definitely try to make it there before tourism really explodes. You can get up close and personal with all of the temples in Bagan and its still relatively cheap to travel around. Plus its stunning!
Fingers crossed I can squeeze it in this year! If not… 2018 for sure 😉
That certainly doesnt’ sound like a boring year at all. Self care is important and I for one am excited to read about all your 2016 travels.
I really related to this “I started to think more about really prioritizing my dream trips rather than just waiting and seeing what the universe throws at me or what’s convenient.”
I fall into this same trap, which is why I decided that in 2017 I’m finally taking my dream trip to New Zealand. I was always waiting for the most perfect time. Well that time hasn’t come so even though it’s 2 weeks rather than the 2 months of my dreams; I’m making it happen.
That’s awesome Whitney! Kudos! Yes, that’s how I’ve been with Mexico… oh ho hum I’ll go when I have six months. Well why not just go when I have six DAYS!? It’s not that inaccessible or expensive to get to — I just need to go.
I love this post as I am such a planner! I’m excited to hear more Thailand posts. Debating between Thailand or Croatia for my honeymoon next year, so these sway me in the direction I want it to go ? As for my 2017 travel plans, have Nicaragua, Peru (inca Trail), and Bolivia on the docket. In the US, New York City and Denver will be new cities for me!
Ah wonderful Emily! I have some posts about Khao Sok coming up soon that would be perfect for a honeymoon! Stay tuned! And what an amazing year… you’ve got some of my favorites ahead.
These sound like really fun plans! You may be relaxing for the first half of the year but honestly it still seems pretty travel-packed to me! I would love to hear about you going somewhere like Brunei or Borneo, I’ve been wanting to go those places forever and no bloggers have really written about them in awhile.
Just bought the digital guidebooks 😉 First step towards making it a reality!
Ahh, so jealous of all the adventures, even if it isn’t many! I have no plans to leave the US in the next 9 months, which is the longest I’ve been here in years! It’s very weird, but I’m hoping to have all the adventures after next fall! I can’t wait to read about all of yours!
Sometimes I love the anticipation stage almost as much as actually doing the trip 🙂 So I say savor the downtime! I know I’m loving mine.
You’e got some great trips coming up this year. Yay!
I’m very interested in your trips to Jamaica, Burma, Borneo and Brunei!
I’ve got many plans for this year with many repeat destinations but the ones that I’m really forward to are Croatia, Sweden and Russia. Oh, and I want to fit in a Phd this year too!
Just casually thrown in at the end there 😉 A Phd in what? How exciting!
First of all, YAY FOR MAINE! 🙂 I’m from just outside of Portland so let me know if you have any questions or would like to meet up for a drink. I have a feeling you will just love Portland. We have a great art scene (really awesome street art), restaurants, coffee, and craft breweries. We even have a few wineries, too!
My 2017 travel plans are a little vague at the moment, but I think I will be traveling around SEA for the first time after my visa runs out in April. I’ll be certainly reading a lot of your posts to plan my travels, which will include lots of diving! Then back to Maine and the “real world.”
However, like you, I dream of Africa. I’ve been debating during a two-month overland tour of southern Africa. How amazing would that be?!
I’d love to meet up for a drink Katelyn! I’ll keep you in the loop on my trip for sure. Sounds like we have a lot of similar travel interests 🙂
What exciting plans! I’m heading off to Thailand myself in just a couple short weeks, and just booked the next trip to Spain! 🙂
Awesome Lisa! Always good to have another trip to look forward to, as the last one ends 🙂
Its ok Alex, we Africans (more specifically South Africans) understand that you HATE us and our glorious land! 😉
But when you do visit in 2018 you have a free tour guide and place to stay. Hurrah!
Aw, thanks Sasha! I’m coming for ya (one of these days!)
Boring, HA! This post has got my mind whirling. To answer your questions, I’d be most interested to follow you through Burma (one of my fave ever trips) and Borneo (on my own 2017 list as well!).
As for my own plans, the only things that are firm are renting a villa in Ibiza with friends in May and a Devon wedding in July. And many visits to Toronto to see my new niece! But lots of possibilities including Indonesia, Morocco, Poland, India and getting through as much of my UK list as possible – Bath, Bristol, St. Ives, the Eden Project, Cambridge, Scotland…the list goes on and on!
Just bought a Borneo digital guidebook! Whooo hooo! Here’s hoping that sets the wheels in motion. And yes, so much goodness to see in the UK! Can’t wait to write about my trip…
I’m writing this from Holbox now (though the whale sharks aren’t here, sadly), and I have to say: COME TO MEXICO.
I could write about it forever, as evidenced by the avalanche of posts I have written and the future posts that I have planned, but really, I can’t imagine someone who loves Thailand as much as you do not loving Mexico.
After two trips and 6 solid weeks here this time, I can officially say that Mexico is one of my favorite countries.
Looking forward to seeing where 2017 takes you!
Yayyyyy! This is the exact reaction I am hoping to have someday. Just did some digital guidebook shopping and picked up a Lonely Planet Mexico! Fingers crossed this is my year…
Your plans certainly aren’t boring! I absolutely loved Maine, especially Bar Harbor so I can’t wait for your post about that. Also, Borneo is amazing, so if you can make that happen you won’t regret it! Like you, I’m spending the first few months of the year in Thailand before pushing myself to visit some countries I’ve yet to see in Asia: Nepal and Sri Lanka. Happy New Year!
Awesome Amy! Now I’m off to see if you’ve blogged about Borneo or Maine 😉
It sounds like it’s gonna be a great year, Alex! I think I’m most excited to read about a potential road trip around Jamaica. Jamaica was the first real backpacking trip I ever took. I was 19… so it was a really long time ago! But man, I fell in love with that country. Treasure Beach was paradise (though I’m guessing it’s changed a lot!). I’ve never had the chance to go back to Jamaica, but if I ever do a road trip sounds like such a fun way to explore the country. I can’t wait to see if it pans out for you!!
Very cool Justine! I read Treasure Beach described as “Martha’s Vineyard forty years ago” so of course I’m completely obsessed with going there specifically. What a cool first backpacking trip! Guessing there was no blog back then… 😉
Hey Alex! Saw that you’re thinking about Mexico- I highly recommend going to Tulum (about an hour and a half south of Cancun). It’s this amazing bohemian, hippie vibe, with tiny beach resorts and amazing restaurants. My favorite place in the world!
Tulum is one of the reasons I want to visit Mexico! It seems like the kind of place that was made for me <3 Thanks for the reinforcing that!
I’m a little bummed to not see Washington on your list for the US, because I think I’m going to be spending a lot (most?) of my time there this year. That said, I could feasibly travel to one of your for-sure destinations to meet you! I would love to hang with you stateside for the first time EVER.
Wow so weird to think about! I love this idea… and the one we started cooking up on Facebook! Washington is on my must-visit list for sure, someday. I can’t wait to see the place that made YOU!
I JUST went to Penang and had an absolute BLAST! I was only planning on spending a couple of days there, but plans changed and it turned into four.
The food courts are the best. Our favorite was called the KC food court (I think). We were surprised at how much fun we had at the Wonderfood museum, when neither of us are museum people. It’s a hilarious food museum and you can familiarize yourself with the street food (so you have an idea about what you’re ordering) And there is a free walking tour out of the info center that is a great way to spend a morning.
That does sound like a pretty hilarious museum! We just booked four nights there and are looking forward to making a little vacation out of it!
Oh Bonnaroo <3 I still have no idea if I can make it again this year but after seeing the lineup it's become a muuuuuch bigger priority.
I'm based in Central America now (currently have an apartment in Costa Rica) so of course I think any trip to Central America is a good trip!
I’m super excited about the lineup too! So many people seem bummed about it… I’m like hello this is awesome! I’d go anyway for the atmosphere and fun 🙂 Let me know if you make it!
OMG! I saw an ad for Wonderfruit Festival and it looks SO cool, I really want to go! How amazing is it that it’s completely eco-friendly? That sounds like my kind of festival! I am also thinking this is my year of the festival because I really want to go to the Bali Spirit Festival in March. It’s over a week of amazing workshops, music, etc.
Your 2017 travels (even if they’re not set in stone yet) sound totally fabulous!
Oh, I’ve heard awesome things about Bali Spirit Festival. Please go so you can tell me all about it! And I’ll do the same with Wonderfruit…
Prioritising dream trips, yes! Last year I ended up in Norway and Austria by pure co-incidence and convenience and while it was awesome it is not really what I had in mind of amazing adventures of 2016. I should have visited my friend in Japan and taken my mum to Cuba or Vietnam. So one of those three countries has to happen in 2017. In 2018 I will have a friend in Mexico so I would love to see if/when you go there. Are you planning to visit any archaeological sites?
Man, I know EXACTLY what you mean. So many times I’m on a trip and I’m like this is cool, how did I get here? Ha ha. I think because I have so many time and flexibility it means I sometimes really do just bop around. I need to start pausing to prioritize one dream trip a year like I’d do if I was working full time at an office job.
And if I got to Mexico I’ll absolutely be all over the archaeological sites!
Your year sounds anything but boring, Alex! It sounds like a great balance of enjoying your home base, spending time with family/friends, and living it up at all the festivals. I hope you get to make one of your dream trips, too – there’s a lot to be said for waiting to see what the universe brings you, but sometimes you also just have to make things happen!
My year is still pretty fuzzy. I’ll probably be back in Ghana for work a few times this year, and I’d like to explore more of the West Africa region – Benin, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire (I need to get working on my French!). I’m also hoping to meet up with friends who will be traveling in the summer/fall – maybe in Eastern Europe or the Balkans? And I’d really like to spend Thanksgiving 2017 in Oaxaca/Mexico City – LegalNomad’s instagram has had me drooling for long enough now that I need to plan a visit of my own.
You should also check out The Sweetest Way — Leah is currently in Oaxaca and I’m sure will only fan the flames of that desire! Your travels in West Africa sound fabulous… I’m jealous (in a good way) and I hope to follow them to fan my own flames!
What a lovely post! I hope you achieve your goals this 2017; mine just involves seeing as many US states as I possibly can!
Sounds like an awesome goal! I’m moving slowly at ticking off states. Whenever I’m in the US I’m returning to the same few over and over, and it can be tough to find time to add new ones into the mix. Hence my excitement for Maine!
I love this post! I’m always excited to read about peoples’ upcoming trip plans, so I’d never find a post like this boring. I’m SO excited to read about your Jamaica trip, as that’s been high up on my travel dream list for awhile now. As is Hawaii, actually! I want to see Kauai so badly (a girl can keep dreaming, right?) As for your hopefully upcoming trips, Uruguay would be amazing to read about as you always seem to find the best hidden gems. Good luck with your surgery also, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you!
As for my travel plans, my biggest trip of the year is going to be a road trip to and around PEI with one of my best friends as a late birthday celebration. I’ve never been and I’m beyond excited to check off another province.
I love these kind of posts too — they are my absolute favorite to read. And I have to say, write as well!
Alex, have you ever done a county map at mapchart.net? Like one of these: https://i.redd.it/dotx387nae8y.png
they’re a really fun way to see where you’ve actually been in the US (and fun especially for visualizing road trips!). Just thought it might be cool to see for your US travels (not an ad ;p)
Oh wow no I haven’t but that looks like a blast! Definitely going to work on mine while I watch a movie tonight 😉
Sounds like another amazing year Alex, and certainly not boring! Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures 🙂
Thank you Caroline! Looking forward to what’s ahead 🙂
Those are some pretty awesome travel plans! I’m sure you’ll love Mexico. It’s still my favourite country. The scuba diving is awesome, especially in the cenotes!
That’s what I’d be going for! And now I’m off to check your blog to see if you’ve written any posts about it 🙂
Very useful guide for the travel 2017. good sharing alex..Waiting for the next post..
Sorry it took a while! I kicked off 2017 with some SERIOUS technical difficulties! But two new posts are live now 🙂
Hey Alex, in the past I found that when I plan the least and don’t expect much, the craziest and best opportunities came to me! Who knows, maybe this year will bring that for you, too! In the meanwhile I’m excited about all the upcoming content. Greetings from Germany 🙂
You are so right Anna… already I am going on one trip that wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye when I wrote this post 😉 Funny how life works out!
So many awesome adventures on the horizon! I’m headed to Isla Holbox this year too! I’m waiting until those whale sharks come back around July! Can’t wait! Mexico City is a pretty great spot too 😉
Maybe I’ll bump into you there 😉
Looks like a great year ahead. Looking forward to reading your adventures.
Thanks Rebecca! It’s shaping up to be a great year!
You’ve got great plans, Alex! I’ll steal a couple of them, if you don’t mind 😀
Go for it! That’s every travel blogger’s end goal, to have someone recreate their trips, isn’t it? 🙂
Sometimes it’s great not to have plan because it brings adventures and new experiences you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Indeed! I’ve already had some exciting opportunities come up since I wrote this post! Woo hoo 2017!
Happy New Year, Alex. Glad you picked Penang, it’s one of my fav places (for street food & heritage) Been there many times.
Oh, seems like no Airasia direct flight for you, even nearest airport is from Surat Thani airport – BKK – Penang.
Penang is famous for its local hawker fares, so don’t get turned off by roadside stalls. One of most famous night hawker street is on New Lane street(go there for dinner)
Don’t go to Gurney Drive for its food. You can skip the local beaches.
But you should explore Penang streets, heritage buildings/shophouses, street murals by Ernest Zacharevic. If that’s not quite enough, have a look at Time Out Penang website.
You will be spoiled for choices when you choose your accommodation. There’s many nice heritage boutique hotels around. Hope you find one that suits your style. 🙂
If you are into rustic and bare minimum look, google Sekeping Victoria or Sekeping Pinang.
I know, such a shame! There used to be direct flights to Surat Thani and Koh Samui — unfortunately both were discontinued. We actually ended up booking a beautiful Airbnb. So excited to explore the city!
Enjoy your holiday in Penang. On a happier note for some people based in South East Asia, Airasia has just launched a new route from Kuala Lumpur to Hawaii (transit in Osaka, Japan). This will suit budget travellers.
I noticed Hawaii popped up on the Air Asia website! Very exciting indeed!
Hi Alex! Definitely visit Borneo! I absolutely loved Sabah. The locals are really friendly. Diving at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park isn’t all that amazing so you can give it a miss. That said, the snorkeling packages are dirt cheap so no harm giving that a go. Make sure you don’t miss Pulau Gaya if you do! If you have the time to spare, Semporna has much better dive sites (or so I’ve been told).
If you’ve talked to any Malaysian/Singaporean at any length, you should have noticed how we say “lah” at the end of nearly everything. In Sabah, the word is bah”. Don’t get too confused when it keeps popping up in conversation 😉
Oh, thank you for all these tips Jael! Definitely filing this away! I really hope to make Borneo happen for me this year… and if not 2017, than 2018 for sure!
I just got back from Zambia and I learned sometimes you just have to go for it. There are a lot of places out there that not many people give the time of day, and they really deserve to be explored!
Awesome work, keep it up.
Zambia! That sounds like a true adventure. Clearly, as you can tell from this post, I do have Africa on the brain 🙂
It’s interesting that you will be traveling a little less this year, in a way putting down at least a few roots. Its seems to be a general topic. I’m not a nomad, but I love to travel. But this year I also need to turn down the dial on my travel plans and do a little less than last year, mainly because other things in my life need to take precedence in 2017. And I completely understand the feeling of being back-logged with my blog content!
Yup! I look forward to using this “down time” to really brush away some of the things on my to-do list that have been weighing me down, catch up on my content, and work on some passion projects. It feels great and I know will lead to happier and healthier travels in the future!
This looks like an awesome itinerary for 2017
Thanks James! I am really looking forward to it!
Hey Alex! You seem to have been enjoying Thailand so much! On my side, I’ve spent almost 2 years living and working in Bangkok now. If you ever stop by this city this month (or next month), let me know – I can show you my favourite place to hang out. I’ll be moving back to Bali (I’m from Indonesia) in March so it’ll be cool if I can meet you before leaving Thailand. Your blog inspires me so much! Cheers xxx
Hey Misha! I’m in Bangkok all the time and love it! Not sure when exactly I will be back, maybe February. Thanks so much for your kind words!
Firstly, I am glad I am not the only one who finds it difficult to fall asleep because of travel dreams and inspiration! I haven’t heard of the Wonderfruit festival but will have to head there next year once we have moved 🙂 For your visa, do you have the 90 day tourist visa and do tourist runs? I will be getting a work visa but partner will have to do tourist runs until we get married by the looks of it 🙂 wasn’t sure how easy/scary it is?
Hope you enjoy the weddings during the spring/summer months, must be so nice to head home and see friends and family for such a special occasion. We visited Florida during our USA tour but wish we had headed to Miami – maybe next year for the Ultra festival?!
I look forward to reading all your posts about the past year and the year coming up! Have a good one 🙂
Hey Katie! This year I got the multiple entry six month visa, but I still have to extend every sixty days and leave the country every ninety. Luckily there are so many very cool neighboring countries that are perfect for a quick and easy weekend away — I love turning visa runs into little trips!
And keep an eye on Wonderfruit! It was moved because of the King’s death, but typically it is in February. Happy travels!
Thanks Alex for this lovely post. Very busy looking plan you have for this year. Love to read your more posts about your upcoming travels 🙂
Thanks for coming along for the ride, Allen! Looking forward to sharing my 2017 travels!
So Far this year I spent most of January in Mexico. Currently in Florida, visiting family, and planning for summer in Europe- I’m spending June in Paris, learning French!
Not sure where I’ll be in between- definitely passing through NYC, definitely some west coast USA time.. and at least one surprise. Excited!!!!
Wow… that sounds like an amazing year! Mexico and Florida make the perfect winter sun combo 🙂 And Paris for the summer, how magical! I look forward to following along on Instagram!
Hi Alex! I’m not a full-time traveler and I’ve never commented before, but I LOVE your site. Crossing my fingers that your computer is up and running again soon!
I think your year ahead sounds amazing. I’m especially excited to read about Burma, Borneo and–oddly, since I’m American–some of your stateside destinations.
In 2017, I’ve already laid out plans for a week in Tulum, weekends in Minneapolis, Portland and Seattle, and a possible week exploring LA. I’m from California and yet I know so little about La La Land–any advice on neighborhoods to explore?
Hey Jill! Don’t have *my* computer back yet but thrilled to be back to posting again now that my files were recovered! Your trips for the year sound awesome! My favorite neighborhoods in LA so far have been Silverlake and Los Feliz, but I’d like to spend more time in the different beach ‘hoods — loved Venice when I spent a few days there a few years back. Have a blast!
It sounds like you have one heck of a year planned! We just solidified some of our plans for the year as well! Although we have a lot planned, I am a little sad we can’t visit every single country in the world this year! I am sure you know the feeling:)
Do I ever! I am constantly waging an internal battle between going EVERYWHERE and chilling out a bit to let myself breathe and catch up on life 🙂 It never ends…
Don’t miss Monkey Cup garden at the top of Penang Hill. The plants are amazing, the host is incredibly friendly, and they serve the best coffee! If you’re lucky, you might even get to hold a scorpion!
Thanks for the tip, Lisa! I appreciate it! Though I gotta be honest… I don’t know about the scorpion holding 😉
Ahh that all sounds amazing!! Maine is so beautiful! And if you do spend time in Portland, take a day to check out Peak’s Island- a quick ferry ride from the main land and you can rent bikes and explore. It’s adorable 🙂
Thanks for the tip, Tory! I am so excited to lock in my Maine dates so I can really start planning my summer out!
Let me know if you go to BM this year! I’m part of a theme camp thats all about hugs and champagne! Would love to chat adventures with you over some bubbly! 🙂
Hey Brooke! That sounds AMAZING! My summer is getting so chaotic already I’m panicking that I might miss another burn but you made it sound pretty enticing there in just a few sentences <3
Sounds like you’re going to have a brilliant year once again!
I would really advise you to visit Borneo. I went there last summer and it was amazing! Also would advise visiting Mexico, was there last month and it’s now in my top 3 of the countries I have ever visited!
Let me know if you’d like some tips, always happy to help out.
They are both super high on my list… fingers crossed I can make one or both happen!
Wow, you are living THE life of a travel blogger. Yes, it sounds incredibly hectic and I understand why you need to buckle down and just.write.content. But incredibly inspiring to see someone who can live this kind of life while owning a media business. Amazing!
Thank you so much Bianca — I really appreciate that dearly! My travels have slowed down significantly in 2018, and it has given me plenty of writing time.