It’s National Plan a Vacation Day! Here’s what I’ve got in the works…
You know how the saying goes.
If you want to make the universe laugh, tell it your pandemic-era travel plans!
So I should start this post by saying, anyone who dares to share content such as this best be sitting at a wooden desk they can knock on, cause I think we all know that COVID is not afraid to turn this car around if we don’t buckle our seatbelts and stop punch-buggying each other in the back seat, am I right?
As always, it’s entertaining to look pack on my plans and predictions for the previous year and see what actually panned out. I’m sure it will be not a huge surprise that many of the rescheduled events I had expected to occur last year, were once again rescheduled to this year, with some abandoned entirely. Fingers crossed, 2022 will usher in without incident a rescheduled wedding, a bumped conference, a delayed bachelorette party, and three postponed retreats.
But I’m excited too about all the newness that is occurring. Four (or more!) new countries. Two new states! My first liveaboard charter! A new festival! Other stuff!
Here’s what I have planned! Yuck it up, universe!
January // East Coast Ease In
Well this part I can confirm is accurate, because it is happening live. I kicked off 2022 in Philadelphia, on the dance floor at my sister Olivia’s stunning New Year’s Eve wedding. After the celebrations closed, I made my way to The Catskills to treat myself to some winter wonderlanding — and my vowed annual ski trip — in Hunter, New York. I sense a future retreat happening right here, because it was too divine not to share.
I write this post from Albany, where I am using my fresh start New Year energy to do the final Marie Kondo step to cleaning out my mom’s house — tackling the chaotic boxes and baskets and piles of photos, letters, and family ephemera dating back generations that I’ve been avoiding now for two years. Heavy but beautiful. I’m also using the time to do a major audit of my own belongings that I’ve been keeping at my mom’s house, manifesting getting ready for a home base of my own, soon.
Finally, I’ll make my way to my de facto headquarters of 2021 — New York City. I knew this year was going to be bananas (brace thyselves) so I am really proud of myself for keeping this month relatively free of obligations and allowing myself to use it to get strategically set up for the year ahead.
February // Mexico, Mi Amor
¡Vamanos Tulum! I can’t seem to quit this country that has been such a warm, welcoming host to me since the pandemic began. Mexico, I will never forget your kindness. I’m co-hosting my first retreat of the year with my friend Brenna, who has become so dear to me in such a short time, as well as getting an exciting new PADI certification, and hopefully sneaking in a day or two at a new-to-me destination in Quintana Roo.
The second half of February is a funny one. I was heavily debating between attending Envision in Costa Rica and Carnival in Trinidad; feeling deep in my soul that a festival was what I needed. Then Envision got cancelled and Carnival was scaled back so hard it will in no way resemble a Nicki Minaj music video.
So I switched gears and started considering two retreats (as an attendee!) — one with a yoga company I’ve admired for years and one with an eco-influencer I have followed for years. Then one of those got cancelled, too.
I guess the universe was telling me to get my booty back to work, because next thing you know, two blog campaign opportunities fell in my lap, and I accepted both. The first of which, a winter getaway with a fellow influencer I love traveling with, is, say it with me folks, probably cancelled — or should I say, likely to be rescheduled due to omicron. You know what? I’m taking it in stride — I genuinely feel blessed this kind of work is coming my way again. You guys will be the first to know when and if it’s a go.
The next campaign brings me back to… the Middle East! I’ve been dying to visit Jordan for years — and I was slated to go in April of 2020 — though to be honest, I hesitated at the idea of going in February. Believe it or not, this part of the Middle East does experience a winter, and I’ve always been more of a some like it hot kind of girl. Luckily I decided to get over myself, so please drop all your Jordan tips in the comments below. I can’t wait!
March // Maldives, Baby
Okay, pinch me. March is pretty much my dream month!
After my Jordan campaign wraps, I’ll likely be heading to Israel (for the first time in two years, be still my heart) to casually plan my upcoming retreats there yet again. Third time’s a charm, baby! Before I knew Israel was opening, I was planning a backup research ski trip to Lebanon for a future Wander Women Retreat, so there’s always that to fall back on.
Next, I’ll be getting a new passport stamp in Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is another new country for me, so I’d love to hear any ideas you have — I’m planning five days to get a feel for the city and hopefully spend a night or two in the desert as well.
Finally, I’m flying to the Maldives! Years ago I saw the liveaboard I chartered for this inaugural Wander Women at sea retreat at a conference and though I didn’t know at the time how, I vowed that someday, that boat would be mine. (Ya know, for a week.) We have the best crew ever with a huge percentage of alumni guests, making it truly feel like I’m going to be on a boat full of friends for a week of diving and luxuriating through the 1,200 islands of the Maldives. It’s a career milestone for me.
Curious what Maldivian life is like on land, I also launched a capital-based cultural extension that will kick off the trip, and am thinking about heading to a resort for a few days after to unwind and indulge in my post-retreat me time ritual.
April // Going Home… I Hope
And then, I’m going back home. My old home, anyway.
I took a big gamble releasing two Thailand retreats for April and in retrospect, maybe a little too big of one. In light of Thailand’s strong reaction to omicron and resulting tightening of restrictions, we do have to delay one of the trips to 2023 (the new guidelines only allow for stays in SHA+ approved hotels, and our signature dive trip is hosted at a private villa — but join us next year!) Or, nab the last spot for 2022’s totally beginner aerial trip, which we are able to move forward with as it’s hotel-based.
Once this plan was in place, I was almost instantly sad I couldn’t be in Thailand a bit longer. I love this place! But, I have a pretty thrilling reason for rushing back to the US — I’m speaking at TravelCon! This will be my second time taking the stage, and I’m planning to time it to the release of a new ebook (or possibly an online course!) on the same topic — running trips for influencers.
TravelCon is taking place in Memphis, a new city I’m thrilled to visit! Since last year I missed out on my usual goal of a new state per year, I decided this time to make it two — my girl Katie and I will be taking a road trip through Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee!
May-June // The Land of Milk + Honey
After an event in Upstate New York honoring my mom in early May, I’ll be off to spend the majority of two months in Israel. After rescheduling these retreats from 2020 to 2021 and then from 2021 to 2022 and then seriously considering if we were bumping them to 2023 — not to mention all the deep heartache that I experienced trying to get back to the country before my Israeli partner and I parted ways — it will be a cathartic and triumphant moment to finally show this oft-misunderstood country through the lens I see it, I hope. Fill out this quick form if you’re interested in joining.
I simply cannot wait to be back, and am thrilled that I have such a long period to stretch out and spend in a place that has captured my heart since I first wandered over the border from Egypt in 2018.
July-September // The American Dream
The summer will find me back in the USA for so many happy reasons — my childhood best friend’s wedding, a long summer stretch in Martha’s Vineyard, and what I hope will be a bustling festival season including the return of Burning Man and my first Life is Beautiful. I basically already decided that regardless of wether Burning Man comes back officially or not, I will be going to Black Rock City and dancing around half naked in the desert. I need the return of festivals so bad!
I also have a US-based bachelorette weekend that may appear on my calendar here!
We’re also working to release a retreat for Women’s Dive Day in July, again… stay tuned, Wander Women. I love the idea of this becoming a tradition for us. It’s really a moment that helps me pause and reflect on what I’ve created.
October // The Unknown
Again, not to be too elusive, but I’ve pretty much set October aside at the moment for some longer international retreats that we are working to release soon. Normally, we’re really trying to have all retreats for the year released in early January, but omicron threw us some major curve balls and we’ve had to do a few resets. Feel free to gush on guesses or requests in the comments!
November-December // The Holidaze
I love that I’m starting to find my rhythm with the time I set aside for retreats, the time I block off for blog campaigns, and the time I put aside for myself. I seem to have a nearly bottomless fountain of energy for work travel in the spring and fall; but I like to keep the summers for me, and the holidays for friends and family.
At the very end of October I’ll head back to the US for my girl Shannon’s rescheduled bachelorette in the Big Easy, followed by what I’m sure will be another epic Halloween (I had so much fun doing Halloween to the max in 2021!)
I’m hoping in 2022 I revive my budding birthday trip tradition. Last year I had plans to bring a big group to Mexico for Day of the Dead in Oaxaca which I scrapped when it seemed the celebrations would be scaled back and my calendar had gotten a bit too hectic anyway. This might be the year to revive it!
Thanksgiving will be spent stateside with family and friends, and though I’m not sure the details yet, I can already feel the love (and taste the apple pie.) I loved having so much family time in 2021 around my sister’s wedding.
In December, I’m taking back Christmas. Though I am loathe to end this post on a low note, for the last three years, December has ushered in a wave of near-debilitating depression for me. I think what I need is a change of scenery combined with a heavy heaping of love and good company — which is why one of my best best friend’s Kat and I are heading to Europe for the Christmas Markets! I started researching the trip a bit, mostly via my blog friend Helene In Between, while looking for a pick-me-up over the recent holidays but if you’ve got any suggestions, I’m all ears. We’re thinking Germany, Austria and Switzerland, potentially capped off with a New Year’s ski trip somewhere fabulous and filled with friends.
. . .
And so there you have it! That’s the plan, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in recent years, it’s to stay light on my feet and be ready to pivot to a new one at any moment.
What about you? Let me know what you have planned for 2022!