Wanderlust 2014: Travel Dreams A Plenty

One of the big issues facing expats is the limited amount of leave you have in relation to the number of people ‘back home’ you want to see and how to balance this with your own innate desire to see the world and explore.

I have a looooooong travel lust list in my head that gets revised and edited periodically but for 2014 if I had all the time and money in the world, this is my top 3 wish list:

Asia: Myanmar/Burma: The temples, the hidden beaches, the sheer exotic landscape has pushed this to the top of my ‘badly, badly want to do’ list for the last 2 years. I’m conscious that the rest of the world is preparing to beat a path to this hitherto closed off corner of the world and I admit a highly competitive desire to get in there as soon as possible. Mr B is lucky enough to have a friend who has just moved there so it is not out of the realm of possibility. (Cambodia and specifically Angkor Wat is number two in this part of the world).

Africa: Ethiopia: In my childhood, this was the land of famine that the world mobilised to help. I knew nothing of its rich history, its startling landscapes, its hidden rock churches but now I do and I’m itching to graduate from my limited Southern Africa experience to something a little bit different. (Sierra Leone and Sao Tome & Principe are edging up the Africa list too…)

Central America: Belize: Having being thoroughly spoiled with safari in South Africa, I would really love the opportunity to spot jaguars in the wild. On top of this I’ve been fascinated with the lost jungle cities of the ancient Maya for a number of years. Last but not least, Mr B and I have yet to step foot in Central America even though this would require a bit of brushing up on the old español. (Chile is number two on the list).

At the bottom of the list are Iran, Libya and Syria where I’m not likely to be setting foot any time soon, sadly but where I’m itching to visit. They count as places I wish I’d been able to experience when things were a little calmer than they are right now.

In reality, 2014 looks like it is going to be a North America year. Mr B’s best friend is due to marry in July and next Christmas we’ll be with my in-laws. I’m hoping to catch up with friends in DC and to perhaps take a mini-road trip with Mr B in northern California in preparation for the big US roadtrip we’ve promised we’ll take as part of our 10 year anniversary extravaganza. Seeing more of Belgium and especially its odd festivals is also on the list of shorter trips, along with a family holiday in Menorca and a long weekend in Venice. And my wonderful friend A and I have promised ourselves at least one trip this year. Destination TBD which is always fun.

Lots to look forward to and more pieces of the global puzzle to explore. Bon voyage!

PS Emma, I’m really happy to see Brussels is on your 2014 list. Happy to give you some tips closer to the time ;D

9 responses

  1. Pingback: Saving up for the trip home « Wife School

  2. What a great list! Part of the reason we became expats is because we can’t afford our travel habits!! On the list for me this year? Exploring Peru (we just got here.) We may be able to take one regional trip since we didn’t get leave with the whole evacuation from Egypt business – I’d love to visit Argentina, and of course the Galapagos is not terribly far from here. Oh, and wineries in Chile… and hiking in the Andes, and I LOVE Rio… Yikes!

    Longer term, I would love to make it to Burma, but that would require an assignment in Asia. Hmmm. Thailand? Indonesia? India?

    • Ooh now your list has given me new ideas and reminded me Chile is definitely with Belize for my S. America list! Lucky you being in Peru, it looks an amazing country too. As for Asia postings, if you don’t mind chaos (and a past posting in Egypt suggests not) then India should be right up there. Definitely recommend it, we’d kill to go back again

  3. Wow that’s a dream list (similar to some of my ‘dream’ trips too)! Having been to East Africa, South Africa and Madagascar have been calling me – but didn’t consider Belize – you may have just made my dream list that much longer – jaguars in the wild would be awesome!

  4. I totally agree on the whole expat balancing act, it makes it even harder – does one miss out on family or exploring? It’s a toughie!
    Have the fun in travelling is the fun though – have you a shortlist for where your big trip might be?
    Thank you for the offer of travel advise – it’s much appreciated!

    • no short list yet for our 10 year trip. Still have 5 years to plan it or rather whittle down our vast wish list!

  5. All of these are dream destinations for me too – it is tough facing the expat ‘do I go home, or do I go exploring’ dilemna & guilt.
    I can’t wait to see Brussels – we are booked for March 😀 Are there many ‘must-dos’?

    • Thanks Emma.The must do’s in Brussels are relatively few which is great as the charm of the city is to sit back and relax. You must see the Grand’Place (have a beer on the 1st floor of the Roi d’Espagne) and Mannekin Pis (check out his costumes in the City Museum on the Grand’Place). If you’re feeling adventurous you can track down Jeannekin Pis (peeing girl) and Zannekin Pis (peeing dog). You should also stroll around the Petit and Grande Sablons (afternoon tea at one of the patisseries is great or there are lots of bars if you prefer a beer). The Magritte Museum is worth a look (try to book tickets in advance, it gets busy) and for the best views of the city, go round the corner to the cafe at the top of the Musical instruments museum. For something a bit different, go into Ixelles which has a mass of Art Nouveau houses designed by Victor Horta, little independent shops (try rue de baille – there is an amazing cupcake store called Lillicup on rue du page nearby – the street also has great restaurants), markets (Place Flagey is lovely). You must also try some frites. i personally rate the frite stand at Place de la Chapelle down the hill from the Sablon. To the left of this place are 2 parallel streets known for antiques, vintage clothes and other fun stuff in terms of window shopping. If you want to see the Atomium you can take the metro to Heysel. Anyway, hope that gives you some starting points!!

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