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