What do Tennessee, Mozambique, and Suriname all have in common? They’re all places I’d love to visit in 2019. Here are my 2019 travel goals.
My upcoming travel plans for 2018… but also a healthy dose of honesty regarding how I’ve been feeling for the past two years.
I remember doing a reader survey in 2015, and someone anonymously said, “I wish Brenna didn’t live in London, I wish she was still out travelling.” At the time, I laughed that off. Two years later, however, and I can feel that familiar hum in the back of my mind, the one that’s calling out for a big adventure. It’s the same feeling I got in 2006, when I backpacked around Europe. Or 2008, when I moved to Japan. Or 2011, when I backpacked through Asia for a year. Or 2012, when I travelled through Central and South America for a year. It’s back.
I am all about writing lists. I love making lists of things to do, places to go, books to read, blog posts to write. Whether or not I actually accomplish everything on those lists is another matter all together, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? Actually, don’t answer that.
Anyway, last year I wrote a list of my 2016 travel goals. I knew, when writing it, that there was no way I would actually be able to visit every single place on that list, because, as I said then, I’m not a millionaire, and I’m also not a full-time traveller. Although I have spent quite a bit of time on the road, even spending a couple of years travelling continuously, at the moment I am happily based in London and I travel abroad once or twice a month. I did actually accomplish some of the travel goals I had from last year… and so, without further ado, here are my 2017 travel goals.
If you’ve read this blog for a little while, you may know that I used to travel a lot – I visited every continent except Antarctica at least once in the last four years, including long stints of backpacking around Asia and Central/South America. When I moved to London about two years ago, I didn’t really plan to slow down… and for the first year, I didn’t, not at all. Last year, despite having a job and a full-time master’s degree, I visited fourteen countries on three continents.
This year, however, was probably the slowest year of travel for me in the past decade. I don’t even really know how it happened, but with work and the final stages of the degree taking over, plus an undying love of London, I realised I had to – and wanted to – focus on a few more things in life. That doesn’t mean I didn’t go away; this year I’ve visited Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, and the USA, as well as lots of fun trips around the UK.
But I was a fool to think this wanderlust wouldn’t get the better of me eventually.
London is a city that gets a bad reputation from time to time. It’s crowded. It’s expensive. It rains a lot. I get it – and sometimes I feel it so strongly, this weight of the city.
But most of the time, nearly all of the time? I love it. It’s a city that speaks to me, that excites me, that motivates me. In London I’ve found a fulfilling career, a lovely flat, and a great group of friends; in London I’ve found a home. Over the past few months, after going through a bit of a period of stress, I have made a conscious effort to enjoy every single day in London, and to fill my time here with as many museums, cafés, parks, shows, and outings with friends as possible. I’ve been very open about my love for London, writing a post about why it deserves all of that love and even why I felt strongly about settling here permanently.
And then something happened: my master’s program finished.