How do we decide where to travel? It is actually a bit of wishful thinking, practicalities, family and friends, and financial realities all competing. From there we do a little research and start to formulate a plan.
Plans change and usually the year never ends up as we think it will, but hey- the best laid plans!
So Our Initial Thinking for 2017
As there are two of us, we each keep a Top 10 list of where we want to go. We compare lists and talk about which things we would really like to do in the coming year. One of the things our friends and family think is rather amusing is we have a weighting factor which includes if we need to go now (while we are young and fit) or if we can go anytime. Most of our hiking or very remote destinations are high on the sooner rather than later list.
I do want to disclose that this list is not the same as what you will see covered on Compass & Fork. We operate much like a magazine with an editorial calendar set months in advance. Where we are traveling, or where we are in the world, is not necessarily the same place appearing as the “Destination” on Compass & Fork. So this post is about where we will physically travel, not destinations we will feature on Compass & Fork. One friend remarked that since we started Compass & Fork it has made it even more difficult to keep track of where we actually are, not easier!
North & South America
So, for 2017, we are right now as we speak trying to decide between these places (in no particular priority order)
- The American South – we will continue our road trip throughout the American South. We intend to visit Charleston, North Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. Both are cities with a great history, beautiful architecture and of course there is all of that great “Southern Food”.
- Guatemala – Is there a better-preserved, old, Spanish town than Antigua? Once the “capital” of Central America, it reeks of Mayan and colonial, Spanish history. Then there is Lake Atitlan, Tikal and all those magnificent mountains in between.
- Peru – we have previously featured Peru on Compass & Fork, but when a country is as diverse and interesting as Peru (think Machu Picchu, the Nazca Lines and Lake Titicaca) there is always a good reason to return. One day, we would love to go on a cruise deep into the Amazon jungle to view the spectacular rainforest and everything it contains.
That ends that side of the world, so geographically, we move toward Europe:
- England and Scotland – we intended to travel to Scotland last year but it just didn’t happen. Yes we have been there a few times already but it is one of our favorites. We have friends and family there, and we can use it as an excuse to visit London and the Lake District in the north of England. From there it is only a short distance onto Scotland, home to great whisky and magnificent scenery. Visiting in summer would allow us to hike on some of the great long distance walks available in both England and Scotland.
- Spain and Portugal – We are determined to travel here in 2017. Why wouldn’t you visit these 2 countries? Architecture, food, drink, culture, great weather and still rather cheap now. I think this is our year.
Moving further south:
- Morocco – We want to trek into the Atlas Mountains and visit towns like Marrakesh, Fez and Casablanca. And seriously I cannot think of a better food destination. If we make it to Spain and Portugal we are too close not to go to Morocco as well!
- South Africa – A place we visited 20 years ago. Home to spectacular Cape Town, as well as iconic train trips on the Blue Train and Rovos Rail. South Africa is also home to Kruger National Park and also a vibrant wine industry. We think it’s about time to return.
Moving further east:
- India – Being just to the south west of Bhutan, I have a great desire to visit the world’s second most populous country. The Taj Mahal, tigers and a great food destination are just some of the highlights. It is also a chance to explore a totally different culture for us.
- Bhutan – Any country that considers Gross National Happiness to be more important than Gross Domestic Product, wins my vote. This deeply-Buddhist country is home to spectacular gorges and mountains, cliff-hugging monasteries and spectacular hiking opportunities in the Himalayan Mountains. I am truly hoping we make it here as it is right at the top of both of travel lists and has been for a long time. Not a lot is known about this spectacular destination and I hope we can bring you the highlights in 2017.
- Maldives – We have all seen those spectacular photos of beautiful beaches, turquoise water and rather spectacular seaside hotels. This Indian Ocean country has a well-deserved reputation for excellence. And a great place to just relax.
Join Us for 2017
So, that is our travel wish list for 2017. You can follow along through 2017, subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you posted and you can see where we end up. Next year’s recap we will look back on 2017 and see where we went. Stay tuned.
Have a great year! Where are you hoping to travel in 2017? Feel free to comment below. We would love to hear about your travel plans.
And to all of our readers: have a happy and safe 2017! May it be filled with lots of great food and happy travels.