There are “whisperings” all around me. Sometimes it’s overwhelming.
What kind of whisperings, you ask?
About Where To Go Next. I’ve got the WOW Calendar of journeys set for 2018 (India in March, Croatia + Slovenia in June/July and Patagonia in Nov/Dec). My head has been spinning working on all three of these destinations at once. I try not to do that, but it just ended up all falling into my lap at once this time around. As it is, I’m still finagling with the last bits of detail in order to publish the website and open registration for Croatia and Patagonia.
But I know that some travelers are already thinking even further ahead – to 2019. Geez – that seems really far away! But we all know that it’s not.
Lately there have been all kinds of places tugging and pulling for my attention. There’s just so many extraordinary places to go! Inspiration has come from everywhere . . .
I went to a Gipsy Kings concert at the Hollywood Bowl recently and recalled fond memories of soulful, dramatic performances of flamenco in Spain and fado music in Portugal. Maybe it’s time for a journey around the Iberian peninsula…?
My friend and former employee, Lesley, who now lives in Paris, recently posted pictures to Facebook of her adventure with her husband in Morocco. In addition to a luxurious stay in Marrakesh (one of my favorite cities!), they went off the grid for a few days on an expedition (a la Lawrence of Arabia!) via foot, camel, and car through diverse topography including mountains, deserts, and river beds; through Berber villages and dramatic rock gorges, and stayed in guesthouses, riads, and tents in the Sahara with the nomads. THAT sounds like a WOW!
This is not my travel video, but wish it was! (Morocco in three minutes …)
Another friend, Diane, is leaving soon for Jordan, another spectacularly beautiful country. I was last in Jordan as part of my honeymoon in 2008 which included a Nile River Cruise in Egypt (fabulous experience … but a tough sell these days). The magnificent archaeological site of Petra in Jordan’s southwestern desert was definitely a WOW! experience. I have great memories of floating in the Dead Sea and getting slathered with black mineral mud . . .
My newest employee, Ellen, will soon be attending a big industry trade show for the first time and asked for my input about with whom she should meet. I scrolled through the list – only slightly envious of all the great suppliers she’d meet and the wealth of destination information she’d come back with. I remember when I was new to the industry and loved attending those huge trade shows, returning home with sore feet and bags full of brochures and business cards. My head would be spinning with new information about all the fantastic places in the world to see … (some things never change!)
An email newsletter from a cruise broker reminded me of a recent meeting I had with a representative of a company with a fleet of lovely 22-passenger barges that ply the canals of Provence and other regions of France. Seems like a lovely way to experience the beautiful countryside and charming villages. Hmmmm . . .
My husband reminded me of his dream to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway between Moscow and Beijing, via Mongolia. It’s a week-long journey, plus a couple of jumping-off points: Irkutsk (remember this place from the board game, Risk? I still can’t pronounce it!) in Siberia to see Lake Baikal and Ulan Bator in Mongolia for a side trip into the Gobi desert. And, as I write the blog, Gabriel and Howard are in Moscow with a group and are loving it. I haven’t been there since St. Petersburg was called Leningrad. So, maybe Russia is in the cards for the future?
Not long ago, a supplier offered me an almost-free cruise around Bali on a Windjammer ship … so anxious is she to have me experience her ship . . . I just need to find time to get myself there!
A little closer to home, I’ve long been intrigued by the colonial, colorful artist’s colony of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. My friend, Nancy, is going there tomorrow for the fourth time and another friend named Nancy recently contacted me for some advice about her upcoming trip to Vietnam. She promised to reciprocate with advice about San Miguel, where she lived for six years . . . so – will it be San Miguel de Allende?
Oh, I almost forgot about New Zealand. The Cook Islands. Iceland. Greenland. The polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. A cruise along the Norwegian fjords. The mountain gorillas in Uganda. Medellin and Cartagena, Colombia. Oaxaca, Mexico. Papua New Guinea. Oh, and I almost forgot: Japan!
WOW! That’s a lot of options!
Obviously, I need to finalize and fill up my 2018 journeys … but it’s not too soon to think beyond that. Which of these strike your fancy? What places haven’t I mentioned??