The turn of the year always brings resolutions and dreams of fresh starts and new beginnings.

I’ve never been one for that typical New Year’s Resolution.  I do however believe in reassessing the goals you already have in place, looking over your day to day life plan and tweaking things as necessary.  These are things that I do throughout the year, not just in January.

One thing that I do love to do at the start of ever year though, is start up a Dream Destination List to help motivate me through the coming months.

For me this year is dived into two clear sections.  The first is all about working lots, blogging lots and saving lots.  It’s not going to be an easy eight months.  I want to save as much money as possible which means working as many hours as possible and cutting back on my already thrifty way of life.  Between all of that work, I need to make the time to nourish this blog and get myself out there, as well as achieve the usual everyday life things like sleeping, working out and having some down time.

I also need to dedicate time to planning my second section of the year because that is what will make this all worth it.

I have a one way ticket to Athens already booked and paid for.  I have no lease or mortgage, I’ll be leaving my job so vacation time isn’t an issue.  All I will have is my phone bill and my storage unit bill and a world of possibilities.  Possibilities that will all depend on how much money I save during these hard times.  The goal is three months, but four with a reunion week or two in Japan at the end would be ideal.

So, to try and help myself stay focused and keep motivated, I decided to use the start of this year to document my dream destinations.

 

Romania

Copyright: achiartistul

When I was a child, I was obsessed with Dracula.  I was also obsessed with the idea of gypsies.

Now that’s I’m older and wiser, I know that ‘gypsy’ is the wrong term to use and that my idea of these people is based on Disney and mass media brainwashing.  I also had to outgrow the ‘vampires are real’ thing, though that did happen long after I stopped believing in Santa.

Still, the romantic concept behind it all remains, as does my love for creepy forests, misty mountains and valleys and folk legends derived from history.

I’m super excited that I’ve managed to work Romania into my travel schedule for 2017!

 

Russia

Copyright: dondelord

I like vodka.

Ok, I know the county has a lot more to offer than just vodka, but explaining my want to go to Russia with vodka seems easier than the real reasons.

The truth of the matter is that I have no clue why I want to go there.  I think it could be because it’s so closed off, in a way.  It’s not a huge tourist destination and it’s not all that welcoming.

The history of the county also fascinates me as does the idea of such a cold, inhospitable place.  Books like Dr. Zhivago and War and Peace kept me spellbound, stories about the KGB and the Eastern Front of WWII have long been favourites of mine.  There is such rich history there and such an enigma to the whole country that it’s been on my dream list for years.

 

Middle Earth New Zealand

Copyright: Gábor Kovács

It’s truly a surprise that I haven’t made it to New Zealand yet.  I am, after all, Australian and we’re basically like sisters.  Oddly enough, even though we are so close, it isn’t a cheap place for us Aussies to travel to, especially not when you want to do everything.

I’ve had many dreams of hiring a camper van and driving up, down and through both of the islands.  After all, one doesn’t simply just walk into Mordor; they drive with a boot full of wine and cheese.

Still, every time I’ve thought about going something gets in the way.  Or I get carried away planning.  It’s definitely not a budget location, especially when you want to do all the crazy adventure stuff plus things like Mt Doom and Hobbiton, go on 4WD tours of ‘Rohan’ and all that crazy geeky stuff.  And yes, I would need to buy Hobbit feet and elf ears and some stupid cape to do it all in style.

Perhaps there’s a good reason that I’ve never gone…

 

Mongolia

Copyright: jackmac34

Mongolia is one of the most remote places in the world.  Full of nomadic tribes and families who still hold very true to old traditions, it’s a country untouched by modern urbanization.

Maybe it’s my own transient lifestyle and my strange sense of adventure, no doubt mixed with my aversion to overwhelming amounts of social contact, but the place sounds like a dream.   A hard dream filled with gruelling travel, questionable food and a language that is almost impossible to comprehend, but a dream none the less.

Not all goals should be easy.

 

New Orleans

Copyright: crackerclips

Jazz music and voodoo, sprawling plantation homes, crumbling cemeteries, and a chaotic mash of clashing cultures all combined with this otherworldly concept.

I read Anne Rice books when I was much too young to be doing so.  Still, for all that they shocked me and introduced me to things I shouldn’t know at such a tender age, the picture she painted of New Orleans has had me drooling over it since childhood.

I am also oddly obsessed with the song House of the Rising Sun.  Yes, it’s a great song and there has been some amazing covers of it, but the legend and mystery behind its actual origin has always fascinated me.  Was it a brothel, an opium den?  Maybe it was actually a woman’s prison, or hospice or, maybe it was originally about a place in Soho, London and was simply altered by the Irish immigrants who came to the New World.

Just between us, I do quietly fantasize about spending time in that city and just miraculously stumbling across the answer that has stumped many generations.

 

Morocco

Copyright: taolmor

For a very, very long time, I had no clue that Casablanca was in Morocco.  Blasphemous, I know, but then Geography hasn’t always been my strong point.

There is something so alluring about Morocco though; the idea of markets and old forts, night skies in the desert and aromatic spices.  It feels like the sort of place that you could visit in order to lose (and hopefully then find) yourself.

 

 

Turkey

Copyright: Elena Shchipkova

Ah, Turkey.

This is a country that is pretty new on my list.  Around this time last year I decided that I really wanted to go there after reading a wonderful series of blog posts and seeing images of Cappadocia.  I started looking into the county with the aim of it being my next big destination.

Ah, Turkey.

With all that is going on politically the idea of going there is risky at best.  Part of me knows that it is smart to stay right away, even though I’m going to be right next door this year, while another part of me thinks that I should go there and bring back some amazing stories.  Maybe going on a tour like Gecko or On the Go would be safer, but then… I’m not a big fan of tour buses of tourists.

Rationality still keeps asking ‘but what if something happens?’ though.

 

Cuba

Copyright: Karel Miragaya

There is just something to interesting about Cuba.  Maybe it’s the idea of cigars and old cars, coloured buildings and spiced rum, or maybe it links in with over romanticized stories of pirates, smugglers and rowdy taverns.

Either way it’s been on my hit list for a while now and with 2017 being the year that I cross off a lot of Europe off my bucket list, maybe 2018 will be the year I make it to the Americas.

 

Wales

Copyright: Len Green

I swear there is more to this than just the hope of running into Luke Evans.

Wales has always fascinated me.  I’m huge into myths and legends and Wales is the home of all the greats.  Also, their national animal and the thing on their flag is a dragon.  A dragon!!!  What’s not to love about that?

All jokes aside though, I actually am one of those crazy people who likes the cold, loves the rain and my perfect day is one with grey skies and cool winds.  Old castles make me happy and sleepy villages are one of my favourite places to visit.

I also love the accent and totally need a selfie next to the town sign of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.   That would actually complete life for me.

 

Greece

Copyright: jarekgrafik

I have my flight already booked to Greece, but the funny thing is… I never really wanted to go there.

So I got my flight at a crazily special price that was advertised on Mistake Fares’ Slack account.  At the time it was simply a cheap ticket in the vague vicinity of where I wanted to go in south and east Europe.  Don’t get me wrong; Greece looks lovely and I love history, but it’s just never been one of those places that I’ve dreamt about seeing.  I’m not a beach person, I’m pale as hell and would rather a misty day lost in a forest then a day in the sun on the beach, and so Greece didn’t hold much appeal.

Santorini is on everyone’s bucket list though, so it all started there.  I told myself that I’d be crazy to be in the country and not go and sip wine as the sun goes down.  Slowly more researched turned into more wanderlust and now I’m planning a good month stay in Greece.  In a strange way I’m looking at is as a sort of… pre-holiday.  A prelude to what it is that I’ve been planning on doing for years now.

 

As we all know, we can change our minds about anything at the drop of a hat, so I also think this will prove to be an interesting point of reference came the end of the year.

I’ve seen a lot of activity in the blogging world that is shaping 2017 into the year of solo travel and checking off bucket list places, so what do you have on the top of yours lists this year?  Is there somewhere that you’ve always wanted to visit and yet struggle to explain why?  Let me know below, and don’t forget to subscribe for more.


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