Wednesday, January 3, 2018

6 Trips I Want to Take in 2018 (and why you should too)

Hong Kong - pic via Lonely Planet 
In 2016, I made a list of places I wanted to visit that year. I went to three of them: Cartagena, Portland and Seattle. In 2017, I went to one more place on the list (Spain) and have yet to visit three (Nashville, Cuba and Sonoma). Hoping to finally make it to Cuba (because my mom was born there), Sonoma (because I like wine and live in California) and Nashville (because music) in 2018, but there's more.

As a writer who started documenting trips a few years ago both here and for a variety of publications, I've been lucky enough to visit multiple cities in Mexico as well as some US cities (Portland, OR; Carmel, CA) on media trips. This year, I will return to Mexico for a great friend's wedding and will explore Oslo -- on a media trip with a fun group of writers -- for the first time.

Other than that, below are a few places up high on my list.

Where: Hong Kong and Tokyo
Why I want to go: My best friend lives in Hong Kong. There is a place called Hollywood Road and also, skyscrapers. You can do nature stuff and visit night markets. Tokyo is a quick/easy flight from HK. There are two of my favorite things there: Japanese food (obviously) and Japanese beer. I'm fascinated by temples, castles and the bullet train. Both cities are not so far from islands worth exploring if you're not on a rigid itinerary -- and hopefully, I will not be.
Why you should go: It's an expensive trip, no doubt. But eating and drinking (in Tokyo at least) is comparable to Western Europe and maybe even cheaper than London, NYC and definitely Oslo. Both cities are posh and cosmopolitan. Save a little, plan out your meals and keep your eyes open for pink dolphins in HK. Get a little culture in you.

Jamaica - pic via Lonely Planet 
Where: Jamaica
Why I want to go: I have yet to explore a lot of the Caribbean. Jamaican culture is awesome and similar to the Latin culture in that the people are warm, inviting and know how to have a good time. There's history in Jamaica and the opportunity for adventure and amazing food, music and dancing. I've got a tentative trip to Montego Bay in the works for March/April.
Why you should go: You can do the most and/or relax. I'm not much of a relax-y person on vacay, but I've learned very recently that nothing to do + cocktails and a massage can be a very, very nice way to decompress every now and again. The water is beautiful and its warm. It's a quick and easy plane ride if you live on the East Coast (aka Miami).

San Sebastian - pic via NYTIMES
Where: San Sebastian, Madrid and back to Barcelona
Why I want to go: Barcelona rocked my world. It's cheap. The food is incredible. It's a walkable city. The women know how to dress. I've been told Madrid is like the New York of Spain. Also, my great grandparents were from there and the Canary Islands, so (family) history. San Sebastian is arguably one of the greatest food cities in the world and anyone/everyone I know who's ever been there claims it's their favorite.
Why you should go: Food. Fashion. History. Architecture. Europe. Fiestas. Siestas. Michelin-rated restaurants. Cava.
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