One of my favourite, favourite things to do is travel plan. I can do it for hours, researching, dreaming, planning and it will feel like no time at all has passed. I love getting lost in travel books, reading blogs and watching travel vlogs. Planning out itineraries, and hand picking tours, experiences and places that will suit my husband and I’s quite different interests. He loves motorbikes, fine food, pinot noir and industrial areas. I love kayaking, forests, picnic’s and nature excursions. We are quite different, but somehow it works!
I always have a pretty long travel list of places I would like to go, experiences I would love to have. But I also have to work within the constraints of a full time job and available disposable income. And while I realise that I am unlikely to get to all these places this year, it’s still fun to dream.
Walking. On a private farm in the Wairarapa is Patuna Chasm. Limestone rocks, forest and a river. I know lots of people who have done this and the photos are always stunning. You do have to book in advance (it’s popular) and there is a fee to do this walk. You will also want to do it on a sunny day as it’s not a dry walk. By the sounds of it, a lot of the time you are walking through water. But what an adventure!
A Holiday with my Best Friends. They happen to be dogs. I keep saying each year that I really want to go on a holiday with them, it’s just very hard to find places to stay that are suitable. We have decided to give camping a go while the weather is nice. It will be somewhere local, I suspect it could be a bit of a disaster, but unless we give it a go, we won’t know!
National Aquarium of New Zealand. We try to do an extended family holiday each year and this year I am hoping we can all get to Napier. My 6 year old nephew loves snakes and sharks. He is full of facts and information about them, it’s amazing what he knows. Last week he was teaching me about wobbegong sharks. A creature I had never heard of. I would love to have a nature lesson with him at the aquarium!
A Holiday with my Mum. Again, I am not sure where, but we have done a couple of trips together the last 2 years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s so special being able to have that time with her. I am waiting for her to let me know where she wants to go so I can start some planning!
Birthday Celebration. I turn 40 this year. 40! I can hardly believe it. When I think about how I want to celebrate it, a big party doesn’t come to mind. I would much rather go travelling. 4 or 5 years ago, I had been thinking that I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday at Machu Picchu but because of Covid and all the uncertainties it has brought with travel, we never got around to saving for that trip. I am also not great with flying. Short trips are fine, but long haul scares me a lot!
So the next best thing – Stewart Island, or Rakiura. Aotearoa’s 3rd largest Island. I have never been there and it’s a place I have wanted to explore for a long time. 85% of the Island is National Park. It has an abundance of wildlife and lush forest. It’s also a dark sky reserve and when conditions are right, it’s possible to see the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights. All going to plan, this is where I will be come April 2023.
Motorbike Tour. It’s been a couple of years since we have jumped on the bike and gone exploring. On a trip earlier this year, the inflight Kia Ora magazine had a piece on Gisborne Region and I have wanted to go there ever since. It’s part of the country that I haven’t really explored much and I want to see what it has to offer.
Boutique Wine Tasting. I have always loved Martinbourough, as a kid it was adventures with my cousins on the farm, now, I love it for its boutique wineries and artisan foods. This is another trip I have been wanting to do for a while and haven’t. We have been there many times, but I would like to pre-plan the wineries so we can visit the places that are only open by appointment.
An International Trip. I really want to try a cruise and have my eye on a trip that spends 9 days sailing around New Caledonia and Vanuatu. I am not sure if cruising will be our thing, but I am intrigued, and if I can find a good deal, I hope to go exploring beyond the Long White Cloud. Some sunshine in the winter months will be glorious.
Solo Retreat. I have done this for the last 4 years and last year, realised how important this trip has become to me. Initially a little adventure on my own, this has become so much more. An opportunity to rest & explore, as much and as little as I want, when I want. Also a time to reflect on the year that has been and visualise how I would like the next year to look. I am not sure where I will be heading for this one. The last couple of years I have stayed close to home so I am thinking I might explore a little further afield this time. Perhaps an e-bike tour.
So there you have it. It will be fun to read back on this next year and see how many I actually did, and if there are any unexpected trips not listed here that I end up doing!
Where do you want to go in 2023?