As the New Year lurks around the corner, I often go to sleep wondering what opportunities might come my way in 2013. Maybe I’ll mend my ways and end up saving a fortune for a trip I’ve (secretly) been dreaming about. Or maybe, I’ll be tempted to spend what I’ve saved every now and then, and land myself in adventures I had never imagined, like I did in 2012. Maybe some unexpected press invites or sponsorships will come my way, or that mysterious uncle will finally appear and leave me a handsome inheritance! I hope Santa knows I’ve been a good girl *looks innocently*
I know, only too well, that these are much too ambitious dreams for a single year, but as the Spanish would say, soñar no cuesta nada, to dream costs nothing. So here goes, a bucket list of travel adventures I’d love to have in 2013:
1. Watch the Northern Lights
Come winter, my timeline on Facebook and my Pinterest feeds start to fill with pictures of the Northern Lights; stunning, colourful, magical pictures, taken in Norway, Finland, Iceland and Alaska. While I’m in awe every time I see one of these pictures, I know I have to see the lights in person to believe that the pictures are not photoshopped! And of course, it will pretty awesome to spend time along the postcard countryside of Scandinavia.
2. Attend TBEX in Canada
TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange) is THE event of travel blogging that every serious travel blogger must attend, almost as a right of passage. Unfortunately for me sitting in India, TBEX is always held somewhere halfway across the globe. In the summer of 2013, TBEX will be held in Canada, and I sure as hell hope I’ll be there in person this year instead of following it virtually on Twitter like every other year. Plus, I’d love to stay until autumn and lose myself in the colors of Canada.
3. Experiment with Slow Travel
Earlier this year, I read a blog post by Stephanie on Fast vs. Slow Travel, and it got me thinking. I experience something of a heartbreak each time I leave a place I’ve really loved, and sometimes hopping from one small town to another every 2-3 days can get tiring. In 2013, I would love to take it slow, and spend a month or more when I fall in love with another small town like Ordu in Turkey. That does mean dealing with visa limitations, finances, and the greed to go further and see more!
4. Volunteer Travel in Northeast India
I’ve experienced so much beauty on the Indian countryside this year that I almost get goose bumps when I think of the entire northeast region, which I’m yet to set foot on. The scenic valleys and the postcards villages of the eastern Himalayas beckon; I must explore atleast a handful of the seven sisters in 2013.
5. Revisit Southeast Asia
I’ve been thinking about Southeast Asia a lot lately. I miss my favorite cafes in Singapore, hopping across to my second home in Malaysia, and the untravelled delights of Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. I never thought I’d say this, but feels like the 6 years I spent there were not enough! I need to go back and continue exploring the interiors of the countries that first gave birth to my wanderlust.
6. Go on a Working Holiday
Having an Indian passport, unfortunately, doesn’t entitle us to working holidays, i.e. we can’t (legally) keep part time jobs while travelling through a country. Reading fellow bloggers who afford their travel that way, and reading how the Globetrotter Girls spend months housesitting, makes me want to do it too. Maybe 2013 will be the year when I find a way!
7. Discover New Zealand
Ever since my cousin sister moved to New Zealand last year for work, I’ve been teased with glimpses of her everyday life in Auckland; rainbows, rolling meadows, beautiful people, like she’s living in a postcard. I can’t wait to visit the country of wine and sheep, and fall head over heels in love with it.
8. Witness Autumn in Japan
Oh, the cherry blossom country! I’d like to visit Kyoto, Tokyo, or other parts of Japan with parks dedicated to hanami aka flower viewing, apparently an integral part of the culture. If something’s teased me as much as the northern lights this year, it is pictures of autumn in Japan. I’ve already been floored by the glimpses of autumn I saw in the south of Spain, but Japan in autumn is what I envision my heaven to be (even though chances are, my vegetarian self will be starving)!
What travel adventures are on your bucket list for 2013?
Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.