Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Travel Goals

The London Adventure

Bootsnall blog is giving travel bloggers a challenge, and inspiration, this month: each day they’re posting a prompt and inviting us to go for’s my first attempt:

What were your travel goals last year? Did you accomplish them? What travel goals do you hope to accomplish this year?

As regular readers will know, I began this blog a little over one year ago, when I started out on the Ultimate Travel Goal: more or less emigrating from Australia to England. That’s an experiment in adventure which is - I’m pleased to say - far from over. Amongst several excellent reasons for this move was this one: England is a LOT closer to nearly everywhere than Australia, and thus many MANY travel goals suddenly would become much more practical. I’m even more pleased to report that this part proved accurate.

Travellin' free...

Here’s where I’ve managed to travel since moving to London:

1. September 2010 – Scotland (Edinburgh)

2. September 2010 – Germany (Hamburg)

3. September 2010 – Spain (Madrid)

4. September/October 2010 – Belgium (Brussels); Greece (Athens); Spain (Costa Brava).

5. October/November 2010 – Spain (Barcelona, Bilbao).

6. November 2010 – France (Paris).

7. December 2010 – Spain (Madrid)

8. December/January 2010 – 2011 – Sydney

9. January/February 2011 – Megève (French Alps); Zurich (Switzerland)

10. February 2011 – France (Paris)

11. March 2011 – Spain (Seville & Granada)

12. April 2011 – Italy (Rome, Naples, Capri, Amalfi, Sicily)

13. May 2011 – France (Paris, Normandy)

14. May 2011 – USA (San Francisco, California Hwy One, Rancho Santa Fe); Sydney

15. July - August 2011 - Italy (Amalfi, Rome, the Cilento, Ravenna, Verona, Dolomites)

16. August 2011 - Denmark (Copenhagen)

17. September 2011 - Morocco

18. September 2011 - Japan (Narita stopover)

19. September - October 2011 - Sydney

20. October 2011 - Italy (Amalfi)

As you can see, the focus has been on exploring Europe - practically on my doorstep now. The Eurostar to Paris was a particular drawcard - less than 2 hours and brunch was cafe au lait and a baguette....

La dolce vita: Amalfi

But one other important travel goal has also been brought within practical reach: lingering longer. If you check my lovely long list above, you’ll notice a whole month in Southern Italy in April; and then another 5 weeks sitting on the Amalfi Coast in July/August. So travel has become not just about seeing places and ticking off new countries or new cities on a list, but immersing myself in the local culture and language. Yes, sometimes it’s felt like I’ve been trapped inside an Italian movie, but that’s perfectly fine!

I’ve also been very lucky to have found many friends to offer me spare beds in interesting cities, or who have been willing to join me on short adventures here and there around Europe. Saludos, mis amigos! ...or...Ciao, amici miei!

I'll be home for Christmas......

Off to the U S of A
And travel goals for the coming year? Well, I’m off to the USA this weekend, to Miami Beach and New York, and home to Sydney for Christmas - and will probably spend January touring Australia with a European friend visiting for the first time. I’ve pencilled in Tasmania, the Great Ocean Road and the wine country in South Australia, and maybe New Zealand too. Then in February I’d love to see the Northern Lights in Lapland at the north of Finland - if you can’t beat the dark of the northern winter, then why not join it wholeheartedly?

After that? Definitely Cordoba in Andalucia; Prague; Amalfi again for the spring. Then the USA again in April for the Met’s Ring Cycle and perhaps a trip to Newfoundland, Labrador and Eastern Canada - or a road trip to the southern US states. Friends are talking of marrying in Paris in May...and I’d love to be back in Sydney fro a Special Birthday in early June...and maybe next year I should actually try to catch the English summer...I’ve heard rumours of it.

Rumours of summer in London....

But my one big travel goal for my adventure on this side of the world? To learn to speak a European language before I go home. That's a biggie.

Enjoying Europe!

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