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My Travel Wishlist For 2024

2023 was the biggest year of travel that I have had for a while and I loved it!

In 2023 I traveled to 12 countries – four of them new to me – and thirteen U.S. states. I did a multiday hike and a three-week road trip in the South Island of New Zealand, island-hopped in Thailand, hiked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, caught the cherry blossoms and hiked an ancient pilgrimage route in Japan, housesat in Oregon and Denver, revisited Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., Seattle (four times), and Vancouver (twice), explored more of Washington State, worked my second summer season at the Gorge, and spent six weeks in Europe.

Before I get into my travel wishlist for 2024, I thought I would go over my 2023 travel wishlist to take a look at what I managed to do, and what never eventuated.

Hiking towards Ngawal on the Annapurna Circuit

Review of My Travel Wishlist For 2023

South Island New Zealand Road Trip

Yes, I did a fabulous three-week road trip around the bottom of the South Island with my friend Dani in January.

Milford Sound views

Return to Sydney

Yes, I did make it back to Sydney in 2023 for a week, spending a couple of nights in Coogee and then heading up to the Northern Beaches.

Shelly Beach in Sydney

Island Hopping in Thailand

Yes, I did two weeks of island hopping between Koh Mook, Koh Ngai, Koh Kradan, and Koh Libong in the Trang Islands of Thailand.

Koh Ngai

Hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

Yes! It is one of my favorite things I did this year. We spent 13 days hiking the Annapurna Circuit from Besisahar to Marpha and it was my favorite multiday hike I have ever done.

Snow on the Annapurna Circuit trek

See Wild Tigers in Nepal

No, unfortunately we didn’t see tigers during our walking safari in Chitwan National Park but we did see multiple rhinos, elephants, crocodiles, wild boar, langurs, and macaques.

Elephant in Chitwan

Trekking the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route in Japan

Yes, we hiked the five-day Kumano Kodo Nakahechi route backward, staying in beautiful accommodations with onsens and incredible food. It was a big highlight of our time in Japan.

Yunomine Onsen

Seeing Cherry Blossoms in Japan

Yes, another Japan highlight was experiencing the cherry blossoms (Sakura) season at its peak in Tokyo, Kanazawa, and Hakone. 

Tokyo sakura

Return to Canada

Yes, I made it back to Canada twice this year. I spent a week between Vancouver and Squamish, and another two nights in Vancouver. I was hoping to make it back to Vancouver Island and Cortes Island too but I got my citizenship early and was stranded in the U.S. until I got my passport.

Vancouver seawall

Cruise or Take Ferries on the Alaska Marine Highway

No, I visited Chicago, Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park, and New York City in my 2.5 week break instead with my friend Kurt who was visiting from New Zealand.

Chicago River

Do a Backpacking Trip in Washington

No, I did some day hikes but no backpacking trip in Washington this year. Hopefully next year!

Take an Oregon Road Trip

Yes, I did a nine-day Oregon road trip before starting the season at the Gorge. I house-sat in Portland and Bend, and also visited Pendleton, Silver Falls State Park, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, and Smith Rock State Park.

Hiking Smith Rock State Park

Visit Two New Countries

Yes, I actually visited four new countries this year, the most I have visited in a year since well before the pandemic. I visited Nepal, Japan, Sweden, and Cyprus.

Add beautiful Laneia to your Cyprus Itinerary

Visit Family in Atlanta

No, I still haven’t made it to Atlanta. Maybe next year.

Get Back to England

Yes, I finally made it back to England this year and it was so great to be back in my former home. I spent ten days in London, five nights in the Peak District, and one night in Manchester.

Southbank London

My Travel Wishlist For 2024

Re-Visit Sydney

This is already in the cards as I have booked a week in Sydney on the way from New Zealand to the U.S. in early January.

Sydney Ocean Pool

Six Week+ Southwest RV Road Trip

Also in the cards for when I get back to the U.S. in January. Toby is going to meet me in Phoenix and we are planning to travel in our RV with our kitty around Southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas before returning to Colorado. If we don’t end up taking an international winter trip we will extend to visit New Orleans and Atlanta too.

Hiking Cathedral Rock in Sedona

Take a One Month Winter Trip to the Caribbean

We are hoping to spend three to five weeks in the Caribbean in March depending on what flight deals come up and if we can find someone to watch Joni. I have my eye on Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic where I would like to do a road trip, or maybe we’ll do a Caribbean cruise – I’ve never done one, or go island hopping somewhere like Grenada. We will see what happens.

Incredible Pain du Sucre beach on Les Saintes

Do At Least One Multiday Hike

I ended up doing four multiday hikes this year – two days on the Routeburn Track and five days on the Heaphy Track in New Zealand, five days doing the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route in Japan, and 13 days hiking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.

I absolutely love doing multiday hikes and although I do prefer hut hikes, I want to do a backcountry tent hike next summer in Washington or Canada. I also really want to return to Nepal but we might try to do that in early 2025.

Hiking down from the pass

Hike in North Cascades National Park and Mount Baker

After being thwarted by heavy smoke my first summer in Washington, and the road being closed due to fire this year, I want to finally do some hiking in the park next summer – hopefully it will be third time lucky!

I also want to get up to the Mount Baker Wilderness near the Canadian border to do some hiking too because I have heard it has some of the best mountain scenery in Washington.

Blue Lake

Back To My Fave City – Vancouver

Another year at the Gorge means another year where I will be visiting Vancouver at least once – I can’t stay away from my favorite city in the world for long.

Vancouver False Creek

Visit Two New National Parks

I visited one new (to me) National Park this year so I wanted to ramp it up and visit TWO new National Parks next year. We should be visiting Guadelupe Mountains National Park and Big Bend National Park in Texas on our road trip, and Lassen Volcanic National Park in California is also on my wishlist.

Canadian Rockies Road Trip

If I have at least two weeks off next season I want to return to the Canadian Rockies to road trip and explore more of the northern rockies including Jasper, Wells Gray Provincial Park, and Mount Robson Provincial Park. 

Moraine Lake

Catch the Fall Colors in Colorado

I missed the fall colors in Colorado this year because I was in Europe, and unfortunately, I didn’t get to see a lot of fall colors on my trip either other than at a couple of places in Stockholm.

Next year we are planning to spend the whole of October in the U.S. so I want to do a little fall colors road trip in Colorado, and maybe catch the larches in Washington changing if we are still in Washington at the beginning of October.

View from Telluride Power House

Visit a New Island in Washington or British Columbia

After visiting San Juan, Orcas, Whidbey, and Fidalgo Islands last year, and Lopez Island this year, I want to visit at least one new-to-me island next season. I’m thinking Vashon Island in Washington and Cortes Island or North Pender Island in British Columbia.

Lopez Island

Costa Rica Trip With My Dad

Toby and I are planning to do a trip with my Dad to Costa Rica for a month in November. It’s a country he is interested in and it’s somewhere that I have wanted to go to for ages so hopefully we can make it work.

I would ideally like to hire a car for at least part of it and explore the beaches, volcanoes, hot springs, jungle, and small towns. Maybe we will tack on the Corn Islands in Nicaragua or the Bocas Del Toro islands in Panama too.

Costa Rica

German Christmas Markets Road Trip

After seeing all the Christmas Market content on Instagram this year, I really want to do a Christmas Market road trip in Germany and France in December, depending on when we would be back from Costa Rica. Hopefully I can make it work!

Christmas in Colorado

I would like to finish the year in Colorado with a big American Christmas after two summer Christmases in a row in New Zealand. I want snow, ugly Christmas sweaters, lots of Christmas decorations, and fun Christmas events.

Union Station Christmas Lights in Denver

What are your travel plans for 2024?

Check out my Travel Wishlists for the past few years for further inspiration:

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