A New Year and Hopes Are High…
2017 is here and that feels like a great excuse to start afresh and embrace the year ahead, filled with hope, enthusiasm and yet it all seems tinged with sadness. As I write, the weather outside is a far cry from the usual bleak January we’ve come to expect in the UK. The sun is shining and there’s barely a cloud in the sky, albeit it’s pretty chilly, but only the bare branches of the trees tell me it’s not spring. So, why do I feel as blue as the sky above me? I know why. It’s the passing of another lovely yuletide spent with the family, kids off school, long lies and cosy drinks by the lights of the Christmas tree.
2017…a big number isn’t it? It seems like only yesterday I was writing in my 1983 diary, as I looked towards starting high school and a new chapter in my life. Today, I stare at the blank diary pages before me, 34 years on and my hopes are high.
Over the years, travel has become a passion of mine and I’ve been blessed to be able to visit some wonderful countries. I’ve experienced cultures, cities, languages, food and drink and all of these have shaped my adult life. I think spending time in other places, near and far, gives us an insight into the big wide world. The world is indeed a big place but with the advent of the internet, budget airlines and the vast choice of holidays on offer, it has become more accessible and as such, adventures on distant shores don’t have to be just daydreams.
So, what better way to banish the January blues than to start planning your year ahead. Where will you go? What will you see? What trip will change your life? All of these questions are running through my head today and I’m pretty sure many of you out there are feeling the same way. The year is just a few days old and we’ve all got a blank canvas to paint a picture of what we will look back on this time next year.
It’s my first day back at work, yet all I can think of is my next holiday. I’ve already looked at dozens of flights, hotels, holiday packages and I have an uncontrollable urge to book my next break.
I’ve been guilty of visiting the same places over the years. No bad thing if you really like somewhere and if you take something new from that place every time you visit. I always have but this year I feel the need to broaden my horizons. I’m not sure where, or for that matter, why. I just know that I am becoming aware of the passage of time and that big old bucket list is staring me in the face, alongside my big old blank diary!
As you know from my previous blogs, I love Italy. My first overseas holiday was to Italy (a school trip to Venice and Lido de Jesolo in 1985) and I suppose this is where it all began. I’ve been to several places in this beautiful and seductive country but I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the nooks and crannies that are crying out to be explored. I am aching to go back to Tuscany where I spent two sun drenched weeks last year. I think I could be forgiven if I do venture back for a second time as I still have a few itches to scratch in this region. Last year I saw Lucca, Barga, Montecatini and Pisa but there’s still Florence, Siena, Viareggio and San Gimignano on my hitlist.
I also started a new love affair last year when I went to the glorious alpine region of France but I only saw a tiny part of it and I’m bursting to see more of this enchanting country. Where to start?
There’s also the United States of America. I’ve been four times but only to the same state. What’s that all about? I long to see so many of the famous landmarks and skylines that grace not just holiday brochures but history books.
Much as I love sunshine and relaxation, I’ve never really been much of beach bum. I hate sand for a start! However, that said, as I get older, I’m starting to wonder what it would be like to laze on a sun kissed beach that looks like the old Bounty advert and where there’s nothing to do but just be. Soak up the rays, listening to the waves lapping at the shore with nothing more taxing to think about than what colour of swimsuit I’ll wear today. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
However, my personal preference for now is for landscapes and cities, shopping, eating and visiting museums, admiring architecture, open air concerts and the buzz of a bustling town square where I can hang out with the locals and share their day to day life. My choices for this kind of holiday are endless really.
So, do I just go back and see more of one country or do I branch out and explore new places, perhaps further afield. I’m not a big fan of long haul flights but I accept they are a necessary factor in getting to our dream destinations.
I’d love to hear from all of you who have joined tripsology in the hope that you might open my mind to somewhere completely different. There’s nothing better than getting hints and tips from someone who has actually been to a place, fallen in love with it and can share their experiences with you. The brochures only tell you so much…and often only what they want you to hear. This is why I love this site so much. It’s full of real people who, like me, just love holidaying.
I am going to spend the rest of my day browsing every tour operator known to man but my first stop for inspiration is tripsology and my fellow, like-minded holiday makers …you always get great deals on here too!
Let’s start filling those blank diaries up with some great adventures in 2017 and when we meet again this time next year, we will have some great memories to look back on.
I love travel. I’ve been fascinated by other countries and cultures since my first foreign trip in 1985 and I’ve had serious wanderlust ever since.I also love to write about where I’ve been and tripsology lets me indulge that passion. I’m thrilled to be a regular contributor and editor. When I’m not writing I also run my own PR and publicity company.