It’s a bit cold out there at the moment isn’t it?
This time of year is always a bit… bleak.
To combat the January blues I’ve been busying myself with daydreaming about all my old adventures and all the new ones the future has to offer.
But, I’ve only gone and given myself itchy feet and now I’m desperate to get on the road again.
I want to take a moment to reflect on some of the amazing trips I’ve already done.
On the 1st of January 2014, I booked the trip of a lifetime with Trek America. I spent three weeks camping from New York to LA, I made friends for life, had the most magical birthday and left pieces of my soul dotted across the USA in some sort of weird travel related horcruxes.
(N.B. I didn’t murder anyone, apart from maybe a few braincells drinking hand grenades on Bourbon Street…)
It was absolutely perfect, and if you fancy wasting an hour, you can watch the video I made of the trip. It is always guaranteed to make me happy cry, but it might be a bit boring.
The Southern Sun trip was my first taste of group travel, and I loved it.
I spend my life organising, planning and always being in control so the idea of having everything is organised for you was perfect. From your accommodation, to your travel and daily activities to suit any budget, it really takes the stress out of planning. For me, being able to hand over responsibility to a trip leader meant I could just relax and enjoy myself, which was just what I need to switch off.
Fast forward to 2016, and I convinced Hannah to book on to another group travel trip with me, The Big Walkabout with Contiki! It had a completely different vibe to Trek America with a bigger group and hotels, but it awesome nonetheless.
But the big question is, where to go to next?
I’ve made a list of my top 5 choices, and plan to get at least one of these booked by the end of January!
My Great Grandmother grew up in India, attending a school in the Himalaya’s and eventually becoming a music teacher before raising my Granny and Great Aunt there. She always spoke so fondly of her time in there, and I’ve always felt a special connection to the country through the stories she would tell.
Last year, Contiki launched their Eternal India Tour, and it is definitely at the top of my list. Starting in Dehli and ending in Goa, it encompasses all the famous sights of India including the Taj Mahal and a sunrise Safari.
One of the firemen (alright Grimes-y) recently went on a trip to Mexico with his lovely lady and quite honestly it sounds bloody lush.
You can fly direct from Gatwick with Thomson, and they do some great all inclusive deals to stay at Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort and Spa hotel.
Sounds just like the winter sun me and the girls need.
Margaritas, tacos and a lazy river? Sign me up!
3) South America
I have always dreamed of travelling around South America, and it has sat in my G Adventures wish list bucket for as long as I can remember.
Let me introduce you to The Great South American Journey–Quito to Rio Adventure
It includes EVERYTHING you could possibly want, and need. All within the safety of a group (important in South America!)
They summarise it better than I ever could…
Sometimes the slow road is the way to go. Hit the road from Quito to Rio with other young travellers and experience pretty much everything you can imagine in between. Hike the Inca Trail and discover the thriving Inca culture, cross the Salt Flats of Bolivia, dance the tango in Buenos Aires, and hit the beach in Brazil. This trip offers up lively cities, stunning scenery, and tons of adventure. 65 days, seven countries, three nights in the Amazon, and one adventure you’ll remember forever.
I’m going to have to leave it there, because it actually makes me want to cry I want to go that badly.
Ever since I was little, I have dreamed of seeing the Northern Lights. And Iceland seems very on trend right now, so win win with this trip.
I spent a lot of time researching this for a trip I was supposed to take last year, so I am more determined than ever to get there this year!
Iceland Tours run a fantastic looking self drive tour which takes you around the whole of Iceland in two weeks. It offers an amazing variety of places to visit (Icelandic glaciers, waterfalls and hot springs) with views of volcanos including the famous Eyjafjallajökull and so much more.
Last, but not least. Japan.
Japan, Japan, Japan.
I stumbled across the Real Food Adventure run by Intrepid completely by accident, and it just so happens to combine my three great loves; cooking, travelling and Japanese culture.
Pack your chopsticks and celebrate thousands of years of food artistry by diving into one of the world’s most elegant, eclectic and harmonious cuisines. Spend your time spent seeing the sights and scouting out prized eating and drinking spots. Watch yakitori sizzling in front of you in Shinjuku’s Memory Lane, eat fresh-off-the-boat sashimi at the incredible Tsukiji Fish Market and learn to make soba noodles in a hands-on cooking class. Glimpse a geisha drifting through the alleyways of Gion while in Kyoto and experience a charming obanzai dinner of Kyoto-style home-cooked dishes. Stay in a traditional ryokan in Takayama and eat vegetarian shojin ryori (monastic fare) with monks in Koyasan. If you’re looking for a trip that tantalises the tastebuds as well as sates a sense of adventure, this Japan Real Food Adventure ticks all the boxes.
Sounds good, looks good, lets do it.
All I need to do now is win the lottery or find a really rich husband with a taste for adventure.