2023 is here, and with it that fresh-start, blank page feeling that comes with a new year.
By the beginning of January, I’m usually ready to get back into routine after the happy blur of socialising and celebrations that is December, and this year is no different.
But the joy of travel is all about the break from routine, and I have plenty of that coming up in the next 12 months. In fact, I have so many travel “plans” for 2023 that there isn’t all that much space for travel “dreams,” but we’ll see how the year goes – there’s always room for surprises!
Both closer to home and further away, we have a lot of USA travel pencilled in for this year.
First on the list for January is a weekend in the Catskills, in upstate New York, a region I’ve been wanting to visit for a few years. We’ll be staying at the newly-opened, dog-friendly Eastwind Oliverea Valley to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary; the property looks absolutely gorgeous, and has everything from camp fires and snow shoes to allow you to enjoy the great outdoors even in the depths of a New York winter.
Come March we’ll be returning to Cape May, a favourite off-season coastal destination for us in New Jersey (Winston will also be joining us!); in May I’ll be visiting New Orleans again for a long weekend with my parents; and in September we’ll be heading out to California for a wedding.
We’ll also be flying to Seattle at some point in the year, and with plenty of family and friends visiting us in the coming months, there’ll be lots of “local travel” in New York City too. (And seeing more of NYC is something I seem to resolve to do nearly every year!)
Scotland, of course, is also in the calendar for 2023 – how could it not be?
August will see us head to the Highlands for a much-anticipated wedding, and I’m definitely planning to get back to the Outer Hebrides and Edinburgh this year too.
When it comes to the Outer Hebrides, I have all my old haunts that I love to return to, but I’d like to experience some new adventures as well: a boat trip to Scarp or Taransay; a visit to Long Island Retreats; or finally dining at Uig Sands in Lewis.
We were also lucky to receive a gift voucher for afternoon tea at The Balmoral in Edinburgh as a Christmas present, so we’ll definitely be making good use of that when we’re in the Scottish capital!
As you can see, there’s not much time (or limited American “vacation days”) for those travel dreams, but we do still hope to visit somewhere new-to-us outside of the USA and UK this year.
Honestly, I loved Portugal and Spain (the last two countries we visited) so much that I would return in a heartbeat. But in terms of new dream destinations, places like Jordan and Egypt are still incredibly high on my wish list, and we’ve floated the idea of an Athens-and-Greek-islands combination trip.
To be honest, though, where we end up for “our” holiday will all depend on the time of the year, our remaining annual leave, and the flight deals that crop up closer to the time. We really could end up anywhere – like that time we flew to Mexico City with 24 hours’ notice! – so I’m open to any ideas and recommendations.
It feels so good to even be thinking of potential travel destinations, let alone planning trips, after three years where travel was either not possible or clouded with uncertainty.
I’m excited for a year of celebrations and reunions with family and friends, and for lots of adventures with Mr. Stories My Suitcase Could Tell and Winston, too. From the holidays already booked to the ones yet to come to fruition, I’m ready for them all – and can’t wait to see what the year has in store.
Katie – you inspire me to do more USA travel. I haven’t been to Maine since 2013 and I long to return.I also want to go back to the Hebrides, the week I stayed there wasn’t near long enough!
I recommend a visit to Asheville NC – it is a great town, the mountains are beautiful and it is dog friendly. Winston would love it!
This year I am going to Ireland in late May. I am looking forward to some time immersed in Irish culture…and food!
Katie MacLeod says
Thanks so much for your comment Zoe! I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear I agree that a week in the Hebrides isn’t long enough, haha! I hope you get back again soon to see more of the islands, although I’m sure Ireland will be amazing. (It’s still on my to-visit list!) And thanks for the tip about Asheville, too – great to hear it’s dog friendly, since our domestic trips will likely involve Winston from now on 🙂
Charly Hamlyn says
I live and work in Crossbost, Lewis, we moved here from York, UK in 2021. I’m a potter, though I’ve had most of the last year away from producing as I’ve had two major family bereavements. I am taking part in Open studios Hebrides (OSH) for the second time this year. There are about 40 art and craft people coming together for the third year of OSH it should be excellent. With it being so new I thought you might like to hear about it. Most of the makers have studios that are open either regularly or by appointment throughout the year.
Hope you have a fantastic year!