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?
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.