First, we look back at the year that was. At the beginning of 2013, we asked a few friends for their travel resolutions. Here’s how they did.
I’ve in large part kept my resolutions. I wanted to travel alone, and in June I drove 7.5 hours for a solo trip to the Apostle Islands National Seashore at the northern tip of Wisconsin, where I camped out alone in a thunderstorm, and then kayaked for three days to one of the outer islands with the great guides at Living Adventure outfitters. Despite the fog, chill, and rain, it was a really fantastic experience. But note to fellow travelers, if you think it’s weird that your spouse hasn’t returned your “I’m safe” voice mail, it could be that they never got it, and that as a result, they may think you’ve been kidnapped and spend the whole night wondering if they need to call the local police and send out a search party. Just saying.
My other goal, to poop in the woods, technically wasn’t met, but the intention behind it was. John and I did a short backpacking trip in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in the Eastern Sierras. We hiked 10 miles up the side of a mountain to camp out at one of the Sierra’s many beautiful backcountry lakes, Thousand Island Lakes. Unfortunately, with 50-mile-an-hour winds making it nearly impossible to light our stove, and a snow storm moving in, we stayed only one night, and let’s just say I’ve got some hardy bowels that seem to know when there’s no modern plumbing around. I made it out without digging a cat hole. And I’m okay with that. It would have been pretty cold, dropping trow on that there mountain.
I did make it to Hawaii, and I did see a live volcano. I did not renew my scuba certification, which I just completely forgot about. I didn’t make it to Paris, but I did buy the ticket it 2013, so I would call that half credit.
I resolved to visit four new places, and I did: Cozumel, Spain/Morocco, various locations in Wisconsin, including New Glarus and the House on the Rock, and the ruins of Gary, Indiana.
I resolved to get OK with riding a bike, and I… didn’t. I bought a bike, and I love riding it on paths, but I’m still too afraid to ride on the streets.
I resolved to make Go Go Go better, and we wound up cutting back our publication schedule. That’s OK. Life happens.
And now for 2014.
My foreign travel experiences have been pretty easy–London, Mexico, Belize, and various Caribbean locales. Costa Rica was the least similar to the US, but I speak decent Spanish, so it was still familiar in many ways. This year I want to plan a trip to a country with a language I don’t know, with a culture I haven’t experienced. Right now, northern Italy’s Dolomites (part of the Alps) is looking like the target, with its extensive hiking and unique blend of Italian, German, and Ladin language and culture.
The sure thing: A new continent! I’ve already got a ticket and hotels and etc. for Argentina in a few short weeks. Have I mentioned how warm it is there? It’s going to be so warm.
A medium sure thing: I want to see the cherry blossoms in Brooklyn again. I missed them last year, because I had just gone to Spain and Morocco, which I guess is a good reason. But when I say I missed them, I don’t just mean I skipped the trip; I really felt the lack of them. I had no idea, fifteen years ago, the first time I saw them, that I needed that particular slice of peace and beauty so badly. But as soon as I stepped into the park, I knew I was in the right place, and I knew I wanted to be there as often as possible.
And, for the least-sure thing: I’m feeling the itch for a road trip. I have no idea where I’ll find the time to fit it into the year, but the idea of a drive down to Nashville or even up to Canada, come summer, is very appealing.
I’m really looking forward to a trip to Maine in September, and I’m going to make an effort to plan small trips and stick to them. Maybe even take a trip by myself (gasp!).