New year, new me? Nah, more like new year, new travel plans for me at least! My first post of 2019 is sharing with you all my travel goals for this entire upcoming year. Since this will be the last full year my husband and I will be living in Germany, we plan on making the most of our time left here. Who knows, this may just be the very last tour in Germany but I truly hope that's not the case!
I'm sharing my travel plans in hopes that I actually make it to the locations I have listed, not only to keep myself accountable (I still need to recalculate my leave) but because I really hope I won't get left stranded behind at the airport like I did on our trip to Croatia last October! Side note: I really do need to make a post about that, what do you think? Anyway, instead of getting off topic, here are my last and final major trips before moving back Stateside next year:
I've kept this to myself (ok, and my co-workers as well) for almost two months now but my best friend and her Fiancé are visiting my husband and I very soon and it's going to be a great way - no, the best way - to start traveling in 2019! Just think of the amazing views of the stunning Matterhorn, cozy cabin feels in a small town nearby while drinking hot cocoa near the fireplace, snowboarding and sledding in the Swiss Alps, and outdoor jacuzzi time sharing memories and our future goals with some of my favorite people on Earth! I truly can't wait!
Oh Garmisch, my second home in Germany. In fact, we just got home today from spending New Years in Garmisch and had a blast enjoying the fresh powder at Zugspitze (I went sledding, husband went snowboarding) and watching the fireworks at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. I'm sure I will do more than one trip to Garmisch before the end of 2019 but there is one trip in particular that I am most excited for. If weather permits (even if it doesn't), I plan to hike to the summit of the highest mountain in Germany which is the lovely Zugspitze! Although I have already been to summit via cable car, I want to take on a two day hike and make this my #1 travel goal of 2019!
Although I am still a beginner at skiing (my husband is more of the pro type in snowboarding), I have been wanting to ski in the Dolomites (specifically we will be near Cortina d'Ampezzo) for a few seasons now and hope to make it happen for sure this year. Aside from the outdoor sports, the photos of the many cozy mountain huts sprinkled across the villages and valleys have gotten me so pumped for this trip which is approaching quickly!
From time to time, I will ask my husband "are there any places you have to see while in Europe"? Once he answered that he wanted to see the Northern Lights so of course I immediately went straight into research and planning mode and quickly booked a trip to Lapland, Finland to see the Northern Lights! Specifically, I booked it for his 31st birthday which supposedly happens to be one of the best times of the year to chase the Lights!
Estonia and Russia
Some friends won't agree with me on this trip, but I am way too excited to take a short trip to Russia before moving back to the States! I plan on going on a Visa-free cruise to Saint Petersburg while stopping in the capital of Estonia for a short while. I do feel as though this trip will be mostly rushed but I also think it will be a great way to get a small feel of the country!
Isle of Man
Here's another one of those answers I received from my husband after asking him if there were any places he HAD to see while being in Europe. This is probably one of my husband's ultimate travel goal as he is a car and motorcycle enthusiast. This year, I am finally making his dream happen - to see the Isle of Man TT race! Ok, more like the qualifying races but that is still a dream for him! If you don't know about the Isle of Man TT race, check this out. Visitors plan their trip over a year in advance! Apparently, I was already too late and I booked about 10 months ahead of the race!
I've taken over 10 trips to Italy in the last 4 years but finally, I want to make one last trip to do a pasta making class in the beautiful Tuscan valley of Italy! I don't even want to go sight seeing or exploring, I just want to hang out in a villa, drinking wine, and making pasta. That is really all that I want to do for my one last trip to Italy this year!
Bosnia, Montenegro, and Croatia
As mentioned earlier, I was left stranded at the Frankfurt Airport in October headed out to Zadar, Croatia. It's a long story to tell in this brief New Year's post so I'll save it for another day but the result was that after arriving 3 hours early for my flight, the Ryanair pilot left me, my husband, and almost 30 other people at the airport due to "security-related" issues! I wasn't too upset about missing my trip because that just meant that I would plan a way more epic trip to Croatia, but this time to include Bosnia and Montenegro!
Israel and Jordan
Here we are, yet another hot spot my husband couldn't possibly leave Europe without going to see the lost city of Petra in Jordan. Although not in Europe, tickets to Israel are way cheaper here than from the States so our plan is to fly over to Israel and then check out Petra for a full day. I am still in the very beginning stages of planning this trip as it is meant to be set for the end of the year so if anyone has any tips to share, please send them here!
Yes, I do plan to be just as cliche as everyone else while wanting to visit Dracula's castle (Bran Castle) on or around Halloween. I know I can visit this region at any other time of the year but I can't possibly pass up an opportunity to visit Transylvania during such a "spooky" time!
Many Side Trips Within Germany
Of course, I can't forget about all of the beautiful German towns I plan to visit this year such as Celle, Esslingen, Blaubeuren, Donauwoerth, Meissen, Aschaffenburg and many more! Check out my social media icons below to follow this years travel goals!
Please note: All photos but one (from Garmisch) are not mine but are free photo stock from the third party website Flickr. These photos remain original to the owner and have not been violated in terms of copyright or licensing. Once I have traveled to my planned locations, I will replace the free photos with my very own photos.