I’ve come to love announcing my travel plans far ahead of time — the advice I get from you guys is more valuable than anything I could find in a guidebook! I loved getting your feedback on my Hawaii trip, and hearing your thoughts on my most recent Southeast Asia jaunt. So I’ve basically been sitting on my hands waiting for the chance to shout this from the virtual rooftops.
I’m going to South and Central America!
But not just yet. I’ve got a few months of other adventures and planning and preparations coming up first. But I’m beyond excited to step foot in South America for the first time and to revisit Central America again — I’ve long felt a calling to this region of the world but have hesitated over whether or not I could support myself there. However, I’ve reached the point where I feel that by sticking to cheaper countries, moving slowly, living frugally and keeping up my current healthy blogging and freelancing income, I can make it work.
August / Bali and Burning Man
The first half of August will be all about saying goodbye to Indonesia. I’ll have a final week in Gili Trawangan before hopping over to Lombok to hike Mount Rinjani (God help me) and then to Bali to bliss out for a few days before flying back to the US. I’ll have about a week of turnaround to unpack, repack, and prepare for the chaotic week in the Nevadan desert that is (God help me again.) Out of all the intense preparations and planning necessary for Burning Man, the part that is causing me the most stress right now is going offline for a week, as it will require so much work ahead of time and damage control after. But I am looking forward to checking this epic event off my bucket list! Any advice from Burner veterans out there?
September / Close to Home
September will be a cool down month where I recover from Burning Man and prepare for the major move ahead. I’m going to start in Albany, where I’ll unpack and repack, spend time with childhood friends and finally have the minor medical procedures that were supposed to be taken care of in June (don’t get me started on my recent frustrations with the American health care bureaucracy.) Then I’ll hop to Martha’s Vineyard for some quality time with my mom in her new house, catching up on work and reliving some of my favorite childhood memories on the island. Finally, I’ll wrap things up with some time in NYC visiting friends and doing travel prep before hopping to Pennsylvania to play bridesmaid in my dear friend Justine’s wedding (Jus and I met in Thailand in ’09!) And yes, I do realize the insanity in that this is what I consider a laid-back month. To add a little more crazy in there, I do hope I’ll be hosting a special guest at some point this month.
October / Peru!
Please pause for high pitched squeals of excitement. So, my Brooklyn-based bestie Zoe and I have been dreaming about hiking Macchu Piccu for years, the kind of way you dream about things when you’re sitting on a rooftop watching the sun come up after a crazy night or toasting to the future after graduation. But in the past six months or so we began discussing it more seriously, and somehow all the pieces have finally fallen into place. We’re going to spend three weeks together hiking the Inca Trail, winery-hopping in Ica and plunging off the cliffs of Lima to go paragliding. I’m heading down a little early to check out the Amazon, and when I wave goodbye to Zoe I’ll strike out on my own to check out some of the surf towns in Northern Peru. I can’t wait.
While I’ve done tons of Peru research already, I’m dying to hear your recommendations for where to go and what to see and do. I’m proud to be partnering with Hostelworld for this trip — though I’m sure we’ll splurge once or twice — so please leave me your accommodation recommendations as well, both budget and beyond!
November December / Ecuador and Colombia
After a crazy October, I plan to spend November and early December moving at a much more laid-back pace, working my way North. I am hoping to meet my family at a yet-undetermined location in Central America for Christmas, so I’ll probably move as slowly as my sloth-like heart desires until late December, when (fingers crossed) I’ll hop a flight to the fam for some festive holiday chaos. Is there anywhere I’d be crazy to miss along the way, or do you know the perfect indulgent spot to spend the holidays? I’ve done about zero iotas of research into this leg of my trip, so I’d love to hear it!
January February March / Central America
For the first quarter of 2014 I plan to explore Central America more thoroughly than I’ve had the chance to before. I’ve already been to Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica and loved them all, but each trip was just two weeks or less. I’d love to bunker down at a surf retreat in El Salvador, immerse myself in the colonial cities of Guatemala or maybe find some dive work in Panama.
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And Beyond / USA
I’ll return to North America for a wedding in California in March, which I hope to use as a springboard to explore a bit of The Golden State. After, I’d like to visit my younger sister at her new home in New Orleans as well as drop in on family in Florida before circling back to New York. We’ll see how things shake out, but we might just have a good old USA overland trip on our hands around then!
Can’t wait to hear all your advice in the comments!
Of course, these dreamy plans could easily shift and change, at least from November and beyond (up through October is booked and fairly solid — we’ve got our highly coveted Inca Trail reservations settled!) No matter what turns life takes me on, there is one guarantee — you’ll always be able to find me here, sharing every sleepy town, sunset and inevitable stumble here on Meihoukai in Wanderland. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!