When it comes to planning new adventures, my mind is non-stop. I can’t tell you how many plans I have going on in my head or how many I add to the list each week. But, that’s the best part of my job, always looking for new journeys to have and sharing them with you all. There are so many wonderful ways to experience the world and these are my top choices for the new year.
Stay at a Heritage Homestay in India
This was never on my radar because I never knew it was a possibility. But, during the #Escape2Goa trip in November, we were lucky enough to have the homestay experience. We stayed at Casa Menezes in Batim Village, which is surrounded by palm trees and lush greens. We took a bicycle ride around the village, waved to children on their way to school, and ate delicious bread from the local baker. There’s so much I loved about staying with David and his family, but what stands out most is the day I was sick. I was suffering from a terrible migraine and decided to rest at home instead of going out. David’s mom checked on me all day and made sure I had enough to eat. It was then that I began to see them more as family and understand what makes staying at a homestay so special. There are homestays all over India, but if you head to Goa, Casa Menezes is a must.
Sail on a Maine Windjammer
This was easily my favorite travel experience of 2016, so much so that it has caused me to look into other similar travel experiences. While there are plenty of windjammers to choose from my heart belongs to the J. & E. Riggin. Jon and Annie invite you into their home, a floating bed and breakfast in Penobscot Bay, which sails out of Rockland, Maine. You go where the wind takes you, stopping at islands for lobster bakes or a little exploration and the days are spent relaxing, reading, and chatting with others who are on board. If you’re looking to disconnect and meet some like-minded people, this is the getaway you’ve been looking for. There are knitting and food themed sailings if that’s an interest of yours, or you can just kick back, relax, and enjoy the views.
Visit Canada’s National Parks
If Canada’s national parks are on your bucket list, this is the year to go for it because the entry is free. I was lucky enough to visit the parks last summer, and they are just as beautiful as the photos you see all over Instagram. You can explore the picturesque towns of Banff and Jasper, and then spend time taking in nature with a hike, kayaking, or hoping from site to site. There’s just so much to see and do in this beautiful part of the world, you won’t regret the trip.
Take a River Cruise
In May, I took a Viking River Cruise in Provence with my mom, as well as several other bloggers, influencers, and photographers. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by the experience, so much so I would love to do it again! Traveling by river cruise is so different from traveling by ocean cruises, and it’s just like staying in a floating hotel. The cruises dock right in the middle of it all and you can hop on and off as you please. It was such a unique way to travel, and it was so relaxing and enjoyable.
Rent an RV
Last year, thanks to GoRVing Canada, I was able to take an RV trip from Toronto to Calgary. I had no idea that I would love traveling by RV as much as I did, but I highly recommend it. You never have to worry about where you’ll sleep or use the bathroom and having a refrigerator and freezer on a road trip makes a remarkable difference. So, pick a place on a map, create a road trip, and rent yourself an RV for the trip.
Overland in Africa
I took my overland trip in Southern Africa almost five years ago, which is pretty hard to believe. But, to this day, it remains one of the best trips I have ever taken. I had always wanted to visit countries in Africa, but had no idea how to get around. Since I was going on my own, I booked an overland trip to ensure I’d see as much as I could in three weeks. We camped, ate around a campfire, and saw so much during our drive from Zimbabwe to South Africa. There are many companies you can choose to travel with and routes to take, but no matter what you choose, I am sure you’ll have an unforgettable time. Africa is a continent that deserves to be visited in 2017, especially if you have yet to venture there.
Take a Wellness Trip
In 2015, I got certified to teach yoga in India and it was the wellness trip I so desperately needed. I relaxed, disconnected, and focused on my mind, body, and soul for a month. There are plenty of wellness trips out there, and you can decide between a short visit or something a bit longer. Find a hotel or a retreat, do some yoga, get a massage, meditate, de-stress, and focus on yourself. You won’t regret it for a minute and you’ll return home feeling like a new person.
These are my top picks for experiences to have in 2017, but no matter what you do, go out there, live, and make the most of each day! If you do, you’re bound to have an incredible year. What are some experiences you’d add to the list?
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