Well, here it is. 2015 has finally arrived and I have to admit, I’m pretty excited!
And it’s not just the fact that I’m spending the start of the year with family and friends in Costa Rica. 2015 is going to be a big year for me.
It’s the year I turn the big 3-0.
It’s the year I’m getting married.
It’s the year of lots of travel and exciting changes.
I can’t reveal it all just yet and to be honest, I don’t even know exactly how the chips will fall. But what I do know is that my travel wish list for this year is pretty incredible.
Now it is a wish list, so while some of these trips will definitely take place, others will quite possible stay on the wish list well past 2015.
If there was anything I learned about Australia this year it’s that I still have SO MUCH to see. We explored a lot of great places in Queensland, but we only just scratched the surface with the other regions. So this year, we want to push further and explore more of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.
Central Coast (Likelihood – High)
I visited the Central Coast during my first trip to Australia back in 2010. But I saw majority of the towns from the window of a Greyhound bus, which is really not doing them justice. This year, we want to hire a camper van and travel from Brisbane to Sydney, stopping at popular destinations like Coffs Harbour and Port Stephens, but also checking out the lesser know towns and beaches along the way.
Hunter Valley and Margaret River Wine Regions (Likelihood – High)
After visiting Barossa Valley and Yarra Valley last year and discovering our love for Australian wine regions, we can’t wait to visit more! Hunter Valley in NSW and Margaret River in WA are considered to be right up there on the list of the best wine regions in Australia, so they are definitely high priorities on our 2015 travel wish list.
Perth (Likelihood – High)
This trip is the first trip that we have officially booked for 2015. It was about time we made out way to the other side of Australia, so when a great flight deal came up on Jetstar, we jumped on it. We’ll be spending 10 days in Perth and it’s surroundings exploring the beaches, the national parks and hopefully we’ll figure out a way to make it to the famous Ningaloo Reef for a swim with these lovely creatures!
Tasmania (Likelihood – High)
Known for natural beauty, great produce and abundant wildlife, Tasmania isn’t the most popular place with international visitors, but the locals love it. My Australian friends have been raving about ever since I moved down here. So it’s about time we discover it for ourselves and find out what the fuss is all about.
Grampians National Park (Likelihood – Medium)
Grampains National Park is known to be one of the best and most unique national parks in Australia. Its rocky backdrop makes it look so different from what we are used to in Queensland, so I would love to spend a few days hiking and camping there this summer/fall. The challenge is that the Grampians isn’t an easy weekend getaway. The park is located a 3 hour drive away from Melbourne. Easy getaway for those in Victoria, but for us, coming from Queensland makes things a bit trickier, which is why the likelihood of this trip is at medium. We’ll see if we can pull it off though. Fingers crossed.
Darwin/Kakadu National Park (Likelihood – Medium)
Another tricky adventure that I hope we’ll manage to pull off this year. Darwin is about a 3 hour flight away from our base in Brisbane, and Kakadu National Park is another 3-4 hours North from there. That plus the fact that you need a 4WD vehicle to explore Kakadu doesn’t make it an easy feat, but if Kakadu is really as amazing as the photos make it out to be, it’s an adventure worth embarking on.
Kangaroo Island (Likelihood – Medium)
I hear it’s the best place to admire Australia’s wildlife in its natural habitat. Plus Kangaroo Island is meant to be a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy nature the way it was intended to be enjoyed. According to the Kangaroo Island Tourism Board, Kangaroo Island has everything: from surf-pounded cliffs to becalmed coves, from famous sweeps of sand to secret rocky inlets. It sounds like a great place to explore!
Lord Howe Island (Likelihood – low)
Would you look at the stunning beauty of this island? I only just learned about this hidden gem late last year, so naturally it has landed a spot on my travel wish list. Supposedly, only 400 people are allowed to visit Lord Howe Island at a time, a rule put in place by the government to ensure that tourism does not disturb and endanger the islands natural habitat. Love it! But of course, the exclusivity and secluded nature of the island, along with its unique location make a visit to Lord Howe Island a pricey one. We’ll see if we can somehow swing it, but the likelihood of it is definitely low.
It’s been 1.5 years since my last trip to Asia, if you don’t count our 1 day stop over in Kuala Lumpur early last year and our stopover in Singapore on the way to Canada this year. And let me tell you, it’s a year too long. I still have an incredible love for Asia, particularly South East Asia and it’s a place I can’t wait to come back to and explore again.
I’ve covered off a good chunk of Thailand, spent some time in Cambodia and Philippines, but the rest of the region is still unchartered territory for me. I would love a chance to change that this year.
Myanmar (Likelihood – Low)
Myanmar is at the top of my SEA travel wish list! It’s still rather unexplored, although the tourism industry in Myanmar is growing rapidly. For now, it remains off the beaten path and want to visit it before it becomes another major tourist destination. Now is the time to go!
Vietnam (Likelihood – Low)
Pho. Enough said. Forget the beautiful karst mountains of Halong Bay, famous beaches, or the friendly locals, I want to go to Vietnam and just eat. I want to try it all from all kinds of soups served at those hole in the wall restaurants and street stalls to rice vermicelli and other street grabs. I’m salivating just thinking about it.
Indonesia (Likelihood – Low)
Unlike many others, I have no interest in drinking my face off in Bali. But I do want to dive in Gili Islands, to hike up Mount Bromo, just in time for sunrise, to get off the beaten track in Sumatra and explore the untouched Baliem Valley in Papua Indonesia. Indonesia is massive, but if i would love to at least start to scratch the surface.
Taiwan (Likelihood – Low)
When I lived in China, Taiwan was where all the locals wanted to go. It’s Chinese culture with a twist and a place that certainly doesn’t make it onto many travelers wish lists. But for Max and I, that’s exactly the appeal.
Ukraine (Likelihood – Medium)
Last time I was in Ukraine was in winter of 2011 and despite the rather unstable political situation in Ukraine, I am really due for a visit back to the homeland. I still have a lot of family in Kiev, none of whom have met Max in person before. I have a strong desire to introduce him to my grandparents and other close family members before we tie the knot in December of this year.
The Balkans (Likelihood – Low)
I have wanted to visit the Balkan region ever since I heard amazing stories about countries like Bosnia, Montenegro and Slovakia from a friend I met in Greece 4 years ago. She got me hooked. Over the last few years the Balkans have fallen off my list, so it’s time to get them back up there. Eastern Europe is changing and it’s changing fast. I feel like if I don’t make it to this region in the next few years, I’ll be missing out on the unspoilt cultural trip that Balkans promises to be. But how the Balkans are going to fit into my 2015 travel plans is still a big unknown.
Costa Rica (Likelihood – DEFINITELY)
After spending the last week in Costa Rica, I am now more sure than ever that it is here and here only that we want to say our “I Do’s” in a years time. We’ve set the date and are looking forward to an intimate wedding right here in the Costa Rican paradise. It’ll be a bit of challenge for me to plan our big day all the way from Australia, but after figuring out a few key logistical details over the last week I know that we can do it and I can’t wait for it!
We’ll be back here in exactly 12 months!
What are some of the destinations on your 2015 travel wish list?