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In this post I am not going to tell you the hottest new resort or the area that just opened up for tourism due to a change in government. It’s simply MY list. Dream trips that I have either always wanted to do or feel newly inspired to do. Every year in January, probably much like yourself, I am dream about what the new year may bring. For me it’s a whole calendar to fill with new destinations, new foods to eat, new cultural experiences to have. Some will likely still remain dreams to carry on into future years, largely to lack of time at the present moment (this girl has still gotta work for a living!), but some I will no doubt experience in 2012. Just the thought of new places and people and food makes me tingly all over.

 

1. Belgian Beer Tour

I am fascinated with trappist ales and such. For years I have wanted to rent a car and drive around to various pubs and abbeys to educate myself and of course liberally sample Belgian ales. (and eat my weight in Moules Frites) The only thing holding me back from this trip is a companion. It’s not exactly exciting to go beer tasting alone and I haven’t found a traveling companion similarly inspired by Belgian ale.

 

2. Camino de Compostella

This is a new addition to my list after watching the movie “The Way.” Martin Sheen plays a man who becomes an unlikely pilgrim on the Camino. What is the Camino? It is a road that spans from the French Pyrrenees to Galicia Spain to a UNESCO world heritage catherdral. The grounds contain a Roman cemetary from the 4th century where legend suggests the apostle Saint James is buried there. It’s not religion that drives my interest but more the journey. I never did the backpacking thing in my 20’s, so why is it I want to try my hand at it in my (late) 30’s? I am looking to find a different kind of comaraderie on the road. I am not interested in drunken evenings in youth hostels. I would like to do something that might shift something inside of me, see breathtaking scenery on the ground under my own feet, push myself to my limits to walk / hike 780 km (484 mi) and while of course meeting people, no doubt spend time in solitude and consider life. The key barrier to this trip isn’t money, it’s time. This walk can take 2-3 months.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tropicalsnorkeling/4323144645/sizes/m/in/photostream/

3. SCUBA Diving at Sipadan, Malaysia

Off the coast of Borneo lies Sipadan, an environmentally protected island purported to be one of the best dive sites in the world. And only 120 dives are allowed daily. One can see turtles, parrot fish, barracuda, reef shark and 3,000 other species of fish. Actually this trip is totally achieveable considering I am based in Shanghai. But somehow after 5 years in Asia I haven’t managed to get there. It’s time to make this a priority!

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alschim/3399186118/sizes/l/in/photostream/

4. Cuba

Us Americans are prohibited from entering Cuba legally. That said, I know plenty of people that have been. It has been described as a step back in time, as if the world stopped sometime in the 1950’s with classic cars, women in curlers and transistor radios. It may be the feeling of another time or the mojitos or the desire to practice my Spanish, but I have been longing to go to Cuba for years now.

 

 

What are your dream trips for 2012 and beyond?

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