2017 Travel Plans

2017 Travel Plans

Happy New Year everybody!

As I’ve previously blogged, 2016 was undoubtedly a turbulent year, with many events occurring throughout it that might, quite understandably, have deterred many people from travelling. But for those of us who are fortunate and privileged enough to be in a position to travel, it’s important not to allow fear-mongers of all persuasions stop us from doing something we love.

For that reason, I fully intend to keep travelling, with 2017 shaping up to be my best travel year yet; and believe me, I’ve had a few good ones. This past year was a prime example: a wonderful trip to Hong Kong and the Philippines saw me reunite with an old school friend in Hong Kong, and also make many new ones in the Philippines. A truly great experience that was only bettered by the small matter of the culmination of a project to build a library in Tanzania.

So how do you top that? Well, probably like this…

February – Iceland

I’ve been to Iceland before, aged 10, but that was in the summertime. This time I’ll be going aged, er, a bit more, and in the winter, so I’ll get to experience this magical, ethereal, near-mystical land in all its snow-covered glory. It’s also at a time of year that will make for prime Northern Lights spotting opportunities; all we need is one clear night! The ‘we’ refers to the teachers and pupils who will be my travel companions – yes it’s a School trip. Whilst I will have loads of teenage girls for company, it is something I’ve done before (in Tanzania and Belgium), it does mean the trip is paid for and free!

Image courtesy of Brian Pocius

April – Peru

One of the benefits of going on a free trip is that it creates extra funds for other trips in the year. Bound as I am by the School calendar (loads of annual leave, but you must take said leave during the busy/expensive School holiday periods), the next trip will be happening in Easter. At long last, on a two week trip, I’ll be visiting South America…and what a place to visit on my first trip! Machu Picchu is the obvious one, and yes I’m properly stoked for it, but I’m also keen on Arequepia, the Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and Cusco. Time to brush up on my Spanish!

Image courtesy of Pedro Szekely

July – Mongolia

This one’s TBC, but it’s looking 99% certain to be going ahead. Mongolia is a place that, to me, seems like nowhere else in the world. I fell in love with the idea of visiting here after seeing the brilliant movie Mongol, about the young Genghis Khan’s life, where its breathtakingly beautiful scenery made me want to visit it in a way that no other movie has quite been able to (not even Lord of the Rings…sorry New Zealand!). It’s the traditional way of life that happens in its vast rural areas that appeals especially, and the fact I’ll be around for the Naadam Festival won’t hurt either!

Image courtesy of Bernd Thaller

October – Malaysia/Australia

Even more TBC than the above, the idea to visit here literally popped in to my head a few days ago when I was sat talking to my parents in a pub in Wales (my home). My mother hails from Malaysia, and I have lots of family out there, but it’s been nearly ten years since I visited here. Ditto Australia, where I also have family. I’ve been to both, but much has changed since I last visited them, not least many new additions to the family in Kuala Lumpur…it’s time and money dependent, but hopefully I’ll make it work. If not, I’ll look in to going somewhere in Europe instead!

Oh and one more thing – we’re returning to continue our work in Tanzania in 2018. Preparations for this are already underway, so 2017 will certainly see further involvement with that. Looks set to be a busy year!

What are your travel plans for 2017? Have you been to any of the countries above, and if so, what are your highlights, lowlights, tips and advice for them?


  • Cathy

    January 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm Reply

    What a great year you have planned! We have Peru on our wish list but so far haven’t been able to make the finances work for the couple of hikes we want to do. Are you hiking the Inca Trail? So far we have a probable trip in Europe for Feb- can’t jinx it yet:) Travel conference in Alabama in May. 1000 Islands in NY and Toronto for summer fun. Then some room for more trips hopefully! Happy New Year!
    Cathy recently posted…10 Travel Moments That Made 2016 Not SuckMy Profile

    • Joe

      January 2, 2017 at 4:33 pm Reply

      Happy New Year to you as well Cathy 🙂 Where in Europe are you going? Hope you have a great time wherever it is, and in Alabama, NY and Toronto (only been to NY of those – it is worth the hype!). The Inca Trail promises to be the highlight of the trip, so we will definitely be doing that. It’s all booked! Hoping to hike a bit of the Colca Canyon as well. Happy and safe travels to you for 2017!

  • Sanne - Spend Life Traveling

    January 2, 2017 at 4:54 pm Reply

    Wow that sounds like it’s gonna be a good year for you! Iceland has been on my bucket list for a while so maybe I should try to make that happen this year as well… But first San Diego at the end of the month and the Bahamas in April!
    Sanne – Spend Life Traveling recently posted…Year in Review: 12 Countries & Why You Should Visit Them TooMy Profile

    • Joe

      January 2, 2017 at 5:34 pm Reply

      Thanks; you’ve got a good few months lined up yourself, and perhaps a few more exciting things to come afterwards? Your experience in the Bahamas will no doubt stand in stark contrast to mine in Iceland, at least as far as the weather goes 😉 Hope you do get to go to Iceland. It is a bit on the expensive side, but totally worth it!

  • Abhinav Singh

    January 2, 2017 at 5:16 pm Reply

    2016 in fact turned out to be a magical year for me. I had some of my best experiences this year.I want to travel to more international destinations this year. Africa and Australia is on my mind. Time to save money and get fit. I loved the list which you made. Most exciting for me is Peru. Always wanted to see Machu Pichu.
    Abhinav Singh recently posted…2016, THE MIRACLE YEAR- HOW TRAVEL BLOGGING CHANGED MY LIFE!My Profile

    • Joe

      January 2, 2017 at 5:37 pm Reply

      I was lucky enough to have a good 2016 from a travel point of view as well, which helped me be positive after all the bad things that happened throughout it. You certainly could do worse than Africa and Australia. The former is a vast continent of great diversity, so it’s a case of choosing your countries wisely. The latter is just a beautiful place to visit; I love the laidback vibe that permeates throughout it. Happy travels! 🙂

  • luxurybackpacking | Emma

    January 2, 2017 at 7:30 pm Reply

    Wow! You have some amazing destinations lined up! Looks like 2017 is going to be a great year for you! Happy Travels, looking forward to hearing about it when you get back 🙂

    • Joe

      January 2, 2017 at 7:52 pm Reply

      Thanks Emma, I sure do hope so. Very excited! Hope you’ve got some great travels lined up for this year too 🙂

  • Candace Boggan

    January 2, 2017 at 9:08 pm Reply

    It looks like 2017 is going to be an epic year!! You have some amazing destinations planned. Peru is definitely on my list. I can’t wait to read all about your upcoming adventures!!

    • Joe

      January 2, 2017 at 11:18 pm Reply

      Thanks Candace, I hope you have a great 2017 of travelling ahead of you too 🙂

  • Kcalpesh Ajugia

    January 3, 2017 at 4:07 am Reply

    First up, Happy New Year to you too. Quite glad to learn about the Tanzania Library Project and happy to see the smiles on the face of the kids.

    You’ve gone one super-plan for travel. I can never plan so well, ahead of time. Iceland, Peru, Mongolia, Malaysia… these are some really exciting places to go. Especially Peru and Mongolia.

    The more I read about travel articles like your’s the more I’m pulled into the idea of traveling big. Hop I too can..

    – Pixellicious

    • Joe

      January 3, 2017 at 8:27 am Reply

      Thank you for our kind words, its comments like this that keep prompting me to blog my travels 🙂 I do hope you get to travel big as well; there’s nothing wrong with the seat-of-the-pants approach instead of the plan-ahead approach. Each to their own! Best wishes for a 2017 full of travel and happiness! 🙂

  • Sumti

    January 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm Reply

    Iceland is in my bucket list. I want to visit it hope to do it in 2017 🙂
    Sumti recently posted…Sumti Bhadani wrote a new post, New Rules For Indian Passport : Things you should knowMy Profile

  • Katie

    January 3, 2017 at 5:33 pm Reply

    Wow your year sounds like an exciting one!! I would love to visit Iceland, it looks incredible! Malaysia is on our plans for the year and I am so excited 🙂

  • Anita

    January 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm Reply

    This is a great plan. I have been to Iceland, Malaysia and Australia. I would recommend to include Cameron highlands in Malaysia itinerary and Uluru for Australia. Happy travels!
    Anita recently posted…Tami says:My Profile

    • Joe

      January 4, 2017 at 6:42 pm Reply

      Thanks Anita! I’ve been to Cameron Highlands already and loved it 🙂 Uluru I’ve missed out on…might need to rectify that one!

  • AlicevstheWorld

    January 5, 2017 at 1:05 pm Reply

    It looks like you’ve got a packed year planned, best of luck with your 2017 adventures!

  • Julie Cao

    January 6, 2017 at 1:15 am Reply

    I have not been to any of these countries you have mentioned here, but going to Peru is a def for this summer. Please keep the posts coming so I can plan my Peru trip through your lens. I need to brush up my Spanish too, i have not study Spanish for weeks. Wish you have a great travel year and get to see the most beautiful Aurora Borealis in Iceland. I can imagine the excitement of your teenage girl’s face when Aurora coming up.

    • Joe

      January 6, 2017 at 7:13 am Reply

      Thanks Julie 🙂 I will post about my Peru experiences as soon as I can after I return! And yes, the girls are properly excited about the Iceland trip. Happy and safe travels to you in 2017 too!

  • Sam Coronado (@followyouroad)

    January 6, 2017 at 4:28 pm Reply

    What elaborate travel plans you got! Personally I don’t make one, but I end up going to marvelous places anyway. I hope all of the come true and even if they don’t, that 2017 takes you to places you never dreamed you’ll love 🙂 PS Hope to see you in the Philippines soon!

    • Joe

      January 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm Reply

      Hi Sam – that sounds great! Would love to be spontaneous…I have to plan, basically, as a result of my job, which dictates me only being able to travel at certain times of the year. I hope you have a great 2017 too and, yes, maybe see you in the Philippines one day 🙂

  • Sam

    January 9, 2017 at 9:39 am Reply

    Wow, awesome! What a 2017 you have planned out =) I keep hearing great things about Iceland, but that it’s expensive, so that’s great you’re going on a paid trip! My travel plans are still unraveling, but I’m definitely going to Germany and France in the next couple months, and probably back to NYC (where I’m from) at some point. The rest is kind of up to whatever opportunities present themselves!
    Sam recently posted…Budget Vegan Guide to NYC: Manhattan EditionMy Profile

    • Joe

      January 9, 2017 at 7:34 pm Reply

      Iceland is undoubtedly expensive, so it’s an opportunity I’m grabbing with both hands! Have fun in France and Germany, both great destinations, and enjoy NYC too if you get to go there. A pretty cool place to hail from! 😀

  • Farah

    January 24, 2017 at 1:20 pm Reply

    Chance upon your blog. Great plan. I can’t wait to hear stories about Peru and Mongolia.

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