You guessed it — my travel list for 2017 is already packed! I’m looking at my list of upcoming trips & destinations and I think it will be another year of 12 Trips in 12 Months. That’s three years running! Check out the trips that are already filling up my 2017 calendar:
- January — Kansas City, MO to visit a friend
- February — Breckenridge, CO for a family ski weekend
- February — Cuba for solo adventure trip
- March — Naples, FL for a couples vacation
- April — Naples, FL for a family trip
- April — Milwaukee, WI for Women in Travel Summit (work)
- May — San Miguel de Allende, MX for a wedding
- June — Detroit, MI for a family wedding
- July — Galena, IL for a bachelorette party
- August — Alaska for a family vacation
- September — New Orleans for a vacation with my husband
I’m also in talks with some of my gal pals about doing a long weekend somewhere in the US. We are considering Charleston (South Carolina), Portland (Maine) or Austin (Texas) sometime in April! Greenheart Travel is also talking to me about doing another international trip in 2017, potentially leading a student group on a trip. We’ll see what happens with that. My husband and I are also talking about doing a holiday trip to Finland to visit our friends who recently moved there.
Needless to say, this list is already pretty packed and there are sure to be more trips added at the last minute!
As with last year, I am capitalizing on long holiday weekends in order to maximize my time off — my Cuba trip, my New Orleans trip and my second Naples trip are all happening over 3 day weekends . I also got an additional 5 vacation days because of my tenure at Greenheart Travel which allows me to extend my trips even more!
Obviously I understand that I am in a privileged position with my job because it allows me to travel professionally, but also gives me generous time off in honor of our staffs’ interests in travel. But based on the schedule that I already have, only 2 of the trips will be work trips at this point. For people who have more limited time off, understand that it is still possible!
I learned a lot about integrating travel into my daily life and work through my #12Tripsin12months this past year and the year before. A few lessons that I am going to try and take with me for this year:
Back-to-back travel weekends away get exhausting
In March & April 2016, I had a lot of weekends away. There was one point where I was out of town for 5 weekends in a row! It was really exhausting, and I missed my cats and my husband. Of course, I consented to all of the trips so it was an exhaustion I imposed on myself, but it’s something that I need to pay attention to in 2017, because by the end of the spring, I was totally beat!
I need to prioritize my own mental health
2016 was a pretty crazy year for me, what with getting married and all! I am normally a woman who has excess energy and can always do a little bit more. But this year taught me my limits. My energy levels and mental health really took a hit — I was constantly distracted or tired or creatively uninspired — and I lost sight of a lot of the things that made me happy, like blogging or exercising. Hopefully with less big life events in 2017, I’ll be able to restore my energy and prioritize myself a little bit more than I could in 2016.
Tailoring my expectations at the beginning of the year
I am a dreamer, especially when it comes to travel… I know, big surprise. My destination bucket-list is ever growing, and looking at my calendar, I tend to get a little over ambitious. My Southwest sky miles start coming in, and my mind wanders to all the place that I can wander to. And then all of a sudden, I’m gone for 8 weeks in a row. Going into 2017, I really want to tailor my expectations about how many more trips I should or can add to this already ambitious list. Like I mentioned above, I have a tendency to prioritize travel and work above my own personal health, and that is something I want to do better at this year by setting reasonable and achievable expectations for myself.