Hey, how has your 2016 been so far? We Travelettes are already in full swing with Katja and myself being in Cape Town, the Saint sisters in Koh Tao, Caroline in Portugal and and and … If traveling is your business this is an especially busy time of the year. This is usually when we plan the big stuff, the If I were to take one trip this year I would go to …. Sometimes that starts with a destination that randomly pops into your head. At the beginning of last year, I decided that 2015 would be the year I’d go to Borneo. I spontaneously went to Thailand and Greece first, Brazil later, but Borneo, Borneo was the all important one somehow. For most of us we have one of those trips each year and usually, it is about more than a destination; it is about an experience we crave, an insight we need, something that pulls us.
So I asked my fellow Travelettes what they have planned for 2016, where they want to go and more importantly what do they want to do there.

Going down memory lane in Melbourne

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Melbourne. I lived there for nearly three years and it holds a very special place in my heart. It’s where I loved and lost my first love, met the most amazing girlfriends, met a new love who I am still with today, finally understood the art of fine coffee and realized that Melbourne reigns supreme when it comes to fantastic brunches. I’ll be heading there in February to stand by the side of my ‘sister from another mister’ as she marries her man… but being a bridesmaid in Victoria’s stunning countryside is a thinly veiled excuse to return and revel in everything Melbourne has to offer! It’ll be more than a holiday; it’ll be an epic trip down memory lane and the weeks simply cannot go fast enough.

– Sophie

NGO work in the Middle East

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I’ve recently been appointed as Communications Advisor on the Syrian Crisis for Handicap International. That means that, in 2016, I’ll be living in Amman, Jordan. Though it isn’t traveling per se, this will definitely be my new big adventure. I’ve completed an internship there a few years ago so I’m excited to be back and for a longer time period. While in Jordan, I definitely plan to visit again Petra and the Wadi Rum (my favorite desert) when I get some free time to explore.
My job will also make me travel a lot to Lebanon (where I also lived for a few months before) and Irak. I am extremely excited to see all of my friends again in Beirut but more than anything else, I can’t wait to actually get on the field and go to the refugee camps to meet HI’s beneficiaries and workers. I expect it to be extremely difficult but it has been my dream for years to work in the humanitarian sector in the Middle-East and I still have trouble believing it is now real life. I’ve been following the evolution of the Syrian crisis since its beginning, that’s a topic I feel deeply concerned about, and I am glad to have found a job allowing me to use my skills to raise awareness about this tragedy and to bring to the victims some relief, in a way.

– Elisa

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“I want to do a road trip through New Zealand’s South Island. Since I’ve moved to this beautiful country, I’m dying to explore it further so I’m planning to get a motorhome and a bunch of friends and adventure around my new backyard.”

– Nicola

Romancing Vienna

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2015 has been a busy year in terms of travelling for me: India, Tanzania, Ecuador, Israel, Iceland and Zambia – just to name the highlights. My initial travel goal for 2016 was, therefore, to stay ‘at home’ in the UK and explore as much of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as I possibly could. But now this plan has changed: my no. 1 travel goal for 2016 is the city I’ve lived in for more than 20 years of my life – Vienna in Austria.

The notion of going back to the city you know best might not inspire everyone with heart aching wanderlust, but to me – after more than one year since I was home last time – it is the perfect destination to add to my list. Plus, I will be travelling with my boyfriend, who has never been before and I can’t wait to show him all my favourite places. We’re both massive foodies, so will spend a considerable amount of time tasting all the Austrian classics, finding the best new restaurants, and going for coffees and cakes in between. Have you been to Vienna lately? Hit me up with your recommendations and blogposts in the comments below – I’d love to find new gems!

– Kathi

Backyard travel in the USA

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My travel plans are definitely the ‘micro adventure’ type this year because I just took a new job in the beautiful Austin, Texas. So I will be adventuring around Texas, and making weekend trips throughout America to eat crawfish in New Orleans, explore the nightlife of Miami, and venture to Oregon to explore the incredible nature and waterfall infused terrain of the Pacific north-west!

– Phoebe

Road trip in Iceland

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I love road trips but I hate traffic. In consequence, there is no better country for me than Iceland. Cars are scarce and nature rich. It is quite possibly the ultimate road trip destination! But there is so much more to Iceland, I can just tell. That’s why it is not enough for me to travel there for a week or two. I want to spend a whole summer in Reykjavik, get a feel for the locals, the lifestyle all while having the amazing possibilities to experience the essence of Iceland on my doorstep. I am thinking weekend trips to glaciers, afternoons gazing down dramatic cliffs, mornings spent pony-riding… It will be a perfect and unusual way to spend a summer and almost certainly a great promise of fun for both me and my toddler Atlas, who will then be 2 years old.

– Katja

Discovering home in the UK

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We are currently shopping for a house so I am planning to explore more of the UK and Europe – I’ve always been so excited to go as far as possible I’ve neglected some of the great destinations on my doorstep.  So, I want to spend more time discovering London, go glamping in the English countryside and explore some of the gorgeous country pubs/inns in the West Country. And I’d love to get over to Edinburgh to explore – love the gothic vibes there.

– Alex

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“I want to go hiking in the Alps without phone or wifi connections for two weeks in summer to completely disconnect!”

– Caroline

Make a home

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I’ve been nomadic for the last three years, and shock horror, 2016 is going to be the year I am actually going settle somewhere. That doesn’t mean I am going to stop traveling, I’m just going to do it in a different way while giving myself the time to work on other aspects of my life and to develop my creativity. This might not sound as exciting as traveling through Asia non-stop, but to me the thought of having somewhere I can actually call home sounds like the most exotic thing of all!

– Annapurna

Taking the plunge

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And me? I think I’m finally ready to take the plunge! Quite literally as I plan on becoming a dive master. Ever since taking my first underwater steps last year on Koh Tao I have been absolutely hooked and have started to plan my trips around diving destinations. This year will be the year to take it a bit further. I plan on traveling to Indonesia for the first time which offers some of the best and most diverse dive sites in the world. I want to dive in Bali with a Mola Mola, discover the isolated beauty of Raja Ampat, and learn everything there is to learn about diving. I want to slow down my travels, make a new home there for a couple of months, and immerse myself in a new culture that I somehow know I will love.

Seems like you don’t have to venture far to travel with so many Travelettes (re)discovering new and old homes. Big or small, near or far – what are your (travel) dreams for 2016?