*Peeks over brick wall, eyes widening in fear.*
‘Um… hello? …Is anyone there?’
*Slowly, tentatively, turns head left and right. Large tumbleweeds dwindle past as crickets chirp in the desert landscape.*
‘Fuck,’ I scream, my hands and face thrusted to the heavens. ‘Have I lost my damn readership!?’
Well, well, well. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? In fact, I think it’s been well over a month since I’ve posted anything at all. If it wasn’t so irritating to me, it’s almost quite funny, because in my last post I said I would update weekly to fill everyone in on my journey to becoming a fitness instructor. Irony at its finest, eh, as that clearly didn’t happen. Yet I’ve learned a lesson at least: don’t make promises related to this blog, because you never seem to keep them.
It has been a pretty crazy time though. I was ill for a good chunk of it, knocked out physically and emotionally by people and work and then I went abroad to celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve with a friend, which I’ll write about at a later date. Another reason for my absence, however, is that I was questioning whether or not I would even keep this blog.
I switch between how I feel about blogging: sometimes I love what I write, and get such excitement from the process that I can’t imagine not having writing (and blogging) in my life, but other times I hate it, hate it all with such a passion that I just want to click delete on the whole thing. I did actually privatise all of my posts a few weeks ago in anticipation of deleting them, and it’s only been since writing this piece that I’ve made them public again due to a change of heart. But you see, I worry they’re badly written, too personal, that no-one gives a shit, that what is the damn point? Existential stuff indeed, and it tears my head up occasionally.
But then I remembered that I paid for this website and domain, and so I better bloody put it to use because my cheapskate ass doesn’t spend money on anything that doesn’t include food or travelling! Even though I’m not joking and that is a big reason, I’ve had some other inspirations to continue this blog too – mainly in the form of the book I’m currently reading (The Cows by Dawn O’Porter – there’s a blogger in that), and because my all time favourite blogger and shero just posted her own 2019 Travel Goal list, and by God will I forever credit this beautiful woman with motivating me to get my act together and book my first ever solo trip (India – January 2017) two years ago.
(Two years ago!? I’ve just had a moment of awe. A moment of awe to the point where I had to stop typing for a moment and think to myself in wonder, because I can’t believe how much my life has changed since that trip. I’m flabbergasted and feeling a range of emotions)!
So on that encouraging note, I decided to write and post my own 2019 Travel Goal list, both in honour of my blogger and to compliment the one I wrote in 2018, which was my first ever post on this blog. I figured it would be a nice way to reenter the scene.
Firstly, however, did I actually manage to fulfil any of my 2018 travel goals? Kinda! Not really, but one! I wrote that I wanted to visit the Middle East, and that one I did accomplish by visiting Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt (if you consider Egypt to be the Middle East and not North Africa – it seems to vary. If you’ve any insight, let me know?) But as for the rest? Ha, absolutely none! I didn’t make it to any of the Subcontinent, despite now being based in Asia, and I didn’t even get over to Vietnam or Laos, despite now living in South East Asia! Being on this side of the world in sunny Jakarta, I also didn’t get to Germany for Christmas, but that was fine, because I instead spent the holidays in gorgeous Penang, Malaysia instead. I was also lucky enough to visit Krakow, Poland in January (and tick that long awaited dream of going to Auschwitz off my list), Las Vegas, USA in April for my Dad’s wedding, Singapore in September for a quick visa run, as well as move to Indonesia in August to live and work. It’s not been a bad year, overall! In fact, it’s been pretty damn eventful, even if I have zero savings left. Here’s to 2019, and what it may bring!
My 2019 Travel Goals:
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
The Subcontinent is back! And forever it will stay until I see every bit of it I can. I’ve shaved down the countries though, because realistically there’s no way I’ll also be able to see Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, etc. alongside these three massive players. Since getting a flavour of North India when I went to Rajasthan, I’ve been dreaming of going back, but this time with the goal of seeing much more including Kerala, Goa, Chennai, Pondicherry, Mumbai, Rishikesh, Varanasi, Amritsar… there’s way too many areas to list, but you get the picture: I want to see it all, even if I need five years to do it.
Regarding Pakistan and Sri Lanka… they look stunning, and you know I love me some good food. Pakistan in particular has moved further up my list – no clear idea why, but I’ve heard great things via word of mouth regarding it’s scenery and nature. If I get there, it’ll probably be in the summer so fingers crossed here!
The Caribbean (and Guyana)
I don’t care where in the Caribbean, but somewhere. Me and my best mate have vague plans to get to Barbados and another island (possibly Grenada?) for our winter holiday (a tradition we are trying to start, damn it!) because all we need is conversation, cocktails, the beach and heat. And money. Me especially.
If we get to the Caribbean though, I’d be extremely tempted to fly over to my momma’s home country of Guyana, South America, because it’s been a while and I fancy seeing that side of my family again, especially because they had a reunion in Hawaii last year which I couldn’t make due to work.
Algeria and Tunisia
Lastly, Algeria and Tunisia, because I’ve loved what I’ve seen of North Africa so far. Morocco and Egypt have been stunning countries to travel through, and I would like to place more footprints in this region if possible.
There we are, my 2019 travel destinations. No-where near as many listed here as in 2018, but perhaps it’s a more realistic goal? Here’s hoping! Of course, there’s many more trips I’d love to make, such as visiting New York city again and getting back to Italy for some delicious pasta, but finances and time to do all of this as well as other things (including finding a job, getting a pet and maybe a bloody house when I get back to the UK), ensure that whilst it’s not impossible, it’s probably unlikely I’ll get to as many places this year as in previous years, let alone fulfilling this list and then some. Ah well, never say never – I’m trying to stay full of the good vibes this year. Happy New Year everyone! Let me know where you fancy going too!