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2011 Flights of Fancy

Plans change & goals evolve. Life is full of surprises. While setting goals are important, setting travel goals are a little harder -well, for me they are. While a lot of people create a Bucket List (Which I did in 2009), In 2010 I decided to create a ‘Flights of Fancy‘ list. As someone whose plans change often, calling it ‘Flights of Fancy’ seemed appropriate. It also took away some of the guilt I felt if I didn’t complete the entire list.

In 2011, my travel plans and goals are a little more solid than they have been in previous years. This is due -in part- to my travels through Thailand, China and Mongolia in 2010. Through my experiences on those trips, my 2011 list started coming to life. Plans and ideas will change or evolve throughout the year. They always do. That is not the important part. For me, the important part is the experiences and insights to be gained from those changes. While some of the destinations on this list are solid, others are dream destinations.

Bangkok, Thailand

Despite its bad rap, I fell in love with Bangkok. There is a lot more to the city than Khao San Rd. Bangkok is a city of diversity. Sure, it has its dark sides -like any other major city-, but it also has its good sides. In 2010, I spent about a month in Bangkok and in many ways, a month was not enough time.

During my time in Bangkok, I hooked up with In Search of Sanuk and did some volunteer work with some of the refugees in the city. The short amount of time that I spent with them was enough to change the way I viewed travel. In 2011, I plan to return to Bangkok. This time I’ll be renting an apartment instead of staying in hostels. I hope to spend 4-6 mths in Bangkok. While I’m there I plan to continue my volunteer work with the refugees and street kids, as well as other endeavors.

Road Trip from Vancouver to Toronto

Road Trip!!! There is something thrilling about going on a road trip. As I’ll be in Canada this summer, I’ve decided to go on an epic road trip from Vancouver to Toronto with a fellow travel blogger friend of mine. We haven’t ironed out specifics yet, but the planning has started! Be sure to check this blog for more details in the future.

*To all my peeps in Niagara Falls… Yes, this means I will finally be visiting you!

Holland

Holland was nowhere near my travel radar until about two weeks ago. However, it’s now high on my list. Why? Well, Holland is the country that accepted one of the refugee families I’ve worked with. It’s going to be their new home, and I want to give them the surprise of a lifetime. At this point in time, all I know is that they will be going to Holland in the 3rd week of March. As they find out more details, I’ll do more planning. The idea is to either

a.)Be at the airport in Holland when they step off the plane or

b.) Show up on their doorstep with a Welcome Party.

If you’re going to be near Holland at the end of March or Beginning of April, and you’d like to join me, let me know!

Burma (Myanmar)

I was hoping to visit Burma in 2010, but my plans changed and I quickly ran out of time. In 2011, I plan to rectify that. As I sat on a boat heading to China, I had a glimpse of Burma along the shores of the Mekong River. The vegetation was similar to Thailand and Laos on the opposite side of the river, lush and green -after spending 8 years in the brown hues of Southern Alberta, I drool over lush green vegetation. Burma is a country that has always held a certain mystique for me.  Its challenges make it even more appealing to me. I firmly believe that traveling to a country is one of the best ways to gain knowledge and understanding. Plus, in 2011, I’ll know a couple of cool travel bloggers who’ll be living there!

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is another country that was on my 2010 list. As with Burma, time ran out and I was unable to go. However, I hope to go in 2011. Similar to Burma, Sri Lanka has had -and continues to have- many challenges. After spending time with Sri Lankan refugees in 2010, my desire to visit Sri Lanka intensified. I want to see it with my own eyes. However, before I go, I will need to train my taste buds a little more. Thai food makes my tongue burn, but Sri Lankan food makes it sweat!

India

Yep, it’s still on the list. During my travels in 2010, I fell head-over-heels in love with Indian food. I now crave butter chicken and butter naan more than I crave bacon -I think I may need therapy. India is a large country and one that deserves time and patience. I don’t know how much time I’ll have yet, but I’m keeping India in mind for while I’m on the road in 2011.

South America

Yes, I’m aware that I just listed a continent instead of a specific country or city. South America has been on my radar for years. As I’ll be spending a lot of my time in Asia (again) this year, I don’t have any semi-long-term plans for South America in 2011. That doesn’t mean that I won’t go. My trip to South America will be based on timing and finding an out-of-this-world flight deal through DoHop or Kayak and it will probably be a last minute trip -which I love.

What are your travel plans for 2011? Will you be going to a dream destination or returning to a favorite destination?

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I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

12 comments

  1. Wow–you’re travel plans totally leave mine in the dust. I’ve been wanting to travel to Peru for several years now and I’m crossing my fingers that I finally get there in 2011, among other places.

    Here’s to a year full of travel!

  2. And that would be “your” not “you’re”. Sigh.

  3. What an awesome list! I really hope you make it to SA, it’s one hell of a continent!!! Happy Holidays!

  4. 2011 should be exciting for us coz that’s when we’re starting our RTW trip! We’re heading first to China, Mongolia, and Kyrgystan… after that, we still don’t know.

    Anyway, hope ur 2011 travel wishes come true. Happy New Year!

  5. How exciting! Great travel plans – hope they all happen in 2011!

  6. Hope to run into you while you’re in some of those places next year. :)

  7. Considering that I was in Asia earlier this year, my goal for 2011 is South America. If nothing else, I’m aiming to head back to Ecuador, where I lived as a child, to see what I remember and brush up on my Spanish! But, much like you, I’d love to do the whole continent, but we’ll see how realisitic that is!

    Have your travels take you to Laos? If so, you might want to add that one to your list as its a really fascinating country with a fairly trouled past (thanks in large part to the US government). If you can get off the tourist trail, it’s a real gem!

    I totally agree that Bangkok is incredible and, much like you, I adore it dearly having studied not too far away from there.

    Oh and that photo is INCREDIBLE!

  8. Oh, I really hope you make it to Burma next year! And I’m not just saying that because I’m half Burmese! Seriously, of all the countries I’ve visited, nothing has captured my heart as much as Burma has! I’m sure you will just love it there!

  9. Woot! Bring on 2011! Maybe our paths will cross yet again. ;)

  10. Sounds like 2011 could be an awesome year for you!

    My 2011 travel plans include a lot of travel around the U.S. – a trip to Hawaii in February, and then a road trip from Ohio to California and back in August. And then of course there’s TBEX in June, assuming I can find out how to get myself to Vancouver!

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