“Once a year go someplace you have never been before”. -Dalai Lama
It took me a long time trying to come up with a topic about what should be my first official travel blog. I could have written it about a place that I have already visited. Maybe an experience that I could share with you guys about some things that had happened before. After much thought, I realized that it is about that time for another adventure. I could not have asked for a better 2016, but it is now soon coming to an end.
Since 2017 is fast approaching I took the time to write down what my trip goals are for 2017. For someone that want to visit every country in the world, deciding where you want to go is one of the hardest decisions ever. Although I do not travel as much as I would like to, I will hold myself accountable and do my best to visit as many countries on this list.
This list is not in any specific order. our world is amazing and it has so much to offer. I encourage everyone to get out of your comfort zone and uncover this world.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”–Aldous Huxley
France Je t’aime! Let’s be honest, have you ever met anyone that does not love the idea of visiting France? It is no secret on why France is the most visited country in the world. The idea of visiting the Louvre and climbing the Eiffel tower or enjoying French cuisine is enough to make anyone take the first flight out to France. Oh, and let us not forget the language! Paris is the city that comes to mind when talking about France, but a trip to this country would not be complete without exploring other cities. Nice, Bordeaux, Marseilles, Cannes, Montpellier are just some of the many cities that I will want to visit on my visit to France.
Oh, Italy! who’s mouth does not water when they think about Pizza or pasta? Who has not had a dream of owning an Italian sports car? How about picturing themselves with the love of their life riding down a Gondola in Venice? Perhaps, stare in awe at the work of a famous Italian painter? The answer to all these questions is nobody. At least no one that I have met. Paris may take the trophy for being the most romantic city in the world but, Italy has the most cities in a country known for its romantic settings. When I go to Italy I will take you on a trip from Milan all the way down to Palermo and enjoy as many cities as I can from this amazing country.
Mexico, where do I start? America has an obsession with Mexican food. By what I hear, the great food we taste in The U.S is nothing compared to the greatness of how it taste in Mexico. I feel like the media works full time on making people not want to visit this wonderful country. The media focuses on crime, immigration and pretty much anything that is negative about Mexico, yet I urge you to alway experience on your own. Out of this list that I have created, Mexico is one of the few that I am sure I will visit next year. I can sit here and write a never ending blog about Mexico’s culture, food, music, people etc… Instead, I will wait to write all about it when the trip comes.
Aloha! Since I was a little kid, Hawaii has been engraved in my brain through movies and their breathtaking landscape photography. No wonder Steven Spielberg chose Hawaii to open his iconic Jurassic Park in 1993. I keep hearing that Hawaii is every hiker’s dream and if that is true, it is time to sign up for a gym membership. The hardest part about visiting this state is picking between the 6 major islands if time is not on your side.
5. Dominican Republic
Dimelo! The Dominican Republic had to make the list. Not only because I am Dominican, but because this little island is amazing. It is by far the most visited island in the Caribbean and there are over 7,000 islands and 25 countries. This island is famous for its music worldwide. There is not a single Latin or Hispanic party that does not play Bachata or Merengue. We have Delicious food! We have some of the best beaches and Golf courses in the world. There is a little bit for everybody. I have been to The Dominican Republic many times but, I have not enjoyed all this island has to offer and that is why it made the list. Again, Dominican Republic is amazing but do not take my word for it, go see for yourself.
Why Vancouver? You might be wondering why I chose Vancouver out of all places in Canada. I have actually been to Vancouver, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. As you can see I love Canada. The reason Vancouver made the list is because I went for a 3-day business trip and a place this amazing deserves more days. The view of the city combined with the mountains is amongst the best that I have ever seen. I am hopeful that I will travel to Vancouver in 2017 and I will make sure to enjoy it to the fullest. If you happened to read this before you go, make sure you walk around Gastown. Oh, and do not forget your umbrella.
OPA! There is something magical about visiting one of the oldest countries in the world. Greek is full of history and rich in culture. Home to some of the most famous philosopher and poets. It is the birthplace of democracy and the Olympics. Greece has always been on my list because of places like Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Patras and much more. I will have a hard time trying to see every site there is to see in Greece with a limited time but, this will not stop me. Time to practice Greek pronunciations.
Hallo! A few months back I started an obsession of trying to learn how to speak German. That obsession lasted about two weeks! The difficulty of the language did not stop me from wanting to explore Germany, and it does not have to be in October. This country is a prime example of how light can come from darkness. Germany have awesome castles, make awesome cars, is produces awesome people, make awesome inventions. everything I can think about in Germany is awesome and have you seen the cities? Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dresden, Munich, Berlin, Cologne, Leipzig, Bonn and I can keep going on and on but for now, auf wiedersehen!
9. Grand Canyon
Of course… I could not have created this list without including The Grand Canyon. Is sad that I have been living in the United States most of my life and have not yet visited this region of it. It is, after all, only 23 hours driving. I have always wanted to hike some of the marvelous trails in The Grand Canyon. Although, I have not mapped out a trip yet but it will most likely start in Vegas. Then it will be exploring the rims of The Grand Canyon. Driving down monument valley is a must, and maybe I get to see Forrest Gump still running. If there is still energy left, I will finish in Zion National park. This, of course, is a trip that needs to a lot of planning for it to be great.
10. United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates does everything BIG! When I think about luxury, this is the first country that comes to mind. They have the biggest mall in the world, the tallest building, the most luxurious hotel. The craziest building structures. They also have gold vending machines, GOLD VENDING MACHINES! there are many places to visit in Dubai, Abu Dhabi. I will make sure we stay in Burj Al Arab Jumeirah for at least one night….. I can dream, right?
Olé! Whether you are for Real Madrid or F.C Barcelona, we can all agree that Spain is one of the most amazing countries in the world. I wish I had enough time to visit this whole country in just one trip, but I have a feeling this will be one of those places that I will be going back too. I will make sure I walk the world’s scariest pathway just north of Malaga, and while I am there visit Picasso birthplace. Zip line across Spain and Portugal border. Definitely catch a bull run….. Yea, that one most likely will not happen. Just the food alone is enough for me to make Spain a must travel for the year 2017.
Oi! I love visiting a place that I am able to see most if not all in one trip. Portugal, although incredible, is small compared to other places on this list. I wish I was able to explore Portugal and Spain in one trip, but it will not be fair to either. Also, the fact that it is so close to Morocco will make it hard not to cross over. Looking at the map of Portugal I notice how easy it could be to drive from Lisbon to Algarve. Then make my way up exploring the Alentejo and Centro Region. Finally, reach the top of Portugal at the Norte Region and make my way down to Lisbon stopping of course in Porto. Well, look at that. My trip to Portugal is already planned. time to start packing.
Que Bola! This amazing island has many negative things that people focus on, but I will focus on the positive. Cuba still proves a challenging destination to travel to, but once you are there it will all be worth it. A trip to Cuba is like a trip back in time. Beautiful cars, Spanish colonial Architecture, breathtaking landscape, friendly people. I would like to make Cuba a priority in travels for 2017 because as of now anything can still change.
My childhood dream! I have been hearing about Peru’s history since I was in middle school or maybe even elementary. Most, if not all textbook have pictures of Machu Picchu. that is when my passion of visiting this South America country started. Although it started with Machu Picchu, the older I became the more I discovered that Peru extends beyond Machu Picchu. Peru has many dramatic landscapes that include massive sand dunes, volcanic sites, amazing beaches, canyons that are deeper than The Grand Canyon, and Incas sites aside from Machu Picchu.
I had a hard time choosing which country in Southeast Asia to go to when all options are magnificent. There is Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, you get my point. This is one option for 2017 that is subject to change, although I would love to visit Thailand. the proximity to the other countries will make it hard for me to make my mind up. Thailand is just beautiful. the food, the people, the Temples, the beaches. Did I mention the food? I bet you caught on to the fact that I love to eat. It is my favorite thing to do and Thailand has so much variety that it alone makes it worth it.
Reykjavik is the capital of this wonderful country of which I cannot pronounce the names to most of its locations. There are many reasons why Iceland made the list. One of those is because I want to see the northern lights and there are about 9 countries in which you can see them. I have three on my 2017 list, one is Iceland and the other one I will talk about next. Hot springs pools is also another reasons. The wonderful views of the waterfalls. All the crazy incredible looking hikes that are all over Iceland. I wish I am able to make Iceland in 2017.
Norway is famous for its Fjords. This is actually one of the main reasons why I want to visit. Breathtaking is the only word that comes to my mind when I look at this country. Norway is nothing short of amazing. Of course, I have never been but I have done enough research about Norway to make it a priority. besides, a trip to Norway could also mean a trip to Denmark or Sweden. Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm are so close to each that it will hard not to drive to these.
No llores por mi Argentina! How many countries have a song about it in many different languages and by many different artists? Argentina is famous for being one of the best countries to experience food. This country has such an amazing landscape. In a trip to Argentina, I would explore the Patagonia, Iguazu Falls, Salinas Grandes, the hills of seven colors and much more. Argentina is more than just dramatic landscape. There are many cities and beautiful towns and each of them has its own characteristics.
19. Israel and Jordan
I know I said this before, but I think is ridiculous how the mainstream media only focus on the negative. The average people that I encounter are afraid of Israel and Jordan because they are in the middle east. I am sure there are real threats, but there are also safe areas to travel to. I am not saying all locations are safe, but you should always research your destinations. These two countries made the list because of how much history they have. I would love to go to Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. I am not sure the requirements to cross over to Jordan, but they are so close in proximity that I must at least try. Petra is perhaps, the main reason I would love to visit Jordan.
Last but not least, Austria.
Austria is the last but not least. I could not have created this list without adding this country. The architecture of Austria is nothing short of amazing. There are many museums in Vienna and they are all recognized worldwide. I would love to visit every town in Austria. I believe I will need more than two weeks to enjoy Austria. If I was to have enough time I will do my best to drive over to the beautiful city of Prague. I cannot Wait!
This concludes my travel goal list for the year 2017. I am well aware that I will, unfortunately, not be able to visit them all in 2017. If I get to visit at least one, it will be worth it. Where are you going next year? I would like to hear from you and see what are your travel plans for 2017. Please leave a comment below.
Always remember no matter where you are in life, please do your best to enjoy the world around you. It is not always easy but it is rewarding. I once read that the hardest walks lead to the greatest destinations and the toughest climbs always lead to the best views. I am not sure who wrote it but that became one of my favorite quotes and I wanted to share it with you.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” – Saint Augustine