My Travel Wish List for 2021/22
Travel Wishes vs. Travel Plans
It is really hard to plan any trip these days. That's why I decided to call this article My Travel Wish List instead of My Travel Plan for 2021/22 because the word plan cannot be applied anymore to (international) traveling. I don't even want to think about the number of times I had to cancel my traveling arrangements in 2020 and at least to apply for vouchers, issued by various airlines, hoping that someday, in the next two years, I will finally reach these destinations. Since my vouchers are valid for two years, I consider it reasonable to make a travel wish list for the next two years. Also, dreaming about traveling keeps me in shape. And besides, how can anyone expect a person who is curious and excited to see the world to stop traveling or even stop thinking about traveling?! The news about vaccines distributed all over the world also increases my optimism that international travel will slowly start to recover.
Regional Options in Europe
My prediction, however, is that initially, regional European Union/Schengen area flights will be the first available option for travelers located in Europe. If I were located in Canada or the USA, though, I would count more on offers from Mexico, Brazil and other destinations in the Americas.
In my case, since I am based in Madrid, I will try to reach some European countries first. I have been to most European countries but there are still some hidden European gems that I need to see.
Latvia is definitely on the top of my EU list. It is the only Baltic country I have not visited yet with a well preserved Old Town in the capital Riga that I need to see as well as the beach town Jurmala. I also need to bring back some amber-made souvenirs and take advantage of my airfare voucher that I could not use in 2020.
Slovenia is another hidden gem nested on the border of the Balkans and Central Europe. I can't miss its charming capital Ljubljana and its stunning mountain views and lakes. The lakes Bled and Bohinj seem to be taken away from a Swiss landscape but without the Swiss price tags. Well, I will definitely not miss the Swiss prices in Slovenia which seem to be much more affordable and not less beautiful than Switzerland.
Cyprus is the third mandatory EU destination for me in 2021. As a historian, I have to feel the rich historical heritage of the island and enjoy the local food. The airfare voucher that I have will also help.
Iceland is also on my list but with a big question mark. I am really not sure about it. On the one hand, I want to see some more stunning waterfalls, the Blue Lagoon and the Northern lights of course but on the other hand, I am not so excited about freezing weather and tons of ice and snow. The trouble is that if I go there in the summer, I can't see the Northern lights.
Less Touristy But Very Hospitable Destinations
I go to popular tourist spots but I also enjoy visiting countries that are not that touristy and yet, they are beautiful and/or have people with big hearts. I think that Georgia and Azerbaijan are such countries. The two Caucasian countries have beautiful nature and architecture, rich history, amazing food, especially Georgia, and very warm and hospitable people. I have former students there, who are now my friends and I can't wait to visit them and make a traditional Georgian toast. In fact, this is where wine making started. These two countries are another unfulfilled 2020 travel dream and yes, I do have an airfare voucher to Georgia.
Exotic Islands with amazing Beaches and Nature
The expectation that most international travelers will probably concentrate on local and regional destinations make me hope that some last minute deals will appear for at least some of the stunning exotic islands that our beautiful planet has. I would love to explore:
French Polynesia - to see its incredible atolls and beaches, to hear some great local myths and legends and to enjoy some Polynesian dances.
Maldives - It is a very expensive and yet amazing beach destination but I hope that now due to the lack of enough tourists, there will be some crazy deals. just can't miss the glowing water of Vaadhoo beach.
Seychelles are another spot that boast not only great beaches but also incredible flora and fauna and I am fascinated with these islands.
Since so many tourists are scared to board a cruise ship, I would definitely look for a deal on a Caribbean cruise as well. I have heard so many stories about St. Lucia, Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, Aruba, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin that it will be a shame not to visit at least some of these and enjoy what the Caribbean has to offer! I still remember as well the fascinating pirate stories I read in my childhood by Emilio Salgari, Rafael Sabatini, R.L Stevenson and many others.
New Zealand is another exotic dream travel destination that I want to see very much and enjoy its nature but I don't expect to see it open for international tourism before 2022. That is why, I am not very confident that I will manage to visit it by the end of 2022
Touristy Spots To See Before the Tourists Are Back
There are two very touristy destinations that I want to visit before they are overcrowded with too many tourists. Machu Picchu and Victoria Falls. Of course, Peru has much more to offer than Machu Picchu. Cuzco, Nazca Lines, Rainbow Mountain and many more, but Machu Picchu still seems to be indisputable favorite. That's why, it has become too popular among tourists.
Victoria Falls is undoubtedly my favorite African destination. I hope to get a good deal to visit it, because African countries need tourism. I love majestic waterfalls and after Iguazú, I just have to reach Victoria Falls. This will be a great opportunity to have peek not only at Zambia and Zimbabwe but also to enjoy a short safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana.
I hope that I will be able to reach at least some of these places by the end of 2022 and I wish to all of you bon voyage!