Well, now that I’m finally allowing myself to accept that it is in fact 2015 (how the hell did that happen); I’m starting to get extremely excited about this year.
Starting this year was a little bit bittersweet for me. First of all 2014 was freakin amazing and will definitely be hard to top. Second of all, I’m nearing the end of my time in Spain, which really really freaks me out. I have no idea what I want to do or even where I want to be, come summer, so I’ve got a lot of thinking to do. Still, while 2015 is undoubtedly going to come with a lot of uncertainty and change, starting a new year should also be exciting!
Trying to stay positive, I began putting all of my upcoming plans on a calendar, finally! As I looked through the coming months, I couldn’t help but feel better! There is already so much good planned. I’m hoping to throw in a few more destinations before leaving Europe, but here’s what I already have planned.
After returning to the States for a few relaxing weeks of holiday, I kicked off my 2015 travels by crossing a major item off my bucket list- visiting the city of Salzburg. I had been to Munich twice before, but it was the perfect home base for visiting the wintery wonderland of Salzburg and the enchanting Neuschwanstein castle. Plus, I don’t think I’ll ever really get enough of Germany. All and all, this four-day extension of my Christmas holiday, was worth every penny and every ounce of frostbite.
Carnaval de Cádiz
Carnaval is one of Spain’s biggest, craziest and most popular festivals. From what I’ve heard it seems to be one massive street party boasting a mix of flashy parades, pop-up circus performances and gaudy masquerade costumes. People travel from all over the world to partake in these festivities, yet last year I somehow missed it. But don’t you worry, I made sure not to make the same mistake this year. My friends and I have been planning our trip since we arrived back in Spain last September. (I’ll take any excuse to wear a neon wig!) Carnaval here we comeeeee!!
Las Fallas, Valencia
The celebration of ‘La Fallas’ in Valencia is another Spanish festival that I’ve been dying to get to! Spaniards use this festival to happily welcome the arrival of spring with weeks of insane partying. The festivities involve crafting enormous satirical statues of public figures, which the people then set on fire. They gather together around the city center to watch these “Falles” burn to their demise. Hey, I’ll drink to that.
‘Lights, gunpowder, monuments, flowers, traditional costumes, music, satire, emotions and a great deal of fun are the ingredients of a unique cocktail known as the Fallas Fiestas.’ –via
The mountainous region of Interlaken has been on my radar since I came to Europe as a study abroad student. I’ve never considered myself much of an adrenaline junky, but something about living so close to the adventure capital of Europe calls to me. I mean if there is a time or a place to do it, it’s in the Alps! Maybe I’ll even conquer my fear of heights with a little skydiving….
Last year in the beginning of June, I finally made it to Marrakech in Morocco. Without a doubt this was one of my favorite experiences of the year! Surprisingly, the culture shock didn’t bother me much; I actually embraced it. It felt good to put myself in slightly uncomfortable situations and learn what else is out there past our western-culture centered world.
On the plane home I conveniently sat next to an older retired couple from Cape Town, who had spent the past 2 weeks doing a tour of Morocco and the Sahara desert. After 2 hours of listening to their captivating account of the week, I was hooked on the idea. I became completely obsessed with the idea of seeing more of this riveting country! I knew in the coming year, this was a trip I would have to pursue. Sleeping in the desert on a mattress under the stars, sipping tea in a small secluded Berber village….. unbelievable! I simply cannot wait!
My friend Kristen will be coming to visit this spring and I could not be more excited! I can’t wait to have my travel buddy back! Kristen has been one of my go-to travel partners since as long as I can remember! She’s always been right there next to me ready for the next adventure! During college we tackled Europe together, while she was studying in Florence and I was in my beloved Madrid. She’s dying to get back to this mozzarella cheese filled beaut of a city and who am I to pass up indulging in my favorite worldly cuisine. Gusta Pizza, get ready, I’m coming hungry!
Turkey and Greece have been at the top of my travel bucket list for a long long time. I started getting really sad when mapping out my year and realizing there just wouldn’t be enough time to squeeze them in. Luckily, I found a loop-hole and an amazing price on a 9-day Mediterranean cruise! While I wouldn’t consider cruises my favorite way to explore (I don’t feel that you have enough time in each place), I figure this will be a nice preview and then I can come back one day in the future!
Have any exciting travel plans for this year?!