Saturday, February 25, 2017

2017 Travel Plans

Update: I'm finally coming to terms with the fantasy of crossing the arctic circle not being feasable. Not this time given such a short voyage, but watch this step! There's always next year aha!

One more bloody update before we start; we are flying into Stockholm and out of Paris! Two wonderful cities to start and end a bloody good voyage.

A bit late!, you might say. Cliche! you might also say. But every voyager has plans, even if it's plans to have no plans! & I'm keen to share it with you guys. 


Let's dig in!

First, let's talk about local travel. When fuelled by wanderlust, we feel the urge to hop on a plane & cross the seas to get that exotic thrill.

That's exactly how I feel; like flying abroad is so surreal, that a little road trip is not the same.
See, by wanting to travel, I mean fly all the way to Europe or North America, from my home in Australia. And not wait until I'm 30. I've already flown to Europe, & so I know from experience that I have only had a real thrill traveling when it was particularly exotic. That's how far I need to go to get that travel bug off my back.


But seriously, I am buzzed to go to Europe not just because it's far away, but because it's exotic; in a completely different environment, the change of scenery is refreshing. Or, for Europe, heart warming as a cooler climate makes for a warmer heart. I have been to Europe five times, so I know what a killer it is to go there! But if I travel within the country, nothing much changes & I feel flat. Same food, same supermarkets, similar scenery & not a lot to do there outside of the cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Goldy and Brissy.

But Australia? While one of the most liveable countires in the world, practically an island with miles of deserts & kangaroos, I was born with the urge to leave for the rest of the world. Permanently? We'll see! At least on a vacay? Absolutely ! I have already flown many times, & I love flying!
Like, take me on a hike to Trolltunga & it will be magical. 
But take me on a hike at the nearest forest in my area? Meh. Just a few boring trees & tedious, tiring walking. Trees, trees, trees, all I ever see except that occasional turkey.
But, I would like to turn the tides & appreciate the mini little voyages I take to rivers, mountains, the park, beaches & camping fields on the weekend and any given day. To realise that anywhere I go, I'm technically traveling; even setting foot in the back yard can be traveling. I made a decision that every weekend I would travel somewhere 'new' (or that I haven't been to for a while) & experience the nature reserves that this part of the world has kept. & every weekend, I have found myself at a different park, beach or town, anywhere out of locational routine. There is still more for me to see in my own area, & thinking about this, I'm already wanderlusting to see Glen Inness & it's wineries, nature & cafes. 
Or sign up to be a full time stacay-er and fall in love with the comforts of home. Especially now as I get tired of commuting out of obligation!


Anyway, I love flying. & not within the country. I love flying on  a massive 747 or A380 jet with neat interiors, endless in-flight entertainment, a bloody good window view. 

But most of all:

I love flying because it means I am soon to land in an exotic location. 

Now, here I bring...

*drum roll*

...2017 travel plans!

*fireworks*

Let's begin.

First thing's first I'm a realist my sister & I are off to Europe!

First stop: Zurich. Now Stockholm! So, so expensive (apparently), but a handy stopover city near our grandparents place. Plus, we know a couple who live there & can be our personal tour guides, & help us with the living expenses of Switzerland. You can't put a price on Switzerland though! Full of scenic railway journeys, with window views, that are gorgeous in both the summer & the winter, flash but cosy houses, knee deep snow & friendly locals, Switzerland is more like Wonderland. Well, there won't be any snow, minus the mountains, when we'll be there, but y'all know what I mean, right? But since we'll be pressed for time, we might simply crash in Zurich from when we arrive till when leave; arrive in Zurich, straight to bed, wake up and make a beeline for France. We'll see.

Which brings...

Mulhouse, Alsace! Our base camp in Europe, Alsace is where my mother's side of the family live; my grandparents, uncles, cousins and aunts. They are scattered around, so we could persuade them all to take time off to come for a family reunion lunch, a ritual of ours whenever the Aussies visit.


Then we hurry to our next desto, ...

...

...

Oslo, Norway! Norway that there's anywhere else in the world I'd rather go! 

But in the meantime, I'm planning to be cheeky and sneak a trip to Paris; hurried day trip or overnighter. I might be such a brat; taking a plane from Alsace to Paris to hurry things along. It will be my responsibility to pay for it but.  #certifiedflashpacker. Point is, Paris is bomb and when I am so close but with so little time, it's practically compulsory to take a detour there. Taking a plane, while pricier, is quicker, than a train or bus. Mwahahahaha, what could I do with 12-24 hours en Paris? See the Eiffel tower, duh. No time to climb it, and having more important things to do within the deadline. When I say I have to complete something important under the deadline, I naturally mean, with less than a day to kill in Paris, eat everything. Eat food, my other favourite thing in a tie with travel. So cliche, yes, but Paris has the best food! When you are in Paris, forget your waistline and eat nutella crepes from a stall near the eiffel tower, street soft serve, Angelina chocolat chaud, laduree macarons, croissants and crusty bread, the finest bread you will ever eat. Make sure to check each of these foods off your list when you're in Paris, and publish photographic evidence. I'll be watching you! Mwahahaha! Trust me, you'll thank me later. Aside from the show-stealing food, the streets of Paris have this magical vibe that you won't soon forget. Well, we will begrudgingly leave from Paris, so we will have at least two hours to stuff me face with the best food in the world, then leave!



Maybe staying around Bergen will be more than enough; Bergen looks lovely and over-traveling can leave one broke and tired af, I'm just learning now! But these were the plans a few months back!
Then it's time to fly back to Alsace, another flight, with Lydia, to Oslo we go!

We might just have a quick layover and amble 'round Oslo, but time waits for no man! We are shortly off to Bergen. Given the time, we could hike to Trolltunga for a tourist snap, but I have a better idea. As romantic as Bergen is, my real life goal is to cross the arctic circle. It was on the agenda to begin with, but with so little time, Lydia insisted we see a closer region, Bergen! 

Here's where I plan to take another cheeky, ludicrous detour and take a plane from Bergen/Oslo to Tromso, and bam! I've hit arctic paradise, sans le freezing climate; will be summer. I feel silly deciding to do this, but you know what? I am silly! Even for a day, or over nighter in Tromso if I find a cheap-ish place to sleep there. Not particularly knowing where I'm going, just knowing that there is nowhere I'd rather go than Scandinavia, even if it is a tad bit expensive. If any country will reconnect me back to nature, I reckon it will be Norway. What to do in Norway in general, still have a vague idea, I know, but that's a part of traveling, right! Just rock up and explore!

I know; investigate how people live in Norway and why it is one of the world's happiest countries. It might be the high taxes, which is actually a good thing; those with more than enough have excess wealth taken away so that those with less than the minimum (using that term loosely) can be supplemented. That way, everyone in Norway has a fair go at life, and no one goes to bed hungry. Winner! I would like to investigate the real culture and politics, in Norway itself. 

And write an article about the findings.

After a debaucherous detour to the arctic, I meet back with naysayer Lydia and we make our way to Sweden. I don't know if we will see any more of Sweden than Stockholm, but that's okay, it's the capital so it's sure to have something to offer! I have no real bucket list, except visit that library and enjoy a good Fika, all day everyday. 

Bloody hell, Russia plans are wiped out, so naturally I'm moving those plans, as with the plans to cross the arctic circle, to 2018. Or whenever the hell I get around to it!

From Stockholm to St Petersburg we go, via ferry! Champagne on deck, aye?

Next stop is Russia! If we can get the dang tourist visa. If so, Russia we go! We plan to spend a couple o' nights each in St Petersburg and Moscow, mainly exploring the cities, and hit cafe pushkin when we're there. Why Russia you ask? It's just one of those countries I know I want to see, but don't particularly know why. I was browsing through a topdeck Europe mag, and found a tour, Vodka & Caviar, and from then on, it was on my heart to go to Russia. At first I tried to kid myself with every excuse not to go, but go to Russia! Go to Russia! Go to Russia!... kept on going on. So finally, at the dinner table over Russian Borscht, I finally confessed, very shyly, that I wanted to go to Russia. 

When asked why by Lydia at the shoppo, I thought for a moment and said, 'because I was looking at tours in a Topdeck mag, and Russia was the one that knocked on my heart.'

I was going to do this tour, but to save money and time, we are making our own way in the magical Scandinavia and Russia.

From Moscow, we unfortunately might go straight back home. Instead of whining about getting back into the grind, we could think of this as a new chapter in life. 

Flying back from Paris now. I wish I'd booked a stopover in the Maldives, but you know what? Wanderlust is never satisfied! There's always more to see and do. Taking a selfie at the Hollywood sign, hitting the Rockies, hitting the arctic, it never ends!

Shortly after arriving home, I will be turn the big 2-1, but I bloody hope that won't mean being a proper adult who never travels and only pays bills till death.
 I never want to wake up from the living dream of world travel and have nothing but work and bills. That's no way to live imo!
So hopefully after 21 I will still have many more adventures to knock off, both overseas and staycays. And get around to going to Russia and crossing the arctic circle!
Reindeer and Russians is the one if you're anything like me and the arctic and/or Russia are your cup of tea! Or do this one and make your own way through Russia to save money on tours, but do the arctic voyage on a tour as it seems like a nightmare to get around the arctic by your own means! Not to say you can't do it, but that guided tours are awesome for getting you around where the public transport is atrocious.

Lol, I'm still tempted to think that you can take a day trip to the arctic from Oslo, but I think staying sane and exploring the beautiful Bergen might do!

Liked it? Pin it!

26 comments:

  1. It looks like you have plenty to plan and some exciting trips coming up! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hardest thing to plan is accommodation costs as every country has a different cost of living, not to mention food! I'm going in half blind and hope to survive off the savings...

      Delete
  2. I like flying too! And your travel plans sound cool, would love to follow something similar. Wishing all your plans become a huge success unlike your Russia plan, but that's the life of a traveler!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things don't always go to plan, but then there's something better in store!

      Delete
  3. I have been meaning to travel more around Europe! I hope you have a wonderful time this year on the road!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make it happen yo! I won't have to drive, will just be chauffeured around on planes, trains and buses while I kick back and pop champagne xo

      Delete
  4. Have the most amazing trip girl, I love Europe too and love that you are visiting a few small adorable towns. I'll be following your adventures, that's for sure. Xx

    - gonewithawhim.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am the same as you - Australia is wonderful, but Europe calls! Your plans sound great, and I'm sure you will have more time to explore Norway and/or France! How long are your European travels for? We are heading back to Spain this year... It feels like it has been too long since I've listened to the stomping of flamenco shoes and wailing of a flamenco singer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3 weeks, not forever :'( so I shall make the best of it!

      Delete
  6. Travel while you can. Travel while you're young. 2017 looks like an adventure filled year:) Happy Travels... xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. exactly! Never want to wake up and have no opportunity to travel anymore, but one day at a time yo!

      Delete
  7. Enjoyed reading this post lots of great information & photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for popping by and showing some love!

      Delete
  8. I'll definitely admire your photography skill. Your captured photos just made me feel so relax. And the foods seem delicious also. Thanks a lot for sharing the post. Waiting for next posts. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm behind the camera in like all of them XD
      But thanks anyway!

      Delete
  9. Awesome itinerary of places to go! Hopefully I can explore more of Europe like you are doing!

    Justine
    https://www.theiridescentwings.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Explore Europe as much as humanly possible! Or Africa, if that's your cup of tea. But oh Europe changes within a few miles. Even France in all it's regions are like separate planets, if that makes sense?

      Delete
  10. Sounds like you have an epic trip ahead of yourself! But don't feel worry about being a proper adult and not traveling. I am 36 (yikes!) and have 3 kids and we still travel a ton.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anticipating and planning is half the fun! I hope you have a marvellous 2017 of travel. The itinerary sounds great and I like it that you have room for spontaneity.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So much energy to travel.. You made me think to move my ass :))

    ReplyDelete
  13. Paris and Norway will be amazing! The Trolltunga hike looks absolutely amazing - sounds like you have lots of exciting adventures ahead. Safe travels!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's always like that - exotic places are the ones usually far away! Being from Europe, for me Australia is exotic, never been yet. ;) Love the way you're thrilled about your travels, a true wanderlust there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I feel like so many people from Australia end up leaving! Either that or they become travelers or nomads. But, best of luck with your travels this year. Europe is a lovely place.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great plans! I'll also spend a few days in Paris next month, but I'll fly from Biarritz. So it's not so far :-D

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your travel plans sound very exciting. I am also from Australia and understand your urge to get out and travel. It's a beautiful country but there are still so many other places in the world to see!

    ReplyDelete