I have been absent from my blog. I realize that taking a journey is more than packing one’s bags and going to a foreign land. A journey can take on many meanings for each individual. My recent journey is call ‘life.’ Yes, the journey of life has kept me from sharing my thoughts. Nothing out of the ordinary mind you, just the normal activities of daily life! Needless to say, I am back and on the verge of sharing my upcoming travels. During my absence, I have dreamt of visiting exciting lands and have consciously looked for ‘deals’ to those countries I have not yet visited. I am and always have been filled with wanderlust and have my bag ready to go at all times!
I have a travel bucket list. My bucket list is one where I hope to visit every country in Europe! Throughout my recent travels in the past year, I made a pact with myself that I would not repeat those cities or countries that I have previously visited in order that I may utilize my travel funds in the most economical manner. Busted! I am breaking my own rule in the next month as I repeat two of the places I really love!
This year, when Icelandair announced it’s winter fare sale, I once again jumped on the bandwagon. Icelandair is a travelers dream. Not only are the roundtrip fares economical, allowing me to book two trips instead of one, they are also a very easy carrier to travel on. One of the bonuses of Icelandair is the FREE stopover in Iceland! I really enjoyed my short visit to Reykjavik last year and have dreamed of once again returning to explore more of this enchanting winter wonderland!
My first journey next month will be to Helsinki, Finland. I have spent the past few months researching what I wish to see and do in the three days I have there. I have used my Starwood miles to book a luxury hotel in a prime location that will allow me to step outside the hotel lobby and begin my exploration. I will venture out on my own for the first half a day and take in all the local sights and sounds in my general vicinity. The second day I have booked the ferry for a 2-hour journey over to Tallinn, Estonia. I have heard that the Old Town is the place to be. I am interested in seeing the Russian influence on Tallinn and how this tiny country has developed since. On the third day, I have planned to take the 2.5 hour free walking tour to get a historical perspective on the city of Helsinki. Time is short, however, I plan to make the most of my time there.
Last year, I only had a short overnight visit in Reykjavik. I was extremely intrigued enough to want to go back. This time, I have rented an Airbnb right in the city center. I will have the pleasure of staying in an old wooden Icelandic house! I intend to get oriented quickly to my new neighborhood. On this trip, I have already made arrangements to see the Northern Lights as well as take the Golden circle tour. If time permits, I hope to walk on a glacier! One of the best parts of my trip last time was savoring the Icelandic fish and various restaurants. I have plans to return to the Fish Market, Hotel Borg restaurant (for my favorite noodle dish with shots of licorice liqueur!), as well as my favorite The Grill Market! Upon heading back to the airport at the conclusion of my trip I will once again make a stop at the Blue Lagoon and indulge! This was so relaxing last time that I slept on the plane most of the way home!
Mid-March I have set aside to travel with my two daughters to Amsterdam. This will also by my second time to Amsterdam. I will re-visit some of the places I saw before, and hope to find new ones to explore as well. One of the places I missed last year that I hope to visit this year is the Hague. I am a lover of the artist Vermeer and it would be real special to see his painting The Girl with The Pearl Earring.
Most of my plans are already set in stone. If you have any tips or favorite places that I should not miss, please let me know! I like unique adventures as well as off-the-beaten path places! I will try most anything!
Where have your favorite journeys been to?