Spring is in the air! The sun is shining, birds are chirping, days are getting longer. I love this time of year when everything seems new again. Maybe even new adventures are on the horizon? I recently I got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I know that people have different opinions on the vaccine and the pandemic in general and that’s fine, no controversy here! 2020 was a difficult year for everyone and I am so ready for things to become somewhat normal again. I miss having people over for dinner, exploring new places, grabbing a drink after work…. getting a massage! So many things that I had taken for granted but trust me, will never again. These activities don’t seem so far out of reach anymore and I’ve been daydreaming about where we’d travel for the past year so….here is my list of travel destinations for 2022 (fingers crossed) Also, the photos below are photos from Pixabay, Unsplash and Burst. They are used with permission from the artists since I’ve never been to the places below 🙂
Obviously this is no surprise to anyone who knows me or reads this blog. We are big Francophiles and love anything French. I have been practicing on Duolingo every day(today is 262!) so hopefully I’ll be confident enough to speak more French when we do visit. Paris is a must stop while we are there to visit with some dear friends and to get a bier at our favorite bar, Le Super Coin. A day trip, to Versailles is in order. It seems crazy with the amount of times that we have visited France but we haven’t made it to the historic palace yet. I would also love to explore more of the Brittany region or to visit Burgundy and Provence for the first time.
Andrew has Scottish heritage and I love castles so this is definitely on our list. Excellent Scotch, stunning landscapes, and a romantic history…sign me up! Scotland is never particularly warm but I would actually love to visit in the winter. I’ve heard that the Christmas Markets in Edinburgh are super fun and I have this vision of windy cobblestone streets dotted with snow and twinkle lights. Sounds like a dream right? Saint Andrew’s Day is on November 30 and I’ve read that there are many celebrations and festivals for the Patron Saint of Scotland. Cold weather usually means less tourists which is always a bonus.
I have been told that Portugal is a land of great food, great beaches, nice people, and some of the most stunning old cities you can instagram. Whenever I look at pictures from this beautiful country they are dotted with vibrant yellow and red buildings and stunning blue patterned tiles. It’s a country full of castles and history. It is right up my alley.
Italy was never a must visit for me until I started doing research for my parents. They went in 2019 and had the best time. After hearing all of the wonderful things that they did I decided that I wanted to eat gelato near the Trevi fountain, drink wine in the Tuscan region and ride in a gondola in Venice. This is a country full of history and ancient ruins that I must experience for myself. Plus gelato.
Quebec City and Montreal Canada
The land of friendly French Canadians, delicious poutine, and charming old towns. We visited Quebec City a couple of years ago for a long birthday weekend. I love that we were able to drive there from where we live in Maine and it gave us that European fix that we were hoping for. We both have been to Montreal in our younger years but would love to go back and really explore the city. I’ve heard that the food scene in Montreal is great and I love a tasty meal. These are also areas that would be fun to visit in the winter months or during the Winter Carnival.
The city of Prague looks like a page out of a storybook. Gothic castles, Baroque churches, bright colored rooftops and cobblestone streets. This World Heritage City is a jewel box of historic treasures that I need to explore. And it’s not the only one! I think there are 13 or 14 World Heritage Sites in this country, so my history loving husband is on board for this adventure as well. There are also over a 1000 castles and chateaux to visit, how dreamy! I love castles, so this culturally rich country is a must see for me.
Africa. I have never been there and Morocco has been on my list of destinations for awhile, I can thank Almost Famous for this. Penny Lane kept saying she wanted to go Morocco, so I wanted to go to Morocco too. Years later Instagram pictures of the country’s gorgeous tiled palaces and amazing scenery make me want to visit even more. Marrakech is probably the most well known city and famous market place but I’m finding there is so much more to explore in this country. I’ve recently learned about Chefchaouen with its sea of blue buildings. The blue is said to symbolize the sky and heaven, and serve as a reminder to lead a spiritual life. However, some locals will tell a different story, that the walls were mandated to be painted blue simply to attract tourists at some point in the 1970s. Either way it looks like a beautiful place to visit and eat some couscous with kefta.
Asheville, North Carolina
My wanderlust lists are always full of destinations abroad but I really want to go to Asheville. There are wineries, breweries, The Biltmore Estate, great food and music. I’ve been to North Carolina many times, I have an aunt who lives in Hickory and I was mildly obsessed with Dawson’s Creek back in the day so I made my parents take me to the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area. It’s a beautiful state and in some ways reminds me of Maine but warmer.
These are just my top 8 but my list grows every day. For more inspiration check out this post by YOAIR. They’ve listed some lesser known cities that are worth a visit on your next European adventure. Sintra, Portugal and Mantua, Italy have made my list of places to check out. I love visiting towns that aren’t too over run with tourists looking for knickknacks but rather travelers that are there to appreciate the culture of an area. Meet some local people and enjoy a yummy meal.
Are you dreaming about travel? Where are you off to next?