A Little Travel…Dreams and Plans for the New Year

Recap fever has hit the travel and everyone is reflecting over the past year and looking forward. I really won’t recap too much because I just outlined my full RTW travel route (1) last week for you (route (2) and route (3)); those posts serve nicely as a highlight of my past year.

But this looking forward thing, now that I can get behind!

Chinatown in Los Angeles

Having some fun in Chinatown in Los Angeles

I’ve been holding out on you guys for the past week because my travel dates aren’t solid. But, well, the time has come: I am heading back on the road at the end of this month. I’m still holding out for a few more days on the precise details but let’s look at what this coming year will hold:

My 2010 Travel Plans and Dreams

  • Travel south from Mexico down through Central America hitting every country I can safely navigate as a solo woman. While I traditionally don’t worry overly much about solo travel, I can honestly say that Central America has me a bit nervous…is that unfounded guys?! I just feel like it’s a different ball game down there right now than, say, solo travel in SEA…
  • Meet a handful of fellow travelers and friends in Peru in late May to hike Machu Picchu.
  • Head to the Napa wine country in Northern California for my best friend’s June wedding before hitting up Travel Blog Exchange conference in NYC.
  • Backpack through Southeast Asia once again by fall for an undetermined length of time and no set plans.
Sticky Rice in Laos

A buddha with stickyrice in Laos

Where is the Blog Heading?

  • I’ll still fully share travel stories, videos, and advice throughout the year, so stick around…and even subscribe to my RSS feed so you don’t miss a single post (shameless plug, I know).
  • Anticipate even more servicey posts aimed at helping other travelers prep for their trip – think reviews and guest bloggers sharing trips for eco-friendly travel and volunteering opportunities.

I am really excited for what this new year is going to hold – A Little Adrift has taken on a life of it’s own over the past year and I couldn’t do it without the support of the travel community and friends who contribute to the site, leave feedback and comments, and just generally make this blogging experience a whole lot more fun, so a very real and sincere thanks  :-)

Cheers and Happy New Year guys!

And just to share the love, if you’re looking for some great posts over the past year from all over the travel community, check out Anil’s collection of the top travel posts of 2009 and Andy’s top inspirational travel stories for a bit of motivation in planning your own travels this year.

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41 Responses to A Little Travel…Dreams and Plans for the New Year

  1. flip January 11, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    if you head back to Southeast Asia, i suggest you visit the Philippines :-)

    • ShannonOD January 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

      The Philippines have recently made it onto my list as I see other travelers
      head there – pictures and stories are amazing – it will definitely be a
      stop :-)

  2. ShannonOD January 11, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    The Philippines have recently made it onto my list as I see other travelers
    head there – pictures and stories are amazing – it will definitely be a
    stop :-)

  3. flip January 11, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    if you head back to Southeast Asia, i suggest you visit the Philippines :-)

  4. jonathancampion January 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Hi Shannon,

    I followed the link to your blog from Uncornered Market’s website, and have really enjoyed spending an evening looking through your articles. Crisp, intelligent writing always brings a surge of adrenaline to my chest, especially if it is about places I dream of experiencing myself, such as the Indian railways and Bosnia’s coffee shops – or if it gives a different perspective on familiar places (northern England, the Hebrides). I look forward to exploring your site a bit more when I have more time.

    Happy travels in 2010!

    Jon

    • ShannonOD January 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

      Many warm thanks for the kind words about the site :-) The round-the-world
      trip was such an incredible journey for me over the past year and it's
      heartening to know that it has struck a cord with other travelers. As for
      your corner of the world – I was just awed and amazed by the Hebrides, what
      an amazing slice of the world right in your own backyard!

      Do you have any travels planned in 2010?! :-) Cheers and thanks again!

      • jonathancampion January 4, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

        My travel plans for this year are to take as many small trips as possible, and save up for a journey to Central Asia in 2011. Wish me luck!

        I wish I could say that the Hebrides were in my own backyard, but having grown up in the south of England I can only get to the Isle of Mull once a year with my family. It truly is a wonderful part of the world. There are lots of photos and a story about it on my blog – I have a flight early tomorrow, but in the next week or so I'll put a link to your blog on my “Coffee Table” page.

        Jon

        • ShannonOD January 5, 2010 at 12:58 am #

          Ooo nice! I'll be eager to read about Central Asia! :-) Have safe travels
          and I'll return the link :-)

  5. ShannonOD January 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    Ooo nice! I'll be eager to read about Central Asia! :-) Have safe travels
    and I'll return the link :-)

  6. jonathancampion January 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    My travel plans for this year are to take as many small trips as possible, and save up for a journey to Central Asia in 2011. Wish me luck!

    I wish I could say that the Hebrides were in my own backyard, but having grown up in the south of England I can only get to the Isle of Mull once a year with my family. It truly is a wonderful part of the world. There are lots of photos and a story about it on my blog – I have a flight early tomorrow, but in the next week or so I'll put a link to your blog on my “Coffee Table” page.

    Jon

  7. ShannonOD January 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Many warm thanks for the kind words about the site :-) The round-the-world
    trip was such an incredible journey for me over the past year and it's
    heartening to know that it has struck a cord with other travelers. As for
    your corner of the world – I was just awed and amazed by the Hebrides, what
    an amazing slice of the world right in your own backyard!

    Do you have any travels planned in 2010?! :-) Cheers and thanks again!

  8. jonathancampion January 4, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Hi Shannon,

    I followed the link to your blog from Uncornered Market’s website, and have really enjoyed spending an evening looking through your articles. Crisp, intelligent writing always brings a surge of adrenaline to my chest, especially if it is about places I dream of experiencing myself, such as the Indian railways and Bosnia’s coffee shops – or if it gives a different perspective on familiar places (northern England, the Hebrides). I look forward to exploring your site a bit more when I have more time.

    Happy travels in 2010!

    Jon

  9. Stephanie January 4, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    Shannon your plans sound awesome! Especially the fact that you will a. be at TBEX and b. maybe be in SE Asia around the same time as me. Here's to the new year!

    • ShannonOD January 4, 2010 at 4:55 am #

      I will cheers to that! It'll be great to meet you there – and then even
      better if we can meet up once you set out! :-) It really is shaping up to
      be an awesome 2010!

  10. CandiceW January 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    Wooo TBEX! Hope to see you there!

    • ShannonOD January 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

      Woot! I'm pretty excited :-) Should be fun considering all of the peeps
      already signed up!

  11. ShannonOD January 3, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I will cheers to that! It'll be great to meet you there – and then even
    better if we can meet up once you set out! :-) It really is shaping up to
    be an awesome 2010!

  12. ShannonOD January 3, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Woot! I'm pretty excited :-) Should be fun considering all of the peeps
    already signed up!

  13. CandiceW January 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Wooo TBEX! Hope to see you there!

    • Stephanie January 3, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

      Shannon your plans sound awesome! Especially the fact that you will a. be at TBEX and b. maybe be in SE Asia around the same time as me. Here's to the new year!

  14. Audrey January 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Awesome! Sounds like 2010 will be another exciting year for you!

    I think it's wise to be aware of safety issues in Central America (especially Guatemala), but don't let it scare you from doing anything. When we first arrived in Guatemala (our first country in Latin America), we were really taken aback by all the safety warnings and horror stories we heard everywhere – it really started to get into our heads. We did change some behavior from Asia – we didn't take night buses and we didn't wander around much at night (and returned to our host family/hotel relatively early). However, we found that as we would push people as to why a place or experience was dangerous, we found that many times the danger lay in pickpockets, something that is universal in the world.

    So, my advice listen to people's warnings, but don't allow this to paralyze you and prevent you from exploring the country. You may not be able to go out at night as often as you would in Asia, but you'll still be able to explore the towns, Mayan ruins, volcanoes and more.

    When you have an idea of your itinerary in Central America, just let us know if you want any suggestions for places to visit, markets, hotels, restaurants or anything else. Enjoy!

    • ShannonOD January 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

      Thank you Audrey! It feels silly to be so intimidated by C.A. after having
      gone RTW, but I was. I appreciate your observations though and tips – as you
      say, the pickpockets are everywhere so if that is the main concern, then I
      feel a bit better. You just hear so many people talking up the dangers! Glad
      to have the heads up about staying in for the evening – a fair trade off if
      that's what it takes to keep safe!

      I have absolutely no set plan yet, but you can bet that I'd be loving tips
      on markets and towns once I get down there, your travels seem so immersed in
      the local cultures that I'd love the advice :-)

  15. ShannonOD January 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Thank you Audrey! It feels silly to be so intimidated by C.A. after having
    gone RTW, but I was. I appreciate your observations though and tips – as you
    say, the pickpockets are everywhere so if that is the main concern, then I
    feel a bit better. You just hear so many people talking up the dangers! Glad
    to have the heads up about staying in for the evening – a fair trade off if
    that's what it takes to keep safe!

    I have absolutely no set plan yet, but you can bet that I'd be loving tips
    on markets and towns once I get down there, your travels seem so immersed in
    the local cultures that I'd love the advice :-)

  16. Earl January 3, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    Hey Shannon – I just came across your site and will definitely be following your adventures this year. Sounds like a busy plan! As for Central America, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I wouldn't linger too long in Guatemala City or Managua but that goes for anyone, solo or not. Apart from that, I found most of the 'dangers' of this part of the world to be completely unfounded after spending a couple of months backpacking there at the end of this past summer. I met a lot of solo women traveling through the region without problem. Actually, my friend and I joked about the fact that we didn't meet a single person who had run into any troublesome situations or had anything stolen. It's no Thailand of course, but a simple extra dose of awareness is all that's necessary! Enjoy!

    • ShannonOD January 3, 2010 at 5:47 am #

      Thanks for the tips Earl, it's really heartening to know that much of what
      I've heard is overblown…because I've heard a lot of negatives! I'm pretty
      exited about heading that way, it'll be my first time to Central America!
      Cheers and thanks :-)

  17. ShannonOD January 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    Thanks Emily! The year is really shaping up nicely – when I got back home in
    October I had no clue what my next plans were going to be, so I'm excited
    that I'll be making it down to South and Central America :-) As for the solo
    travel, while I wouldn't mind a travel companion, I'm not about to hold back
    my plans just because I don't have anyone willing to go! :-)

  18. ShannonOD January 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    That'll be really excellent Amy! Thanks for all of your support this year on
    the blog, I really look forward to meeting you in person at TBEX :-)

  19. ShannonOD January 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Thanks for the tips Earl, it's really heartening to know that much of what
    I've heard is overblown…because I've heard a lot of negatives! I'm pretty
    exited about heading that way, it'll be my first time to Central America!
    Cheers and thanks :-)

  20. Amy @ The Q Family January 2, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Look like it's gonna be another great traveling year for you! :)

    I also registered for TBEX'10. So I will see you at TBEX NYC!!! :)

    • ShannonOD January 3, 2010 at 5:49 am #

      That'll be really excellent Amy! Thanks for all of your support this year on
      the blog, I really look forward to meeting you in person at TBEX :-)

  21. Earl January 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Hey Shannon – I just came across your site and will definitely be following your adventures this year. Sounds like a busy plan! As for Central America, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I wouldn't linger too long in Guatemala City or Managua but that goes for anyone, solo or not. Apart from that, I found most of the 'dangers' of this part of the world to be completely unfounded after spending a couple of months backpacking there at the end of this past summer. I met a lot of solo women traveling through the region without problem. Actually, my friend and I joked about the fact that we didn't meet a single person who had run into any troublesome situations or had anything stolen. It's no Thailand of course, but a simple extra dose of awareness is all that's necessary! Enjoy!

    • Audrey January 3, 2010 at 8:21 am #

      Awesome! Sounds like 2010 will be another exciting year for you!

      I think it's wise to be aware of safety issues in Central America (especially Guatemala), but don't let it scare you from doing anything. When we first arrived in Guatemala (our first country in Latin America), we were really taken aback by all the safety warnings and horror stories we heard everywhere – it really started to get into our heads. We did change some behavior from Asia – we didn't take night buses and we didn't wander around much at night (and returned to our host family/hotel relatively early). However, we found that as we would push people as to why a place or experience was dangerous, we found that many times the danger lay in pickpockets, something that is universal in the world.

      So, my advice listen to people's warnings, but don't allow this to paralyze you and prevent you from exploring the country. You may not be able to go out at night as often as you would in Asia, but you'll still be able to explore the towns, Mayan ruins, volcanoes and more.

      When you have an idea of your itinerary in Central America, just let us know if you want any suggestions for places to visit, markets, hotels, restaurants or anything else. Enjoy!

  22. Emily January 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Very exciting, Shannon! It sounds like you have all kinds of great adventures in store. I don't blame you for your thoughts about South America — I have the same reservations about it, myself. I would rather travel those areas with a companion, though since you are already accustomed to traveling solo, I'm sure you will be just fine :) Can't wait to read about your experiences!

    • ShannonOD January 3, 2010 at 5:51 am #

      Thanks Emily! The year is really shaping up nicely – when I got back home in
      October I had no clue what my next plans were going to be, so I'm excited
      that I'll be making it down to South and Central America :-) As for the solo
      travel, while I wouldn't mind a travel companion, I'm not about to hold back
      my plans just because I don't have anyone willing to go! :-)

  23. Amy @ The Q Family January 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Look like it's gonna be another great traveling year for you! :)

    I also registered for TBEX'10. So I will see you at TBEX NYC!!! :)

  24. Anil January 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    My wife and I will be headed north to the States from South America and I'm researching the route well. I've heard it's good to keep a heads up in parts of Central and South America. Perhaps our paths will cross then, if not, see you at TBEX NYC :)

    • ShannonOD January 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

      It would be supremely cool if we do intersect along the way! You're a few
      steps ahead of me, I haven't really done any of my research on C and S
      America yet; I'll have to get on that to make sure I stay out of the more
      dangerous areas. :-) Hope we cross paths, if not, TBEX indeed :-)

  25. Emily January 2, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Very exciting, Shannon! It sounds like you have all kinds of great adventures in store. I don't blame you for your thoughts about South America — I have the same reservations about it, myself. I would rather travel those areas with a companion, though since you are already accustomed to traveling solo, I'm sure you will be just fine :) Can't wait to read about your experiences!

  26. ShannonOD January 2, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    It would be supremely cool if we do intersect along the way! You're a few
    steps ahead of me, I haven't really done any of my research on C and S
    America yet; I'll have to get on that to make sure I stay out of the more
    dangerous areas. :-) Hope we cross paths, if not, TBEX indeed :-)

  27. Anil January 2, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    My wife and I will be headed north to the States from South America and I'm researching the route well. I've heard it's good to keep a heads up in parts of Central and South America. Perhaps our paths will cross then, if not, see you at TBEX NYC :)

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