2015 was one of the best years of my life in terms of personal growth, marked by a major milestone and packed with lots of challenges, adventures, tears and laughter. However, travel had to take a back seat because of my adjustment to motherhood over the past year – but I’m ready to get back on the road and start exploring more this year.
I already have lots of excellent travels planned for 2016, here are the details:
SINGAPORE AND TAIWAN
At the end of February, I’ll be flying off to Singapore again for Kaleya to spend some time with my family there. I want to make sure she gets to spend as much time with her grandparents as possible and get to know my culture and learn some Mandarin along the way. I might take the opportunity and hop over to Taiwan with my old friends — it’s a country I’ve heard so much about and yet to visit. Again, let me know if there’s anything I shouldn’t miss in Taiwan!
In two weeks, I’ll be heading to Cape Verde solo with the Cape Verde Experience around the biggest island of the archipelago, Santiago. It’s my first trip to this West African island and I’m looking forward to digging up its culture and history. I’ll be doing several hikes outside of the capital city of Praia, and also doing a day trip to the old capital of Cidade Velha (a UNESCO world heritage site) and Forte Real de São Filipe, the main slave trading point between Europe, Africa and America.
The retreat will be held from 20 to 27 March in San Miguel de Allende, a cute little town just three hours from Mexico City. It also includes a full-board stay at the charming hotel Hacienda las Trancas, walking tours of villages around the area, excursions to Guanajuato as well as day tours of the Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations. Click here for more information.
A TRAVEL WRITING RETREAT IN MEXICO
Over the Easter week, I’ll be holding my first ever travel writing and photography retreat. This workshop is organized by Beyond Boundaries and it’ll be conducted by my friend and photographer Daniel Nahabedian and myself. I will be talking about the fundamentals of travel writing, including how to develop your voice and how to come up with strong ideas. I’m also going to share my tips on finding the right publication for your story, pitching travel editors, and developing your portfolio. Daniel will be taking care of the travel photography part of the retreat. Each day will end with an assignment and a critique session to make sure participants get to put what they learn to use.
GHANA, TOGO AND BENIN
Right after that, I’m going to travel continental West Africa for a few weeks on my own. This region has been high on my bucket list for awhile so I made it my priority to visit this year. My base will be Accra, Ghana, and then from there I intend to travel overland to Togo and Benin as well. I haven’t made any concrete plans for this trip, but would love to hear your tips or suggestions!
In May, I’m off to the Faroe Islands, a place I’ve always wanted to see especially after my Arctic trip. This archipelago is actually located halfway between Norway and Iceland, and it’s a self-governing country within the Danish kingdom. From the photos I’ve seen, it looks absolutely stunning and I know I’m going to love it. I’ll be driving all over the islands with a rental car and intend to go on several hikes as well as boat trips. Some of the places I really want to visit are Sørvágsvatn/Leitisvatn lake (the biggest lake in the Faroes), the Faroes’ most northerly village -Viðareiði, and the puffin colony at Mykines.