Where I’m Traveling in 2017

I’m itching for more adventures…

I can’t believe it has been half a year since my last major vacation (to Morocco, Jordan & UAE). And though I briefly visited West Sumatra earlier during Chinese New Year this January, the real adventure is about to begin this month!

I will hit two countries this month, and I already have a few thoughts lined up for the rest of the year. This is the first time I plan my vacations waaaay in advance, and I must say, overwhelm (but really excited) I am!

Pro Tip: Check out 2017 Singapore Holidays Guide and 2017 Holidays Guide for Indonesia Public Holidays for more ideas.

Here’s a quick rundown of my 2017 adventures:

4 Days in West Sumatra (January 2017)

Rumah Gadang, Padang Panjang, West Sumatra, Indonesia

[Image Credit: Mohammad Azmi]

West Sumatra is blessed with equal-parts culture and natural beauty. From the buffalo horns-shaped Gadang houses to the panoramic Sianok Canyon and Harau Valley, this mini-getaway was a wonderful warm-up to the year. And then there’s the heavenly Padang food, championed by the famous rendang which was voted #1 best food by CNN.

Status: Trip completed. Wait for the blog posts!

3 Days in Bangkok (April 2017)

Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand[Image Credit: KT Formen]

Somehow, I have managed to survive my first 6 years of traveling without ever stepping foot in this tourist magnet of a city—and this mistake will soon be corrected. I will spend a day visiting the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, a day wandering through Bangkok temples and getting soaked during Songkran, and I’m thinking a half day to breathe in the chaos of Thaling Chan floating market.

Status: Trip confirmed!

15 Days in New Zealand (April-May 2017)

Sheeps, New Zealand[Image Credit: MartinStr]

This nation of endless breathtaking landscape has graced the Top 2 of my bucket list for half a decade… and it’s finally happening!!! I managed to snatch a super flight deal which set me back for less than SGD600, and I’ll be traveling with public buses to cover both South and North Islands, starting from Christchurch all the way up to Paihia! Knowing how notoriously expensive New Zealand can be, this is an exercise in budget travel, but I’m ready to splurge on cool activities such as fjord cruise and helicopter glacier flight as well!

Status: Trip confirmed!

3 Days in Cebu (June 2017)

Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines[Image Credit: P199]

To be honest, I never really thought about the idea of visiting Cebu before. I have been toying with the idea of taking overnight buses from Singapore to Malaysia in June, but in the end I decided maybe I should give Philippines a shot. And after some researches, I feel like I am finally intrigued! There are just so many wonderful snorkeling opportunities and Bohol is really quite a tropical haven!

Status: Trip in planning and most likely will happen (unless flight costs go up insanely).

9 Days in ??? (August 2017)

Serengeti, Tanzania[Image Credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen]

I have already applied my leave but now I’m not too sure where I should go.

I originally had Kenya migration safari in mind and even already had an itinerary laid out, but somehow, I felt like I should save up and do a proper one in Tanzania in the future. I thought of Ethiopia, but the one place I’m interested in the most (Danakil Depression) will be too hot for August, so I scrapped that plan too.

I also had this idea of Madagascar, possibly with extension to Mauritius, Seychelles, and/or Réunion Island. But somehow it felt too ambitious to accomplish in 9 days. I don’t know! And I also thought of China, except that China would be a problem language-wise and my perfectionism tells me to do China on a separate time during a more pleasant autumn. Ugh!

I have a feeling I’ll end up cancelling this trip and save my leave days for something better later. Or perhaps I might shorten the trip to visit Vietnam, Myanmar or somewhere nearby.

Status: In limbo. Ideas are welcomed.

3 Days in East Java (September 2017)

Mount Bromo, East Java, Indonesia

[Image Credit: Sara Marlowe]

I am working on a trip to watch the world-famous sunrise in Mount Bromo and hopefully the blue fire in Ijen Crater. I have a land itinerary worked out, but is trying to press down the cost by finding a travel buddy. Anyone interested?

Status: Trip confirmed!

9/10 Days in Iran/Hawaii/India/??? (October 2017)

Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran[Image Credit: Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji]

I really, really want to do something for October.

I originally had India (RajasthanAgraVaranasi) in discussion with an Indian friend. But one thing led to another and my friend decided she wanted to further her education and needed to save up, so this one might not materialize.

Then I began toying with the idea of Hawaii, since AirAsiaX decided to launch a route there. I had my mind set up to focus on the Big Island and Kauai (with default stop at O’ahu of course).

And then the flight price went up so I changed my focus to Iran. Key cities such as TehranIsfahan, and Shiraz are shoe-ins; but I also wanted to do Yazd and Abyaneh. But somehow the cost of solo touring in Iran grates me… I have to pay Europe price for what are 2-star and 3-star hotels, so I suppose I have to either completely DIY this or find a travel buddy.

Or change destination again… oh my, I have three itineraries already planned out yet can’t use them.

Status: In progress. Again, ideas are welcomed.

3 Days in Cameron Highlands/Langkawi/Perhentian Islands/??? (December 2017)

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia[Image Credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen]

I haven’t given this much thought. It’ll most likely fall on Christmas period and I’m not exactly planning to use my leave days, so it’ll have to be somewhere nearby. I’ve been paying Malaysia dust despite living so nearby, and there are so many getaway options to check out, so it’s my top candidate right now. Either that or Indonesia. Or Philippines.

Status: Too far to think about it.

My Thoughts on 2017

In many ways, 2017 is about catching up on my travel misses.

It’s upsetting how I never traveled more often when I had so much time back in my university years, and even when I started working, I let so many long weekends wasted for nothing. So this year, I wanted to get back to basics and do more of Southeast Asia—while not forgetting the longer breaks (New Zealand, and whatever the October and August ones turn out to be).

And I think I’m right on track with my 10 Travel Resolutions for 2017! I’m finally following my heart to make New Zealand happen instead of beating around the bushes with South Korea, Taiwan, and other such pretty-good-but-not-exactly-on-my-bucket-list countries. Now if only I can make Iceland or Central Asia happen this year, lol.

This year will also see me embarking on mostly solo adventures. I am no stranger to solo traveling before (my very first in Turkey remains one of my top favorites), but with recent changes in my personal life as narrated on What Nobody Tells You About Taking a Sabbatical Break, this is akin to opening a whole new chapter. (P.S. I am open to discuss if you are interested to join as a travel buddy though, there is strength in numbers which help to push the cost down, lol.)

One thing for sure, though, it’s gonna be an awesome year.

What are your travel plans for 2017?

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Now Uknow says:

    The photo credit on your Cameron Highlands photo is wrong. Your actual source should be https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cameron_Highlands_Tea_Plantation_2012.JPG , incidentally taken by the same guy who took the elephants photo higher up on the page.

    Like

    1. Thank you for the alert. This is already corrected accordingly.

      Like

  2. Caleb Lee says:

    Hi
    Interested in bromo in September.
    What r ur dates? Thanks.

    C

    Like

    1. Hello Caleb, there is some change to my Bromo travel plan. I will keep in touch if the trip becomes viable again. In the meantime, keep traveling and enjoy the world. =)

      Like

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