Life Lately and What’s Coming in 2017

Fellows Riverside Gardens in Youngstown, Ohio
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Usually around this time of year I do a big post listing all the places I'm hoping to travel to in the new year. I usually dub it my travel wish list, and you guys seem to enjoy reading it.

So where is that list for this year and why have I been so quiet about my upcoming travel plans?

Well here's the truth about 2017, guys: I don't actually HAVE a lot of travel plans yet, and I may not be able to do as much traveling as I did in 2016.

And there are two very good reasons for this:

1. Elliot and I are getting married!

Yes, we were one of those sickeningly sweet couples that cluttered up your Facebook feed on Christmas Day with engagement announcements. I feel no shame and do not apologize. He completely surprised me, and I may or may not have cried. (I totally cried.)

Akatuki and Elliot

(After the crying was done.)

And, due to a couple different factors (including venue availability and the fact that I would love for my 91-year-old grandma to be at my wedding), we're being crazy people and getting married this year, in October. Plans are already coming together, and maybe I'll share more with you guys as the process goes along (I mean, if you want?). We're getting married in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is very fitting since it's one of our favorite places to spend time together when the weather is nice.

2. We're also buying a house!

Well, technically a condo. But we are still buying property, and it's quite time-consuming (and a bit stressful) on top of all the wedding stuff. Fingers crossed, though, that it all works out and we get to move into our very own space in March.

(And if this is surprising to you because of what I do for a living, I've actually never been a full-time traveler and never plan to be! I love having a home base, and fully believe that you can travel AND have a “normal” life, too.)

Akatuki and Elliot

Our home will never have a tree like this, but that's okay.

These two things put together mean that I'm going to be confined to short trips within North America for at least the next couple of months.

It also sadly means that we're going to have to reschedule our trip to New Zealand, which was originally planned for March. There's just no way we can close on a house, move, AND go to New Zealand all in one month. I think we're going to push it to March 2018 and treat it as a delayed honeymoon.

New Zealand, you'll just have to wait a little longer for us!

Which brings me to what I DO have planned for this year. Some of the plans are still very tentative, but I still hope to have plenty of travel adventures to share with you this year.

My 2017 Travel Plans

I'm not even going to bother with a wishlist this year, because I think that might be a bit unrealistic with everything else going on. So, instead, here are my current plans and rough ideas for the year:

January: New York

Towards the end of the month, I'm heading to New York City for a few days to visit with friends and go to the New York Times Travel Show. It seemed as good an excuse as any to get out of Ohio for a little while after nearly two months of sitting still!

April: The Midwest

Along with maybe taking a long-weekend trip with Elliot to somewhere like Chicago to celebrate buying our condo, I'm also heading to Milwaukee towards the end of April for the . I'll be speaking on a panel during the summit's “Blogger 101 Day” – and I'd love to see you there! (Pick up a ticket .)

May: Norway (maybe)

One international trip I'm hoping to make room for in 2017 is another return to Norway. I'm obsessed with this country, and I know you guys like reading about it! I'm hoping to visit some places I haven't been before (like Bergen and the Lofoten Islands), though no official plans have been made yet.

August: Road trip

On a whim a couple weeks ago, I booked a hotel room for two nights in Idaho in August. Why? Because on August 21 a solar eclipse will be fully visible from the United States for the first time in decades. And it just so happens that Idaho is right in the path of said eclipse! So I booked a hotel room, and now my sister and I are planning another road trip out west. Along with viewing the eclipse, we definitely want to visit Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, and spend some time in South Dakota – so if you have tips for this part of the US, be sure to send them my way!

October: Wedding!

We're getting married on October 8! And before you ask about the honeymoon, I have no idea what we'll do directly after the wedding. I think we'll treat New Zealand in March 2018 as our delayed honeymoon, though we aren't opposed to going somewhere closer for a shorter amount of time right after the wedding.

This isn't where we're getting married (we're using an old historic visitor's center as our venue), but it's just around the corner!

Other plans

Elliot and I have also talked about going out to Oregon for a handful of days sometime this summer, both as a vacation and to visit his sister, who lives in Bend. We'd like to do a mini road trip in Oregon to see things like Multnomah Falls and the Painted Hills, and think that early summer might be perfect.

And, of course, I'm open to other travel opportunities, too! If the right offer comes through, this list could definitely look different by the end of the year.

2017 goals

So, keeping in mind all the huge changes coming this year, here are my rough goals for 2017:

  • Not lose my mind dealing with mortgage lenders.
  • Not lose my mind while planning a wedding.
  • Fill up more pages of my passport before I have to change my name.
  • Go to at least one new country. (I went to 11 new countries in 2016 – I think I'll be happy with one new one this year!)

So there you have it: updates on my life and what my 2017 might shape up to look like. No matter how you look at it, it's going to be a pretty crazy and exciting year!

What sort of things do YOU have planned this year?