My 2014 Travel Plans

Posted: January 14, 2014    Categories: Travel

Several times in the past I’ve outlined my future travel plans, and in every case they ended up being inaccurate. Plans change, opportunities arise and some things just don’t pan out.

I present this not as an official document, but as a draft of what I know as of now. The further out in time I go, the less clear everything becomes.

Last year I announced that I was going to slow down a bit, and this year I will finally start to do that. I admit that my slowing down is still way more active than most people, but for me, it is a bit slower. I’ll be spending more time in one place and doing side trips. The result of this, I hope, is that I will be more productive, write more for this website, and finally (FINALLY) get my book done.

You can see a complete list of the countries and territories I think I’ll be visiting in 2014 if you scroll down to the bottom of my country list.

I started the month in Sydney, flew to Vegas, then went to LA and now I’m in New York. I’ll be flying to Cape Town tomorrow via a 16 hour layover in Munich. I’ll be in South Africa the rest of the month, finding a place to stay for several weeks in Durban. By January 16, I will have already visited my 4th continent in 2014.

I’m planning to be in Durban most of the month with some short side trips to Lesotho and Swaziland. At the end of the month I’ll take a trip up to Victoria Falls with possible side trips to Botswana or Mozambique.

I’ll spend the majority of March on a boat to/from and on the island of St. Helena. This will be one of the longest trips I’ve taken to reach such a small spot. 5 days to get there on a mail boat, 8 days on the island and then 5 days on the boat back. As there is no runway on the island, there is no other way to get to the island other than by boat.

After returning to Cape Town from St. Helena, I’ll be getting back on a boat to go up the west coast of Africa with G Adventures. I’ll be on the M/S Expedition, the same ship I took to Antarctica in 2012, and I’ll spend a month traveling up Africa visiting the following countries: Namibia, Angola, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, The Gambia, the Canary Islands, Western Sahara, and Morocco.

After ending the West Africa cruise in Morocco, I fly back to South Africa for my photo tour. We’ll be going from Cape Town to Kruger National Park while taking some amazing images along the way. I fly back to North America in late May.

June — August
Here is where things start to get a bit more fuzzy. The basic plan is to go on a road trip through Western Canada with the ultimate goal being visits to Nahani and Wood Buffalo National Parks, my two remaining UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada. I’m assuming I’ll be attending TBEX sometime in early June, but the dates and location haven’t been announced yet. The road trip might also get cut back depending on some other projects I have pending.

September — December
Here I really have no idea what I’ll be doing. There are a bunch of conferences in Europe I’ll probably be attending. The Society of American Travel Writers’ annual convention will be in Iceland in September. The Adventure Travel Trade Association has their world summit in Ireland in October. TBEX Europe will probably be somewhere in October as well. I’m thinking of getting a short term apartment somewhere in Europe, probably Spain, and then using that as a base for traveling in Europe. In addition to the conferences I’m thinking about doing a road trip in to visit world heritage sites in Spain and Portugal as well as visiting many of the islands in the Mediterranean. In December my plan is to take my mother on her first trip outside of North America and do a river cruise in Europe.

I know it seems like a lot, but I’ll actually be moving around much, much less in 2014 than I did in 2013. Even when I am moving around, I’ll be on a boat so I wont have to move from hotel to hotel, which makes life much easier.

I should pass several travel milestones this year:

  • In February I’ll probably become a silver level member of the Traveler’s Century Club when I visit my 150th country/territory. It looks like it will be Zambia or Botswana.
  • In March I’ll celebrate my 7th year of non-stop travel.
  • Sometime in April I’ll visit my 100th UN member state on the West Africa Cruise.
  • Later in the year, I’ll probably visit my 300th UNESCO World Heritage Site. I’ll visit some in Africa, but Europe is where the biggest concentration of them are. If I do the Spain/Portugal road trip, I should do it easily.

I have several other non-travel goals as well:

  • Finish my book and get it into the hands of a publisher.
  • Get an photography assignment for a major travel magazine.
  • Get some speaking gigs with non-travel/blogging/social media audiences.
  • Write significantly more on the blog. My big problem has been writing while constantly moving.
  • Write some more guest pieces for other websites.
  • Meet more readers. If I’m moving less, I should have more time to meet people, which I always enjoy.

When you travel for a living, every year is totally different from the next. 2014 looks like it will not be an exception!

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