Packed Suitcase | 2012: A Look Ahead
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2012: A Look Ahead

2012: A Look Ahead

A new year = a fresh start. At least, that’s my mantra du jour as we say farewell to 2011 and ring in 2012.

Last week, I posted a look back at my travel adventures and achievements of 2011. Now’s the exciting part… looking ahead to the future!

With some reflection, I’ve noticed that my years of travel tend to have “themes.” In 2010, my travel theme was Adventure Travel, complete with skydiving and white water rafting in New Zealand, hiking both the Tongariro Crossing and the Milford Trek within the same week (nearly 50 miles!) and hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon for a stay at Phantom Ranch.

For 2011, my travel theme was Domestic Travel (as can be read about in my 2011 post.)

I’m excited to officially unveil to you, my dear Packed Suitcase readers, that my travel theme for 2012 is…


I’m starting the year off with my very first French language class at the local community college. I plan to use my newfound merci’s and oh-la-la’s as I travel to French-speaking destinations such as Montréal, France, Belgium and even New Orleans.

I’ll have some non-French inspired destinations sprinkled in throughout the year as well, including Orlando, Los Angeles, New York, Cancun and hopefully Chicago as well.

Along the way, I’ll try to complete a few items from my 55 Places Travel Bucket List. Particularly:

#9. Try to paint a water lily like Monet at Giverney, France

#18. Walk across the sand to Mont St Michel

#22. Eat chocolate in Brugge

#24. Have a cappuccino at a café in Vieux-Montréal

#42. Try the guacamole at Chicago’s Frontera Grill

Now, I understand that this is an ambitious list of places I have planned. With the same 10 vacation days, it might be tough for me to actually make it to all of these destinations. But, you’d be amazed what I can do with a little bit of planning and you gotta think big, right?!

  • Mandy Kilinskis
    Posted at 14:09h, 29 December

    Great list for 2012, Chris!

    I'm looking to (finally) do some travel myself this year. I'm hoping to pop over to NYC at the end of March. I've never been, and I want to catch a couple Broadway shows — especially the Newsies musical!

    I'm hoping that this year takes me back to Europe, too. It's been far too long since I've been in France, and I'm hoping to split the trip between there and Greece.

    My 2012 mantra will be “Save save save!”

    Good luck with your travel and keep us updated!