Hooooray! We made it to twenty seventeen. The start of a new chapter, a new year and so many potential travel adventures and all the wanderlust. Surely i’m not the only one itching to get on a flight to another destination? I thought not. From my round up of twenty sixteen, I shared my top 3 favourite hotels and restaurants – which you can imagine was very hard!

I’m rested, i’m eager and I have all the wanderlust running through my veins. Like a taste of drug that I just cannot live without. Yes, it does come with side affects too – post holiday blues. What do you need to fix that? Another travel plan!

I never set myself any resolutions for this year, apart from being happy, healthy and content about my life. My travel addiction feeds the first and the latter, which has led me to set a somewhat realistic ‘goal’ of travelling at least once a month. Leaving twenty seventeen having visited a minimum of twelve new destinations. Doable? I hope so!

Where do I want these twelve destinations to be?

1. Switzerland
Wanderlust - Geneva

Credits: Ovation

Visting Switzerland has always been on my ‘must visit’ list. When I was a little boy, my parents used to take foreign exchange students and host them for their stay. We had a student called Nathalie and she is the reason Switzerland remains on my list. She always made it sounds so beautiful from her stories and they have stuck in my memory ever since. Let’s hope I can fulfil my inner child’s dreams.

2. United Arab Emirates – Dubai & Abu Dhabi
Wanderlust - Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Credits: Guff

Dubai, glorious Dubai. The ultimate city, with stunning high rise buildings, breath taking sunsets, delicious middle eastern food and the true taste of opulent luxury. It has also been one of my mum’s bucket list cities. We fulfilled her wish of seeing Niagara Falls back in 2015, so i’m hoping to visit Dubai with the family for her auspicious birthday celebrations. Adding on a couple of nights in Abu Dhabi, since i’ve heard great things and it’s just over an hours drive away from Dubai.

3. Qatar – Doha
Wanderlust - Doha

Credits: Unknown

Through blogging, I met the lovely Polly, who writes a blog called Follow Your Sunshine. She’s based in the beautiful Doha, Qatar. I’m always envious of her beautiful photos and updates of what she gets up to in Doha. It’s definitely made me want to visit Doha and Polly too, it would be rude not to if we will already be in the Middle East. Polly is also the newest co-host for the Travel Link Up series. Welcome to the team, Polly.

4. Portugal – Lisbon
Wanderlust - Lisbon & Algarve

Credits: Purple Travel

I still have the vision of my Portuguese friend Matilde, who was one of my lab partners during my dissertation asking me “Aftab, when will come to Lisbon?!” so i’m going to try and visit in 2017. Hopefully making a detour down to the Algarve to have some over due blue water and golden sand moments.

5. Italy – Florence
Wanderlust - Florence & Rome

Credits: The Pinnacle List

Visiting Florence, in particular Tuscany has been on my list for quite a few years now. Since I watched the movie “Under The Tuscan Sun” I was drawn to the beautiful traditional buildings and tiny streets. Getting on a bicycle and roaming around the beautiful green fields. Whilst I am in Italy, it would be a shame not to visit Rome it being the capital and all. Nothing would be more ideal than sipping cocktails, watching the soft red sunset over the Vatican city. Pure bliss.

6. Greece – Santorini & Mykonos
Wanderlust - Santorini & Mykonos

Credits: Easy Conferences

Santorini has been the number one place I have wanted to visit since I went to university. Its magical white walled buildings and blue roofs, making you feel like visioning something from a poets tale. I can tell many hearts have been filled with unconditional love, in this romantic city. Infinite pools and exploring in linen clothing, eating nothing but fresh greek food and aged red wines. Ah!

7. Turkey
Wanderlust - Turkey

Credits: Sakura Tours

Turkey is a place i’ve only ever heard stories about. When I was a child, I thought visiting Turkey meant going into a real life turkey was a ‘holiday’ but I grew up to learn I was so wrong. Turkey is a place I envisioned to have a mix of the Middle East and the European culture. Where spice meets history and worn architecture. I guess time will tell what it is really like!

8. Egypt
Wanderlust - Egypt

Credits: Wikipedia

What do I think of when someone mentions Egypt? Sand, mummies, pyramids, tombs, camels and Arabian culture. I’ve heard it’s one of those magnificent places, where no length of time there is enough. You just want to keep coming back. Swimming in the red sea, dining on the beach, listening to the waves crashing in as the sun sets and exploring and discovering the depths of this beautiful destination by daylight.

9.  Czech Republic – Prague
Wanderlust - Prague

Credits: Moyan Brenn

Visiting the Czech Republic wasn’t ever a destination that really appealed to me, until I saw many travellers sharing pictures and posts about Prague. It was definitely love at first electronic sight. Cobbled streets, medieval buildings and a truly historic city. There is so much charm about underrated cities like Prague and I can’t wait to embrace and fill myself up with all that goodness. It’s like breathing fresh air for the first time in a long time…

10. Denmark – Copenhagen
Wanderlust - Copenhagen

Credits: The Culture Map

After watching a show that was all about the most livable cities in the world, whilst waiting for my flight to Canada. It mentioned Copenhagen in Denmark being in the top 5 most desired places to live. Apparently the Danish are the happiest kind of people of all, especially with their beautiful coloured buildings and their easy way of life. Who wouldn’t have to visit? Cut me a slice of whatever their eating, i’m bringing it to England with me!

11.  Austria – Vienna
Wanderlust - Vienna

Credit: Butterfield & Robinson

Every year i’ve wanted to go abroad for the run up to Christmas, to enjoy the lovely festivities in a different country. It seems there are a certain few European countries know how to do a decent Christmas market. I was lucky enough to visit Budapest this year and it was utterly amazing getting ready for Christmas elsewhere. However, I would definitely love to experience that time of year in Vienna, Austria this year.

12. Spain – Barcelona
Wanderlust - Barcelona

Credits: PHP Barcelona Conference 2015

Barcelona being one of Spain’s most popular destinations filled with timeless architecture and tropical sandy beaches. Not to mention it’s not far from the unprotected mountains of Sierra Catalana. It truly is a unique place, filled with the joys of the Spanish culture and delicious food. As long as I can get a non-seafood paella, i’m good to go!

I’m sure I could go on and on about the other places I would love to visit, but i’m seeing if I can stick to the core 12 and any extras will be a bonus!

Let twenty seventeen be filled with lots of fun and exciting travels.

Where do you want to visit in twenty seventeen?

Until next time…

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