I feel as though I've come full circle.
I left Medellin, Colombia last August to see the rest of South America.
Highlights from my time away include:
- Ecuador and an 8-day cruise in the Galapagos Islands
- Peru and the 5-day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu
- Living in Lima for 5 months
- Two weeks traveling Patagonia with G Adventures
- Ice climbing on a glacier for the first time
- Living in Buenos Aires for 6 weeks, and taking tango lessons
- Traveling the coast of Uruguay
- Chile and sandboarding in the Atacama Desert
- Bolivia and the Salt Flats of Uyuni
I'm way behind in writing about my time in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Bolivia. To catch up, I'll have to be much more selective about the stories I write, though I may do a few shorter posts to fill in the gaps.
As exciting as the last 12 months have been, I've got epic travel plans ahead of me to finish out 2012.
I'm currently catching up with friends and work in Medellin. The lush, semi-tropical climate is a far cry from the greyness and cooler temps of Lima this time of year. I had my reasons for spending so much time in Lima, but the scenery wasn't one of them.
In addition to seeing friends, I'm trying lots of new restaurants, and am excited to see progress in the Medellin food scene since I left last year.
After Medellin, it's off to Miami, where I'll actually be stepping out of the airport for the first time (ever). I'm excited to be couchsurfing with Danny and Jillian from I Should Log Off. Ironically, we first met in Bogota a few years ago.
I'm also super excited to finally meet Jason and Aracely from 2 Backpackers. I've been following them for years.
In Miami, I'm specifically interested in seeing South Beach and Little Havana. If I ever do settle back in the USA, Miami would be a top contender given the easy and direct access it offers to Latin America and the Caribbean.
From Miami, I'll head west to visit my parents for a few days outside Tampa Bay.
I've heard so many good things about Iceland over the last few years, I can't resist stopping over for 10 days on my way to mainland Europe in September.
The unique geothermal activity and scenery should make for lots of good photos. And I'm hoping to catch the Aurora Borealis, if it's not too early in the Winter season. If my lower back is feeling better, I'd like to go ice climbing again too.
Costa Brava, Spain
I left Spain almost four years ago, as my trip around the world was winding to a close. I'm going back this year for the annual (European) Travel Blog Exchange conference, which is being held in Girona, just north of Barcelona.
Spending so much time in South America the last few years has meant missing travel writing and blogging conferences, which are mainly held in North America and Europe. I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends, and making some new ones.
Oktoberfest in Munich, and Germany
It just so happens that the end of TBEX coincides with the start of Oktoberfest, that annual drunken beer festival, in Munich, Germany.
I skipped Germany on my previous visits to Europe, therefore I'm overdue and this seems like the perfect occasion. I've already found a place to stay, thanks to Martin, my old German roommate from Medellin.
From Munich, I'll do a little sightseeing, and head up to Berlin for a few days.
I can't share the details yet, but I've got a tentative trip lined up for a destination far, far away.
In early November, I'll head to London for the annual World Travel Market exhibition. This is all business, as I'll be looking to make contact with travel companies and destinations from around the world.
Plus, I have a few friends from my travels that I'd love to catch up with in person.
Other Possible Destinations
I'll be heading back to Tampa, Florida for Christmas, so that means I've still got lots of time to fill in my itinerary.
If you'd like to make a suggestion, let me know where I should go in the comments below!