Athens, Greece, was recently named the host city for the 2014 European Travel Blog Exchange conference.
I've never been to Greece, so I immediately bought a ticket, thus committing myself to a trans-Atlantic trip this Fall.
As I did in 2012 when the conference was held in Costa Brava, I will make a more extensive trip out of it.
The only question is where to go and when?
Given the impressive display Russia put on hosting the Winter Olympics earlier this year, combined with their ever-more-progressive views on LGBT issues and commitment to an independent Ukraine free to plot its course politically, I've decided to spend my tourist dollars in Sochi this Summer.
Last week's photo essay on Roads & Kingdoms showing the streets and boardwalk full of life has only excited me more about the prospect of spending a few months in Mother Russia.
It even appears as though a few stray dogs survived the pre-Olympic cull!
My Mom's side of our family hails from Russia, and I've wanted to get a feel for where some of my genes came from for quite some time now.
What is there to do in a Russian resort town like Sochi in Summer?
This Travel Channel article highlights some attractive options, including:
- Swimming in the warm waters of the Black Sea
- Visiting the Botanical Gardens, founded in 1889
- Climbing the 2,175-foot Mount Akhun
- Touring a tea plantation and Russia's largest trout farm
- Go spelunking in the Vorontsovskaya cave system
Add to that the hordes of crazy fun backpackers and Russian party people who will be vacationing there this Summer, and I imagine the nightlife will be incredible to boot!
Who knows, maybe I'll even bump into President Vladimir Putin himself.