2016 is here

We are totally Zen about 2016

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. It is so hard to believe that 2015 is over. It really went by in the blink of an eye. I used to think it was because l was older, but l find it’s the same feeling for everyone. To ring in the New Year, l decided to do a recap of our travels in 2015 plus the places we would love to see in 2016 – a wish list of sorts. We got some ideas from visiting the World Travel Market media event in London which occurred in November. The WTM is one of the largest travel events in the world! It took place on the grounds of the ExCel London exhibition center, as it does yearly. We were excited to see so many countries and destinations represented. That caused a problem in itself as our wish list grew much, much longer :-) !!!

Belgian chocolate..and you got to design your own!

Belgian chocolate..and you got to design your own!

My sensational masterpiece.

My sensational masterpiece.

We were still living in Malaga in January and had just come back from our Christmas trip to Rome. We were there to visit Federico’s family. Our first trip of the year was to Brussels, a place we enjoyed thoroughly. However, my heart belongs to Ghent which is the most delightful city just 35 minutes by train from Brussels. Being so close of course, we had to visit Bruges, a very popular destination for tourists.

A Maltese spread! We sampled and had fun reminiscing about our year and half on the island.

A Maltese spread! We sampled and had fun reminiscing about our year and half on the island.

April found me in Barcelona. This time around, l really enjoyed the city. I think it was the combination of meeting fellow bloggers from all over the world as well as the press trip that l was fortunate enough to be part of. This allowed me to see a different side of Barcelona, like the hip district of Poblenou. The conference was actually in Lloret de Mar, about an hour drive away from Barcelona. It was fantastic, and a place l would definitely love to visit again.


Our next trip did not happen until June when we went to Marrakech. What an exotic and exciting place that was full of history. Too bad l forgot my luggage in our bedroom and arrived in Morocco with just my purse. No worries though. All one needs is the ATM card ;-).

Can Can girls! Mais oui..

Can Can girls! Mais oui..

The next big trip was to Nigeria. My brother was in serious need of medical treatment. I flew home, and together with him went on to New Delhi for some medical tourism treatment at a top notch hospital. Federico met us in New Delhi. I am happy to say his very long and involved surgery went well. He was discharged two months to the date of admission and is now back at home. He has to follow up in 4 months for a bit more surgery, but compared to what is behind him, it is not so bad. We still found time to see some lovely sites like Humayun’s tomb and of course, the mother of all tombs, the Taj Mahal.

Scared me for a second..

Scared me for a second..

We headed to Madrid from New Delhi where we spent three days before going on to London for the aforementioned WTM. We spent a total of ten days in London and from there it was on to Houston where we had the  (turned out to be not so bad) pleasure of emptying out our storage unit. What a relief not to worry about paying the monthly storage fee. My advice to anyone planning on moving away, get rid of everything or have a friend or family store it. Skip the storage unit ;-).

2016 Ecuador chocolate maker

More chocolate!!! :-), this time from Ecuador. Another place we would love to visit in 2016.

From Houston, we headed to Los Angeles where we had a marvelous time hanging out with old friends and eating and enjoying the warm hospitality of my “mamita” in L.A and friends in Palm Springs where we celebrated Thanksgiving. After two months away, it felt good to be back in Seville where we had a cozy Christmas, just the two of us. Tonight for New Year’s eve, we will once again enjoy our own company. We will have the traditional Italian dinner of Lentils and cotechino (Italian sausage), watch movies and toast with Cava (not champagne ;-) , when in Rome and all that!).

2016

Nothing comes between a man and his bird. Dubai, we would like to see you in 2016.

I am positive no guy there gave a hoot as to what country she represented :-)

I am positive no guy there gave a hoot as to what country she represented :-)

2016:

For the new year of 2016, we have come up with some destinations we would love to visit. The list is a bit long. It will be fun to look back and see how many places we were able to get to, especially places in Asia. Prior to the travel show, that part of the world was low on our priority list. WTM changed our minds. Here are the places in no particular order.

Romania :

This came on the radar thanks to my friend C. over at romaniaexperience. He has been delighting me with gorgeous images of his beautiful country. It has really peaked our interest and we would love to make it happen this year. An added bonus is that a lot of “B” movies are made here. Think of “The Expendables” and every Jean Claude Van-Damme and Nicholas Cage movie from the past few years :-). I love those.

It was nice hearing about Bulgaria.

It was nice hearing about Bulgaria.

Bulgaria:

The lady at the stand was so sweet. The pictures look amazing, and this was another place that snuck in under the radar. I would never have thought of it. We want to explore the fairy tale villages and eat great food.

Wikipedia image.

Wikipedia image.

Maldives:

Ooohh.. It just looked gorgeous. We had thought about it before, then it got pushed back. Seeing the presentation at WTM brought it all back . I am delighted to say this will be our first trip of the year. We are headed there at the end of January for a week of rest and relaxation. Yeah.. I know – like we really need it :-).

recapping 2015,looking ahead to 2016

At the Denmark booth. Visit, we shall !!!

Copenhagen:

This has long been on our list. We almost made it there two years ago. Federico has a good friend that lived there and we always promised we would visit. He, however moved back to Rome for a spell and we kind of forgot about it. He has since moved back to the city, and so it’s back on the short list.

Maybe not so in your face..but l would love to see a match.

Maybe not so in your face..but l would love to see a match.

 

Japan:

Land of the rising sun. It is also the land of sushi :-) . You know we love our sushi. It will be fantastic to go there, check out the many temples and eat as much sushi as possible.

Very inviting..

Very inviting..

malaysia

Indonesia:

Another place that looks pretty exotic, always pulsing with activity. It would be fun to experience it, just for a little bit. Their booth was one of the most popular ones. They had so much entertainment. A lot of fun! Volcanoes, beaches, jungles … yes please :-).

A safari would be so cool.

A safari would be so cool.

Namibia or Tanzania:

Either would be fine. We want to go on safari and think either one of those two stable countries will fit the bill. Years ago, one of my uncles was stationed in Kenya for many years and l always had the opportunity to visit. Unlike my siblings, l chose summer school time and again..what an idiot l was :-) . Now, l want to make up for it. Just once, l want to do a safari tour.

Ireland tourism

Ireland:

Every one says Dublin is a must visit. We want to experience it for ourselves. The guys at the stand were so funny and full of history. Made it all sound really great. Castles, rolling green hills, and Guinness (Federico). I hate that, but totally encourage people drinking it. We have some shares.. hahah!

A Cuban man hand rolling the cigars at WTM 2015.

A Cuban man hand rolling the cigars at WTM 2015.

Cuba:

Now that the U.S is on better terms with Cuba, it would be awesome to visit, check out the really cool cars and have an authentic Mojito, then learn some salsa moves, not to mention the architecture.

columbia recapping 2015 , looking ahead to 2016

Colombia:

Mountains, coffee, Cartagena, the old walled city and the gorgeous colors! My goodness, l told you it was a long list thanks to the conference! :-).

Galicia looks marvelous!

Galicia looks marvelous!

Spain:

Yes, we want to explore more of this wonderful country, from Valencia to Bilbao to Aragon. The train system being so good here should allow us to visit a few more places.

Here a few tidbits about the blog in 2015:

The most popular blog post was actually written in 2014. It was about Valletta, the capital of Malta .

The post with the most number of comments was exploring the frequently asked question quitting your job, selling your stuff and becoming a digital nomad.

People love finding the best paella in Seville.

There was a published post every Monday, except for one. My iPad totally failed me while we were in Los Angeles. We had a slow and steady growth over the year, thanks to loyal readers and new friends. Federico and l would like to thank you all for being part of our journey over the past year. We look forward to more of the same in 2016. As you celebrate the holiday, remember to be thankful for all you have (even if you think it’s not much), especially your health. It is so easy to take things for granted.

We wish you all a very Happy New Year! Let’s hope that a most excellent 2016 awaits us all.

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2016 wish list destinations

What destinations are on your wish list for 2016? Have you started making plans, and does it include travel or are you more of a Staycation kind of person?