As possible future trips are discovered and researched, their notes and links are recorded here for your perusal
May 2017: Hawaii, the Big Island
My partner's never been to the Hawaiian Islands, so I thought a trip to Hilo and Kona on the Big Island would be great! I found some good places to stay at Orchid Tree Bed & Breakfast and the Aloha Guest House. We'd like to hike and zipline through the lush rainforest, take a volcano helicopter tour and visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, attend a luau, go on a cocoa tour, and snorkel with the manta rays at night in Kona. Good snorkel spots appear to include Kealakekua Bay, Puuhonua O Honaunau, Mauna Kea Beach (Kaunaoa Bay), and Kahaluu Beach Park. Perhaps we can find some local cultural events as well, and maybe we'll even try a little surfing!
Sept. 2017: Montana
A trip to Glacier National Park in Montana has been on our travel list for some time now. My partner calls Montana "Brokeback Mountain country." I discovered some great lodging at Moss Mountain Inn and Flattop Mountain Inn. We hope to enjoy a hot air balloon ride while we're there, and visit the National Bison Range as well. I also found a website to assist us in locating the best hikes, Hiking Glacier. Hikes we hope to accomplish could include Avalanche Lake, Hidden Lake, portions of the Garden Wall, St. Mary Falls and Lake, Swiftcurrent Pass to Bullhead Lake, and perhaps either Iceberg Lake or Piegan Pass.
February: New Zealand
We've discussed where we'd like to travel internationally after our trip to Brazil, and thought New Zealand would be an excellent choice. Through our travel shows, we've discovered they have cave repelling at Waitomo Caves. As a Tolkien fan, Hobbiton is also a must see. As are the redwoods, Tamaki Maori Village, Otorohanga Kiwi House, and a guided hike with Te Urewera Treks. We'll want to see yellow-eyed pengiuns, albatross & blue penguins and Glenfalloch Gardens near Dunedin. In the Fiordlands, We'd like to go for a cruise around Milford Sound and a guided hike. In Queenstown we might enjoy a Glenorchy Islands kayak, and a bungy jump and dinner up above as well. Lodging will likely be at Shailers in Hamilton, Larnach Castle in Dunedin, Te Anau Lodge and Chalet Queenstown.
China was next on our list of places we'd like to visit, with the Great Wall and Forbidden City near Beijing (lodging at Fly by Knight Courtyard, transportation by Metro Card). We would probably like to visit the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base near Chengdu. The Li River near Guilin is an absolute must do! And hopefully we'll attend the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival, in Hong Kong (with lodging at The Royal Pacific, transportation via MTR). And sail on a traditional Chinese junk! It appears that flying is the most efficient way to get around China, and that guided tours will be easier for for us during segments of our trip. But I still feel some lessons in Chinese may be in order before we depart on this particular journey.
April/May: Indonesia & Singapore
One option would be exploring Indonesia! Raja Ampat, with a stay at Papua Paradise Eco Resort, is a place I've wanted to visit for a long time now. I've read that water visibility is good in April, during the shoulder season. I'd also like to visit Sumatra, from Bukit Lawang, to see orangutans. Places on Bali, like the Ubud Monkey Forest, Ulun Danu Beratan temple, Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Palace), and nearby Komodo National Park (lodging in Labuan Bajo) are a must see as well. Flores XP Adventure appears to have the best day tours to Rinca Island. And we've decided we'd like to end our trip in Singapore (lodging at The Breezy East) where we hope to enjoy sights such as Gardens by the Bay and use a Singapore Tourist Pass to get around.
December: Bavaria, Austria & Prague
For a second trip to Europe, I've always thought of visiting the Bavaria region of Southern Germany, Austria, and Prague during the Christmas season. Munich, Rothenburg, Neuschwanstein Castle, Salzburg, Hallstatt, Vienna, and Prague are all possible destinations. We hope to enjoy the Christmas markets, holiday choirs, and hopefully even a little snow!
February: Sri Lanka & India
Still far away, but one possible trip for the future could be visiting Sri Lanka and India! Snorkeling at Polhena Beach in Sri Lanka looks beautiful, and we can spot sperm whales in Mirissa, and green sea turtles in Kosgoda. Good nature reserves in India appear to include Kali Tiger Reserve, Kaziranga National Park and Bandipur National Park. Perhaps we can even go on a tiger safari in Kanha National Park on the back of an elephant!
February: Falkland Islands & Patagonia
It appears this is also a good month for visiting the Falkland Islands so my partner can see King Penguins! Since this is probably the closest we'll ever get to Patagonia, I think we could swing a side trip from Santiago to Punta Arenas by plane and explore Torres del Paine National Park as well.
March - May: Utah National Parks
This would be an off-season trip to Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. Flying to Salt Lake City, we could drive down to Torrey and stay for a couple of nights to explore Capitol Reef. Then off to Moab and the Adobe Abode to see Arches and Canyonlands. We could even try whitewater rafting with Adrift Adventures! Driving back, we could take highway 163 to Flagstaff, Arizona, which would allow us to witness Monument Valley. If we can manage it, Paria Canyon and the Wave would be a great side trip! We could explore Sedona and the area, driving down to Phoenix before flying back home.
April: Greece & Lebanon
We've been chatting for years now about traveling to Greece and Lebanon. I could show my partner Greece, where I lived for two years. Possible destinations include the Acropolis, Delphi, Meteora, Sounion, Loutraki, Santorini, Crete, and other islands. And he could show me Lebanon, where he was raised.
May: Morocco & Spain
A good time to visit Morocco and Spain! I'll have to investigate cities in more depth, but traveling from Marrakesh to Casablanca and Tangier, and then on to Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona sounds good.
May: St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands
May also appears to be a good, off-season time to explore U. S. Virgin Islands National Park on the island of St. John. This seems to be the best time between the busy and expensive Winter season (Nov. - April) and the hurricane season (June - October). And of course, we'd probably spend a little time on adjacent St. Thomas Island as well.
The national parks of Rwanda would provide for us our second trip to the biodiverse African continent. There we could see gorilla, chimpanzee, and many species of monkey. Lodging could include Nyungwe Forest Lodge among others.
August: Denali National Park, Alaska
Another trip I've been planning for awhile. We could fly in to Fairbanks mid to late August and take a scenic train ride down to Denali. Once at Denali, we'd probably spend a few days exploring the trails around the park entrance, and also spend a couple of nights at Wonder Lake. Then onward by train to Anchorage, and a day or two at Kenai Fjords National Park, staying at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge, before returning home.
Peru is also a place I've wanted to visit for a long time. The Amazon is the main draw, but Machu Picchu is also a definite must see. I stumbled upon Panorama B&B, where we can stay the night before Machu Picchu as well.
October: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
We've witnessed the beautiful Fall colors of Acadia National Park in Maine. My partner fell in love with them, in fact. In our continuing quest to visit most of our national park system, I thought Great Smoky Mountains would be another good place to witness the vivid colors of Autumn. We may even hop on another hot air balloon! And there appear to be plenty of homes and cabins available in Gatlinburg, TN, on AirBnB.
There are, of course, many other places we want to see including Japan, Russia, the British Isles, Scandinavia, Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand), Madagascar, Egypt, France, and more. I know we'll get there eventually. It's only a matter of time.