At the beginning of the last year, I wrote this piece on travel and obligations, where I predicted my travel plans for the year. Although the plans underwent changes as the year progressed, the outcome was pretty much what I had predicted: I ended up setting foot in 7 foreign countries over the course of 2015 (Scotland, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden), 3 of which I had never been to before.
My total of World Heritage sites actually exceeded expectations. I added 20 to my collection, as opposed to “a dozen or so”. This is mostly due to prioritizing visits to such sites regardless of their attraction quotient – but it is also a factor of covering more ground.
Let’s add to that a trip to the American South, undertaken with a reduced family roster; a trip to Istanbul by Natasha to spend time with her vacationing sibling; Becky’s semester in Brussels, during which she traveled to nearly a dozen countries, including Portugal, Croatia and Luxembourg that remain future targets for the rest of the family; Kimmy’s language immersion program in the south of France, which included a jaunt over the border to Spain; a couple of solo trips Stateside by family members.
2015 was truly a year of travel for us!
The new year is unlikely to reach similar heights. Although we already have three more or less confirmed trips in the plans – and there is room to add others – we will largely revisit familiar locales. There will be a few territories that we’ll set foot on for the first time, but probably only one completely new to us country (and that is iffy). Less than ten World Heritage sites will be within reasonable accessible distance on those trips – and it is unlikely that I will have time to explore them all.
Here is hoping we can change it to the better as the year progresses.