Travel Inspirations for 2014

Travel Inspirations for 2014

Half the fun of travelling is planning where to go on your next trip.

Wish lists don’t work for me….every country is on my list!
I’m often inspired by reading about places other travellers have been….an instant yes, I’d like to go there is often all it takes!

Maybe I can inspire you!  

Turkey
There’s something for everyone in this amazing country. From the historic wonders of Istanbul to the many UNESCO world heritage listed sights dotted over the country, the stunning vistas as you drive on incredible roads throughout the countryside to the small villages where strangers welcome you with open arms and ask you to join them for tea or sailing in a gulet along the coast. I haven’t even mentioned the food yet! Taste delicious Black Sea hamsi, Gaziantep baclava, Kahramanmaraş icecream, kanefe from Antalya, kebabs from everywhere, stop at roadside stalls to buy fresh fruit and eat gozleme at stalls on the side of the road. Whether you visit for a week or a month, you will want to return, as we do, to his beautiful country. Read more about Turkey here

Thankyou Turkey... We've had a fabulous 7 weeks exploring your country! We'll be back!

(Click on the photo to be taken to the video)

 

Croatia: Vis

Vis, Croatia

Clear blue waters, fresh seafood, lazy days…island life on any of the Croatian islands is bliss but for us Vis is the place we would return to. Hire a car and head to the secluded bays dotted over the island hiding small family run restaurants or hire a boat and arrive by water. Fresh seafood awaits. Inland the villages offer a different kind of meal, one cooked under the peka. Can you see yourself here?

Clear Blue waters of Vis in Craotia

 

 

Slovenia
Slovenia is a well kept secret. Maybe I should keep it that way! It is one of the most beautiful countries I have been too with picture postcard scenes at every corner.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

The Julian Alps offers a stunning playground for the adventurous…canoeing, white water rafting, hiking and paragliding to name a few. Ljubljana’s outdoor cafes, bars and restaurants have created a fun atmosphere that we instantly loved. Slovenia is also becoming a foodies destination. One of its restaurants will make my list of the top restaurants I ate at in 2013.
Nothing is far way in Slovenia. From Ljubljana it’s an hour to beautiful Lake Bled.  Maribor and Ptuj are an easy day trip away and the fabulous coastal town of Piran is just over an hour the other way! Piran is one of the towns where we kept extending our stay. The town is very easy to explore, it’s narrow alleyways lead to a different place every time and the views from the church and walls that over look it are stunning. The fresh seafood we ate every night was hard to beat! No wonder we didn’t want to leave!

Slovenia

 

New York
Do you need inspiration to visit New York! I didn’t think so. Some cities should only be visited at a certain time of the year but New York offers a different face every time you return. This means you can keep going back again and again!

New York

Central Park is a great guide to the city…go in Spring when the leaves on the trees are returning, the azaleas are flowering and the bulbs colouring the ground. In Spring the fall colours provide a spectacular display. The Christmas lights and snow covered park are quite beautiful in Winter whilst in summer you can escape the hot days under the shade of the trees! You’ve ticked all the boxes on the list of What to do in New York and eaten your way through New York but have you explored Harlem, Brooklyn or Williamsburg. Time to go back!

 

Jordan
Is a visit to Petra on your wish list?  It is one of the most amazing places I have been and one that you should definitely see. Yes, it’s safe…Jordan is the Switzerland of the Middle East. It will take you hours to wander around the markets in Amman as the people here are so friendly and are forever stopping you to thank you for visiting their country. Before heading south to Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea and Petra, spend the day visiting Jerash, the site of the most amazing Roman ruins you will see outside Italy.
Petra is all you imagined and more…especially at night!

Petra at Night, Jordan

Jordan

 

And where am I inspired to travel in 2014….

Israel
At the end of 2012, I was supposed to visit Jerusalem after my visit to Jordan but a little conflict stopped me in my tracks and I headed back to Istanbul instead! For a long while I had resisted the call to visit Israel but in the end it was the food that won me over and had me wanting to visit! My inspiration is the hope that Ottolenghi’s book ‘Jerusalem’ will come come to life as I tour the markets and try the local food. Of course a visit to Tel Aviv is a must too! I hear it comes alive at night but it is the food and the historical wonders that I am interested in.

Spices in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Shuk. Photo from Flickr by Jason Wain

 

Norway
Seeing all the photos of the Northern Lights has been an inspiration for me to visit Norway. I’d love to see the towns along the coast from Bergen to Trondheim , Bodo and Tromso finishing in Kirkenes. I’m so close to polar bear territory, maybe I should add a visit to Svalbard!  The cold is a worry (there’s no snow in Western Australia) but the thought of  fishing in ice holes and snow sledding spurs me on. If the northern lights are not to be found, I know I’ll still have a great time!

The Northern Lights over Tromso:  Photo from Flickr by Gunnar Hildonen

The Northern Lights over Tromso: Photo from Flickr by Gunnar Hildonen

 

Bhutan
I was close to Bhutan once….just over the border in Darjeeling. Another two hours and I would have been in a country where their prosperity is measured by their happiness levels! I am definitely going to have to get fit to walk up to the Tiger’s Nest! I know you can take a donkey ride but after my experience in Jordan, I’ll never get on another! From Paro to Thimpu and Punakha it all looks a wonderful journey taking in the fabulous scenery and exploring the culture and traditions of the people of Bhutan.

Tigers Nest Monasgery in Bhutan: Photo from Flickr by Michael Foley

Tigers Nest Monastery Bhutan: Photo from Flickr by Michael Foley

 

Georgia
I’m very tempted to pop over the border from Turkey and head into Georgia and explore the country and its capital Tbilisi. I’ve read that fabulous food and incredibly friendly people await! The country side looks beautiful too! I’d love to explore the villages, go to the local markets and wander through the National Parks of the Caucasian Mountains

Gereti Trinity Church - Photo from Flickr by Marina.Agapova

Gereti Trinity Church – Photo from Flickr by Marina.Agapova

 

Where would you like to go in 2014?

Deborah from Little Nomads  has further inspiration on her site including Taiwan, another country I keep reading fabulous things about!

 

Related Articles
2013: An Amazing Year
Seven weeks in Croatia: The Highlights
Capture the Colour in Turkey
2012: A Feast of Travel

 

This post is also part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Don’t forget to pop over and see the other contributions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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51 Responses to Travel Inspirations for 2014

  1. Amanda January 7, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

    Thanks for the travel inspiration! I shouldn’t read posts like this… I already spend all day daydreaming of travel! I’m heading to turkey for the first time this year, so will be sure to read your tips!

    • Jenny Freedman January 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

      Pleasure Amanda. Turkey is so much fun..you are going to love your time there. There’s quite a few posts on Turkey on the blog already from previous trips but there’ll be quite a few more in the next couple of months that will hopefully help you with tips! Have a great trip.

  2. Mallory January 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    All those countries you recommended look so beautiful. I hope that one day I will be able to make a trip to all of them. I’m currently living in Japan, so I would like to do more traveling up and down Japan. I think I will be making another trip to South Korea later in the year, just to eat the food (love it!). I would also like to start traveling to Southeast Asia this year. Crossing, my fingers that it will happen!

    • Jenny Freedman January 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

      I’d love to go back to Japan one day Mallory. How lucky you are to live there and be able to explore the country at your leisure and to taste all the wonderful food on offer. You have some fabulous trips planned for the year..Enjoy your travels!

  3. Turkey's For Life January 8, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    Well, there must be something in this list for everyone! :) We’re *possibly* pondering Italy again to stay with some friends in September but apart from that, we’ll be staying in Turkey. Have a great 2014! :)
    Julia

    • Jenny Freedman January 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

      All my favourite places Julia though it’s also time for us to return to Italy too. I’m not to sure that we’ll make it this year as we’d love to go back to Croatia and Turkey again!! It will be interesting to see where we both visit in 2014. All the best!

  4. Jackie Smith January 8, 2014 at 3:26 am #

    We are heading back to Greece via Istanbul thanks to that great airfare ‘The Scout’ discovered. So we will have a few days in Istanbul either at the front or end of the Greek explorations (going further into the Peloponnese this trip). We plan to be boomer beach bums for five weeks in Hawaii and that’s all we have on the agenda so far. Like you, we think planning is half the fun so there’s a whole world out there to think about! Happy travels to you in 2014!

    • Jenny Freedman January 8, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

      The air fares you can get from the States are amazing! Ours are so expensive and the distance too far so we find it best to stay away as long as we can! Istanbul and Greece sound fun! We are hoping to head to Greece for a short time this year but at the moment there are too many places to go and not enough time! That’s the trouble isn’t it…too many places and not enough time!

  5. budget jan January 8, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    This post has reconfirmed my desire to visit Slovenia and Georgia and Israel and Croatia, lol. What happened on the Donkey in Jordan?

    • Jenny Freedman January 8, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      Maybe we’ll see you in Georgia next year Jan! The donkey was out of control running up the steps to the Monastery with me on it’s back…the most terrifying ride I’ve ever had!

      • budget jan January 9, 2014 at 6:19 am #

        I would have been terrified as well. I had a moment like that too when we were on the back of an elephant who got confrontational with another elephant, and we were in a river at the time. The worst thing about the donkey would be being on it by yourself. I have been on an out of control horse also and I was so terrified I jumped off!

        • Jenny Freedman January 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

          I would have loved to have jumped off but it wasn’t an option here! It was stay on or fall down the cliff!!

          • budget jan January 10, 2014 at 6:31 am #

            A Nightmare!

  6. Jean January 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    Aah.. Jenny.. you inspire me with your delightful picture collage.. thank you! All my current travel desires are addressed in SE Asia.. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.. each so different yet connected x Travel on safely.. what a wonderful time frame we are privileged to live in! When travel is regarded as a ‘necessity’ of life, and not just for the chosen few.. x Keep sending your pics please .. PS.. my daughter and her husband just love Croatia.. and now I see why! x

    • Jenny Freedman January 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

      Thanks Jean. I really should follow your lead and head to Asia one time but at the moment there is unfinished business in Europe! We are definitely very lucky to be able to travel as we do. There’s lots more pics on Instagram if you’re interested Jean!

  7. Amelie January 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Georgia and Bhutan are on my list too, maybe not for 2014 but in 2014 I might follow your advice to go to Croatia and/or Slovenia when we go to Europe this summer

    • Jenny Freedman January 9, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      You can’t go wrong with Croatia and Slovenia Amelie. Sounds like a great summer! They are both fabulous countries with so much to see and fabulous food to eat. Have fun!

  8. Red Nomad OZ January 8, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    This year is still unknown – apart from the 2 week jaunt to Australia’s marvellous Lord Howe Island!! I’ve always said I’ll go further abroad once I’ve ‘done’ OZ, but the more I look, the more I find to do right here!

    • Jenny Freedman January 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      It would be hard to ever do everything here though I think you’re giving it a pretty good nudge Red! Maybe one day we’ll get you OS!

  9. Nita January 9, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    Every country is on my list too! Love that ;) Jordan, Japan and Iceland are right on top! But even Norway seems beautiful. I was in Turkey for only a week but loved it and hope to return again someday. Looking forward to more delicious stories in 2014 :)

    • Jenny Freedman January 9, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      Ours is a never ending wish list Nita!! I’d love to go to Japan as well..I think it has something to do with the food! Of course you know I loved Jordan! It will be interesting to see what the year does bring!

  10. Leigh January 9, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    Norway, Bhutan, Jordan, Iceland, Eastern Europe – the list never gets shorter especially when I read blogs.I mostly have Canadian plans for this year though who knows what unexpected trips might suddenly appear on the radar.

    Hope all your travel dreams come true in 2014.

    • Jenny Freedman January 9, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

      We just seem to keep adding to our lists don’t we Leigh! The unexpected trips are always exciting! The places you find in Canada are amazing so it sounds as though it will still be a great year!

  11. Neva January 9, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

    We haven’t decided where our travels will take us. It’s nice to see some warm weather pictures of New York since it’s so cold there right now.

    • Jenny Freedman January 9, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

      I love seeing the photos of new York with snow though being there at the moment would be hard! We took the kids to New York at this time of the year, many, many years ago and it was very mild..we were very lucky!

  12. Muza-chan January 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    Interesting…

    • Jenny Freedman January 9, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

      Thanks Lili. I should have put Japan on the list! I’d like to visit there again one day!

  13. Marcia January 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    I know what you mean. I add something to my list each time I read about a new place.
    Great list, Jenny! From your list, I’ve got Turkey, Jordan, Slovenia — just added that a few weeks ago — Bhutan (thanks to Marisol & Keith). I doubt I’ll do them this year but who knows, I love rogue trips!
    Happy travels in 2014!!

    • Jenny Freedman January 9, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

      Great choices Marcia! It could be a busy year for you if you do visit them all! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  14. noel morata January 10, 2014 at 4:24 am #

    Been to most of those places would love to put Jordan on my bucket list and wouldn’t mind going back to all those other wonderful sites for 2014!

    • Jenny Freedman January 10, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Jordan is a fabulous country Noel. As a photographer you would love it! I should have mentioned it for your upcoming post! A lot of people don’t like going back to places they have already been but, like you, I am only too happy to return if I have loved it!

  15. Mary {The World Is A Book} January 10, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    What a fabulous list, Jenny and reflects most of my travel bucket list :) I’ve only been to NYC on this list so I’ve got a long way to go. Who knows when I’ll get around to visiting these but Croatia and Jordan have always been on top. My trip to your part of the world and Guam will be taking up most of my vacation time so we’ll be exploring more neighboring states during the first half of the year. I’d really like to go to Panama and Costa Rica this year too. Love your gorgeous photos!

    • Jenny Freedman January 14, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      Thanks Mary. You’re very lucky that wonderful countries such as Panama and Costa Rica are so close to you. It’s exciting that you’re coming to Australia though I am a bit disappointed that you’re not coming west! Sounds as though you are going to have a fabulous year!

  16. Carolyn January 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Love your pics, as usual, Jenny. I’m pleased to say Slovenia is finally on my itinerary this year and I’ll definitely be visiting many of your other European suggestions in the future. I love that your travel destinations are so different – from the frantic streets of New York to the Middle East and undiscovered Georgia. Happy travels!

    • Jenny Freedman January 14, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      Thanks Caroline. I think seeing such diverse countries keeps me on the road! Great to hear that Slovenia is included in your travels this year! You won’t be disappointed! it’s a small country but son much to see. I hope my blog posts are up by the time you go! Let me know if you’d like any tips.

  17. Marisol@TravelingSolemates January 12, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    Hi Jenny, I enjoyed your introspection of your year of travel, especially all the accompanying photos and video. Like you I don’t have a bucket list because I ‘d like to go everywhere. I’ve been inspired by your post of Vis, Croatia. I hope to make it there sometime soon.
    Your 2014 inspiration is a wonderful list. You will love Bhutan. Great idea to train for the Tiger’s Nest. We considered ourselves fit and seasoned hikers but the hike toTiger’s Nest humbled us. But it was worth every step.

    • Jenny Freedman January 14, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      Thanks Marisol. It’s always interesting to look back over your year of travel and choose the countries you would recommend others go. There’s never any any bad travels but some are always better than others. Thanks for the Bhutan confirmation. Now I’m worried about the Tiger’s Nest…you guys are fit!

  18. whywasteannualleave January 12, 2014 at 1:02 am #

    Beautiful photos and so much inspiration! Jordan is definitely on my wish list but living in England, I’m always eager to find European places that I haven’t been that sound intriguing and your Slovenia photos have really made me feel that should be my next European destination! Looks beautiful!

    • Jenny Freedman January 14, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

      Thank you. Slovenia is great..An easy place for you to go from England and a lot to do when you get there. Jordan is worth the extra hours flying..it really is one you shouldn’t miss!

  19. Sophie January 12, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    I was in Georgia (and Armenia) last summer and loved both. Very easy places to be. If you come to Norway, let me know. Winter is very cool (in every sense of the world), but so is summer, especially up north with 24 hours daylight.

    I don’t have any set plans for 2014 yet, but the Central Asian countries are high in my list: Kazakstan, Kyrgysztan, Uzbekistan – Bukhara, Samarkand – it all sounds so old-world romantic… sigh.

    • Jenny Freedman January 14, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      I remember your trip to Georgia Sophie. I loved your posts…I’ll be back reading your stories again very soon looking for tips on where exactly to go. I’ll definitely be in touch if we get to Norway..I’d love to see the Northern lights! The ‘Stan’ countries sound intriguing too. Natasha from World Wandering Kiwi has written some great articles that you might fond helpful. Can’t wait to read about your travels!

  20. Sophie January 12, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    *word

  21. Ana January 12, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    Yeap, you have inspired me! :) I want to go to Jordan, and closer to home, to Vis! I must admit I never considered going there, and have been more attracted by Korcula or Hvar, but now you got me intrigued! Thanks!

    We went to Norway a few years ago, and loved every moment of it! The most awesome (in the old sense of the word) landscapes ever! Oslo – Aurlandfjord – Bergen – Alesund and Geraingerfjord took 2 weeks. The place is huge!

    • Jenny Freedman January 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      You’d love Jordan Ana…so many great photos opportunities! Hvar is great too, especially if you stay in Starigrad but Vis appealed because it was very relaxed. It also had a great restaurants which as you know, appeals to us! Thanks for the confirmation on Norway. Seeing the Northern Lights has always been a dream so we’ll head to Bergan and the towns north of there and keep out fingers crossed!

  22. Nancie January 13, 2014 at 5:59 am #

    Fabulous post! You have just helped me plan my traveling for the next ten years! :) I’ve been to NYC a couple of time, and do not need an excuse to go back. Turkey I visited very briefly on a trip when I was in high school, and again, has always been there to go back to.

    • Jenny Freedman January 14, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      Thanks Nancie. I know exactly how you feel…there are so many places to visit let alone return to those that you love! Here’s to travelling for the next 10 years!

  23. Heather January 14, 2014 at 4:10 am #

    I’m moving to Eastern Europe this summer and Croatia and Slovenia rank high on the list of places I’d like to visit. Turkey is up there, too, but that might have to wait until 2015. I have my nearer sights set on Scandinavia, the Baltics, Poland and Russia!

    • Jenny Freedman January 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      How fabulous to be going to live in Europe, Heather. You’ll be so close to everything. I can just imagine your weekends..constant travelling! 2014 sounds like a great year..have fun!

  24. Marko @ Travel Photo Blogging January 22, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    A great list! I have been in the first three from your list last year (and some more).

    Your every other suggestion also looks tempting, but I guess Georgia would be something I would definitely love to visit – not touristy at all, affordable and a great selection of excellent wine. I hope I make it there soon enough.

    Have fun, keep traveling and don’t stop blogging about it!

    • Jenny Freedman January 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Hi Marko. Thanks for the words of encouragement! I’ve been doing a little research on Georgia at the moment and it certainly does sound fun! I’ll definitely be looking into the vineyards! Let me know if you go in the next 6 months…I’d love to hear about it.