Much of the time our travel plans tend to be thrown together not too far in advance. We toss around options for awhile, mull them over, do a lot of internet research and usually end up going somewhere completely different. Because that’s how we roll. And we like it that way. We like being spontaneous and having the freedom to change our minds at the last minute if we want. This year we’ll likely have more of the same, though we have actually planned out a few trips in advance.
Our first venture is coming up this weekend when we’ll take a trip into Ecuador’s Intag Valley so I can get some research done for an upcoming magazine article. As the crow flies, the Intag is not that far from where we live in Cotacachi, but by bus it will take several hours to reach our destination. Currently, the valley is fairly secluded in a cloud forest. I ought to have some good photos when we come back and hopefully a lot more information about the region itself.
In February, we’ll all be headed to Quito for International Living’s Fast Track Ecuador conference. I’ll be a speaker there again this year and it’s always fun to spend a few days in the big city. Plus we’ll have access to delicious foods from around the world. Trust me, good restaurants are a treat to be relished when you spend most of your time in a small Ecuadorian town. After the conference the boys and I will be headed back to Cotacachi, but David will be hanging in the sand and surf of San Clemente, Ecuador where he’ll be giving a 5-day intensive Spanish course.
March is our big family trip where we’ll be off to Isla Providencia, Colombia. This small Caribbean island is off the coast of Nicaragua, yet owned by Colombia. There are no cities there, not much in the way of night-life, and no big tourist attractions. Which is why it sounds exactly like paradise to us. Justin and I are looking forward to the hiking, beaches, and all around vacation time. Jesse is itching to go snorkeling again (and with the world’s third largest barrier reef, the snorkeling ought to be pretty darned great), and I think David is most excited about all the fresh seafood available, which is often cooked with coconut. We’ll let you know if our expectations were well-founded when we return and if you’ve ever been, please give me your impressions!
Last year we went fishing in Pedasi, Panama and before we even left David was making plans to return. He’ll get his chance in July when he and Jesse will return for more fishing. If you didn’t already know this about my husband he’s very much about anything fish. Eating fish, catching fish, he even loves fish art. In his perfect world I would be a mermaid….
Sometime this summer I’ll be returning to the U.S. for a mini-family reunion with my uncle and brother. Still waiting on the details of exactly when and where to come through on that, but I’ve got my money saved, so it’s a go for me. Justin’s lobbying hard to come along and if I’ve got the funds for a ticket for him I’d like to bring him along.
Our other plan is to start traveling more often. This summer we will have had our Ecuadorian residency visas for two years which means our time out of the country will be far less restricted. We’ll be looking into housesitting gigs for a month or more at a time. Instead of merely visiting a place we’ll have the chance to get a real feel for it by settling in for a little bit. We’ll also save money on hotels in exchange for caring for someone’s house, yard, and/or pets. It appeals to us on many levels and we’re hoping it turns into a viable travel method for our family.
I’m sure we’ll find a few more places to go this year and some new things to do, but I think this is the most planning in advance that we have done in a long time!
What are your plans for the upcoming year?