2015 Travel Plans

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It’s already March and I haven’t taken a single trip this year!  Still rebuilding my vacation time and savings accounts after 10 days in South America over Christmas!  First quarter is usually pretty busy at work, therefore quiet elsewhere, even though every February I swear I’m going to plan a tropical getaway for the next February.  This year was no exception – brutal cold, but we hunkered down and endured.

So, what’s on tap for 2015?  It’s big year as I have a monumental birthday coming up this year….

In March, I was offered the opportunity to participate in a customer panel for one of my vendor’s customer summits.  Despite a “dislike” of public speaking, I can’t pass up an opportunity for travel, even if it involves very little free time.  Besides, it’s good to challenge myself and leave the comfort zone every now and then!

So, first up is a two night trip to San Francisco – I have about 1/2 a day to explore, as well as the following evening before an early morning flight back to Chicago.  The following week, an even shorter trip to New York, but again, I booked my flights to give me a 1/2 day around town before the corporate events start.

In April, I’ll be attending another customer symposium for one of our vendors.  It will be my 4th trip to this symposium, which is in a different fun and warm city each year. This year, we’ll be traveling to Orlando and staying at Universal Studios.  Even though it’s a working weekend, they add a lot of fun activities, so I’m looking forward to this one!

That’s all work….what about play?

In August, I’m hoping to meet up with my Colorado backpacking friends for a week in the backcountry.  My last trip with this group was our 2013 basecamp in the Maroon Bells.  We’re still discussing this year’s plan, but Colorado – August – backcountry?  It won’t suck!  And of course, Bailey-girl will be tagging along, too!  I love trips where I can bring my puppy 🙂  In campfires and concierges fashion, I’ll leave the backcountry and head straight to the Westin Beaver Creek for some spa time and a Heavenly Bed!

September will bring another big bucket list trip for me.  I’ve dreamed of rafting the Grand Canyon for years. It’s expensive and books way in advance, so I never imagined I’d get to go for my 40th birthday, but I decided to just go for it!  Of course, I’ll be rafting with OARS (my 4th trip with them) and will spend 11 days on the Colorado River, followed by 3 days at Zion National Park.  I’ve got some unfinished business with Angel’s Landing!

So, looking at this list, I’m technically not going anywhere that I haven’t already been, but am incredibly excited as the nature of these trips will be entirely different than prior visits!

Lastly, I’m trying to leave some time at the end of the year to be spontaneous.  I pretty much plan out all 4 weeks of paid vacation from the get go and then can feel overbooked and unable to take advantage of last minute deals.  So…..we’ll see…..I’m a planner by nature, so it’s really hard for me to not book everything out.  I’m hoping for a Thanksgiving adventure and if that doesn’t work, then a Christmas trip for sure.

I’ve got some even bigger ideas for 2016, which will really require tight management of vacation time.  It’s always a struggle for me whether to take lots of long weekends and shorter trips, or go for the long, grand vacations.  The bigger trips usually win out as you just can’t decompress like you can on a 2 week “off the grid” trip.

So….here’s to 2015!  May it be my best travel year yet 🙂

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