2018 Travel Wishlist

With a trip to Napa, Mendocino, and Yosemite already in the works, this year is certainly starting out at a fast pace for me when it comes to travel. We have a few other more local plans in the works but don’t have a bigger trip for this Summer yet, perhaps this list will help us decide. Today I’m sharing my travel wishlist with you and keeping my fingers crossed we get to visit at least one of these beautiful places.


Aarhus, Denmark

Ever since our trip to Copenhagen (take me back!) I’ve longed to visit more places in Denmark. Aarhus is the second largest city and has recently been recognized for it’s devotion to culture and gastronomy. It’s full of both modern design and preserved history, with a compact and walkable city center.

STAY / Hotel Oasia is a boutique hotel in the historic district featuring Scandinavian-inspired design and is a certified green-key company (eco-friendly).
EAT / Aarhus Street Food is an indoor market featuring many types of food. Don’t miss Mormors Køkken, serving traditional Danish food, like Grandma always cooks!
PLAY / ARoS Art Museum is a featured a panorama window offering 360-degree views of the city in rainbow colors.
VISIT / Warm months range from June to September, with warmest in August. However, rain is less likely February through April when you might get snow instead.

In addition to the activities above, here are 15 things to do around Aarhus.

Atacama Desert, Chile

A few years back, my in-laws lived in Santiago. We never had the chance to visit, but the country has always intrigued me since. I’ve always loved the images of the Torres del Paine, but recently I’ve found love in a place much farther north. The Atacama desert is a high desert volcanic area located in the northern part of Chile and the land is shaped very much by it.

STAY / Tierra Atacama is a beautiful boutique hotel amidst the natural beauty near San Pedro de Atacama. Don’t miss another Tierra beauty in Patagonia.
EAT / Adobe offers delicious Chilean fare in a casual environment.
PLAY / Valle de la Luna is renowned for it’s rock formations and beautiful desert locale.
VISIT / The high temperatures don’t fluctuate much throughout the year, November through April are best to avoid freezing lows, and your chance of a sunny day is best around March and October.

Wanderlust Chloe has a great post about her top 5 places to visit in the Atacama Valley.

Sagres, Portugal

Being raised with a Portuguese grandfather, I’ve always had a healthy curiosity for the country of Portugal. The Algarve region is known for it’s rugged coastline composed of beautiful cliffs and vistas and within that region lies the remote town of Sagres.

STAY / Memmo Baleeira is a minimalist boutique hotel in Sagres featuring a to-die-for pool with Martinhal Bay as a backdrop.
EAT / Restaurante A Casinha is a great place to go for authentic Portuguese dining mixed with great service. They also have a newly built modern terrance with views of the sea.
PLAY / Cabo de São Vincente Lighthouse is one of the brightest in Europe and it’s light can be seen up to 45km away.
VISIT / Sagres is moderate year round, but you will see the warmest and more sunny days from May to September.

You can read more about Sagres here. And if this doesn’t convince you, you need to head over to read what my friend Bianca has to say about her trip!

Seattle, Washington USA

We visited Seattle a few years back and it reminded us of a much cleaner version of San Francisco. Although our time spent there was in April, the feeling of exploring the city on foot was one I will cherish for many years to come. Feel free to leave your umbrella at home, most locals don’t even bother with one.

STAY / Palladian Hotel is a beautifully designed hotel located just a few blocks away from Westlake Station (perfect if you are taking the train from the airport). It’s also pet-friendly!
EAT / The London Plane may be part bakery, part cafe, part floral shop, and part grocery store, but it’s all beautiful.
PLAY / Museum of Pop Culture, formerly known as the EMP museum, is fun for both adults and kids and is near many other popular sights.
VISIT / July through September, with July being the warmest and driest month. We visited in April with great weather.

Here is my Seattle packing list, and to read about our Seattle adventures, click here.

Atlantic Road, Norway

After our huge trip around Iceland, without hesitation, this is our next dream conquest.

STAY / Sveggvika refers to itself as, “Relaxed ambience by the sea” and I couldn’t agree more. There are plenty of activities here for the nature lover, and the Atlantic Road is only 30 minutes away.
STAY / Sjøgarden is located in Averøy, very near the Atlantic Road, and features an indoor pool.
EAT / Bjartmars Favorittkro is cozy and serves traditional Norweigan Cuisine.
PLAY / There is no shortage of things to do in this area, including driving the Atlantic Road, seeing Geirangerfjord (4 hour drive), and a drive up and down Trollstigen.
VISIT / May through October, with peak warmth in August but more sunshine in May.

My friend Jen Kay’s visit to Norway looked spectacular, plus 15 places in Norway you should visit. Norway also might be a good place to see a solar eclipse on August 11, 2018.

Phuket, Thailand

After seeing so many beautiful photos of Phuket floating around the internet, and having friends visit, it was only a matter of time before it worked it’s way onto my travel wishlist. Hit by a tsunami in 2004, the island has seen tremendous rejuvenation since yet still retains it’s spirited charm.

STAY / The Naka Phuket is hidden in an ancient valley along the western edge of the island and features 94 glass villas each with their own private pool. It’s basically the stuff of my dreams.
EAT / Kata Rocks Restaurant is located on the water and features what some say are the best views of Andaman sea.
PLAY / From the beach, to water activities, to exploring the beautiful island formations, you won’t run out of things to do here.
VISIT / Weather is warm year-round, but if you’re looking for sunny days try to go in December through March.

It’s very important to note that as magical as it may seem, you should never ride an elephant.

This year’s travel in the works:

Downtown Napa in January
Ever since the devastating fires last year I’ve been feeling such an urge to get to Napa again. This month I’m working with Downtown Napa and Archer Hotel to help bring a focus back on Napa. Surprise! It’s all there and waiting for your visit.

Mendocino in February
For Christmas this year we gifted our little ones a trip to Mendocino. We’ll be returning to stay in one of our favorite places and can’t wait. We might tie it in with a stay somewhere a little further south to extend the trip.

Yosemite in March
I’m headed to Yosemite as a chaperone for my older son’s 8th grade trip. It’s going to be freezing and full of teenagers, so cross your fingers for me!

Lake Tahoe in April
Since our trip in December didn’t work out, I’m really hoping the stars will align for this one and it will be great.


We have some other trips in the works as well but I don’t want to jinx them, so I’ll share at a later time.

Do you have any special places you’d love to visit this year? I’d love to hear!

Most of the images in this post are stock. Obviously I haven’t been able to take photos like this in these places, which is why I want to go there!

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Responses to “2018 Travel Wishlist”

  1. Thanks so much for including my blog in this! I absolutely loved Atacama!

    1. You had such great tips, how could I not? 🙂

  2. I don’t think that picture is from Atacama dessert…

    1. While it certainly doesn’t represent the rocky and volcanic majority of the Atacama, there are places in Atacama, specifically Valle de la Luna where there is a very, very, very similar dune overlooking some cliffs. There are many submitted images on google maps, the most notable one being here. The dune in the actual stock photo is in the Huacachina Desert and is very similar. The image was chosen for brand alignment and aesthetic, but rest assured that I did do my research. 🙂

  3. Neely Moldovan

    We really want to go to Seattle this year too! Your other choices are awesome!

    1. We had so much fun on a prior trip that we can’t wait to go back and explore more.

  4. I have lived like a gypsy most of my life, and have been fortunate to travel a lot but my dream this year is to go visit Croatia which my brother visited last year and after seeing his pics I am jealous. Enjoy Yosemite in March and stay warm.

  5. I LOVE your picks! Most of them are on my list but I have a little while to go until my kiddos get older. I’d love for them to come with me.

    1. Ahh, why wait? We waited for a few trips but for the most part we’ve just brought them along with us. Søren has done almost as much travel as me, haha.

  6. Erica Schwarz

    I never travel and I would LOVE to. It’s a dream of mine, especially to places like these! Will have to wait until the kids are older (much older) and save money.

  7. Scotland is on our wishlist this year. As is someplace warmer than here in Iowa!

    1. I know a few people who have gone and their photos are so drop-dead gorgeous. I hope you get to go!

  8. Chili and Phuket have been on my bucket list for a while – mostly because of the sheer beauty – and partly because of their names 🙂 Of course, I love the foods from those regions as well. Iceland is also on my bucket list.

    1. That’s what got me with those locations too, I’m such a sucker for natural beauty. Iceland was our dream trip year before last and I’m ready for another big one, I think. I just don’t know if my wallet is with me, haha.

      1. Rebecca

        Hi! Do you have a post on the best ways to save up for trips? Or anything like that??

  9. I am excited about my trip to Dubai this year for my 25th wedding anniversary. I may switch places after reading this post. Portugal looks like a nice place to look into for my trip.

    1. Dubai is definitely on my list too, but not quite as high up as these places.

  10. I hope I can travel someday with my family. I’ve never been out of my country, and I never rode a plane haha. Financial reasons.

    1. One day! I didn’t travel a lot by air when I was younger, but explored a lot by car in California.

  11. Vanessa Reyes

    Love your travel goals!! I would love to visit Argentina this year, probably for December (it”s warm)! and/or Isla Holbox in Mexico. I recently got back from Aruba and was disappointed. The beaches were beautiful but cold and it was constantly windy.

  12. Norway is a beautiful country. I have never been to the Atlantic Road but do live in Northern Norway where the Northern Lights dance across the sky and it is a winter wonderland most of the year. I don’t know if we will be able to go anywhere this year or not but we are hoping to head to maybe Greece or Bulgaria maybe Croatia.

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