Let's take a deep breath and then exhale. Okay? Last week was nuts in the realm of travel for me. AirBerlin is filing for bankruptcy and canceled my flight to Prague next month. Canceled as in, not operating, no options, I will probably have to fill out a considerable amount of paperwork and wait a long time for any refund. I might not get one at all. I was just starting to really get excited about Malta. I guess Malta and solo Paris were not meant to be in 2017 for me. I looked some alternate flight options, but the cost was too great on such short notice, especially combined with my new medical bills.
So I regrouped and decided to look toward my big trips for 2018 and save and take some trips closer to home. There are plenty of places I have not been and want to go in the USA. Some examples are Portland, Seattle again, the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole. Then there is a lot of Canada I'd like to explore: Vancouver, Banff and Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, Montreal, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Oh, and HELLO, I've never been to Mexico.
That's all going to change. Last week I booked a ticket to Cancun for President's Day week - our final destination is Tulum in a hostel with a friend or two - (Cancun, as if). We plan to see the jungle, go to the beach, eat all that Tulum has to offer, see the ruins (pictured), and swim in some cenotes. Total trip will probably be Monday-Friday and I'm okay with that. I entertained the idea of adding on a few days in Nicaragua or Guatemala, but I'm trying not to get greedy. If there's anything I've learned from living in the Midwest, it is that I personally need a warm weather getaway in mid-February in order to get through the long winter.
Later in the year, South America is in the beginning stages of planning for August - which will be perfect for me because I start to really get tired of summer by the end of August. In November I will be hiking/climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with a friend on an REI Adventure trip. We'll follow up the strenuous trip by laying on a beach in Zanzibar for a couple of days.
2018 is really shaping up to be a fun year and I can't wait to do all of the things I've named. Meanwhile, Canada is on my mind. I went to Toronto for work in 2007 for a few days and my passport didn't even get a stamp then (so did it really actually happen?). I'll be heading back for a weekend getaway before 2017 ends. The Banff marathon or half is also in my sights eventually but not sure if it will happen in 2018.
So the moral of the story is: buy travel insurance (I already have it for Mexico) and count your blessings. I was really upset last week and my life really needed some perspective. I have been to four countries this year and two continents. I am a lucky person and I was fretting for no reason, my problems were not real problems.