I have really been thinking a lot about where I want to go next year and where I want to run a marathon next year (internationally). I know that February of THIS year is not yet over but since I’ve planned so far in advance for this year, I wanted to at least think about 2017 since I have a few things to plan around, such as work travel and a wedding to attend in February.
This year’s travel unintentionally resulted in a theme; that theme being Eastern Europe (every country I’m visiting borders one of the others I’m visiting!), I think that I need a theme for 2017, or at least one common trait among the 4 minimum countries that I visit. The first thought that came to mind was tropical, then islands, then South America. I was stumped on how to choose one.
This morning my question was answered when I remembered an organization in Haiti that I heard about last year and how they were helping people in Haiti learn English with native English-speakers via video chat. Even though that no longer seems to be a way to help, I found my idea for 2017 - giving back. I want to be able to do a service project of some sort in every country I visit. I know that a lot of organizations don’t just let you swoop in and do some volunteering while you happen to be on holiday in their country, so this will take some careful planning.
Ideally, I’d like to visit a Caribbean nation or perhaps two, Haiti or Cuba are first on the list, and I’d like spend a week in one of those countries doing volunteer work. What? I don’t know. I’m also planning to visit Peru next year and while that will be a vacation, I’m working with a tour company for that trip so I can easily ask the tour guide to search for a volunteer day or afternoon and add it to my itinerary. I don’t know where else I am planning on going in 2017, but this will definitely get my creative juices flowing and make me step outside of my comfort zone to ask about volunteering with organizations.
Overall, I’m looking forward to the challenge of 2017 travel already.