Note from Theresa: Of course, I miss traveling! But now is not the time for unnecessary trips. Health officials are urging social distancing and keeping close to home as the best options to a return to normalcy quicker, so travel is out. I am still talking about travel, though, and planning my next trips. Not that I know when that will happen. And not booking unless I know what the cancelation or postponement terms are. But there is the time now to think and plan. So, I keep my eyes on the horizon.
I am sheltered in place in northern NJ. I left my other home in Abu Dhabi (where my husband works) in mid-March before Etihad and Emirates would shut down most operations to be near my elderly parents and help them be as safe as possible. And, I miss the outdoors. although I live near mountains and parks, I am pretty much confined to my suburban house because of shutdown measures to ensure social distancing. I do walk- a lot- so that when I return to adventure, I am ready. Plus, it is good for my mental health. And, my gardens will never look better when bloom time comes.
Why I’m planning my next trip, and think you should, too
I wrote a blog about what the future of travel could look like, and know flights will not be cheap, nor will travel options- particularly since we all want to be safe and healthy. Which is why my first travels will be to more remote places with fewer people. I believe learning about those “eventually-I-will-go” bucket-list places are the first places we should travel to because of just this reason. It will be just the right counterbalance to what life is like right now.
And so, dreaming of wide-open spaces is what I am doing right now, and suggest you do as well. If you need the reassurance of being closer to home, consider a just-for-your-family trip to our American West.
Of course I still want to go to or return to more well-known (and more touristy) destinations. But for now, I want to extend that feeling of a little more space by heading to more off-the-beaten-path places, some places that are not necessarily where Americans would think of going. Some are far, but others, not so much. It would be a worthwhile expenditure of time now talking to a travel expert who can suggest substitutions to the norm for equally (or more) beautiful travel.
My personal next dream destination?
Definitely to the place where I was headed before we all went into lockdown. Patagonia! I was set to explore it in depth, both on the Chile and Argentine sides, and from its north to south. You can learn much more about these destinations by using the links. On my own adventure, I want to get outdoors to hike, horse ride, meet local people, and enjoy the magnificent landscapes.
My travel itinerary
I’d begin my exploration in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. From exploring the tango scene, cafes, food culture, neighborhoods, cafes and theater there is so much to do in a few days.
Flying from Buenos Aires, I would want to visit the lakes in Argentina in the mountainous Bariloche, in northern Patagonia. There are tons of outdoor activities on land and water in this region, so kayaking and boating would be on the agenda.
Stay: Llao Llao Resort There are numerous glamping options as well!
Experience Chiloe Island (Chile)
From Bariloche I would fly to Puerto Montt and continue by land to Chiloe, Chile.
The colorful fishing communities and the marine life to explore by boat would be top of my list.
Stay: Tierra Chiloe
Next it is time to head into southern Chilean Patagonia to Torres del Paine National Park
This is probably the most iconic of the Patagonian dream with hundreds of thousands of acres of majestic snow-capped mountains, stunning glaciers and wildlife. Days can be spent of photography safaris, hiking or multi-day trekking, and other adventurous pursuits on land and lakes.
Trekking expeditions can be arranged also with you own guide.
Before heading back to Buenos Aires, a visit to El Chalten and Mt. Fitz Roy (Argentinian Patagonia)
Yes, the area is different enough to experience both countries. The Fitz Roy Massif is in itself a singular visit. The area is full of great hikes and outdoor adventures. Stay: Eolo, Aguas Arriba Lodge
Coming soon: explora El Chalten
Image Source: Courtesy of Deluxe Argentina
Outside Buenos Aires: Las Pampas
Because this region is close enough to Buenos Aires airports, I’d end my journey in the countryside and head out to Las Pampas, the grassy plains where gauchos work on horses, where the asada beckons with a delicious barbeque, where one could even visit polo horse ranches- and take a lesson! Stay: Estancia La Bamba de Areco
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning in 2020 and 2021, I’d love to help!
You can stay informed and inspired in planning your travel by reading more of my blogs. You can also follow me on Facebook. Twitter @enlitndjrntrvl, and Instagram @enlightenedjourneystravel. Sign up to receive the blogs and a newsletter filled with more insights and offers so you don’t miss a thing.