At the beginning of the year I wrote my Travel Goals for 2015 post where I detailed what I’d like to accomplish this year. When I wrote that post I thought I’d do a check in each month to give an update on my progress and it’s that time again. Seriously where is this year going? I think each month this year has gone by faster than the last. July was especially fast because we saw so much, and I actually completed a few of my travel goals!
Goal #1: Reach (or exceed) specific milestones for most of my Lifetime Travel Goals
In order to reach 100 countries in my lifetime I figure I need to average 3 new countries a year in the next 30 years I hope to be traveling, and this month I reached that milestone towards my goal with my visit to Germany. Doesn’t it feel great when you reach a goal? I’m so excited to have reached this one AND have the possibility to actually exceed it as we’re planning to go to Scotland after Christmas.
New Countries Visited in 2015:
- Luxembourg (March)
- Albania (May)
- Germany (July)
Well July was an awesome month for visiting UNESCO sites with four more added to the list, and then they announced their additions to the list and the San Antonio missions were added which I have already visited. The most fortuitous though? Hamburg. UNESCO announced the addition of the sites for Hamburg the week I was there! What were the chances eh? Once I heard that I knew I needed to find a way to visit it one evening after work and when I asked my coworkers about it they told me it was about a 5 minute walk from our office so we headed there for lunch one day. I also walked around the warehouses and canals one evening after work and enjoyed photographing the red brick buildings with the setting sun shining on them.
UNESCO Sites Visited in 2015:
- Rideau Canal, Canada (January)
- City of Bath, England (February)
- Stonehenge, England (February)
- Fortifications of Vauban- Arras (March)
- Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Rémi and Palace of Tau, Reims (March)
- City of Luxembourg: Its Old Quarters and Fortifications (March)
- Butrint (May)
- Historic Centres of Berat and Gjirokastra (May)
- Hanseatic city of Lübeck (July)
- Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus in Hamburg (July)
- Museumsinsel (Museum Island) in Berlin (July)
- Berlin Modernism Housing Estates (July)
UNESCO Site Visited Prior to 2015 but Added to UNESCO List in 2015:
- San Antonio Missions ( visited December 2013)
Another goal for 2015 reached! Just like my goal to see 100 countries, there are 100 landmarks on this list so an average of 3 a year will get me to this goal. I’m killing it this year though- so far I’m up to 4 and then we are visiting 2 more in August!
Landmarks visited in 2015:
Hooray! I finally read another book this year towards my goal. I actually read a couple of books this month but Radio Shangri-la is the only one I can add to my list as a book from a new country.
Radio Shangri-la is about a woman from LA who is disenchanted with the hustle and bustle of her life when she learns about Bhutan, a country that measures its success in GNH (Gross National Happiness) instead of GNP. Sounds like just the place she needs to go to get away from things, so off she goes to be a consultant to their up-and-coming youth radio station and experience life in a country that’s been shielded from the outside world for so long.
This is a great read, well listen actually as I checked-out the audio book and listened to it back and forth to work for the past couple of weeks. This is one of those books that I couldn’t wait to get back in the car to hear more about this little country and the people she came to know and love.
Books read in 2015 towards goal (links take you to my reviews of each book):
- The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (Afghanistan)
- That Scandalous Summer (England)
- Radio Shangri-la (Bhutan)
Goal #2: #Take12Trips in 2015
As my business trip continued into July L and I made the most of the weekends with a couple of day trips from Hamburg to Lubeck (it was soooo hot!) and Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and then our weekend get-away to Berlin. I loved Berlin! I was intrigued about Berlin and couldn’t wait to visit but I really didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did and we saw a ton of stuff. Eventually, one day, I’ll write all about it. :-)
Trips Taken in 2015:
- Explored more of my home country of Canadaa (January)
- Weekend get-away to Bath, UK with L (February)
- Weekend road trip to Dallas, TX with the kiddo (February)
- Learned more about the history of World War I with visits to cemeteries, memorials, museums, and battleground sites, along with exploring some UNESCO sites in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg (March)
- Weekend road trip to Austin, TX with the kiddo (April)
- Tour of Albania (May)
- Exploring more of London and surrounding area and weekend get-away in Paris (June)
- Day trips to Lübeck and Bergen-Belsen from Hamburg and a weekend in Berlin (July)
Goal #3: Global Eats
July was another great month for new foods as I tried everything suggested in Germany- from jagerschnitzel to Berliner and everything in between. My favourite local eats though was the night we ate at the wine festival in Hamburg right in front of City Hall. Lots of good food, drinks, music, and people watching. Definitely stop at local festivals if you ever get the chance.
What an awesome month July was in terms of working towards my goals, meeting some, and even exceeding some goals! August has more travel in store for us as we head to California in a week, but then things are going to slow down on the travel front until November. Honestly though, as much as I love to be out seeing new things, well I think a little down time is going to be nice for a little bit too. I’m sure by November I’ll be itching to head out exploring again.