As I approach the end of one year, it’s the perfect time to look ahead and see what 2019 has in store for me. The short answer is: lots more travel!
Between my various work trips and holidays, 2019 will be spent on the move, but nearly always to places I love visiting. So far, the year looks like this (I’m leaving out various work-related day-trips):
January starts with a few days in Chester, attending a psychology conference. I don’t anticipate seeing much – or even any – of Chester. For one thing, the conference is pretty full on and for another, the hotel looks to have a nice spa – where I’ll be spending my free time soaking and sweating.
After a quick pit-stop in London, I have a few days working in Dublin. I have monthly trips planned for Dublin right through until July 2019. As ever, I’ll be staying in my favourite hotel and hoping to catch up with University friends and enjoying some of the down time that visits to Dublin bring. Spent in some of its excellent pubs, enjoying the locally-brewed Guinness.
At the end of January, @TheFrankFlyer and I are off to Japan again! As I wrote previously, I’ll be flying separately, in an effort to clock up some tier points, to retain my British Airways gold card. This entails an overnight in Amsterdam and flying to Tokyo via Helsinki and Seoul. Madness! But tremendous fun. I can’t wait to take loads of photos and write about it all here.
@TheFrankFlyer and I are going to spend a long weekend in Helsinki. One of my favourite cities, I’ll be looking forward to sampling some great saunas. Hopefully in peace and quiet, as is the Finnish way.
We’re not anticipating great weather – it is March in Finland after all – but our experience has been that as long as you dress appropriately, it’s absolutely fine.
We’ve literally just confirmed this one! We’re going to visit Bangkok (my first ever visit!) for a couple of days and then scoot over to Singapore. We’re flying with Qatar Airways again, necessitating a stopover in Doha – but their luxurious lounge makes this no bad thing. It’ll also be my first experience of Qatar Airways’ ‘Q Suite‘ on-board layout.
I’m really excited about getting to see some of Bangkok. We’ll be there for just over 48hrs, so it’s very much a taster visit. I know I’ll be back again some day.
We have a week in Mallorca booked in May, where we’ll spent some time with the in-laws and also work on topping up the tan! While I’m hoping for some beach time, the main attraction will be poolside lounging at a hotel that’s new to me – the facilities look amazing.
The goal here is pure relaxation, no tourist activities. Just tanning, swimming, eating. And some running, too – to do something about the inevitable impact of the food and drink on my waistline. There are no naturist beaches anywhere near where we’re staying on this trip, so I’ll be in shorts but trying to minimise the tan lines!
Early June, we’re off to Sitges Pride. Last year’s jaunt to Sitges for the Pride festival was an absolute blast, so I’m hoping for more of the same in 2019. Daytime spent tanning and swimming at the beach at Platja dels Balmins, nighttime spent bar-hopping and dancing in town. With a few hours in between to catch up on sleep.
It’s the kind of holiday where you need another holiday afterwards just to get over it all! Most of my relaxation there is experienced on the beach, but given the Pride crowds, you need to get down there early in the morning to guarantee a lounger and parasol. But it’s definitely worth it – for comfort and to avoid any unfortunate sunburn.
Now that we’ve booked this trip, it’s time to see who else we know is going and coordinate plans accordingly. It’s always more fun with a group, and I’m introduced a few visiting friends to the naturist beach and the joys of swimming sans shorts. Let’s see what I can manage for the naturist cause in 2019!
The highlight of our travel plans (so far) is a two-week trip to Osaka and Tokyo. Now that British Airways have restarted direct flights to Osaka, we can start our holiday there and end up in Tokyo, from where we’ll fly back two weeks later. Direct flights this time – no crazy pan-European points-collecting itineraries.
I’m looking forward to the spectacular food in Osaka and the very fun nightlife. Then we can catch up with friends in Tokyo and enjoy far too many late nights in Shinjuku Ni-Chome before sleeping all the way home.
This doesn’t include all my planned and un-planned business travel to various places around the UK and in Ireland. These help me collect enough frequent flyer points and status points to make the other trips possible and financially viable.
So, I should have no shortage of content for the travel portion of this blog in 2019!