Quick trip to Cafe Blue in Irish Town, Jamaica

Juleen’s (Mostly) Travel Bucket List for 2020

Juleen’s (Mostly) Travel Bucket List for 2020

What do most people do at the end (and beginning) of each year? We reflect on our achievements, our shortfalls and determine what and how we would like to do better in the next year. Hit the gym, eat healthier, spend more time with friends and family are all pretty common goals.

Another common goal might be to travel more. I know it’s definitely always one of my resolutions. At the end of each year, in addition to the aforementioned goals, I like to reflect on my travels and new experiences and determine where I would like to go and what kinds of experiences I would like to have in the coming year.

Like many people, I have a bucket list and there is a whole section dedicated to travel and new experiences. Each year, I use this lifetime bucket list to help determine my goals for the year. But first, let me reflect on my travels for 2019. What did I do last year?

  • I went to Germany for work, but all work and no
    Schlossbergturm (Castle Tower
    Schlossbergturm

    play makes Juleen a dull girl, so naturally I explored and had some fun when I was off the clock. Even better, my work conference in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany coincided perfectly with Freiburg’s Wine Festival and trust me, this girl was there every night. I also did a hike up to Schlossbergturm (Castle Hill Tower), got half way up the tower before my fear of heights kicked in and I basically crawled back down and waited for everyone to come down. I ate a lot of good food including obviously a lot of sausage but also tried Moroccan food for the first time, and I walked in the Freiburg Bächle almost every night even though the water was freezing.

    Sunset in Freiburg during hike to Schlossbergturm
    Sunset from Freiburg during hike to Schlossbergturm
  • I went home for a month. Needing a visa for the US worked in my favour this time because during my trip to Germany, my US visa expired which meant I got a free trip home to Jamaica since I couldn’t return to the USA without first renewing my visa. It’s always a pleasure to be home but I have to admit, I did not do as much as I would have liked. I barely even made it to the beach. Something about being home that just makes me a bit lazy when it comes to touristing, but I need to do better.
Irish Town
Quick stop in Irish Town
Quick trip to Cafe Blue in Irish Town, Jamaica
Quick trip to Cafe Blue in Irish Town, Jamaica

 

 

View from hills of Irish Town

    View from hills of Irish Town
  • I visited three new states in the United States. Indiana on a work trip and tried ribs for the first time, Louisiana to New Orleans and Nevada. Vegas baby! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Just kidding, my NOLA and Vegas vlogs will be released soon. Subscribe to my YouTube channel (and hit the bell!) to get notified.
  • I visited Orlando twice, once for a baecation and another for a birthday/girls’ trip. We visited the water parks, the amusement parks, watched performances and more but it’s safe to say, I am fine not going to Orlando anytime soon.
  • Oh wait, and how could I forget? I moved! Bye New York, hello Maryland. I’ve gotta admit, I miss living in the Hudson Valley, particularly during the fall and when I want to visit a winery but I love living in a city again. Hopefully, Baltimore is good to me.

So back to 2020. What are my travel goals for 2020? In general, I like to be a bit broad with my travel goals. It makes them easier to accomplish, especially since I’m not really the type to plan my travels months in advance. Is that cheating? I know that probably goes against the golden rules of goal setting, or does it? They’re still measurable and achievable, just not also very specific. Anyway, drum roll please, here are my 2020 travel goals:

01

Go to my first carnival

You’ve got me. I already have this one planned so I’m cheating but I set the rules here.

I’ve been planning this trip for months now, or over a year if we count the time I spent saving. Trinidad in February, I am ready! I’ve bought my costume, booked hotel and flights, and bought my fete tickets. Outfits, check. I am making my way through my carnival to-do list.

If you haven’t yet, check out my vlogs on preparing for carnival.

02

Visit a new continent

This year, I want to visit at least one continent I haven’t been to before. Obviously I’ve been to North America since it’s where I’m currently residing and also Europe is checked off the list. And I am definitely NOT going to Antarctica (ever? Ever, probably ever) That leaves me with South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Which do you think it’ll be?

03

Visit 3 new states

Let’s make a dent in another item on my lifetime bucket list: visit all 50 states. In 2020, I want to try to visit at least 3 new states. As I said, I visited Indiana, Lousiana and Nevada last year for the first time so hopefully I can keep that momentum going.

What are the best states to visit as a twenty-something year old these days? I need suggestions!

04

Visit a DMV-area winery

I started 2020 on a plane to California to drink wine everyday. I’m not complaining but I would like to find something more local that doesn’t require me going on a plane, or even a train. I must be able to find a nice winery close by. Who knows? Maybe I can find a winery for each letter in DMV. Challenge accepted!

05

Visit one winery a month

Building on #4, I also hope to visit at least one winery each month. No excuses. 2020 is my year of exploring more wines, learning more about the wine-making world and getting more into reds. I’m already off to a great start with my one week trip to Sonoma Valley, and visiting about 20 wineries. I even discovered some reds I liked. With this goal, I plan to continue what I started in California.

 

Wine Tasting at the Sbragia Tasting Room
Wine Tasting at the Sbragia Tasting Room

06

Make wine!!

I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret. I think I’ve wanted to own a winery probably since the first time I watched Parent Trap and the dad was a winery owner. I fell in love haha. I realise I was a little kid who didn’t realise what owning a winery entailed but even today, it is still one of my dreams.

With that said, even though a winery owner doesn’t have to be a winemaker, I want to learn firsthand the wine-making process and I learn best by doing. Towards the end of 2019, I got a wine-making kit and during one of my winery visits in Sonoma, the winemaker told me he first made wine using a kit when he was young. Therefore, i’d say I’m on the right path. Step 1 is done, I have the kit. Next is acquiring the ingredients and other necessary tools and then actually making the wine. I’m excited!

07

Finally make it to Mexico?

Mexico has been on my travel goals list for maybe 3 years now. I need to get it together. Let’s go to Mexico, Juleen! If anybody’s going to Mexico this year and looking for a travel buddy, let me know. I need to stop slacking.

08

Explore Jamaica more

As of right now I have no trips planned to go home but I’ve basically been going home at least once a year so it’s likely. If I do go home, I need to find my way to Rick’s Cafe, Appleton Estate for a rum tour, anddddd Pelican’s Bar. 

Honestly, I’m usually so annoyed with myself at the end of any trip home. I never do nearly as much as I want to and always find myself with this long list of places I should have visited but didn’t. I’ve explored other countries more than I’ve explored my own at this point. Shameful!

09

Snow Activities

I want to try a snow sport. Although I’ve lived in the northeast for 5 years now, I’ve barely done much related to snow. I’ve been ice skating once during college but I’m not sure if it really counts since I was clinging to the wall most of the time. I was usually too busy being annoyed that there is still snow on the ground to enjoy it, plus, seasonal affective disorder didn’t really help. Also the joy of experiencing snow for the first time was quickly wiped out by my first snow storm.

Plus, many of the snow activities I speak of such as skiing were pretty much out of my college-student budget. In addition, all the stories about people getting injured and movie scenes in which people ski into a tree weren’t very encouraging.

Now that I live in Baltimore where there is barely any snowfall, I’ve gotta say, I kinda miss it. So, with that said, I would really like to try a snow sport. I’m thinking it will probably be snow tubing (does it count as a sport?) which I recently learned about and it sounds like it should be easier and safer for a newbie like me. Wish me luck!

10

Stop waiting for others to be ready

My travel philosophy for this year is to stop waiting on others to be ready to travel or do things with me. In reflecting on the last few years, I realised I missed out on doing some activities or visiting some places because my friends weren’t ready for some reason or another.

However, towards the end of 2019, I decided to go on a 3-week solo trip around the US, and you know what? It’s one of the best trips I’ve had in a while. I left the option open for any of my friends to join but I also accepted that even if none of them could, I would still go and enjoy my trip. I am so happy I did that.

I want to keep that same momentum for the rest of the year and my life. I’m tired of missing out on things because of my “fear” of doing it alone.

11

Bonus

South Africa, Ghana, Vietnam, Cuba, Brazil. I decree that if I make it to one of these countries, I get bonus points. Are bonus points worth anything? Not really, but you know… bonus points!

These countries are definitely high on my bucket list but as I said earlier, I like to make broad goals and naming specific countries is too specific for me, Mexico being an exception.

Well there you have it, my travel bucket list for 2020. What do you think? Do you have any recommendations of places I should visit? What’s on your travel bucket list?

Do comment any trips you have planned. I would love to hear about them.

43 thoughts on “Juleen’s (Mostly) Travel Bucket List for 2020

  1. Those are great goals! I like that they’re big, but not so lofty that they’re unattainable. Mexico has been on my list for a few years, too! I have a few friends who live there so I really have no excuse for why I haven’t visited yet lol

  2. I so hear you on not exploring my own backyard – I’ve brought my daughter to 15 countries and been to many more by myself, but we’ve both only seen two of Canada’s provinces! (And PS – clinging to the wall still totally counts as skating.)
    #10 is soooo important. It’s wonderful to explore w friends and split the cost, but if it’s either not do it or go it alone, I think you’re making the right call. I’d love to hear more about how you navigated that – especially restaurants and experiences that are typically communal.

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, being a solo traveller in restaurants can be hard. Whenever I go to restaurants, I usually say something like “I’m fine sitting at the bar” so I don’t feel like I’m hogging a table they might need and I can always keep the bartender company when they aren’t busy or look at my phone otherwise lol

  3. This sounds like a great bucket list for 2020. I also have a goal of making it to a new continent this year, I’m between Asia and South America, both seem like they have great options.

  4. Love it Juleen! Good to learn more about you through this article. HMU if you wanna go to Mexico! When I get back from Vietnam around July I think I’ll go down south in August/September in time for Dia de los Muertos. Happy writing!

    1. Oh my pleasure. I currently have tentative plans to head to Mexico in May but if not, I’ll definitely let you know. Enjoy your time in Vietnam!

  5. Watchya! Baecation? And #10 is also mine. When I just started exploring more of Jamaica, I’d been in a relationship. Then we broke up and I worried my blog would die because I no longer have a built-in travel partner. Then after the initial sadness wore off, I started going out alone which was amazing but occasionally sparked annoying conversations. Then I got back in a rel and poof, I barely go out alone anymore. I want to re-experience that empowered feeling of sightseeing on my own once more in 2020.

    1. Omg, I’m so jealous of all your trips at home. I’m constantly wishing I could just hop on a plane for the weekend and say “Rochelle let’s go” haha

  6. The Trinidad festival has me intrigued..! I did hear about it in the past and it sounded like a lot of fun! Curious to see the photos 🙂 Otherwise regarding your new continent, let me guess – Asia?

    1. I don’t think I’ll make it to Asia this year unfortunately, especially with the virus outbreak. South America is looking like the most probable option.

  7. I used to work at a DMV winery near Leesburg, Tarara, which I HIGHLY recommend. I go to wineries in the area all the time, it’s so much fun!! I also want to check off a new continent this year, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. All of my currently planned trips are going back to Europe haha

  8. You have a good bucket list for 2020! It reminds me I haven’t done one yet! I normally aim to vsit at least one country a year that I’ve never been to and that’s it lol. I still try to do weekend trips within the Philippines every now and then.

    1. Thank you! I’ve never been to the Philippines so that’s really cool. It’s important to explore your home country and not just the rest of the world.

  9. I love this post! First off, I’m jealous of all the great places you have been able to go for work. Secondly, I also have a goal of visiting all 50 States. You can do it! This is a great list and a great way to start off your new year!

    1. Yes, work trips are a great way to see places without all the costs xD Thanks and hopefully you can also see all 50 states too!

  10. Love this! Think I need to make my own bucket list for 2020! Also make your own wine?! That sounds so cool! (Also need to watch the Parent Trap again now!)

  11. Love these goals, especially the wine-related ones! I’m desperate to go to Jamaica and actually travel there rather than just staying in a resort, so would love to hear anything you have to say in 2020 about your further travels there!

  12. Sorry I missed you while you were in the DMV! If you’re ever back, let me know if you want any locals advice on where to go. I love Jamaica though it is a small country so I get why you want to see other places in the world : ) I teach fitness at the all-inclusives, but agree that you do need to get out and see some of the local area outside the resort to really appreciate it’s full beauty! Where is your favorite locals place to recommend?

    1. Hi Darla, I actually live in the Baltimore area. Moved here a few months ago so I’d definitely love your suggestions on things to do.

  13. Oh my, we just came back from Mexico. I believe it was our 6th trip or so and we absolutely love this country. You should book a flight this very minute and go there. Mexico is a fantastic country and I can give you tons of advice if you are looking for beaches or historic sites.

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