Jan 3

7 Top Travel Experiences I WANT To Have

Somehow, 2015 sped past me in a blur. When I stop to think back on my year, I can hardly remember what even happened. Weird. I’m not sure if it’s because it was super fast-paced or if I’ve just been hyper-focused on my career and scheming next steps. As it turns out, though, I did quite a lot in 2015.

I went to Europe–twice–for the first time since 2009, discovering Switzerland, Germany and Croatia, and returning to my favorite city Paris. I traveled to South America for the first time, communing with Pacha Mama and scaling Machu Picchu in Peru. I made it to New York, LA and Key West a few times. I visited my best girlfriends in Savannah. I even had my most exciting boating adventure to date in Cay Sal, Bahamas, complete with crazy bull sharks, green flash sunsets, the Milky Way in full effect and mouth-watering yellow jack crudo, permit filets and grilled lobster from the day’s catch–and I got to chronicle it all for a fancy British super yacht publication with an embossed cover called BOAT International.

On the career front, I became the Miami destination expert for The Telegraph and published cover stories in The Miami Herald and Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida that I’m really proud of. Yeah, I guess 2015 was another good year.

With the New Year here, I’m mostly in “keep on keepin’ on” mode. I want to continue to travel purposefully and I hope to plan long term stays in a few different cities in 2016. There are also a handful of travel experiences on my radar that I’d love to have. I doubt I’ll get to all of these in 2016, maybe one or two, but these trips are the top travel experiences of my heart’s desire (in no particular order).

1. Sailing Collective

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Thailand in December. Photo courtesy of Sailing Collective’s Instagram.


Okay, I’ve been Insta-stalking these guys all year. The Sailing Collective makes embarking on a weeklong sailing adventure in far flung locales across the globe a cinch by taking care of the logistics (boats, itinerary, food) and the man power (captain and crew). This winter, they’ll be heading to Thailand, Greece, Madagascar and Croatia, to name a few outrageously idyllic destinations to choose from. I’ve long dreamed of a sailing vacation through an exotic locale and a trip with Sailing Collective is what I’m really gunning for in 2016.

2. Glamping

Look, I don’t even care where I do it, although, when I picture glamping, I picture Big Sur: communing with Mother Nature amidst the ponderosa pines (sans WiFi or cell connection), frolicking on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and sleeping underneath the stars inside a temperature-controlled, boho-chic teepee that I don’t have to pitch and with people on staff who do the cooking and the cleaning around the campfire for me. Sign me up. I also hear there’s cool things to see in Marfa, Texas and the California desert.

3. Rockaway Beach surf culture (in season)


The Rockaway Beach Surf Club in Queens, New York on a crisp September afternoon.


Admittedly, I got a taste of the Rockaway Beach surf culture this year with my friend Rebekah, but it was mid-September at the tale end of the season and the beach was practically empty save for a few surfers braving the 59 degree temps with us. I want to see it in its full hipster takeover at the height of summer and catch a few more waves too. On the same note, I’m also super curious about the vibe in Montauk and the North Fork.

4. Yoga retreat


Yoga posin’ in Peru.


Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Bali, you name it, I’m there. Two years ago, I went to my first weeklong surf camp in Costa Rica and I’d love to do something similar with yoga. Surf + yoga? Even better. Some of my favorite Miami yoga teachers, Amy Dannheim and Sharon Aluma, planned incredible retreats last year in Central America, and Amy’s already got retreats in Cuba and Bali on the calendar this year. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get it together and join one.

5. Burning Man vs. Coachella?

I mean, what do you think? Should I do either? Both? Neither? I don’t even know. My short-lived love of festivals might have peaked at Ultra circa 2013. Although, I do like the idea of losing my mind in the desert for a few days. It would just take some serious planning and the right crew…

6. Cuba

Cuba, I feel like I should’ve made this trip happen by now. As a Miami-based travel journalist, and with the gradual lifting of travel restrictions that played out over the course of the year, it feels like it’s my job to check it out. I’m curious about Cuba on a lot of different levels, from its socio-political issues to the culture that’s so engrained in the city I live in. I also want to retrace Hemingway’s footsteps and recreate the second part of Islands in the Stream where he proceeds to drink daiquiris all day at La Floridita.

7. Kauai

Part of me feels like Hawaii is my destiny, like my soul belongs there, living freely amidst its lush flora, waterfalls, surf and volcanoes. I read a couple of great travel stories this year about Kauai in Travel + Leisure (sorry can’t find the link) and Afar, and I loved the way they depicted this neo-hippy haven of organic farming, simple living and astounding beauty. Maybe one day I’ll have my own little self-sustaining bungalow in the jungle and work on boats again while I write… or at least I could check it out for a couple of weeks. I also have an old friend making a life for himself in Oahu who I’d love to visit.

What about YOU? Any of these trips sound dreamy? What travel experience do you most want to have?

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  • http://thewordygirl.com Maria Tettamanti

    Hawaii is on my bucket list too!

    • http://www.shaynebenowitz.com/ Shayne Benowitz

      Love it!