Oh, if we could only be living in precedented times. Still, the outlook for travel this past year was slightly improved thanks to science and modern medicine, and, with any luck, travel in 2022 will look even more optimistic. Here are my blue-sky, best-case-scenario destinations for 2022 in an ideal (read: non-pandemic) world:
Paris and Alsace, France
I had to forestall a trip to France in autumn 2021, but I’m hoping to make it up this year. It’s been more than ten years since my last trip there, and I’m eager to once again wander the streets and museums of Paris and see how the City of Light has changed. I also fell in love with Alsace the first time I visited; I felt strongly that I needed more time to explore the charming Alsatian villages, world-class wineries, and rugged natural landscape that is a draw for so many travellers. And honestly, who doesn’t want to curl up in a winstub during the winter months?
The Bruce Peninsula, Canada
Despite frequent trips to Ontario, Canada, I never feel like I’ve spent enough time there. I’m hoping to see Ontario’s exquisite Bruce Peninsula in June. There is nothing like getting back to nature, and nowhere I feel more primal and in touch with the earth than when I’m in the presence of Canada’s awe-inspiring beauty. Georgian Bay’s crystal blue waters, breathtaking cliffs, and serene forests all fit that bill, I think.
I’ve passed through the Emerald Isle many times since I first started travelling as an adult. As a frequent Aer Lingus flyer, I have become very well acquainted with the Dublin airport without ever actually seeing much of Ireland itself. I hope to change that this year, perhaps spending a few days there before heading on to Great Britain. Ireland’s history, music, and culture has long been a draw for me, and maybe 2022 is the year I finally get to experience some of it for myself.
The Maritimes, Canada
Although my father’s family hails from Nova Scotia (hello, Bluenoses!), it’s been many years since I last made the trip to Canada’s east coast, where its provinces are collectively known as The Maritimes. Maybe it’s the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but I’ve been craving the summers of my youth spent there. I’d love to see Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital, again, and spend some time enjoying the buskers down by the harbour. There’s nothing like strolling Citadel Hill to enjoy the long, golden beams of sunshine on a Canadian evening. And for the best lobster? Hall’s Harbour, hands down. After a couple days there, I’d make my way to Nova Scotia’s crown jewel, Cape Breton Island, to take in views off the stunning Cabot Trail and learn about Canada’s early history at the fortress of Louisbourg. The island is comprised of a unique blend of aboriginal, French, Scottish, and British influences, which is reflected in its unique cuisine and musical heritage. Maybe I’d even tap my toes at a ceilidh or two.
Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia
These two southern cities are a delight I enjoy returning to every time. We were meant to take our “mini-moon” here last year and had to postpone. When the weather turns cold further north, these two coastal cities remain balmy and pleasant late into the autumn, making them the perfect stop for anyone seeking to delay the end of summer a little longer. I can’t wait to stroll the romantic streets of their historic quarters and enjoy some fine Southern hospitality; I’m dreaming of a meal at Husk in Charleston and a drink at The Artillery in Savannah.
Asheville, North Carolina
In 2022, I’m determined to make it to Christmas at the Biltmore. It’s a delight to visit the historic Vanderbilt family home, the Biltmore, at any time of the year, but the place transforms into a magical wonderland during the festive period. With events both day and night (Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration and Candlelight Christmas Evenings), the Biltmore fills my head with visions of sugarplums every holiday season. I’m hoping to round out my travel next year with a few truly special nights at America’s Largest Home.
So that’s what I have on the agenda for 2022 (I hope!) What are your travel plans? Will you stay close to home, or are you thinking of going further afield? Wherever you go, I wish you a healthy and safe adventure! Bon voyage!