Monday 5 January 2015

Twelfth Night - or is it?

My memory is clearly not what it could be, but at least I'm consistent, as my Google history shows. I've always thought Twelfth Night was the 6th of January, but there's a good case to be made for the 5th and since Christmas seems so very last year already, I'm happy to be taking the decorations down today.

Since I always seem to be travelling in October when the run-up begins, I often buy tree decorations instead of more regular souvenirs. That means that every December I get to remember all the places I've been not just this year but previously too, and it's fun to see both the similarities and the differences in the style and design. I've blogged about that before though, so this time I'm coming at it from the opposite angle: will I be going there this year?
I'd like to think that I'd get back to Africa again, though it's pretty unlikely. I'm still deeply involved with the rhino poaching issue (1188 killed this year - more than ever before. It's a disaster) and knowing as much as I now do about it, the one wry feature of my trips is that I've seen, by far, more rhinos than elephants, despite their being much rarer. Elephants have been so (cough) big in our house for over 20 years, it's pretty ironic that I've not yet seen more than three together. I want to see a herd!
Despite the last trip of 2014, to Hungary and Austria in December, giving me a shocking reminder of what it's like to feel really cold, I'm still quite hankering after seeing more chilly places - Iceland is really appealing to me, but I'd settle for Alaska or Canada to see the northern lights and polar bears, and lots of snow. And thanks to the experience of that Danube cruise, I would know how to pack for temperatures that my imagination alone couldn't quite envisage last year.
Will I get to the Lower 48 again this year? I'd happily go somewhere new: Utah looks very dramatic and is an Instagram staple. I'd love to have a chance to get snapping there myself. The southern states are somewhere I've never been, either, and would be another quite different face of America.
Australia is pretty much a given (although I did miss out entirely in 2013, I went there four times the previous year) and although it's suffering badly from bush fires right now, I'd like to go to South Australia again and try out their new shark-diving operation (very safe and no actual diving). WA is somewhere I'd like to explore a bit more too: specifically the Kimberleys.
It looks likely that the UK will be on the itinerary again this year, my second home and always a pleasure to visit, especially if I can get back to Herefordshire. There's always a lot happening in England, and this year has some significant anniversaries lining up.

But, so far, Turkey is the only certain destination in 2015, for the Gallipoli centenary, the main event in a two-week tour of the country. Even if there won't be any Christmas decorations for sale there in April, there's no danger that this time next year I'll need a memory-jogger for that trip. It's going to be epic.

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