Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Israel

2 0 1 4 // A Year of Travel

From Georgia’s Sea Island to Mexico and Peru, 2013 brought us some incredible travel experiences. On New Year’s Eve, we had dinner with our family as we toasted to a great year of memories in the past year and a wonderful year ahead. No doubt, 2013 will be a hard one to top but there are always incredible memories to be made. We’ve already planned out some incredible destinations for this coming year that have made my traveling heart go pitter-patter more than ever before. Peru was an incredible trip, and under normal circumstances (read: not planning a wedding), we would have spent months dreaming about our time in South America, planning out restaurants and sites that topped our list. Instead, our mission to plan a killer wedding sadly overshadowed our journey to Peru. We still had an amazing experience but without the anticipatory lead up that makes wanderlusts tick (am I the only one that gets excited about the planning process?). This year, we’ve marked our calendars with adventures to keep us pumped — and planning! — all year long.


Champagne Beach, Dominica

Our first real getaway of 2014 (not counting weekend stints) is a visit to our neighboring island of Dominica with a stay at Jungle Bay. Dominica is one of the larger Caribbean islands, yet many people look at me with a look of confusion when I mention the island. “You mean the Dominican Republic?” Nope. I mean Dominica. An island of jungle, waterfalls, thermal springs, Dominica provides a Caribbean experience that’s entirely different than that of Anguilla.

Washington, DC + Annapolis

Washington DC

Scott and I will be heading to Annapolis in May to toast to our friends as they tie the knot at the Naval Academy! Since we’re making the trip, we’re going a few days early to spend some time in DC. Scott lived in the District for a while during his tenure at GW so I’m excited to visit DC again with a built-in tour guide.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco

No year would be complete without spending time in San Francisco. We made two trips to SF last year and we have one on the docket for 2014. My cousin — another one of my bridesmaids! — will be getting hitched in the city. Since we’re making the trip, we’ll likely stay for 7 – 10 days, giving us a chance to spend some time in Napa Valley, too. Cheers to that!

Israel + Palestine

Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, Israel

I don’t know that I’ve ever been so excited about a travel experience. I’ve long wanted to visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories and we’re finally making the trip later this year. We’ll be going with a small group and will be experiencing Jerusalem, Tel Aviv (briefly), the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights and will venture a bit further into the West Bank during some of our explorations. This will be a first-time experience in the Middle East for both of us!


Petra, Jordan

Since we’ll be heading into Israel later this year, we’re adding on a couple of days in Jordan to see Petra. Petra was also on my top 10 travel list a while back so I’m extra excited to be adding this on to our adventure.

We have a few more little getaways in the works but those are the big journeys on our calendar for this year. If anyone out there has spent time in Israel and has recommendations for adventures to add on the front end of that trip, please share your thoughts!

Which destinations are on your travel list for 2014?

Shannon Kircher, The Wanderlust Effect

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. Additionally, Shannon is the founder of Compass & Vine, a luxury boutique travel design firm, and is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort. Shannon holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a current candidate for WSET Level 3 in Wines & Spirits.