Rhodes, Greece

Travels + Goals for 2018

I was going to skip the talk of goals entirely this year but it felt a bit unceremonious to let 2018 arrive without sharing a bit about our goals and travel on the horizon in this coming year. I’ve always made it a goal to be a bit more spontaneous with our travels and in being true to that sentiment, I’m starting the year with a last-minute trip! I’m a bit past the idea of making goals each year because each year boils down to mostly the same sentiment and this year is no different: be my best self. For me that’s finding new ways to give back, making healthy choices and keeping wellness top of mind, finding new challenges and opportunities to expand my skill set, engaging in cultural exploration and language learning, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, and generally making myself a better contributor to this world. Those goals will continue this year and hopefully I’ll emerge from 2018 a bit better than when I started it. On the horizon this year, we have a number of adventures that I’m very excited about; each is a bit different in terms of dynamics, and I know there will be some impromptu getaways that we haven’t yet planned!



I’m kicking off 2018 with a girls getaway with one of my best friends in Antigua. With just a long weekend to get away, we needed a place that I could easily get to (a tall task when you live in the Caribbean), and one that was simple for her from JFK. When I’m off on girls trips, one of the other secret criteria is that the destination cannot be one that Scott really wants to visit (lest he have major FOMO). Guadeloupe, Martinique and Antigua were shortlisted and Antigua made the final cut! TransAnguilla Airways is now offering direct service from Anguilla to Antigua which helped in my decision-making. We’ll be staying at a great boutique hotel and I’m excited to share the inside scoop on crafting an island-based girls getaway. FYI, we just booked this so this absolutely falls under ‘spontaneous’ in my book.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Courtesy of Ted McGrath via Creative Commons

We rarely leave for more than a weekend in February or March but this year a special wedding is taking us to Mexico at the end of February where Scott will be standing as a best man. We’ll be visiting Zihuatanejo for sun, sand + plenty of margaritas on Playa La Ropa. It’ll be my first visit to that area and it’s a part of Mexico that I’ve always been a bit intrigued with seeing (mainly since seeing Shawshank Redemption).

Nashville, TN

2017 brought a bit of American exploration and we’re continuing that in April with a trip to Nashville! The trip is mostly pleasure with a dash of work thrown in for good measure, but we’re looking forward to a few days of US sightseeing and a hefty helping of country music.

Rhodes + Symi, Greece

Symi, Greece

Our big trip this spring is a family vacay. Each year we prioritize doing one trip with my family somewhere new, and it’s one thing that we all agree is an important investment in memory making. With all of us scattered about the globe (me in Anguilla, my sister in Korea, my parents in California) in some years it’s the only time I get to see them. This year in particular will be the first time I’ll have been with my sister in 2 1/2 years (seriously – Ireland was the last time!). We spent a while narrowing down destinations before finally settling on Greece; beach for mom, history for dad = major win. A combo of Rhodes, Symi + Athens will make up our 10-day holiday!

September/October Expedition

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Generally speaking, September/October is our big gulp of air after a busy season, and we spend a fair bit of time brainstorming ideas for our annual grand adventure. In 2014, we spent the time in the Middle East exploring Israel and Jordan. In 2015, we split time between Ireland and Basque Country for some European flair. In 2016, we trekked through East Africa with a luxurious grand finale in South Africa. This past year, we headed back to Europe for a bit of Adriatic immersion in Croatia, Slovenia, Venice and beyond. This year we’re looking for something altogether different from what we’ve done in the past and have settled on exploring Asia, a continent that I have yet to visit (unless you count the Middle East). Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Indonesia have all made the shortlist. If you have recs or suggestions, PLEASE share them below!

Sonoma, CA

Sonoma, CA

We’ll be capping off our trip – wherever that may take us! – with a trip to Sonoma to watch a friend get married near our home towns in Northern California. It’s been a while since we’ve been back to California together and while we often discount our home state as a destination when we’re trip planning, there’s no doubt that it will be spectacular! The longer I live internationally, the more I realize how lucky we are to be born and bred Californians. ☀️

Cheers to a fantastic 2018 ahead! Wishing everyone a year of success, of great adventures, and of being your best self always.

What are your plans and goals for this year?

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.