It is winter in New York and a long weekend because the US is commemorating President's Day. It is a weekend where I opted to say in town, allowing myself to recuperate from a bad case of the flu just the weekend prior and barely 5 weeks ago, from bronchitis which I suspect I picked up from Manila.
Between viewing marathons of "The West Wing" and "Homeland" I have been browsing through travel books plotting my travel plans for 2013. Always the exciting part, I guess when I often end up with multiple options of possibilities. It is closer to travel dates when my itinerary starts to fall in place more clearly.
May will bring me back home and looking forward to spreading myself under the summer sun in some tropical island. For the fall I thought I would look beyond Europe, maybe see South America or Africa. I have never been to Africa and friends from work have only praises for so many beautiful locations to visit. And aside from a quick trip to Guatemala in 2010, it feels like I have been totally missing out on some South American love.
Oh but Paris - what I would give to be in the embrace of my favorite city again. To drown in the sound of its beautiful chatter, to wait for the sunset in an outdoor cafe and wait until La Tour Eiffel is lit up, enjoying the sights and sounds of Champs-Elysee with maybe a helping of a macaron from Laduree. And the romance of being in Rome - yes, I would love to do that again. And the drive around Tuscany's many hilltop villages. Narrow steep cobbled streets and each with their own fascinating cuisine. I can still hear the accordions and the melodramatic repertoires around the piazzas. The grand ballrooms in Vienna's palaces and their operas. I have to return to Europe. If only to see new places - such as Lagos, Portugal where a friend recently bought a house and she insists that I come stay for a visit to enjoy some sardines and the Atlantic coastline. I have to return to Oslo and recapture photographs that I lost during my visit in 2010. I still need to take that drive along the Amalfi coast line and savor Napoli's cuisine (pizza!).
This is the best time of the year for travel planning. So many places to go, so very little time. But the maps are spread in my apartment's living room floor and I am plotting. And if things work out, if it is not jinxed, work will take me to Brazilia and to Rio de Janeiro in November.