Looking Forward: The Next 6 Months

I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad March is over.

March is what I’d call a grunt month. That shoulder season where we’re about done with skiing, but the weather isn’t quite ready for outdoor fun. So March was a lot of work with little play.

But April is here! Wildflowers! And wildflowers means Summer is around the corner. And it means it’s time to bust out climbing guides and maps and figure out this year’s travel plan.

Now where will the next 6 months will take us?


A church in Granada, Nicaragua (by dfbarrero)
A church in Granada, Nicaragua (by dfbarrero)

Nicaragua is an impulse trip, born out of a wedlock of a frustrating work day and a credit card. More on this next week.

Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec

by Queberegion
by Queberegion

Montreal and Quebec

I’ve been practicing my ‘comment ca va?’ in preparation to traveling to this French side of Canada. I find the opportunity to practice my French (which I’ve been learning online) is just as exciting as seeing what this area has to offer.

Toronto* Partially sponsored trip

Toronto is this year’s host of North America TBEX, a travel blogger conference. Explorer’s Edge is taking a group of us kayaking, canoeing, and mountain biking in areas around Algonquin Park, the Almaguin Highlands, Muskoka and Parry Sound.

When I look at a map, I can’t help but go, “Whoa, Canada is huge! What’s over there?” This is an opportunity for me to find out a small part of the answer.

Northern Montana

Too many people who know how much we love the outdoors have been telling us, “You guys have to go to Montana!” so we’ve decided to heed this advice. From what I’ve seen, I’m in love already: mountains, big sky, rivers, glaciers! The one question that came to mind: “Why haven’t we gone here already?”

Bugaboos Provincial Park, and more British Colombia

Bugaboo PP (by larryadventure)
Bugaboo PP (by larryadventure)

Every year we set our eyes on a couple of climbing destination routes. They’re almost always technically easy, logistically difficult (we’re lazy, that’s why they’re only a couple a year), but incredibly beautiful climbs. One of these year’s goals is the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire in Bugaboos Provincial Park, BC, Canada. A 5.4 climb that promises ‘spectacular exposure’.

We’re very excited about this climb because it’s our kind of climb: easy but very rewarding in terms if vista.

I mean, look at that pic!

Turkey, Georgia, and (Armenia?)

by blieusong
by blieusong

I’m so happy that Turkey and Georgia haven’t joined the Schengen area yet, because that means as an Indonesian passport holder I can still visit these countries and get visas on arrival. That, alone, is often reason enough for me to go travel to a country. But I’ve wanted to visit Turkey and Georgia forever so this is meant to be!

Jack has been training for an ambitious climbing goal for next year so I’ve been having a hard time convincing him to come on these trips unless there’s climbing involved. I’m sure there are mountains in Turkey and Georgia, so my mission is to find pics of mountains to entice him.

Your turn
As you can see, the details of these trips are still very vague. So let us know if you have any tips.
Do you live in one of these places and would like to meet up?
Do you want to stay in our downtown San Francisco apartment for free in the summer in exchange for cat sitting?

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42 Replies to “Looking Forward: The Next 6 Months”

  1. Hello Jill,
    We are currently RWT and I'm from Istanbul! Here is my hit list for Turkey
    1. Spend one week in Istanbul, you can stay in Sultan Ahmet area but you must visit Kadikoy a lot of antique shops, nice cafes, good food and calmer feeling compare to Europe side of the city.
    2. Kapadokya is a World wonder but touristy of course
    3. In the south coast Fethiye is very nice town.
    4. Marmaris is very beautiful in the west coast.
    5. Kemer and Olimpos in the south coast between the mountains, it's gorgeous.
    6. Bozcaada Island
    7. Sirince Village is famous of making wine
    8. Efes Ruins near Izmir in the west coast
    10. Side Amphitheatre in the south coast near Antalya

    West Coast of Turkey is rather dry but there are many pretty bays you can explore, south coast by the Mediterranean sea is greener and surrounded by Toros Mountains.

    Food to try
    1. Lahmacun(some call it Turkish pizza) with ayran (yogurt drink)
    2. Gozleme with cheese, veg or meat stuffing.
    3. Iskender Kebap
    4. Mezes (little plates like Spanish tapas) with raki(strong typical Turkish alcholic drink)
    5. Efes Beer of course

    Things to watch out…
    1. Normally Turkish man are reserved towards woman. They respect and there is certain distance still between man and woman. If they act to close to you, it's not normal.
    2. I would not get into the taxis late in the evening by yourself.

    Turkey normally is a safe country nothing to worry about when it comes to safety. Turkish people are very friendly and welcoming I'm sure you will have a great time!
    Have fun and take lots of pictures.

  2. You're so lucky to have a trip in Toronto that is partially sponsored at least you wont think too much about travel cost.
    I want to experience camping at Bugaboos Provincial Park it's kinda exciting.

  3. Hi Christine, thank you for the tips. I looked into getting to the Caribbean side of Nicaragua but like you mentioned, it's too hard to get to. So I've decided to skip it. I go back to Indonesia every other year so yes, I'm very excited to dive there when I go back!

    Hope your RTW travel is going well 🙂

  4. Indeed these are the places that are worth visiting! I have not been in any of these places, but will be flying to Toronto form some business reasons. After the work, i am planning to visit Algonquin Park and do snorkeling in the river. I just love it!

  5. Hey Jill,

    I have been reading your blog off and on since we were in Colombia in December. Just wanted to thank you for posting all this helpful travel information. My boyfriend especially appreciates your tip on trucha al ajillo in Salento. We ate at the restaurant you recommended for every single meal while we were there, and we still miss that place.

    We're currently on our own RTW trip, and it's always nice when we happen to match a country or place with you so that we can read your tips. We were in Nicaragua in December, and I can echo the recommendations for Isla de Ometepe and Granada and Leon. I also heard that the Corn Islands and Caribbean side are really nice, but they're a bit hard to get to, so we didn't make it there. But the Corn Islands are supposed to have pretty good scuba diving (for the Caribbean), and since you recently got certified… Still, I'm not sure how often you go to Indonesia, but the scuba diving there is supposed to best in the world, so maybe you would just save up for that instead. We're heading to Sulawesi after Malaysia and can't wait to dive in Lembeh and Bunaken!

    Anyway, we also live in SF (when we aren't traveling). Would love to meet you in person someday. We would offer to cat-sit, but we won't be back yet. Maybe your next trip!


  6. You're going to LOVE turkey! Haven't been there myself yet (hopefully next year!) but have done a lot of research! Awesome 6 month plan! I'll be following along! Have fun!

  7. Hi Jill, that's a great list. Been wanting to go to Nicaragua. I can't wait to read your take on it. Your Canadian destinationts are wonderful, too. I'm sure you'll love Turkey; that's one of my favorite places. Are you climbing Mt. Elbrus in Georgia? I hope you do and make me jealous. As for us, other than the trip to Bhutan (my dream!) in September nothing else is finalized yet.

  8. Oh, Quebec! I'm in love with that city!! So bummed that all of my pics from Quebec were lost when my last laptop crashed, so I'm looking forward to seeing your pics. And Nicaragua sounds great too!! Curious to see your posts on Montana. And when in Turkey, be sure to go to Cappadocia and Ephesus!

  9. Some wonderful plans. Of all the places I've been, Turkey is the country where I would have liked to spend more time, and where I'm most anxious to return. I hope you have lots of time to enjoy it thoroughly. There's a lot to see.

  10. I couldn't agree more about March. I spent July to February in South America and then came back to the coldest March London has ever seen (almost). Your plans look very exciting. The only one I've been to is Turkey. Olu Deniz is pretty, although very touristy. If you go, you should definitely try the paragliding!

  11. That cat sitting offer sounds super tempting. Wish I had some more vacation days left :/ I've already got a trip booked to Los Angeles. Tickets are fixed though:/

  12. I don't really know much about turkey or the countries around there except that they are definitely options for us for the same reason you have. We're going to try for the Schengen visa first, but if that fails or proves too difficult, we might give Turkey and some Middle East countries a go.

  13. Haven't been to any of these destinations, so I can't give you any tips I'm afraid, but I am looking forward to your hiking posts. Just finished the Everest Base Camp trek and can't wait to go on my next trek now.

  14. Wow! What an exciting group of trips!

    I love love love Northern Montana!

    Hopefully I have enough money left after Europe to go to TBEX. I have my ticket booked, and it's only a 5 hour drive from my home in Detroit, so I really have no excuses.

  15. Ahhhhh NICARAGUA!!! You are going to love it… it's one of my favorite countries in the world. Don't miss Granada & Isla de Ometepe. Looks like you have a great 6 months ahead of you.

    1. Hehhee, I know how much you loved it, Jaime! Looking forward to climbing that volcano you climbed when you were there.

  16. What an exciting six months! I dream of visiting most of these places, especially Montana. I'd love to go horseback riding under that enormous blue sky!

  17. How fun and exciting! I love how you're so efficient with your travel plans. I'm barely planning summer 🙂 I've heard great things about northern Montana and Glacier NP so looking forward to those posts. Turkey will be awesome! Hoping to bump into you at TBEX!

  18. There are definitely mountains in Georgia!! Head up to Svaneti and Kazbegi and you should find plenty of trekking to do.

  19. I live in Kelowna, BC and if you come through the Okanagan valley I'd love to meet up and show you around a few spots within the wine region!
    And yes it would be my pleasure to cat sit in San Francisco for you but I can only stay for 3 days unless I can switch off with another housesitter?

    Anyways let me know if you're coming through at all, I'll plan an al fresco dinner within a winery.

  20. I love how you are combining the adventure of climbing with the adventure of travel. I visited Toronto/Montreal/Quebec last summer and had an amazing time. You'll love it!

  21. Woo hoo! So much fun in just 6 months! Turkey is amazing, especially Cappadocia.

    I'm off to Minneapolis, New York, and a fabulously remote and un-wired island in Maine and perhaps a few other places (Hawaii? Seattle? Vancouver? somewhere my miles will take me!).

  22. We're jealous of your pending visit to Turkey! You'll love the country. So exotic. And so varied. Istanbul: exciting East-meets-West city. Bodrum: beauty and the beach. Cappadocia: underground cave cities and "fairy chimneys." Enjoy…

  23. Wow! All places I have not been to. I wish I could say that I'm going to Toronto for TBEX, but it's just too expensive for me this year.

  24. Turkey, Georgia and Armenia sounds awesome! I will be green with envy when that goes down =)

    Oh, and you should probably add Nashville in October to those plans, too, as I have some exciting news to announce soon….

  25. Looks like an exciting 6 months! Guess who else is going to Toronto?! 😀 I'm partially jealous you'll be doing all those fun outdoor activities. Hopefully we'll see you there!

  26. Turkey is one of my favorite places ever, and I didn’t have nearly enough time to explore it. Armenia and Georgia would be amazing I’m sure. We tried both cuisines in Moscow and if nothing else, I bet the food will be good! I didn’t like Nicaragua much, but I was only there for work. Haven’t seem much of Canada, but Montana is great so you guys will have quite the year!

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