Although I’ve been focused on my travel writing for NerdWallet lately, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to write more on Josh Trips. I also want to continue my annual tradition of writing my travel goals for the next year.
Before going into my goals for 2022, I wanted to look back at my travel in 2021. Before going into whether I was able to achieve my goals, below are some of the highlights from my year in travel:
- After tallying the countries visited in 2021, I’ve now visited over 55 countries.
- I flew Emirates First Class twice, including 2 showers in the air.
- I swam with sharks and rays in Bora Bora.
- I got to visit the pyramids in Egypt and see the brand new Royal Mummies’ Hall at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.
Overall, it was a very good year for travel for me.
My travel goals for 2021 were: Sri Lanka, Bora Bora, Switzerland, Taipei, Dubai, Tallinn, Helsinki, Amalfi Coast, and the Big Island in Hawaii. Of those, I was able to make Bora Bora, Switzerland, and Dubai happen. With COVID-19, travel definitely needs to be flexible and I was able to make the best I could with my cancelled trips — for instance, I swapped Sri Lanka for Egypt and Tallinn/Helsinki/Amalfi Coast for Montenegro.
While there is still a lot of uncertainty with travel in 2022, below is a list of my goals for the upcoming year.
Although I am not confident at all that this trip will take place due to Japan being almost impossible to visit for U.S. tourists since 2020, I have 8 days booked in Tokyo towards the end of May 2022. Currently my plans are to stay at both the Conrad Tokyo and Four Seasons Tokyo (and I was able to book both on significant sale due to the country being locked down). If the trip works out, I’ll be flying home on ANA’s “The Room” business class, which is supposed to be the best business class product in the world right now.
Although my trip to the Baltics in 2021 didn’t quite workout, I’m trying to visit at least one country in the region in 2022 and have Stockholm booked for July. While I’m mainly going to see a work colleague and friend, I’m really excited to spend time out on the water and stay the Hotel Rival which is owned by a former member of ABBA.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever included a specific hotel in my travel goals rather than a destination, but I’ll make an exception for the Waldorf Amsterdam. This has been a dream city property of mine to visit for some years, and after finding some availability in July 2022, I pulled the trigger and booked a trip there. The hotel is steeped in history, with the grand staircase designed by the architect of King Louis XIV. Although with taxes a standard room can cost more than $800/night, I was able to find a room for 95,000 Hilton points per night (with the 5th night free).
In 2021, I had the privilege of staying at the Conrad Bora Bora which turned out to be one of my favorite (if not my absolute favorite) hotels that I’ve stayed at. I loved the experience so much that I was already looking at booking a trip back while on the boat heading to the airport. A few months later, I was able to find 8 nights at 89,000 Hilton points per night (with the 5th night free), so I jumped on the chance and will be going again in October 2022. Although I love experiencing new places, I really can’t wait for my trip back to beautiful Bora Bora.
Since 2020, I’ve had to stay flexible with my travel and I don’t think 2022 will be any different. While I’ll be thrilled if all of the above trips happen, I’m not optimistic that things will go exactly as planned. That said, I am very excited for this new year of travel (whatever it may bring).