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My 2017 Travels & Blogging Plans

Lash at Isla MujeresMy 2017 Travels & Blogging Plans

2017 will be another full year of world travels and blogging for me & LashWorldTour. This year, I’m most excited about two major objectives:

* Exploring all of Central America and central Mexico

* Travel Photography

Travels through Mexico and Central America

Last year I spent an entire nine months exploring the eastern third of Mexico. Even so, I didn’t get enough of that wonderful country. I just love Mexico! So I’ve decided to return to experience some more.

To kick off my 2017 travels therefore…

After spending late January house & cat sitting for my mom & step-dad in Florida, I will fly into Mexico City in mid-February. From there I will explore central Mexico and most of the Pacific coast.

Mariachi band in Cuernavaca

I can hardly wait to visit all the cute, grand, historic towns west of Mexico City that I’ve read about recently. I just love architecture and am very excited to practice my newly acquired photography techniques & skills on Mexico’s phenomenal churches, cathedrals and other historic buildings.

I’ll also turn my camera to Mexico’s great outdoors – deserts, cacti, mountains, volcanoes, lakes, rivers and the vast Pacific coast. I will finally visit the ‘classic American vision’ of Mexico – vast parched deserts filled with little more than cacti and sand; tiny, dusty one-horse pueblos sporting Mexican cowboys in sombreros and pointy boots.

Even though I’ve intently explored the entire eastern third of Mexico, I have yet to see anything remotely resembling this American vision of Mexico. Apparently it does really exist somewhere. And I’m out to find it.

Once I hit Mexico’s extremely long Pacific coast, I’ll venture slowly eastward until I finally reach Guatemala.

I expect my Mexican explorations to take 4 ½ months – from mid-February through June.

Volcanoes at Lake Atitlan

Volcanoes at Lake Atitlan

Guatemala – July

This will be my second visit to wonderful Guatemala. In late 2015 I started my Latin American journey there, exploring in-depth for two months. Guatemala quickly became one of my favorite country in the world. It’s full of diverse scenery, smoking volcanoes, interesting Mayan culture, ancient Mayan ruins and gorgeous colonial towns. I’m excited to return.

I plan to spend about three weeks there re-visiting amazing Lake Atitlan and the charming UNESCO Heritage town of Antiqua. I’ll also finally visit acclaimed Xela city.

El Salvador – August

This will be my first trip to El Salvador. When I began researching about travels there, I was rather amazed to discover that it’s apparently not nearly as dangerous as people generally believe.

Dozens of travel bloggers – most of whom I know personally – have all written about the wonderful mountains towns and surfing beaches of El Salvador. And every single person commented on the country’s relative safety, especially for travelers. Apparently this is an up-and-coming international travel destination.

So let me go check it out! I plan to spend about three weeks there.

Lake Yojoa - Honduras - photo by Aaron Ortiz on Flickr CC

Lake Yojoa – Honduras – photo by Aaron Ortiz on Flickr CC

Honduras – August

Like neighboring El Salvador, apparently Honduras is, for the most part, considerably less dangerous than people believe and also a wonderful country for international visitors. Most tourism takes place on Honduras’s Caribbean coast and islands of Roatan & Utila.

I, on the other hand, will be arriving at the country’s southern Pacific coast from El Salvador. In that region there’s not as much to see and do, so I will limit my visit to only 7-10 days. I’ll explore a small volcanic island just off the Pacific coast, a couple of colonial mountain towns and one big city. Then I’ll be on my way to…

Nicaragua – September

Of all the C American countries I’ve researched, Nicaragua gets the loudest praise from international travelers. Like El Salvador, it’s considered an up-and-coming travel destination. It boasts charming colonial towns, volcanoes that can be hiked, surfing beaches, tourist enclaves and more remote tropical mountain towns. They even offer a unique sport – volcano sledding! I can hardly wait to try it.

I expect it will take me at least one month to explore all the great places I’ve read about.

red-eyed tree frog  in costa Rica - photo by Frank Vassen on Flickr CC

red-eyed tree frog in costa Rica – photo by Frank Vassen on Flickr CC

Costa Rica – October / November

Costa Rica is probably the most famous and well-known Central American country, especially among Americans. It’s full of gorgeous jungles, national parks and tropical islands.

Many HelpX – work exchange – hosts are situated in Costa Rica. Many are small resorts, yoga retreats and eco-resorts. I’m hoping to join one or two, spending a total of two months in the country.

Panama – December / January 2018

Panama also gets rave reviews from other travelers. Big highlights include, of course, the Panama Canal and, surprisingly Panama City. In this region of the world, it seems Panama City is THE place to partake of a modern urban lifestyle fix. Skyscrapers line the Caribbean sea. Shopping malls, cinemas and the latest electronics are available.

There are also islands and beaches to explore as well as many HelpX hosts. I plan to spend about two months there, which will take me into early 2018. One full year of travels.

Santo Domingo Cathedral - Oaxaca - Mexico

Santo Domingo Cathedral – Oaxaca – Mexico

Travel Photography 2017

I’ve been focusing more and more intently on photography during the past two years. In 2017 I plan to step that up even more. In fact, I’ve already started! I’m in the midst of creating my own photography website, which is due to launch next week! So stay tuned for the announcement.

With my greater focus on photography this year, you can expect some exciting changes from me:

* Launch of my photography website

* Launch of my Instagram site

* Daily photographs on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram

* Regular photography tips on LashWorldTour and my photo site

colorful cemetery in Guatemala

colorful cemetery in Guatemala

Meanwhile, out in the field I will be busy with photography as I travel. Specifically, I will:

* Continue photographing all the gorgeous cities, towns, culture and natural areas I visit during my travels.

* Continue developing my advanced photographic skills & techniques

* Delve into HDR photography. (In case you’re not familiar with that, it’s the photography that looks more 3D)

* Teach small photography classes. I started teaching these classes in 2015 in Guatemala and will continue as I travel through Mexico and Central America this year.

Eventually, I hope to begin larger photography travel workshops at gorgeous spots around the globe.

LashWorldTour print screen 2017LashWorldTour 2017:

* New weekly travel tips, stories and photographs of my ongoing adventures through Mexico and C America.

* Featured weekly archived tips and stories from my previous travels around the globe – in SE Asia, Australasia, Central Asia. Far East Asia and Europe

* Daily FB updates and travel questions from the road

* new* Publish ‘one photo a day’ on FB, Instagram, G+, Pinterest and Twitter

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2017 Summary

enjoying espresso & French cake in San Cristobal de Casas

enjoying espresso & French cake in San Cristobal de Casas

As you can see, 2017 will be an exciting year of world travels and photography for me. I’ll be bringing you lots of regular travel tips, stories, destination pieces and – especially – photography from Mexico and Cenral America.

Come follow along on my adventures. Learn about exciting places to visit. Enjoy photos of stunning scenery, gorgeous colonial towns & cities and outdoor adventures.

Stay in touch! Write me with your comments, observations and questions. Get involved with my travel life!

 Meanwhile, you might also enjoy: 

My Best Photo Galleries of 2016

My Best Travel Tips of 2016 

My First Year of Latin American Travels

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