A New Year – Our 2019 Travel Plans

This past year was another banner travel year for us, with so many new places seen and familiar places revisited.  Even if you have been somewhere before, it can seem almost new if you haven’t been there in a while.  It seems no matter how often I visit Southern Utah, I am always discovering something new and fascinating when I visit.  In case you haven’t seen it yet, I put together a post on my Top Photographs from 2018 and there are some images I am pretty proud of in there.


Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island

This year is already promising to be another fantastic year of travel and I could not be more excited about that.  To give you an idea of what you can expect this year in terms of travel blog posts and travel journal entries, I have created this overview of our travel plans for 2019.  I would also love to hear about where you are planning to travel in this new year!  If you have a trip planned to someplace fun, please let me know all about it in the comments section.  I may have some tips for you, and so might some other readers.

2018 Re-Cap

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Machu Picchu in September of 2018

This past year has been one of the most memorable years of travel that I have had, and with that travel, I was able to post an abundance of travel guides and tips for you to use to make your trips a success.  Below are some of my travel stats for last year, along with a recap of some of the travel guides that I posted after my travels in 2018.

Travel Stats for 2018


Countries Visited: United States, Canada, Peru, Ecuador
US States Visited: WI, MN, UT, AZ, NV, MI, TN, NH
Cities Visited: 21
Time Zones Travelled: 5
Miles Flown: 57,048 (2.3x around the Earth)
Flights Taken: 58
Airports Visited: 18
Hours in the Air: 158
Days on the road: 48
Nights in Hotels: 24

2018 Travel Guides


2019 Travel Plans

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The Great Barrier Reef in Australia

This year is quickly shaping up to be every bit as good of a travel year as last year, with some exciting international destinations and a slew of national park trips in the planning process.  I have included a summary of some of the places I am planning on visiting this year below.



The Twelve Apostles near Melbourne, Australia

One of the big trips we are planning on taking this year is a trip to see Australia and New Zealand.  I have really wanted to visit Australia for quite some time, and it looks like this year will be the year to do it.  Like I did with our Machu Picchu and Galapagos trip last year, I will be writing a series of posts on my trip planning process for you so that you can see exactly what went into planning our trip to Australia.  So keep your eyes peeled for those updates soon!

New Zealand


Mount Cook on New Zealand’s South Island

New Zealand is one of my absolute dream destinations and I am so excited that we are going to be visiting this year.  I have long dreamed of going to the South Island of New Zealand to see the beautiful mountains that stretch right into the ocean.  Again, please keep your eyes peeled as I will be posting a series of articles on our planning process for the Australia and New Zealand trip.

Joshua Tree National Park

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Joshua Tree National Park

On the home front, I have several national parks trips planned this year and hope to be able to bring you some more national park guides as the year progresses.  First will be a stop to Southern California where I will be visiting a park that shares my own name, Joshua Tree National Park.  Famed for the abundance of beautiful Joshua Trees that grow in the park, it is also a world renown climbing destination.  I will be visiting this beautiful park in a few weeks (should it be open) and will hopefully have a park guide to share with you in the next few months.

Channel Islands National Park

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Whale breaching off the Channel Islands in Southern California

While I am in Southern California, another park that I will be exploring is Chanel Islands National Park off the coast of Southern California.  Known for its abundant sea life, it is a great place to go whale watching and see marine mammal and shark interaction.  I am hoping to take a cruise around the islands and also get onto the islands to do some hiking, so I should be able to get a great guide on this beautiful park to you sometime soon.

Everglades National Park

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An American Aligator in the Everglades National Park

Sometime this Spring or Summer, I also have plans to take a trip to Southern Florida to visit the national parks that are located near the Florida Keys.  Top on the list is Everglades National Park, which probably needs little introduction.  I am hoping to take a fan boat tour out into the glades and photograph some of the beautiful landscapes and wildlife.  Be on the lookout for a park guide on the Everglades later this year!

Biscayne National Park

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Lighthouse in Biscayne National Park

Another national park in Southern Florida that I hope to explore this Spring or Summer is Biscayne National Park.  One of the least known of America’s national parks, it is also one of the most underrated in terms of beauty.  Biscayne National Park has some of the prettiest coastlines in the US National Parks system and I hope to write about it in a park guide for you later this year.

Dry Tortugas National Park

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Tropical fish in the water off Dry Tortugas National Park

The last of the three national parks that I will be visited in Southern Florida is Dry Tortogas National Park.  Again, one of America’s lesser known parks, but also one of its most underrated in terms of beauty.  I plan on doing plenty of snorkeling and hope to have a great park guide for you to review later this year.

Isle Royale National Park

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A bull moose

Isle Royale National Park is a place that I was hoping to visit last year but was the only place on my list that I wasn’t able to find the time to visit.  I am putting it back on my list for this year as I am really hoping to be able to check out this park.  While somewhat difficult to get to, being as though it is one of the most isolated parks in the continental United States, it is also one of the most fascinating parks.

Long used to study the predator and prey relationship between wolves and moose, it has some of the most pristine woodlands in the continental United States and some great wildlife viewing opportunities.  I hope to have a great guide for you on Isle Royale National Park by year’s end.

Apostle Islands

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Kayaks off the Apostle Islands in Lake Michigan

The Apostle Islands, which is located in Northern Wisconsin in Lake Michigan, is some of the best lake kayaking territories in the United States.  It is a place that I am intimately familiar with, having visited the area a number of times in the past.  However, it is a place where I have yet to actually going kayaking.  Hopefully, that changes this year as I have plans to visit this summer and do some kayaking.  If those plans go thru, then I hope to be able to put together a comprehensive guide for the Apostle Islands for you sometime this summer.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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Another one of the continental United State’s prime kayaking locations is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.  It is another location that I am very familiar with, but have never gone kayaking at before.  My hope is to change that this year and to also be able to provide you with a comprehensive guide for this beautiful lakeshore sometime this summer.

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11 replies »

  1. Sounds like a great year of travel. Last summer we had plans to visit Joshua Tree Nat’l Park while on our 5500-mile road trip, but elected instead to extend our stay in Death Valley. (Flexibility is one of the great things about a road trip!) Ergo, it remains on our list. Looking forward to seeing your posts about it and all your other ones as well. Safe and happy travels in 2019!

    • Thank you! A 5,500 mile road trip sounds epic! I bet you have a bunch of awesome stories and pictures from that. Death Valley is one of the other parks I have yet to visit. One day soon I hope. I heard it’s amazing, especially when the flowers are blooming 😀👍

      • Yes, it was a bit hot (124 degrees) when we were there in late July. Couldn’t really do any hiking. If you can, stay at the Oasis at Death Valley. It’s quite expensive, but stunning and wonderful. (So much so that we spontaneously extended our stay there an extra night.)

    • Thanks Mel! I am going to be posting some planning posts in the coming weeks and would love to hear your feedback! 😀👍

  2. Sounds like an exciting year ahead, I’ve only been to Sydney and nearby areas but I’m sure you’ll love Australia. The Blue Mountains are worth a visit if you’re planning to visit close to Sydney 🙂

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