Now that we're well on our way on another journey around the sun (or at least that's what the scientists tell us – have you personally really ever observed any direct evidence of this? Think about it…), it's time to take a closer look at what to expect in the year ahead.
For the first time in a very long time (one might say, “IN THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER…“) I have a reasonably sound and realistic plan for the entirety of the next year (I think).
It's been a very long time since I've been able to accurately predict where I would be twelve, six, or even three months in the future, but now that I've got a better idea of the things I would like to do (adventure) and the places I would like to do them (everywhere) I think it's safe to lay out a rough outline of what the year ahead may or may not involve.
The only things I didn't get to in 2017 that were on my “will happen” list were hiking Walls of Jerusalem National Park in Tasmania (the road was closed which messed up my plan) and spending a couple of months in Nepal (something pushed back to this year).
So what's on the to-do list for 2018's 525,600 minutes?
Let's take a look.
CAUTIOUSLY PREDICTING THE FUTURE
Obviously, none of this is 100% with certainty going to happen (after all, I am writing this in Christchurch – a city which could be destroyed by an earthquake at any moment), but should everything pan out the way it's happening in my head right now, here's what I am thinking for 2018 – feel free to meet me somewhere along the way with a large sack of money to completely change my course through the world.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY: New Zealand, Australia
- WILL: Finish up five months of traveling and hiking in New Zealand (will not finish everything I want to do and will one day be forced to return to the Middle Earth)
- WILL: Pay a short visit to the marsupial-infested land of Australia (need me some of that sweet, juicy kangaroo meat)
- WILL: Head to Nepal and begin a three-month journey (hopefully all overland travel)
- WILL: Hike up into the Everest region via Jiri (wanted to do this since my first trip)
- WILL: Hike the Manaslu, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri Circuits (because loops are better than out-and-backs)
- MIGHT: Summit a peak (or peaks) over 20,000 ft / 6,000 m (because breathing is too easy)
- PROBABLY WON'T: Summit a peak over 23,000 ft / 7,000 m (because I'm a wimp)
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Freeze to death in the 10°F/-12°C sleeping bag I'm bringing
LATE MAY/EARLY JUNE: Hong Kong? Taiwan?
- MIGHT: Stop in Hong Kong or Taiwan for a couple of weeks to visit some awesome people and/or do some brief hiking of trails (lots of possibilities here)
- PROBABLY WON'T: Go to Mongolia 🙁
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Go back to the US
- WILL: Traverse the Japanese Alps from Niigata to Shizuoka (and then up over Mount Fuji – my least favorite mountain – on the way to Tokyo)
- WILL PROBABLY: Sing lots of karaoke
- PROBABLY WON'T: Make it up to Hokkaido
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Become addicted to pachinko and spend my days wasting away in some sad (but very bright, loud, and colorful) pachinko parlor with the ageing population of Japan
LATE AUGUST: New York
- WILL: Watch two of the most beautiful people I know get married in Upstate New York before doing a brief tour of the Eastern Seaboard.
- MIGHT: Go to the Statue of Liberty? Never been there and think I should probably go at some point
- PROBABLY WON'T: Go back to Fire Island
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Have to spend too much time in Manhattan (after Vegas and Fresno, it might be my least favorite place)
- WILL: Head to California to have lunch with my grandma and visit the immediate family
- MIGHT: Make a stop in Madison, Wisconsin at some point (Go Badgers!)
- MIGHT: If it's not looking like an early winter, head up into the Sierra for a couple of weeks -Sierra High Route? Just wandering around? Should be awesome.
- PROBABLY WON'T: Go to Disneyland
- HOPEFULLY WON'T: Die in a wildfire
OCTOBER-DECEMBER: Europe (UK, Sweden, France, Spain, Portugal)
- WILL: This is where things get fuzzy, but I'm thinking of grabbing a $200 flight to Europe and hitting up the UK, Sweden, France, Spain, and Portugal (possible bicycle trip from France to Portugal).
- MIGHT: Go to Eastern Europe (next time, Poland).
- PROBABLY WON'T: Make it onto the Pyrenean Haute Route.
LATE DECEMBER: Brazil
- After a couple of Europe months? Fly down to Rio de Janeiro for Christmas and New Years.
WHERE IS MY MIND?
So where am I at mentally to kick off the year?
Honestly, I'm in a bit of a weird space right now. It might just be that I've already checked out of New Zealand and am excited to get to Nepal, but there could be something deeper and darker going on as well. Best not to dwell on it.
I'm stoked to have so much to look forward to in the coming year and I want to thank everyone who has supported me, who reads, and who follows Halfway Anywhere. All of you, strangers and friends alike, are awesome people.
Here's to making 2018 a year we can remember without feeling disgusted with ourselves as a species!