Our intrepid contributors on what’s inspiring them to just go now

Our intrepid contributors on what’s inspiring them to just go now

Three things one voyager learned about travel in 2023 – and her takeaway for 2024.

Jennifer Weatherhead

You can overcome fears if you just keep trying!

The year 2023 brought me one of my busiest travel years to date and it stretched me out of my comfort zone! Three things that I’ve learned about travel this year… I used to be all about checking off new destinations, but since the pandemic I’ve been craving more familiar travel and wanting to go back to places I’ve been before. I’ve reconnected with people I met on previous trips and that brought me more joy than seeing a new site. I’ve come to realize more this year that the sites will (for the most part) be there year after year– that’s not the case with the people, so I am eager to connect more and see less.

You can overcome fears if you just keep trying! I’ve always had a slight fear of heights and this past year I pushed myself to climb bridges in Brisbane, walk around The Edge in NYC and hike higher peaks. The slight fear is still there but I can feel it fading!

And superficially, I became really focused on airline loyalty! Those points and status can really help ease your stress if you can get access to priority lines and lounges. airports are stressful enough and this makes my life so much better! Million mile status – here I come!

DARCY RHYNO’s wishlist for lesser travelled places in Canada and the Caribbean


Courtesy of Discover Dominica

Darcy Rhyno

Darcy Rhyno

Where I’m going next (for 2024): Anticosti Island is calling. The nearly unknown island (population 290) at the mouth of Canada’s St. Lawrence River is larger than the neighbouring province of Prince Edward Island, population 157,000. Always a wonder for its waterfalls, wildlife and rugged coastline, UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site in 2023 for its exceptional fossil assemblage. I’m looking forward to exploring it, on assignment.

Where I want to go in 2024 or bucketlist: The moment I heard that the Caribbean island nation of Dominica created the world’s first sanctuary for sperm whales. Already known as “the nature island of the Caribbean,” Dominica took another giant step forward by protecting 800 sq km of the surrounding ocean, a nursing area for local whales. I yearn to travel there to swim with the whales on one of their small group tours.

JIM BYERS on mixing work with pleasure – and family in California, Hawaii and beyond

Jim Byers and his father

Jim Byers and his father

Aerial view of Maui, Hawaii

Aerial view of Maui, Hawaii

Where I’m going next (for 2024): I’ll definitely be in California (where I grew up) so I can see my Dad and sister. I’ve got plans for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Bequia), Barbados, maybe New Zealand, and a houseboat trip on Ontario’s Trent-Severn Waterway. I’ll be back on Maui to see how the island is recovering from the tragic wildfires, and I also plan to attend the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) convention in Istanbul as I’m on the board of directors. My dream trip? A voyage on the Aranui, a South Pacific supply ship that goes between Tahiti and the Marquesas. I’ve loved Polynesian culture since I was a kid, and the Marquesas are drop-dead gorgeous.

Porto and the Douro River is where SABRINA PIRILLO will be toasting and tasting in 2024

Sabrina Pirillo

Sabrina Pirillo

Traditional historic facade in Porto decorated with blue hand-painted tiles.

Traditional historic facade in Porto decorated with blue hand-painted tiles. Photo by Woody Van Der Straeten

Where I’m going next (for 2024): The city of Porto and the North of Portugal captivate travellers in ways that go beyond traditional cod dishes and glasses of Port wine. It features several UNESCO World Heritage sites – including the Alto Douro, home to both The Côa Valley Archaeological Park (the largest open-air gallery of Paleolithic art in the world) and the famous Wine Region. It features centuries of culture and history, an architectural style that is both classic and contemporary, a culinary scene that encompasses fresh ingredients and old traditions, postcard-like-views, lush rolling valleys of vineyards and olive trees, picturesque accommodations and river cruises along the scenic Douro River. And with more than 250 native grape varieties, the wine isn’t bad either.

JIM BAMBOULIS is turning to the Japanese

Tokyo at night

Tokyo at night by Erik Eastman


Jim Bamboulis

I’ll keep it short and sweet. In 2024, I want to visit Japan to feel the rush of millions of people around me, get pushed and shoved into the Tokyo subway, explore the country’s temples, and for the food, of course. Mongolia is also on my radar both for its rugged terrain, stunning topography, and sheer remoteness.

Heritage and family – and The Big Apple inform JUDI COHEN’s travel plans

Judi Cohen

Judi Cohen


Bhutan by Mike Swigunski

In 2024, I am going to Hungary, to visit my ancestral home, on a five-country Viking River Cruise in July. I’ll be attending travel events in St. John’s, Seville, Spain, Los Angeles and New York City. Speaking of which, I will be in New York City at least once a month throughout 2024 for grandmother duties. Lots more cooking including a Bhutan Adventure in September, and several small ship expeditions in different parts of the world. No moss growing under my feet!

It’s island time for MARTHA CHAPMAN

Sandy Island, Anguilla

Sandy Island, Anguilla. Photo Marcy Yu

Martha Chapman

Martha Chapman

I love small islands with big personalities! I have really enjoyed Anguilla in the Caribbean, Malta, the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon off the Coast of Newfoundland, and most recently, Britain’s Channel Islands. For 2024, I have my hopes up – and fingers crossed – that Scotland’s wild and scenic Shetland Islands will be on my horizon

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