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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Looking Ahead to 2014 Travel

Spending the 2013-14 New Year in San Diego, CA

Spending the 2013-14 New Year in San Diego, CA

Where am I going in 2014? I’ve already been asked this several times this holiday season. And with the 2013 I had, I can’t say it’s an unwarranted question. But, quite honestly, and likely for the first time in my life, I really have no idea what my plans are for the coming year.

I’m a planner. Big time. I think I inherited that trait from my father. He’s always been a traveler, too. I think I also inherited that from him, as well as the rest of my ancestors. It seems like everyone in the family has always loved to travel. I’m not sure if that always meant they planned their trips as much or as far in advance as I do, though. But for the first time I can ever recall, I don’t have anything planned.

Inside Mariucci Arena

Inside Mariucci Arena

OK. That’s not entirely true. I have a few things planned. For instance, I’m heading back to Minnesota to see a college hockey game like I did last year. I’m also heading back to the Big Sur area for another writing workshop, just like I did this year. But beyond that, I’ll be damned if I know what I’ll do with my time.

Why don’t I know? Well, I got a dog this last year and that changed my life. A lot. Definitely more than I anticipated. I figured I’d still travel just as much as I always do, sometimes even taking her with me. And she has traveled with me. She’ll do it more, too. But where I don’t know. Having and traveling with a pet is a whole new experience for me. There are so many new and different things to consider. I’d guess it’s much like traveling with a child, but just with more restrictions since Anna can’t go into most restaurants with me, can only stay at certain hotels, and is not always allowed in other places – some hiking trails, for instance.

By all means, I am not complaining. She’s changed my life in a good way. But it just adds a whole ‘nother level to my planning, one which I have to adjust to as I look at more and more destinations. Thankfully I have a great set of friends – you know who you are – who are willing to watch her if I go somewhere big and far away. And thankfully she’s a good enough pooch for them to want her back. I’m very fortunate for all of that, as well as a great many other things. But right now I have no intentions of going anywhere all that far away this year. I think about the farthest away from Denver I’ll get is Vermont.vermont-county-map

Vermont? Yeah, Vermont.

I’m graduating from the University of Denver this year with a master’s degree in Creative Writing. Well, being back in school has created an itch to do more schooling. And there’s a degree I like in Vermont, which only requires low residency. That means I only stay on campus for two weeks at two different times of the year. If I do that, a lot of my vacation time from the office is sucked up in my schooling. But I also get to see and live in a place that I haven’t been to since my youth, and that’s a trip I only recall in very vague snippets.

Why so much schooling and vacation time directed toward writing degrees and workshops? Well, a variety of my interests have morphed and changed over the years as I’ve aged. As they’ve developed, I’ve discovered that I’m interested in writing about more than travel. That’s why I started up another writing site. But I don’t want to stop there. I want to write books. Children’s books, to be specific. I hope to complete one – a middle grade fantasy story – and have it off to an agent and publisher early this year. We’ll see how that all goes, but it’s most certainly the goal. Then I can start in on my next story.

Just because I’m spending a lot more of my vacation time on becoming a better writer doesn’t mean that I’m without travel opportunities or time to take advantage of them. Sure, a lot of my vacation time is spent going to these places. But I also get to see and experience some pretty amazing things in the process. And I still have more time beyond that to use, since I’ve been at my job for so many years and have thus accrued more vacation time than I sometimes know what to do with. That’s where you come in! Any ideas? Any suggestions? Let me know what you think. Whether it’s near or far, where should I go this next year?

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6 Comments on “Looking Ahead to 2014 Travel”

  1. Jo December 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Great plans Jason. Pets and children do change lives – but as you say, in a good way. Trick is to incorporate them into your travels – it’s important to remember they come into your life, not vice versa! Happy travels and the best of luck in 2014!

  2. Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer (@HeidiTown) December 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I think you’re ambitions as a children’s writer are fabulous. I’m jealous of the time you’re spending honing your craft. Good for you.

    Best wishes to you and Anna on a wonderful 2014!!! I have no doubt that big things are in store!!!

  3. Traveling Ted (@travelingted) January 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    My first big trip of 2014 is currently going on with a road trip to Florida, but I am undecided what to do with the rest of my vacation time. I am thinking maybe a week to a new National Park I have not been to or visited in awhile like Big Bend or Theodore Roosevelt, but I am not sure.

    • Jason's Travels January 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      Both are favorite national parks of mine, Ted, as you may know. I highly recommend each. Each would make great road trips from Chicago, if you want to do a giant loop and see others – like returning to the Black Hills with TRNP or up to Carlsbad with BBNP.

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