Dusting Off the Ol’ Passport: My 2020 Travel Plans

Dec 08

Person standing at the top of a Munro in Scotland

Whew. Has 2019 been a trip for anyone else, or is it just me?

This year brought about a slew of major life changes for me: I transitioned back to the 9-to-5 grind; I fell in love with yoga and started practicing regularly; I got a new job, relocated to a new city, and moved into a new flat.

There’s been a lot of endings and new beginnings, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of travel. For the first time in years, I put travel on the backburner and focused on every other area of my life.

My only trip in 2019 was a hectic jaunt to Scotland, England, and Denmark in May. Apart from that, I haven’t been anywhere. And, you know what? It’s been pretty fucking fantastic.

Yes, I’ve missed travelling fiercely. Yes, I’ve had days when my itchy feet were out of control, when I’ve spent a shocking amount of time on Skyscanner pricing out flights and planning trips I’ve no intention to take. Overall, though, I’ve been grateful for a year dedicated to resting and renewing, settling and finding contentment in my daily routine.

After living in Edinburgh for two years, working tirelessly to build up a portfolio of freelance clients, dipping my toes into the digital nomad world, going back to Edinburgh and then grappling with another heartbreaking goodbye, and constantly flitting around the European continent since 2015, let me tell you: it was desperately needed.

Now that I’m feeling recharged and rebalanced, I’m ready to start making some serious travel plans for the upcoming year. Here’s everything I’m planning to get up to in 2020.

PS: I’ve thrown in random and somewhat unrelated shots from my Instagram feed since I can’t be bothered editing photos for this post right now if I’m being completely honest 🙂


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ashley 🖤 (@ashleywanders) on

A winter getaway to the Galapagos

Since I’m back in the 9-to-5 world and have limited holidays (seriously North America, get your shit together when it comes to vacation time), I’m planning to do two big-ish trips per year with a few smaller jaunts sprinkled in for good measure.

I haven’t booked a proper winter escape in what seems like forever, and I’m dying to get away during the painful time period that is winter in Canada. Initially, I was toying with the idea of either a yoga retreat or a lay-my-ass-on-the-beach-for-a-week type holiday, but then I was like, haha actually no — I think I might go to the Galapagos Islands instead.

Ecuador wasn’t even on my radar for 2020 originally, but I love the idea of finally setting foot on the South American continent, exploring a country I don’t know all that much about, and taking a holiday that’s focused on nature and wildlife instead of ticking off “must-see” sights and getting wasted on pub crawls (can you tell I’m completely over the typical backpacker-style of travel?).

PLUS, since I’ll be flying south and there’s only a one-hour time difference between Toronto and the Galapagos Islands, I won’t have to deal with awful jet lag when I get back. (It’s been a looong time since I’ve flown south rather than east or west, so this factor fills me with endless amounts of joy.)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ashley 🖤 (@ashleywanders) on

A “workation” in Austria

I work for an awesome travel company, and one of the perks they offer is an office exchange at their headquarters in Vienna or their Australian office in Brisbane.

I would LOVE to get back to Australia next year, but I don’t think it’ll be feasible just yet. Spending a week or two in Vienna, however, should definitely be do-able, so I’m planning a little working “holiday” there at some point in 2020.

Revisiting my favourite city in the world

This one is totally up in the air, but there’s no way I can let a year go by without heading back to one of my favourite places on the planet: Edinburgh.

I have no idea if or when it’ll actually happen, but I might just take a short and sweet trip to Scotland in the spring or summer.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ashley 🖤 (@ashleywanders) on

Back to Africa… or the Middle East or Japan?

After spending nearly five years (!) travelling around Europe almost exclusively, I’m making an effort to explore more destinations that are, you know, not in Europe in 2020. (Aside from Austria and Scotland, that is. Old habits die hard apparently.)

Africa is one continent I’m desperate to see more of, so a trip to Namibia and South Africa with one of my besties might be in the cards for fall.

If, for some reason, the trip doesn’t pan out, I’ve got my sights set on a few destinations that have been sitting at the top of my travel wish list for too long now: the Middle East, the Caucasus, or Japan.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ashley 🖤 (@ashleywanders) on

I’m not sure what’ll end up changing as the year goes on (Ecuador is the only trip set in stone so far), so we’ll see what happens! But more importantly:

Tell me your travel plans for 2020! Are you going to any of the same spots? Do you have any tips for the Galapagos Islands? Gimme all the deets!


  • Reply Mitto Apr 24 at 10:09 pm

    What’s plan for 2020, I’m sure due to Chinese Virus, your plans are kept on hold…
    How was your journey to India? Have you visited any of the GCC?

    • Reply ashleywanders May 08 at 2:22 pm

      Yes, my 2020 travel plans are certainly on hold – although I did manage to make it to the Galapagos Islands before lockdowns were instated, thankfully. I visited India in 2015 and absolutely loved it!

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge