Travelling is one of lives greatest pleasures for us. Soaking up new scenes, people watching, trying new foods, walking/exploring in new cities, beaches and lands, discovering the history and culture of a place – it fills our souls with so much joy and excitement. As 2023 rolls by, we are looking forward to and hoping it sees us taking more trips together and going on some joyful adventures around this part of the world.
We recognise that we are in quite a privileged position living here, and as I have said before, being in the Middle East 100% unlocks so many travel opportunities to neighbouring countries that otherwise would be quite expensive if coming from the UK. This was certainly a pull for us to live and work abroad, and we hope to take advantage of our location over the next year or 2. Our Travel Bucket List definitely has on it all of our neighbours; Saudi, Jordan, Oman, Lebanon, Bahrain … as well as Egypt, Georgia, Istanbul/Türkiye and hopefully India too. But, obviously we can’t see it all at once, so after much deliberation, I think we have narrowed down where 2023 will hopefully take us.
And, here’s where we hope to be going during 2023
We visited Abu Dhabi in November and absolutely loved it. It’s only about £25 each return (cheaper than a train to Leeds from East Yorkshire) and so we have already booked a long weekend there for the beginning of March. We are going to Al Ain (about 90mins outside of Abu Dhabi) and somewhere that has been on our radar since Nathan had a job interview at a school there last year funnily enough! Its a lovely and historical little part of the Emirates, that I am sure we would love to have lived in, but are looking forward to having a chill break in for 3 nights/4 Days. We want to see the mountains, salt flats, Oasis and fort, Zoo and the tombs at Jebel Hafeet National Park – We just really want a nature break away from the city and a trip that isn’t rushed – this looks ideal and budget friendly to do just that!
We also want to have a short trip to Dubai and go to Hatta for a couple of days – Hiking and enjoying the lakes/seeing the Dam etc and then spend a couple of days in Dubai seeing the main sites. But mostly we are keen to see the old town and have a ride on some Abras in the creek! This may not happen until next year, but we will see.
Istanbul isn’t too far from here and is a city we have wanted to go to now for about 2 years (at least). We are looking at a weekend trip before the Summer (if we can find some reasonable flights up there). We would like to indulge in Turkish food, culture and history – even for just a couple of days. I am sure we will love it, and want to return next year for more time and also so explore some more of Türkiye.
Sri Lanka & India
We had big plans to fly to the UK in June when we finish school, and then get a flight a few days later to New York, where we would spend 3 or 4 weeks seeing New York City, Washington DC, upstate New York (we have family there) and Niagra falls. I’d hope also to see some of the lovely little coastal towns above New York too on this trip. And then, after a USA adventure, we would return to the UK for the Summer Holidays and see family and friends.
However, now we are leaning more towards the idea of making the most of living in Asia and using our time here to take advantage of closer and cheaper flights to this part of the world. We want to see Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal mostly and have been discussing travelling a part of Asia instead of the US or even going home and some of Europe (though we may still do this I don’t 100% know yet). We just love the idea of Sri Lanka and India first and doing this over a 4 to 5 week period across the summer – the only downside is that it is their rainy season, and so we are researching and speaking with our friends who live in Southern India, to find out just how rainy it will be from their experiences. If it isn’t super bad monsoons then we may risk it – after all we are from England and used to Rainy Summers!
If we do go ahead with this trip, we hope to fly to Sri Lanka and spend about 10 days exploring it and enjoying the scene. We want to see the elephants, beaches and other wildlife (leopards and turtles), the tea plantations, train between Kandy and Ella, the Dambulla cave temple, see some waterfalls and other things our research leads us to.
From there we will travel to Southern India and spend a few days seeing the Ancient temples in Maduri, then onto Kerela to ride the canals and see the house boats. We will then want to head to Thekkady for a safari and spice tour for a few days, and then onto Goa (stay for about 4 or 5 days to chill) and then Mumbai to see the sites. We hope to travel by train, which costs about £2 – £5 each for each leg of the journey. We will then fly home (to Kuwait) from Goa or Mumbai and will have a couple of weeks before school starts again. Alternatively we may do Nepal for a week and then a train to India and do Northern India – this could ensure better weather if it is too rainy in the South, as the North isn’t as effected by the rains I believe (let me know if you know otherwise).
If India is too rainy to do over the Summer, then we may look at Europe and home.
Our original plan last Christmas was to spend a week to 10 days in Egypt. But then at the very last minute, we decided to go home to Yorkshire! We have spoken on and off about doing it this Christmas instead, and I think it is something we would very much love to do (not to mention a place I have wanted to go since childhood). Flights are very well priced at that time of year from Kuwait, so hopefully during the Christmas break we could have an adventure around Egypt! When we go we want to be able to do quite a few places so we need to narrow down what our route/trip will look like.
We will be definitely going home to the UK at least once this year – maybe the Summer, but most likely it will be October time. We have a family wedding on the horizon in October, and so feel out of everything, we want to be there for that. It will be a quick visit but also a memorable one to celebrate a new sister in law and a special union! I might go a week earlier with the kids so we can see everyone for that little bit longer.
I’m desperate to see Jordan, Oman and Georgia – they look super interesting and have lots to do there, but they’ll have to wait for next year I think (along with a road trip to Saudi we hope to do)! We really hope these travel goals and adventures for 2023 are fulfilled, but wherever we wander to in 2023, I know it will be fun and joyful for our souls and we will make great memories together!