My Travel Plans for 2017

Hey guys! So as you may have read, I’m moving to Uganda! (I still can’t write that without exclamation points, by the way.)

In 2017 I’m going to travel much more than I have in the past few years. And I couldn’t be more excited. Naturally, I am dying to explore Africa, so want to see (at the very least) Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and South Africa.

But after I wrap up my job in August I may travel a bit longer. I especially want to travel to places that are hard to access when you’re living in the US, like Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.


This month I’ll be wrapping up things in Colorado, i.e. quitting my job, packing, and skiing as much as possible.

(By the way, yesterday was my last day at my job and it feels so weird. I can do whatever I want, all day?!)


In early February, I’m driving back to Michigan with my brother. After spending time with family in Michigan, I fly to Uganda on Valentine’s Day! I will start my job as a project manager for a food delivery company shortly after arriving.


In March, I want to stay close to home and explore my new backyard. I especially want to go white-water rafting on a Class V rapids in Jinja, Uganda. Here’s hoping I’m not eaten by a crocodile or hippo or something.

But I may also head to nearby Rwanda to embark on a gorilla trek. One of my readers suggested I go in March or April as gorilla treks are half-off. (Thank you, Chris!)


I want to head to Cape Town before it gets cold, so I figured April would be a good time. While in Cape Town, I want to see Robben Island, catch a cable car up Table Mountain, and go cage-diving with sharks.

I am also debating going to Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. The only caveat is that it costs $550 per person, per NIGHT. But I mean a giraffe hotel? How could I not?!


In May I want to go on an overland trip with G Adventures in Southern Africa! The trip lasts eight days and covers Kruger National Park, Johannesburg, Zimbabwe, and Victoria Falls. I’m hoping some of my friends from the states and France will join me as well.

Normally I’m not a tour person, but in Africa I think it could be a wise choice.


In June I fly back to the states to attend one of my best friend’s weddings in Montana. (That will be quite the culture shock – semi-rural Africa to cowboy country. What.)

Then I’ll spend ten days at my cottage in Michigan, which is basically my favorite place on earth.


I don’t have much lined up for July. But I turn 27 in July so I’d love to celebrate in Zanzibar. Why not?


In August I will be wrapping up my job contract so my family may come to visit me. I want to take them to Kenya and Tanzania for safaris in the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater.

Other potential trips? Trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro with one of my best friends, or scuba-diving in Mozambique. Or both. I’m not ruling anything out quite yet.


In September I’m hoping to FINALLY see Australia and New Zealand. I want to visit Edna in New Zealand and also head to Australia. In Australia I want to see Sydney, Melbourne, and possibly more, depending on how broke I am and how much solo travel I can stomach.


In October I’m hoping to travel to Japan with my best friend. We’ve been dreaming about going to Japan together since high school, so this trip would be an adolescent dream come true.

In Japan I want to visit Studio Ghibli, visit my French au pair family, and eat as much as humanly possible.

November and December

It’s hard to predict where I will be at the end of 2017. But I will most likely be heading back to the states to look for a job. We’ll see.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Needless to say, I’m extremely excited for the year ahead. Thank you guys for following along! And if you have any recommendations for any of these places, please let me know in the comments!

I’d love to know – what are your travel plans for 2017?

All images courtesy of Unsplash.

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

45 thoughts on “My Travel Plans for 2017”

  1. Can’t wait to see your posts from Zanzibar/Tanzania. And HOPEFULLY the giraffe manor in Nairobi! Would love to hear someone’s honest experience who actually is hesitant about paying that much. I’m a budget travel blogger so I have a hard time justifying spending that much and then trying to encourage my readers unless it were REALLY worth it. I have yet to travel to Africa but it’s definitely on my list. I’m headed to Tokyo this year around the same time you’re hoping to go. But I will probably be there around the end of September.

  2. I’m leading 3 spiritual journeys this year: Bimini, Mt. Shasta and Peru… and planning for a big one early 2018 in India <3

    Your plan sounds awesome!! Tanzania and Kenya are definitely on my list! I will be following your instagram!

  3. What a great list. If you’re heading to Japan try and fit a couple of nights in Seoul. It’s one of the most underrated cities and way cheaper than Japan!

  4. Thanks for the shoutout! I have very fond memories of the amazing (albeit short) hour I was able to spend in the presence of the gorillas.

    It looks like for 2017, discounted months are April, May, and November for Uganda (Bwindi or Mgahinga National parks-I went to Mgahinga). You might be able to claim the East African resident price and get a discount for Rwanda-something to look into.

    Your year sounds exciting! I think I’ll be posted up in Chicago for at least the first half of the year, but am eyeing Sri Lanka for a couple weeks in late March.

  5. Sounds like you have an amazing year planned! I’m heading to Cape Town in April too – it’s a lovely time of year to go, not too busy, the wind has gone but it’s still warm. I also strongly encourage you to think twice about going shark cage diving. While it might seem like fun, it is becoming detrimental to the sharks. At least do plenty of research before you decide to go ahead with it, this post might help – Otherwise have a fantastic time in a fantastic country :)

  6. Wow so beautiful to see a well planned year..
    Here.. I can’t even plan 2 months in advance..
    Looking forward to see all these places through your eyes ?
    Pray for a wonderful year

  7. Woohoo! Looks like a wonderful plan :)

    PS. You can go feed the giraffes at giraffe manor for next to nothing. Not the same as staying there, I know, but still a pretty cool experience!

  8. What a jam packed year you’ll have! Moving to a new continent certainly opens up a ton of opportunities for exploration!
    I’m quitting my job in August and after 3 weeks in Switzerland will travel the Western states, road trip style, with my dog, hopefully ending up in Baja or Tucson for the winter. I kind of love not knowing where I’ll be at the end of the year :)

  9. Very amazing looking plan. Visiting Africa would be very fantastic I can tell. 3 Years age I was in Tanzania for traveling. It was a very mind blowing trip. Local people, were excellent to me. You never get alone in this place. Sunny day and warmth weather were very useful for me to walk on the many parts of the land. Good Luck Ashley:)

  10. Wow !! You have your hands full with the travel around the world. I cannot wait to read about your account of visit to South Africa and Kenya. I still have great memories of the visit to SA and the Safari in Kenya.

  11. wow, so excited for you. i can’t wait to read your blogposts on the different cities, countries you will be visit in Africa. i really admire people who take the risk to move to countries with a foreign language. i wish you the best of luck, think you’ll love the food there as well!

  12. Hello ashley!
    I’m your new reader and i love your content just want to tell you that It is very beautiful to go to japan in Autumn usually starts in early November!
    Hope you can see the pretty leaves when you are there! Don’t miss it! Must go to the 4 seasons in Japan all very beautiful indeed!

  13. Wow! I bet you’re going to have a blast this year with all those superb travel destinations and exciting African adventures waiting for you! Good luck and safe travels!

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